Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Les Dent du Valerettes

Drove round to Monthey in the Valais and met up with Richard Lewis for an ascent of the Dent du Valerettes. Stunning views toward lake Geneva and on the other side the Dent du Midi. A great summit with snow considerably better than anything recently.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Now its too hot!

Mike Flynn joined me for 3 days - the brief was to ski interesting off piste. "Interesting" it was. Good snow it wasn't. This was because the temperature shot up and everything turned to mush. Then it would freeze over night and the snow turned to ice. This was cyclic the result being snow that was like concrete.
Still it is what it is. Fortunately Mike was as good a skier as Guide is going to get to ski with. Mike was fazed by nothing. On our first day we skied off piste at Le Tour and this was good especially on the north facing slopes, yet our last descent was very heavy and soggy as we skied down to the car.
The next day I decided to ski the Pas de Chevere - Chamonix's second most famous off piste run. This was decidedly icy at the top. By the time we got to the Mer des Glace it was super hot and an avalanche took out the train track on the Montenvers.
On our third day we did the famous ski tour the col, col Crochue Berard. Beautiful weather but poor snow.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It has been very cold

Three or four seasons ago when it was raining at 3000 meters in January I promised I would never complain about being cold again. We craved cold. Then in the last two weeks when the temperature rarely crept above -15 degrees c and for a lot of the time dived below -20 I began to change my mind.

Diesel fueld Cars were constantly breaking down because the fuel was waxing in the tanks and the normally fast flowing rivers froze over. Yet it was fantastic as the snow has stayed fresh and powdery. Recently the temperature has crept up and in the sun its very warm.

I have done lots of different things with lots of different people . Recently the standout descent was down the Possettes Gullies behind Le Tour to Le Buet. I did this with Catherine and Richard Lewis.

Earlier I visited a new "resort" The Rochers de Naye high above Montreux. It has one train and two drag lifts and when we found it it had the most perfect off piste skiing imaginable. 40 cm of super cold windless powder and no one about. Just incredable.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Longest Haute Route ever

Ski & Board's photo editor John Norris wrote a piece about completing the Haute Route with me a few years ago

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Snow was good Now it is dream like

Last week Chris Boulton brought out his annual ski group. They are creatures of habit: Same hotel [the Couronne] same bar [the Office] same hire shop [Stamos] pretty much the same team although it seems to get bigger and bigger. Plus the same Guide [me]

My job is to make sure they don't ski the same places and in the attempt to keep it fresh I even ended up skiing somewhere I hadn't skied before namely down the north facing slopes below the Montenvers Railway. The snow was so high and the slopes in places so deep that if you were not careful you could land on top of the pantograph cable which powers the train.

I think the standout day was when we went ski touring high above Martigny and climbed the Mt Arpille. We even took Walter the Mountain Dog with us too.