A nice mix of powder and spring!

24 March 2011

The sun was beating down again today with extremely high temperatures forecast for this time of year, and the avalanche risk was rated as 3/5 rising to 4/5 by mid-day. With that sort of risk it was a day to take it easy and get in and out quickly.

Chris, Andreas and I all headed towards the Sachette and had an excellent combination of great powder followed by some lovely spring snow. I didn’t give Jean much of a chance to take his photos today as we kept moving and we didn’t stop to re-group anywhere with a slope above, so everyone will have been too far away. Still, we’ll see what Jean comes up with!

Meanwhile Thomas ‘skinned’ to the Little Borsat West for some fantastic snow while Henry skied spring snow around the Glattier. There won’t be too many more skiers in the Glattier this season as it’s starting to turn green as the snow disappears and it’s almost nothing but grass. Andreas and I joked with Henry about there being no snow at the bottom but Henry went anyway and did admit to it being a little ‘narrow’ in places . Nice one for getting one in Henry!

I witnessed two incredible sights today. The first was one of beauty when a spotted a cross-country skier skiing down on the meadows below the Folie Douce. He was standing up as if on normal ski equipment, making perfectly round short-to-medium radius turns with the cleanest technique imaginable. Any skier in normal gear would have been proud of his wonderful precision. The second event was far from beautiful. While watching Katie’s cross-country session in the Manchet Valley this afternoon, I saw three idiots skiing the big faces of the Marmottons (l’Arselle d’en haut on the map) at 3 PM on the hottest day of the season with a risk of 4/5. Besides the risk it’s no wonder there isn’t any clean spring snow anymore with people digging holes in the snow with fat skies and boards at ridiculous times of the day. Mind boggling really!

Andreas heard that in the massive avalanche in Ste Foy a few days back a couple of skiers were taken but saved by their air-bags. I don’t know how many skiers have been saved by air-bags this season, but it’s quite a few and they have an impressive track record now over the past few years. The air-bags are expensive but I personally wouldn’t go off-piste without one.

More sun is forecast for tomorrow with a slightly cloudier day on Saturday with snow Saturday night and Sunday. Could be worse!

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