Saturday, April 01, 2017
Next we skied down to the foot of the big gulley which leads up to the Glacier du Morte. We strapped our crampons on , stuck the skis on our ruck sacks and climbed up the couloir , which gets pretty steep at the top. The ski down was very good. Although the track through the forest back to Le Buet was "faster" [read icy] than we wanted. Tuesday 28th March. We got dropped at Le Tour by my new driving daughter Andrea. We headed up the lift and then skinned up and over the col just to the right of the Grandes Otanes. We couldnt believe the sight of the exceptional skiing which awaited us. On the Thursday we decided to go on an overnight ski tour. We drove through to Sierre. We parked the car and took the Funcicular to Crans Montana. We then worked the lift system up to the Plaine des Mortes glacier from where we climbed the spectacular Rohrbachsteim 2950m After which we skied down to the Wildstrubel Hut- which at present I would have to rate as the best hut in the Alps that I have visited in terms of its welcome, food and general ambience. Friday morning we were a way by 7.00am just in time to arrive on the summit of the Wisshore 2948m to enjoy the sunrise over the Plaine Morte Glacier. From there we traversed the glacier before climbing up and on to the summit of the Wildstrubel 3244m. The ski down got better and better and the spring snow was very good all the way to the Gemmipass cable car. From here we descended by cable car to Leukerbad. After some lunch we took the bus to Leuk, then a train to Sierre where we picked up the car and drove back to Chamonix. Saturday was to be our final day. The weather was threatening to change. We headed to the summit of the Brevent and skied off behind the ridge making our way around to the Col du Brevent. The weather was cold and windy and the snow was not softening up. It wasbone shattering skiing and and had zero to recommend it. We decided to head back to La Flegere. This proved to be a good call. The wind dropped and the sun came out. We traversed around to Lac Blanc and the made our way over to the deep gorge which leads up to Col L'Encrenaz. Instead of climbing up the col we skied towards Col du Montets again enjoying good spring snow. Inevitably by the time we hit the road it was decidedly soggy and there was rather a lot of vegetation sticking up through the snow. All in all it was another excellent day. Andrea was there to pick us up in her Land Rover and rive us home.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
The best way to have good skiing is to have a good sense of what the weather is doing and then go where the snow is best on the day. On Wednesday 22nd March Fiona and Reuben and I drove to Verbier. It is about 40 mins drive to La Chable. We had good off piste skiing from the lift system , but at lunch we eat in probably the weirdest restaurant of the season. Weird because the owner is seemingly a friend of Sarah Ferguson and thinks that having a Fergie themed menu is a great idea...
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Sunday, March 05, 2017
Friday, March 03, 2017
The Grand St Bernard Monastery is right at the bottom bit of the red section on the avalanche danger map. This was to have been our goal. We were due to skin up the road and spend the night. A goal Marco and Laura and I had had in the diary for several months. Yet with an avalanche forecast like the one above the decision was simple. We needed a plan B. Instead we climbed the wonderful L'Arpille . Laura and Marco invited their friends Jess and Matt , both who were new to ski touring. The Arpille is a very good choice because it is both safe from avalanches and offers spectacular views.
Thursday, March 02, 2017
It continues to be grey and wet in the Chamonix valley caused by almost continuous Foehn winds . Yet the conditions in Italy have produced some of the best powder skiing I have seen in years. Chris Dovell and Lia Heisters joined me for three days. On our first day we skied the trees which lead down to the Petit St Bernard road, then down through the meadows in knee deep fluffy snow. The next day Chris and I explored Courmayeur. Chris has skied in Courmayeur a lot, but I still managed to find him some descents he hadn't made before. To be safe I asked him to throw 50 meters of Dymeena cord in his bag in case we got "Cliffed Out." Anyone stupid enough to be suckered into following our tracks thinking they would get good skiing would have got some amazing skiing , but a whole lot more too.