Europe in 10 Days or Less

As part of the international guiding jet set, I zipped over to Europe for 10 days including travel. Unfortunately, membership in the jet-set doesn't immunize me against jet lag. The only cure for that, of course, is coffee, waffles and steep skiing. That's why I stayed with Miles Smart, an expert in all of the above. Shortly after this photo was taken, we piled into the Midi cable car to enjoy some midday corn in the Cosmiques Couloir.

My second day in France I began the Haute Route with Martin Volken and a crew of fine Indiana skiers. That's right, Indiana. These guys were rippin' skiers, and good friends. Though new to alpine touring, their comfort on skis saw them through the classic Chamonix-Zermatt high route in good style. This blog entry is meant as a tribute to the friendship and spirit of camaraderie of their crew; it was a pleasure to share in their adventure, and I hope it is not by any means their last.

Thin snow in the Chamonix area gave way to better coverage elsewhere. We did have to wiggle down to Arpette on meager stripes of snow; just one week before, Martin had skied all the way down to Champex! Spring is here...

We came across two separate blown knees near the shores of Lac Dix; the helicopters arrived in under 15 minutes. Make sure you buy your Rega insurance before you hit the Swiss mountains!

The ski down under the Matterhorn was as breathtaking as ever--6 inches of new didn't hurt, either. Martin shared a few choice overlooks on the way down, lest the majesty be missed.

We managed to ski all the way down into the village of Zermatt on a slushy, sinuous piste. Then it was quick showers, handshakes, and adieu. I was back in Chamonix that night, and the crew off to Geneva and an early morning flight.