Nina toping out on the Y couloir- Aiguille d'Argentire

When you look at the Y Couloir on the Aiguille d’Argentiere it really does look like the letter Y.

The Route Aiguille d'Argentiere- Y Couloir/ Glacier Milieu

The Y couloir

The letter Y is like a tree with its roots firm in the ground and its branches reaching high.

The Tree of Life

It is a balanced symbol, a little analogy for keeping balance in life.

Yin/ Yang

Yin and Yang- One needs the other to be balanced.

All of us have things that keep us in balance. Take a moment and think about what balances you. For me, doing a route in the mountains like this is just one of the things that keeps me balanced and reminds me what I love about being out there, pushing myself to new limits and challenges.

Looking around at the inspirational surroundings

I know I need the balance of the mountains, and sport to be strong and balanced as a woman, mother, partner and friend; equally important I need the family, friends and community to be strong in the mountains, in life and sport.

Sometimes it's not always clear which path to take- looking down Y couloir

Summit Aiguille d'Argentiere

Summit Aiguille d'Argentiere

Just the other day I was telling a story to my children about Native Americans and their beliefs in the four elements that keep life in balance: Fire, Air, Earth and Water

4 Elements: Fire, Water, Air, Earth

And talking with them about the things that they love to do, biking at the BMX park or playing soccer, hockey, skiing  or doing art.

A finding his balance

They are already discovering the many things that keep them balanced in life.

Route Report: Y Couloir-Aiguille d’Argentier, March 26th, 2011. The couloir itself was in good condition for going up, but not great snow for skiing down. Equally, the snow down the Milieu glacier was frozen crud. We had very low visibility at times. Here you had to be well balanced on your skis. In fact we did the first part on foot. Lower down, we made some nice turns in spring snow!  Another great day in the mountains, and fun for me to do some more technical climbing. We did the route in 4h:30 from the top of the Grand Montets cable car back to the car park.

Here are more photos from the climb: