Saturday, March 23, 2024

No snow in the Valleys because it has been stock-piled at the Gd St Bernard Monastery.


Huge amounts of snow 

It is true that low down in the valleys and lower resorts it has been a terrible winter for snow, but above 1800meters it has been a completely different story.  This would concurr with climate change predictions.
These roughly go along with the narrative:  As the atmosphere gets warmer it has the ability to hold more moisture , therefore more rain at lower altitudes and more snow at higher altitudes....

Anyway John Young joined me for his anual ski touring trip.  

On our 1st day Monday 18th March. The weather was uncoperative, it was foggy and snowing a little.  We headed for the trees at Les Grands Montets.  It produced a good warm up day, but it wasnt a stand out day.

Howverer on the next day we had a change in weather fortunes and we decided to head up to the Grand St Bernard Hospice for an overnighter.
Leaving the car park

We headed up to the Col Est de Barasson which gave us magnificient views.

I'd like to say it was all perfect - but the truth was it was uncomfortably hot and despite lathering on the sun cream we both got badly burnt.  We eventually arrived at the Hospice quite dehydrated.  We were glad of the welcome tea we were given.
After a pleasnt evening and a good nights sleep. The next day we headed out and up towards Mt Fourchon.

view back to the Col du St Bernard

Again it was very hot.  Although the views and the weather were fantastic the snow for skiing was not.  Infact it was a relief when it was over and we could put the skins back on to return to the Hospice.
Inside the avalanche gallery.

Finally the ski back to the car was on perfectly transformed spring snow.

On the Thursday the weather was indifferent in Chamonix because of the dreaded foehn wind.  Yet as always if you can, if you see Foehn on the forecast you head through the Mt Blanc tunnel where it is always colder and normally it snows.  This time we headed for La Thuile where we had a great day skiing off piste from the lifts.

On Friday we went on the Crochue / Berard ski tour .  This is a trip we had done many times together, but it never dissapoints.
John reaching the Col du Crochue

The ski down the Berard valley was perfect. With fast spring snow turns and not another person insight.  Mind you there was a small price to pay when the snow ran out.

Snow starting to get scarce

Even scarcer
On the Saturday the weather was not great in Chamonix - so we headed to Les Contamines, where once we got above 1800meters the snow was good and we enjoyed some excellent skiing .

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