Saturday, 16 February 2019

Maurienne Off Piste Improvers 2019

The first week of February saw this year's Off Piste Improvers course running in the Maurienne valley.

After a cloudy and snowy start hiding in the trees on day 1, day 2 gave us this:



Powder & sun? Why not...

The rest of the week continued in a very similar vein:





Many thanks to Peter & Kate, Malcolm & Judy, Ann and Sarah for a great week - see you next winter!

Saturday, 9 February 2019

3 Valleys Powder extravaganza

As seems to be a theme this winter I am running way behind with the blog (not to mention answering my emails...!). A couple of weeks ago I was skiing with a team of mountain medics, and despite some wild weather at times and spicy avalanche conditions we have managed to do some great (and relatively safe) skiing:

Some good days to go high:


And some great days for hiding in the trees!:





Thanks to HernĂ n, Stu, Colin, Bill, Ben & Morne for a great week - see you next winter!

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Maurienne, what else?...

Last week was the 2019 edition of my regular stint running some steep-ski-oriented CPD coaching for IFMGA Mountain Guides Andy Perkins and Jim Kerr, along with non-guides Peter B and Jim S. We had 3 productive days in the Maurienne, not only from a coaching point of view, but also with increasingly good snow conditions!

Day 1:






Day 2:






Day 3:

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Courchevel powder skiing

Last week I was working with my longest-standing group of clients - 15 years and counting. While the team are not necessarily up for gnarly skiing this often works to our advantage - on Tuesday, with blue skies and powder all around we stayed low on the easy meadow skiing and had the whoel area to ourselves for the morning while the usual bunfight was going on up high in 1850!

Friday, 11 January 2019

A bit of snow at last.

The big high pressure and associated blue skies have finally been pushed aside by some more unstable conditions and some fresh snow.
This week Ihave been skiing with Tim, John and Phil on our regular early Jan week. We started with some more technically-focussed days on chalky steepness, braved the blizzards on Wednesday, and were rewarded with some good powder on Thursday!




Friday, 4 January 2019

Milking the conditions

It hasn't snowed for quite some time now (since the high rain of 23/24 Dec), and on the whole conditions aren't great, but that doesn't mean there isn't still some fun snow to be found - as we discovered today with Steve & Val...



Thursday, 3 January 2019

3 Valleys Off Piste - Xmas & New Year conditions 2018/19

And so the counter clicks over to 2019...

Despite reasonable (albeit thin) early season conditions 3 days of rain to 2500m in the run-up to Christmas put paid to the quality of snow off piste in many areas.

Dec 20 - great powder in Courchevel for Emma, Paul, Alice, James, Freddie & Claire:




Following the rain the only solution for a while was to go high, where there was good chalky snow to be found - now we seem to be settled into an ever-lasting high pressure system, with blue skies and no sign of snow, but there is skiable snow to be found if you go looking (and put in a bit of effort) and even lower down now the rained-on snow has been through as few freeze-thaw cycles there is some fun skiing to be had.







Despite the dry start to the winter it is good to remember that 3 (or 4) years ago we had a similar start and yet the month of March of that year I racked up the best succession of deep powder days I can remember for a long long time!