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Les Deux Alpes. This ski resort lies just 70km from Grenoble. The snow park, almost unlimited off piste possibilities and reasonable prices draw a young crowd.  We stayed in 2 apartments, 4 people in each of them.  The first accident happened when someone run into Stefan and hurt his shoulder.  The next day Ben jumped in the snow park, but landed on his bum and he had to be taken down by a helicopter for a scan.  Fortunately nothing was broken, but he's not allowed to sit for the next 3 months!  After that we had no more accidents, only blue sky and and beautiful mountains all around.

Chamonix - Argentiere Glacier

I was so close to Chamonix, the mountain sports capital of Europe, that I just had to go.  After a day of preparation I set off for climbing with Douglas, who I met in Colombia a year earlier.  We took the cable car to Aig. des Grands Montets 3295m and had to spend the night there.  Visibility was very poor and it was getting late.  To kill some time, we were trying a new snow saw.  I cut big blocks, and Douglas made a wall.  After 2 hours of work we had an igloo with no roof.  Then I had a crazy idea - I decided to spend the night inside.  I cut a shelf to have some protection from the snow, but it didn't help much.  It was the snow falling on my face and not cold temperature, reaching -15C, that prevented me from sleeping until 3am.

When I waked up the next morning, the sun was illuminating nearby mountain tops, and soon after the thick clouds filling the valleys below as well.  We went to the Argentiere Hut on the other side of the glacier without any problems.  Only downstairs is open in winter.  3 dormitories with bunk beds and blankets, important as there is no light or heating.  The next day we were going to climb Aig. Argentiere, but we had to change our plans because of bad weather.  Instead we went down to the glacier for ice climbing practice.

The following day we had to do the same, as it was snowing the whole night.  Walking was very tiring is waist deep snow, but overall it was a good day.  Later a couple of Dutch climbers arrived and had bad news.  The weather forecast was poor and the best thing to do was to return to Chamonix and wait for more stable conditions.