As for the skiing it has been another excellent weekend under clear blue skies. It has warmed up considerably but the wind is still blowing making it rather chilly if you get caught in the wrong place.
On Friday we had a fantastic morning starting with the Little Lavachet en-route to Tignes, followed by a little ‘skin’ in the Sachette that opened up a superb slope of powder snow. It was some of the best snow we’ve had in quite some time and it really was great skiing.
On Saturday I had a Canadian friend and her boyfriend who had never been to Val d’Isere and no first trip here is complete without a trip to the Fornet, which has spectacular views. We haven’t skied at the Fornet for a couple of weeks due to poor snow conditions because of the violent winds, and also because of the bitter cold last week but I wanted my friends to experience the views and a trip through the Gorge du Malpasset. The skiing was better than expected as we found strip of souffle dur, some creamy strips and a few turns in soft snow, but the ski through the gorge was brilliant. There are cliff walls rising above on either side, a few pools of water to be avoided and a couple of little ‘technical’ passages that need to be negotiated so that no one falls in and gets wet!
It’s not every year that the gorge is passable but this season we’ve been able to get through for most of the winter, although it is becoming more delicate. (Conditions change quickly and when the snow bridges break the gorge becomes very dangerous and four people have drowned over the past five years or so. I am in no way recommending this route!) On Sunday we had an easy ski and went on a reconnaissance mission to search out some options for next week and we had a great chamois sighting in the ‘L’ where I’ve never seen chamois before as it’s close to town and to the lifts.
Besides the terrible news from Italy where the hotel was hit by an avalanche after the snow was destabilised due to an earthquake there was a fatal avalanche in our neighbouring resort of St Foy. A 48-year-old man was tragically killed while skiing off-piste around the Col de l’Argentiere.
There are a few clouds floating about but the high-pressure is set to continue into next week and no snow is in the forecast. Enjoy the sunshine, the piste skiing is outstanding and we’re still managing to find some great skiing off-piste. Stay tuned for another update on Friday!
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NB. Some of the areas Wayne has been skiing this week are off piste and not suitable to all skiers. Wayne has 35 years experience in these mountains. If you're considering going off piste you should always take a guide with you.