Skiing Dômes de Miage North Face

For months now we have been keeping a close eye on an impressive mountain face that you see every time you drive up to Chamonix from Sallanches; the north face of Dômes de Miage (next to the popular Metrier Ridge climb). Until now the 1100m high face has had patches of ice on it, but after all this snow in May it looks well filled in. This big face, that seldom is in such good conditions, seamed like a great way to end the amazing ski season of 2010.

22 – 23 May with Wolgang Huber, Eva Eskilsson, John Monigue, Stephan Shaw and Guillaume Glinel.

Chalets de Miage

5 people, lots of gear, Guillaume’s extra large Panda and Wolfgang’s little moto! Yes we made it all the way up the steep 4×4 road to the Chalets de Miage.

Domes de Miage north face

Tomorrow we would like to ski this line, the north face of Dômes de Miage.

Hiking towards Refuge Plan Glacier

One Irish man, one Scott, one Austrian, one French and not to forget our Swedish girl. We are on the way to the Plan Glacier refuge.

Approach to Plan Glacier hut

The packs are heavy and we are happy to reach the snow line. Military order, Sweden up front!

Ski touring to Plan Glacier hut

On the way to the refuge we get a good look from all angles onto tomorrows objective.

Refuge Plan Glacier

Not much further today… At this refuge you might put yourself in great danger if you sit on its small sun terrace. I guess one or two avalanche has bounced of the roof before!

The north face of Domes de Miage from Refuge Plan Glacier

Once at the refuge we keep staring at the north face of Domes de Miage. There is not much else to look at and we are also very courious. Good snow, bad snow, how steep is it really? As John says, we will find out tomorrow anyway.

Bootpacking Dome de Miage North Face

The next morning we set of at 4 o’clock. In the very first light we start boot packing.

Bootpacking Dome de Miage North Face

We climb most of the face before the sun hits it. The snow is a bit crusty and soft under. John and Steph up front and me…

Bootpacking Domes de Miage North Face

…I am socializing, with half open eyes.

Bootpacking Domes de Miage North Face

The first sun rays of the day in the mountains are always a fantastic experience. We are high up on the face now and I am waking up too.

Domes de Miage North Face

The face gets steeper and steeper the higher we get, from 45 to 50 and to 55 on the last 300hm. In some places we only find 15cm of compact snow on top of the ice.

Last bit to the summit is a rock band

After a 4 hours workout we reach the top of the snow, it is certainly not much snow covering the ice and it’s time to put on the skis.

Skiing Domes de Miage north face

Skiing time! The first turn is always the most scary one.

Telemarking Domes de Miage north face

I certainly would not like to trade my alpine skis with Steph’s telemark gear!

Skiing Domes de Miage north face

A few careful turns…

Skiing Domes de Miage north face

…past the thin top section…

Skiing Domes de Miage north face

…and then lots of fun!

Skiing Domes de Miage north face

Eva on her first turns…

Skiing Domes de Miage north face

..and then more fluent skiing in the compact powder snow.

Telemarking Domes de Miage north face

Steph is certainly enjoying himself now!

Snowboarding Domes de Miage north face

On the snowboard you only got on edge. The second one you carry in your hand, John explained to me.

Snowboarding Domes de Miage north face

Green for Irland! Its always a pleasure watching John snowboard.

Skiing Domes de Miage north face

1100hm of skiing in a fantastic setting. We are in no rush to the bottom.

Telemarking Domes de Miage north face

The lower part never softened completly, but it also is less steep. Steph is certainly not held back by the sun crust.

Back down checking our tracks

At 11 we are back down on the glacier! Time for some brunch!

We skied Domes de Miage on the 23 May, but it was in fact not the end of our ski season. 2 weeks later we got the opportunity to ski the Marinelli couloir in Monte Rosa. Steph made a video from Marinelli.

More ski tours from this spring in our ski touring galleries

Categories: Off-Piste Skiing and Ski Touring.

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