Monday, February 01, 2021

Fabulous January for ski touring.

The Dru after the storm.

 The lifts are still closed in France and Italy.  But to paraphrase : Where there is a problem there is an opportunity. The combination of cold weather and a significant regular dumps of snow have produced exceptional conditions.  

Here is a quick summary of what you can do without a ski lift in January in a quick video from Florence.

While it is possible to go ski touring in the resorts, there is still something not quite right about skinning up under closed cable cars and chair lifts, which I am afraid is the case in the likes of Chamonix. It is of course better than nothing , but with a little exploration and creativity you can do much better than this. 

The area that has come into its own is the mountain range of the Aravis.  [This area best known for the   ski stations of La Clusaz and Le Grande Bournand]

The Aravis area has many many ski tours that go no where near the lift stations and they all start from the car park .  Most are interesting from the first step and don't require long approaches up pistes or tracks before you reach any interesting terrain.  What's more skiing down these sort of tracks at the end of the day  can be scary!

Two of the best ski tours we did were the" Pointe d'Andey" and the "Trou de la Mouche."

The first is the perfect ski tour to do attempt when the avalanche conditions are not good because the terrain is benign , yet provides for fabulous varied skiing , from open slopes to beautiful tree skiing.

Adjusting the skis before setting off from the road head

What's not to like?

The Madonna on the summit

View from the top towards Lac Leman

mother&daughter 1st ski tour together  Catherine & Jess.

Jess Lewis returns to the car .

The other great ski tour we did was the Trou de la Mouche.  This is one of the best know ski tours in the Aravis.  It involves climbing up to a col which has a unique feature - a great big hole in the cliff which the route passes through.

The conditions weren't great - there was a lot of wind and consequently a high avalanche risk but still Florence made the most of it.