Wow, that was a winner!

02 February 2015

The wind fortunately died down and although it was a little gloomy at the Gourmandine there were signs of light getting through the clouds, which always helps with the optimism. Andreas talked me into a trip to the Fornet as his 8:30 weather forecast said it would brighten there first and with the Glacier being closed for the past few days we wouldn’t need to deal with old tracks. Sure enough, we went from flat-light to wonderful sunshine pretty quickly and the snow was fantastic, especially considering the wind over the past few days. (see photos)

Andreas, Henry and I skied over from Solaise and had some great skiing in the Upper Mattis trees before cutting back to the piste, followed by a lovely run off the Laisinant Express and one in the Combe du Signal. We broke into the sun as we arrived at the Cascade chair, where we met Chris, and we all had several brilliant runs in the 3300 and Pays Desert. With the risk at 4/5 it was the perfect terrain and the snow was stunning! (TJ was in action but I’m not sure what he skied)

Speaking of 4/5 avalanche risk, it’s incredible where people are laying their tracks. The Arcelle/Manchet has been hit hard, the Banane has been skied to death, and I’m sure it’s the same on the big slopes over in Tignes. The base is still rotten and all that new snow has added to the weight on the snowpack. Over the past few days there have been quite a few deaths in the Alps and here we’ve had avalanches in the Super Santons and Combe des Lanches where skiers needed to be dug out, plus slides in the Lower Manchet, the Combe du Signal and the Face du Charvet to name a few. It’s dangerous out there and people seem to think that they’ve made a good call if they ski a big slope and it hasn’t slid. It’s quite sad really, and very worrying!

Congratulations to Michael R and all those Pats fans out there. It must have been one of the best Super Bowl’s in quite some time and extremely exhausting to watch! And commiserations to Jimmy T and all those broken-hearted Seahawks fans!

PS It turns out 10 people died in the Alps yesterday, by far the worse day of the season.

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