Friday, February 11, 2011

The skiing is not for the faint hearted at present

I spent 5 days skiing with Mike Flynnn. It was his first venture into the off piste skiing and touring around Chamonix. It has now not snowed for over a month and during that time we have hardly seen a cloud. Still if you know where to go and you have a very good skier like Mike then there are plenty of very good descents.

On Saturday we had a "get to know each other" day at Grands Montets where the snow is hard but grippy and importantly no ice. We skied down onto the Glacier d'Argentiere 3 times.

On Sunday we climbed up and over the col des Otannes and then down to Trient village. The descent was superb and not a bad turn on the whole descent.

On Monday we went into the Valley Blanche. It was quiet because it is not suitable to ski unless you are very comfortable skiing above and around the huge crevasses which have opened up. We skinned up to the Italian side and then descended skiers right of the Geant Ice fall which was good but very serious because of the big crevasses below us.

On Tuesday we skied off the top of the Courmayeur lift system down into the Val Veny via two perfect gullies.

Our last day was on the Crochue- Berrard ski tour above La Flegere. It was very important to time the key traverse section so as to not arrive while it was icy and after it had had plenty of sun. We passed by at about 11.20am.
The descent of the Berard Valley was a little disappointing in terms of the quality of the snow. It was the worst snow of the week.

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