Feeling a little exposed!

15 February 2013

After good vis the past couple of days it was back into the gloom this morning, but the good news was some fresh snow fell overnight, which freshened things up quite nicely. Chris skied with Jack, and I ended up with just Jonathan as Paul had family and work commitments while Gill had to return home to pick up Katie from school because of a tummy bug, so the four of us went off into what turned out to be a bit of an adventure. Chris climbed up to start with the Borsat Nord from the top (as did Thomas who had a half-ski-half-boarder’s team) while I cut in halfway up from under the chair, and we all had a great first run. After the meadows Chris and I bussed around to the Palafour en route to the Sachette. Once off the Aiguille Percee chair our adventure started as a huge amount of snow had accumulated overnight, mostly by the wind. A soft slab had come down over the traverse so we stayed high on the ridgeline to avoid putting ourselves at risk and we then ‘skinned’ up to the Sachette entrance. When we arrived we couldn’t see very well but it was obvious that there was a serious amount of snow that wasn’t there last visit and we decided to sneak carefully down the couloir instead of traversing around into the Sachette. The couloir was good but once out of the mouth of it the snow was knee-deep and absolutely brilliant. Although the avalanche risk was rated at 2/5, I felt more exposed this morning than at any other time during the season, even on 4/5 days. (Most 4/5 days we’re skiing gentle slopes where you hardly need to put in your handle) It was a good day for a small team and I was grateful to have Chris there to keep an eye on me and help with decision making.

Just as we were finishing in the couloir Thomas radioed to say he was in the Chardonnet and was surprised, like us, to be dealing with 40 to 60cm’s of fresh snow, and was having a great time with his ski/boarder team. Thomas finished with the Familial where he was caught up with a fog bank that was moving through, but ‘sniffed’ his way through. (Andreas was off today)

I thought it was going to be a pretty easy morning after skiing some lovely snow in good vis off the Verte and in the Borsat, but with the flat light and the surprising accumulations of snow in certain places, it was satisfying but fatiguing, and I was happy to get back home to relax for the afternoon and recharge for tomorrow.

Hopefully Katie will be well enough to go to see the jumping competition tonight under the lights on the Face de Bellevarde. If not, it would be nice for her to recover in time for the Club des Sports in the morning, which she loves. Stay tuned!

PS Did anyone see the goals in the Tottenham vs Lyon match last night? Stunning they were!

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