Wednesday, January 04, 2017

High Pressure No Snow just weeks of blue skies

On or around the 11th November it snowed a lot. About a meter fell over night. [This was light relief because everyone needed badly cheering up after the election of Trump.] The view was that there was now enough snow to kick start an early season. But no. The foehn wind arrived and blew incessantly for about three days and nights and stripped all the snow away. So much so that I seriously thought about cutting the grass again. Then the sun came out and stayed out for two months. Not a cloud. The weather was perfect. Yet with the high pressure came the worst pollution in a very long time. Come Christmas most of the ski areas remained closed. On Christmas Day the Seaton family wanted to go for a ski together but instead we went for a short walk from Le Buet to the Buvet which was open for lunch. There was no snow. The top of Grands Montets was initially open then it closed. Yet the Mt Blanc tunnel is a mixed blessing , on the one hand it is a conduit for polluting trucks but on the other hand it allowed me to ski in Italy where conditions were just fine. Just before New Year Stephen Yeates and his nephew Chris plus Steve Trantrum joined me for an ascent of Punte Crocce which over looks La Thuile. The only issue was that it wasn't just us who decided to ski in Italy and the queue for the tunnel was horrendous. Our strategy was to go early on New Years Day and head through the tunnel and down to the resort of Pila. This proved to be an excellent plan until Steve managed to fall and bury a ski,which we never found. This was some achievement considering it hadn't snowed for two months. We managed to get Steve back to the piste and then to the bottom of a chair where the Lift Man called for a skidoo pick up.

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