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Sunny skinning in Val d'Isere

More neat powder turns!

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Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 12 Feb 2018


Sunny skinning in Val d'Isere

Well, what a fantastic weekend that was! It was cold but sunny on Friday and Saturday and I took advantage of the brilliant sunshine and took my team for a couple of lovely ‘skins’.

On Friday, we walked up to the Glacier Pers at the Fornet and we rewarded with some stunning snow and no one else around. We needed to dress warmly because it’s all north facing and when it’s cold, it’s even colder in the shade! Saturday was one of my best days of the season and quite special because I had my wife and daughters Millie and Katie along, it’s the first time they’ve all skied in my group at the same time. It was also the first time that 12-year-old Katie had ever ‘skinned’ before so I had planned a pretty easy outing, but because conditions were just right I changed my mind and we did a much more challenging ‘double-skin’ to the Col du Montet!

The Col du Montet is scenically stunning and we were rewarded with fabulous snow top-to-bottom and a couple of wildlife sightings. It was a very memorable first time out for Katie and we thoroughly enjoyed watching her in action. I also had Jean with me who is 76 years old and it was a huge achievement for him as well.

Val d'Isere

Sunday was a different story as it was overcast with a few flakes of snow floating about and the visibility was pretty poor. I returned to the Glacier Pers not only because the snow is excellent but because it’s a safe place to see and navigate went the visibility is poor. There are very few terrain traps and when you’re leading in flat-light knowing that the slope in front of you is smooth and even and not full of nasty surprises it makes for a much more enjoyable (and safer) outing. One of my regular clients, Paul, had his daughter Alexandra along for her first time and she did amazingly well and I could relate to Paul’s proud smile!

Val d'Isere

The half-term holidays have kicked off in both France and the UK and the pistes are going to be extremely crowded this week. Please ski carefully because the pistes will be full of small children and it will be a dangerous week for collisions as too many people are skiing and boarding recklessly. If you want to get the best out of the day, start early to avoid lift queues at the bottom of the mountain and to avoid the battle to get onto a bus. At the end of the day don’t be afraid to take lifts down if you’re tired because the lower slopes into the resort will be icy late in the day and horribly crowded.

Val d'Isere

The weather forecast this week looks like a little snow on Sunday evening and during Monday, followed by some sunny skies on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then some light snow again on Thursday. Some snow would be wonderful not only for filling in the tracks and giving us a fresh canvas for the off-piste skiing, but also to tidy up the village, which is starting to look a little dirty now that it hasn’t snowed for a while. It wouldn’t take much to make it white and bright again!

Have a fantastic holiday and look out for another update on Friday!

Follow more from Wayne on his Daily Diary.

Ski safely off-piste

Exploring beyond the ski resort boundaries is an amazing experience for anyone who's physically fit and has mastered the pistes well enough. There are, however, risks associated with venturing outside the safety of the marked/patrolled ski area, including awareness of your actions on those below you on the slopes. Mountain guides are professionally qualified and have extensive knowledge of the local terrain, to provide you with the safest and most enjoyable possible experience in the mountains; as a visitor here we highly recommend you hiring one. Many ski schools and also mountain guides provide instruction in off-piste skiing, avalanche safety and mountaineering techniques. Make your time in the mountains unforgettable for the right reasons, ski safe!