Thursday, May 10, 2018
This last winter sort of swamped me and it became difficult to Guide, to be continually clearing snow and be thinking about writing a Blog. If all the precipitation had actually fallen as snow , it is reasonable to think that we would be still clearing it now. In fact it is still necessary to climb over mountains of old avalanche debris on the daily dog walk. Instead we had massive fluctuations of temperature where we would get huge dumps of snow followed the next day by torrential rain. In late February Catherine Lewis , Lucy-Kate Hunt and Bella Noakes and I went to Arolla . This coincided with a plunge in the temperature . It dropped to an astonishing -30c. Yet the weather was perfect and the whole scene was magical. They made a short video which encapsulates the trip. https://youtu.be/DQKNClR942k In March the weather was always unstable. This gave great snow , but it was unpredictable and there was was plenty of re-planning because of the inherent danger of choosing the wrong avalanche fraught destination. My second trip of the year to the Gd St Bernard Monastery was an example of this constant change of plan, although we usually had great skiing outcome.
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Sacha Kamp "was" a snow boarder and I very good one at that . After all he had lived in Chamonix and spent a lot of time in the mountains. He had even bought a split-board and done lots of touring on his split-board . May be this is where he saw the inherent problem with the split-board , there is no doubt that converting it from up hill mode to surf mode , is in less than perfect weather rather like pulling your own teeth out. So Sacha decided he should ditch his board and come ski touring. Sacha is an extraordinarily fast learner. We started our four days together at Le Tour , where the snow was fantastic. I showed Sacha how best to ski off-piste which he understood immediately and then we were off ! We skied over to Switzerland and were able to take in the fabulous views up the Rhone valley and also see what progress they were making in clearing the land slide on the Col Forclaz. The answer is Fuck All.
Monday, February 05, 2018
It doesn't really matter if you have a base of 10 meters of snow or a base of 1 meter of snow if its all rock hard and icy. Your going to get fairly indifferent off-piste skiing conditions. Well we had loads of snow and at the beginning of the week and it was all bullet hard. Fiona and Reuben and I headed for Les Contamines where the weather was beautiful although there was evidence of some significant avalanches on the south facing slopes. The snow had subsequently frozen leaving a surface less than great for skiing on.