Skitouring Julierpass

The club’s first activity for 2022 was the skitouring weekend at the Julierpass in mid January. On Friday evening we met at the Ospizio La Veduta just below the pass for dinner, making plans for the next day. It had been quite warm a few weeks earlier and not much snow had fallen since so we weren’t all that sure where to find the best conditions. The weather forecast for Saturday wasn’t too rosy so most people settled on nearby Piz Surgonda. After breakfast four of us left for ice climbing in nearby Silvaplana gorge while the people ski touring made their way towards the peak with visibility of no more than a few meters. Strong wind also set it at the ridge just under the peak and people quickly agreed that the Ospizio’s sauna was a better way of spending the afternoon than fighting the elements.

Luckily, Sunday had better conditions in store and we split into two groups. The first group headed up the south side of the pass towards Piz Lagrev, arriving at the peak with perfect sunshine.

The other aimed at stringing together five Piz’s – Piz Surgonda, Piz Traunter Ovas, Piz Calderas, (Tschima da Flix), Piz Picuogl and Piz d’Agnel. By the time they arrived at the Vadret Calderas, the glacier below the summit of Piz Calderas it became clear that they would have to make do with two Piz’s and the Tschima since just two hours of day light were left and all three remaining Piz’s required a fair amount of slow bootpacking up windswept ridges. Close to finishing the loop, just 30m below the final pass, the Fourcla d’Agnel, Max suddenly lost a ski walking up an icy section. Apparently a screw had been torn out of the ski and the entire front piece of the binding was no longer mounted on the ski. Being engineers, the three of us tried our best repairing the binding with zip ties and duct tape but the sharp edges of the ski cut through the tape after 200m of skiing. Luckily, it turned out Max was almost as good a skier on a single ski as he was on two so we made our way back to the car just as the sun was setting.

(Text: Ben Hahn)