Here are some of my photos from the Haute Route in Switzerland. From Day 6 to the end of the tour.

Day 6 - Going to Italy


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Another morning start with headlamps sent us down the valley with some chattering skis, but with a plan to
have a shower by the end of the day.


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Again, by the time the sun was coming up, the day looked to be another excellent one. Here is Chris with
the side of Mt Avril (I think) above him.


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A cool shot looking back at our route from the day before. It was pretty neat that on just about every day of our tour
we could look back and see our path.


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A dark photo of Dicky, but the light behind on the mountain looks neat.


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Single serving pieces of cheese are awesome. So is having lunch at 10:30AM!


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Lunch #1 in the sun again.


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This salami also earns high marks.


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A pretty over-exposed photo of Mike, but still pretty neat.


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I'm sure that Chris will get a Black Diamond pro deal out of this now.


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This is the view looking into Italy with Alex in the foreground.


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A really nice photo of Kim looking back at our previous day's descent.


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This is a funny shot of Dylan consulting the signposts.


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I like how the Swiss trail markers are so precise about how much time it'll take you to get to your destination.
This is at the border of Italy and Switzerland. No border patrol however.


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Dicky says that there isn't a pile of snow on the Italian side and he's right.


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You can see an awful lot of brown in the snowpack.


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A neat shot of Dave skiing out into Italy. You can tell that it's definitely a low snow year.


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A terrible quality shot (overexposed), but the sharp peaks of the Valpelline Alps are pretty cool.


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We somehow made it down the valley without substantial amounts of carrying our skis. We did have to cross
this stream here.


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Dicky decided that he didn't want to take off his skis so he just kept walking into the boggy grasslands.


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This basically marks the end of our skiing on day 6. However, we were still a long way from the
end of the day as we had to hike down valley to get our cab to Courmayeur.


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A couple of old cabins on our descent out.


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I'm not sure what flower this is, but there were a lot of these as well as crocuses.


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We still have a ways to go to get to the green part of the valley.


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I thought this waterfall looked cool. We're exiting into the Vallee d'Aoste, a summer retreat
area of Italy.


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I tried to capture a good look at where we came from, but this even understates it. When we got down,
Dylan got a hold of Guido (his real name) and Guido showed up with a big van and took us to Courmayeur.
Guido also showed up with 10 cold beer, which earned him HUGE points in my book.


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This was our hotel in Courmayeur (le Palud) - le dent de Geant (Giant's tooth) with a view up Mont Blanc.


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I tried really hard to look cool, but my U of S sleeping pants didn't quite cut it.


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Dave and Kim and a pretty jagged arm up the mountain.


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I thought the pillar holding up the back half of this house was cool.


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A map of the Mont Blanc area (Monte Bianco) from the Italian side.


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Dave hanging out in Italy. We didn't hike with extra boots so when we got down to Courmayeur, most
of the crew was in bare foot or sock feet. I brought my hut booties, but should have just brought tiny
flip-flops since all of the huts had their own Crocs.

Day 7 - le Mer de Glace and Mont Blanc


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I love the waiver that applies when you go up the cable car to Mont Blanc. Our last day consisted of
taking the cable car up Mont Blanc and then skiing down to Chamonix.


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So, it turns out that Scarpa is actually Italian for 'Boot', which is funny. My new Maestrales were
on advertisement on the mountain map so I had to take a photo.


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Um, Chris, no, those aren't Scarpas, but I suppose they are boots...


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Dicky and I in the cable car.


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The view up the cable car. A cable car is neat since it really only has two towers - at either end.
So, in between the two towers, you just hang over the terrain.


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The last cable car up to the high point of our tour.


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Even though we had 7 straight perfect bluebird days, when we were doing the extra-scenic portion of the tour
we had some weather come in. We tried to snap some photos when we'd hit a sucker pocket.


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These are big granite pillars on the top of the massif.


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Dicky, in the middle of a sucker pocket of clear sky.


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I think I'm trying to see where the sun is going.


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You can almost see where we skied down from.


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Dave and a crevasse. We all agreed that having Dylan with us was much appreciated on this day since the wrong
move would have put us into some pretty serious crevasse terrain.


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Kim and some pretty cool aiguilles (needles).


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Way, way up in the air is the Aiguille de Midi cable car. Yeah, I think my mom would have to take a
double dose of Gravol to pull that off.


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Every so often the sky would clear and we'd get a good look at some neat terrain.


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Here is Dicky side-slipping some icy snow and looking for a big left turn at the bottom prior to hitting that
ice field.


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What amazes me about glaciers is how readily you can see all of the forces at work, at least once the
top snow layers are off.


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Dicky and a crow enjoy the view from the mid-way hut above the Salle a Manger.


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A few of us hanging out at the mid-way hut.


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Crow with Icefield below.


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I thought the blue water pooling in the glacier looked cool.


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The view back up the Mer de Glace. This is supposed to be the 'Bee's Knees'. We decided it was the
Bee's Butt since the skiing was not terrific. Still, it was really cool being able to ski it.


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The bottom of the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice).


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The crows were hanging out, waiting for food at the hut. I thought they resembled vultures.


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I thought this was a cool shot of the crows and some very sharp peaks above us.


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After hopping over some questionable snow/ice/rocks, we decided to hike out the last 30 minutes with our skis on
our backs.


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Here is Dave looking down the rocky glacier. You can see the little teleferique we'll be taking to get back to
the train that'll take us to Chamonix proper.


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Here is Dicky, hiking out at the end of the Haute Route.


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It just seems crazy to me to see the extent of lifts and systems in place to allow for easier access into the
Alps. In this case, it's about 500 stairs to allow people to ski out the Mer de Glace and not have to bush-walk/rock-climb
to the train that brings you home.


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Kim, Mike, and Bob, with a chunk of glacier ice at the end of our hike out.


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Chris on the hike out.


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At the bottom of the glacier was a guy selling tickets to travel inside the caves. No thanks.


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I made it! I completed the Haute Route in reverse! Or at least, some variation of it.


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Alex and I enjoying the last few stairs before being complete.


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Here is Dicky hiking the last uphill of our trip - to the lift that brings us to the train.

Video of the guys discussing their thoughts on the Reverse Haute Route



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Once we got to the train station, I took a shot back up the Mer de Glace.


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A good shot of Dylan on the train ride out from Montenvers.


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The Haute Route gets the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.


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Here was out last hostel for the trip. Other than Dave having a random guy try to convince him to smuggle skis
home for the guy, the hostel was pretty good.

Around Chamonix


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I saw these hockey sticks on the side of a house and thought they were cool. I also saw a big ice rink
in Chamonix so maybe I'll have to look into playing pro hockey there...


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Here's a shop that Natalia would want to check out - l'Univers de Bonbon - the Candy Universe.


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I think the train station in Chamonix is pretty cool.


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Even McDonald's gets into the Alpine spirit.


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Nati, I tried to find just gummi bears, but the Haribo guys make just about everything.


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It seems fitting that I'd find this in Europe.

Thanks to Bob, Kim, and Mike from Colorado and to Dave, Alex, Chris, and Dicky from Oregon for an outstanding
trip to do the Haute Route. Thanks also to Jim for finding a way to let us finish the Haute Route despite obvious
challenges, and thanks lastly to Dylan for being an excellent last-minute substitute guide.
See all of you next year!

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