Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mixed Weather makes for Challanges

My regular skiing companion John Young arrived in Chamonix with an indifferent weather forecast and yet again we needed to be creative in making the most of our 5 days together.

The issue was that it is very difficult to go skiing or even ski touring if your enveloped in fog . The solution normally is to ski where there are trees which give perspective. But the snow at tree level was like mush or non existent - at least to start with.

On Saturday 16th, having looked very closely at the weather forecast we headed over to Switzerland and headed up Mont de L'Arpille high above Martigny [ although not that high at 2040meters.]
The choice was good, we escaped the bad weather and got to ski in a unique setting :

The next two days it snowed which was an improvement on rain. We skied off-piste at Les Grands Montets, always a good default. Even the tree skiing was good and there was seemingly only John and I skiing the trees.

The the next day was "Grand Beau." Plus we had good snow. We headed for the Aguille du Midi, suffered the ineptitude of Compagnie du Mont Blanc with their in ability to open on time. BUT when we did finally get up and get going we were treated to some of the best conditions I have ever experienced in the Vallee Blanche. We skied down to below the Pyramid to Tacul and then skinned up the Italian side before finding the Comb de La Vierge in immaculate condition.

Then skiers right of the Requin Ice fall was the best I had known in 30 years of skiing in the Vallee Blanche

On our final day we had to be away quickly because the weather was perfect but it was hot. We traversed around from the Index chair lift above Flegere to Lac Blanc we then continued around and then up to the col d'Encrenaz

We then were rewarded a with a great ski down to Le Buet - thus finshing the week on a real high.

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