The weather had been shocking. Torrential rain, rivers bursting their banks, mud slides. But above 1800meters it has snowed. Not just a sprinkling that barely covers the rocks, but meters and meters of untracked white stuff. Not unsurprisingly the avalanche risk was high.
These conditions are ideal for refreshing snow-science skills because there is lots to see and learn. Plus there is no better time to review avalanche transceiver protocols for the forth coming season. Mind you the slight snag was that there was only one lift open- The gondola at La Flegere. Once you were at the mid station it was a question of using skins because all the chair lifts were not open.
Harvey and I were not alone. It was a Sunday and the first day in a while that had been half reasonable.
It was crazily busy as we walked up the main piste. Nevertheless there was so much snow that there was plenty for everyone. We found a quiet sheltered area and did some avalanche transciever training. Then we dug a huge snow pit and looked at the different layers and made some asseessments of how stable the snow pack was.
The ski back down was wonderful and I didnt touch one rock - remarkable for November.