Talk about contrasts!

09 March 2018

I don’t really know where to start? After yesterday’s seriously wonderful conditions we were all expecting some great skiing again today, and everyone had a plan to get to the ‘clean’ snow that was spared in yesterday’s frenzy. But, what we didn’t expect was the temperature rise and all that fabulous snow becoming wet and heavy, and that was the good snow! In places it was un-skiably heavy and at the Fornet there was a nasty rain or perhaps heat crust that refroze and was to be avoided. In the end Chris and I did rather well as we skied the meadows across the Altiport to the Little Lavachet, which was warm but enjoyable skiing, and the Lavachet itself was warm but very skiable as well. It was ‘skiers’ snow but we had skiers so it wasn’t a problem and I really enjoyed it. It was good enough to ski to the bottom and ‘skin’ out so at this stage we didn’t realise what lie ahead. The top slopes in the Sachette were also heavy but good skiing but we then cut out early as it was evident that we were finished off-piste and needed the safety of the pistes to avoid damaging someone’s knee. At this stage I was telling myself that perhaps we should have gone to the Motte but reports from the Motte indicated that the light was very flat and the snow upstairs was heavy as well, so that made me feel better about our choices. Andreas headed to the Fornet to ski the Col du Montet (which I also almost did) and he needed to turn around because of a rain/heat crust and he reported that the entire Fornet sector was ‘wishbone’ snow and he saw quite a few guides turning around and aborting itineraries. Thomas ‘skinned’ to the Col des Fours and had heavy but skiable snow all the way to the refuge before it turned into ‘porridge’ so he had a decent morning under the conditions.

We were all expecting sunshine this morning but the day started off overcast and grey, but Radio Val had promised it would clear up around 11AM and we’d be skiing in sunshine. Without this carrot Andreas wouldn’t have bothered thinking about the Col du Montet and Thomas was counting on some sunshine for the Col des Fours, but we were all left in flat-light when we needed the vis on the big slopes. We have been lucky all week however with unexpected light and even sunshine when it wasn’t forecast so we can hardly complain, but it was a jolly difficult day when expectations were fairly high.

I’ve no idea what to expect tomorrow but a freeze and some snow would help. Stay tuned!

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