“After an espresso at Atelier Gourmand, the classic Italian bar right under the first ski lift in Champoluc (1568m), we took three lifts to Colle Sarezza (2700). Then we skied for five minutes, put on our skins and started the ascent towards the lakes of Pinter and Perrin – where I have been many times in the summer…
But this time it was ALL different. First; I have never walked up-hill with skins. Second; the ground was covered with white glitter. Third; there is no avalanche-risk in the summer. So; yes, I was excited! It was easy for me to put on the skins and understand how to use the bindings’ different settings. The problem was my speed. When I run, I usually run faster when I come to a steep part of the trail. Walking uphill with skis should be steep! So my technique to hurry up when it got a bit harder was not optimal. When we got up to the top, I was told how important it is to get a nice pace going. One step at a time, in a comfortable speed, and NO stopping!
We climbed for almost two hours, marking the steep hill with large Zs’. The view was indescribably beautiful. Being on top of a mountain like that, close to 3000 meters, is an incredibly awesome feeling.
Finally on the top, looking down on the ice and snow-covered Lake of Perrin, we sat down for a moment. With some sweet Swedish blueberry soup and well-deserved chocolate we got new energy. I was already very satisfied when it was time to descend. There were enough untouched parts of powdery snow for all of us. We slid by soft pillows, that shimmered in blue and white
Then we reached the woods and continued through the trees toward a small river, where I usually stop to rest a bit when I do the same tour in the summer. It was a lovely feeling to sit down and relax at the little restaurant (Frantze) in the old part of Crest. Happiness and a sense of accomplishment.
As the snowboarder I am, I never cared so much for ski mountaineering. I sometimes walked a bit, just to get a little higher than the other tours I could reach easily with my board. But, now I know what I’ve missed! And I’m definitely going to continue practicing my touring skills to get the most out of the mountain, even during the winter season. And I’ll do it either with my board on my shoulders or with the light touring skis I tried on this fantastic adventure.”
Guest blog by Nastassja Capetillo