Courmayeur (pronounced somewhat like kur-ma-yur) is on the opposite side of Mont Blanc from Chamonix. The Chamonix-Mont Blanc "Unlimited" pass is also valid at Courmayeur and Verbier, Switzerland. On Tuesday we made the 40-minute trip through the Mont Blanc tunnel for another scenic day on the slopes.
The Val d'Aosta coming out of the tunnel. The mountains aren't quite as dramatic as on the French side.
The gondola we took to access the ski area was on the opposite side of the area from the village. It took several lifts to get to this point where we could look down into Courmayeur itself – although we never actually went down there.
Dick Comerford, Sharon Mulholland and I skied together. We started out as a foursome, but got separated from Dave Bertagnoli on the first run! Luckily he linked up with some other BRSC folks and also had a great day.
We paused for a breather skiing down from the Cresta Youla. The glacier in the background originates on Mont Blanc.
I guess since we're in Italy I should be calling it Monte Bianco.
The only really good view we ever got of Mont Blanc was from the Italian side. Perhaps on this particular day it was clear on the French side as well. Otherwise the combination of the snow blowing off the peak and clouds kept it hidden.
Years ago Dick had skied the Vallée Blanche from the Italian side. I had planned on skiing it on our last trip to Chamonix in 2002, but injured my knee earlier in the week. I didn't really have any desire to attempt it on this trip. After talking with one of our number who did, I was glad. She told of very strong winds and bitter cold. Both she and Dick agreed that they were glad they had done it but had no desire to do it again.
One advantage this year was that the snow conditions allowed a trip all the way down into the valley.
I must say that the best food of the trip (except for Paul Bocuse) was the antipasto I had for lunch in a cafeteria on the slopes here. It was not only delicious but probably the cheapest meal I had all week!
The ristorante had a lovely sunny deck where we were able to relax and enjoy the sun and the view. In my experience the Italians really know how to put the vacation in ski vacation.
Sharon is modeling the chic neck wallets we were issued to carry our tickets and such like and to identify us to fellow BRSC participants.
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