A 'plaque du jour' award!

11 March 2011

After a couple of days in a row around the Glacier Pers it was time for a change of scenery, and what a result! Chris and I went way out in the Pays Desert and had a superb morning with great snow and different views as we ‘skinned’ up to a little knoll where we’ve never been before. We stopped after our ten-minute ‘skin’ to add to a little Cairn for David, which was engineered by Jean and Chrissy. The little walk opened up new vistas and routes, and although some of the skiing was gentle, there were some steeper pitches towards the bottom with wonderful snow. We had about a twenty-five minute walk out and all in all the outing was 10/10.

To add to the ambience I set off quite an impressive plaque towards the top of the Pays Desert, which certainly woke everyone up. I had a feeling about it so I stopped to put my handle in and was just traversing towards the pitch to be skied when I thought we’d maybe give it a miss. At that moment I saw the cracks appearing in the snow and felt the under-layer collapse so I just turned back to the right and skied out of it. (Check Jean’s photos) It may have gone again during the morning because when we looked back at the end of the morning it looked a lot bigger than I remembered. It shows how fragile our environment can be, and certainly is at the moment, and anyone looking to ski steep slopes that haven’t been skied or purged naturally could easily find some serious trouble. (Chris phoned the Piste Service to let them know that there was a plaque and no one was involved, just in case they decided it needed investigation and probing.)

Meanwhile, now that Andreas’ team of Vikings has been introduced to ‘skinning’ there is no stopping them! Andreas returned to do variations of yesterday’s ski towards the Gros Caval and they had another great outing. Jeremy returns tonight and will be skiing for the next 5 or 6 days and we’re looking forward to his visit. (I’m not too sure what Thomas or Henry skied today)

I had a terrific ski with the girls this afternoon as I caught up with them at their ‘picnic spot’ where they’ve been three of the last four days. The girls are flying and I’m working on some old fashioned angulation on the piste after Chris mentioned it the other day. You don’t use so much angulation skiing powder but for carving you certainly need to exaggerate it and it does work a treat. Thanks Chris and I hope TJ doesn’t read this!

A change of weather is on the way but hopefully we’ll get another sunny day tomorrow before the snow arrives on Sunday.

PS. I was just looking at Jean’s photos and I’m sure that the plaque went again, from further up and to the left as you look at the photo of the tracks in the gulley where you can just see the plaque in the background. (Imagine getting bombed en route to the most gentle slopes in the resort!)

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