Sunday, 13 April 2008

Val Thorens powder

An interesting week with the Off Piste Improvers course last week, chasing holes in the weather and trying to get above the rain/snow limit (2500m at times...). Despite the weather we found some good snow and fresh tracks most days, with the team all making good progress.

Today with blue skies forecast I was up for first lifts for some adventuring over in Val Thorens. A skin up the west side of the Pointe de Borgne followed by a bit of falling down holes on the ridge and I was peering into the top of the Couloir Parent. This is a great short steep line, really obvious from the top of the Funitel Peclet (look left). A bit of a prod and a few sideslips down and I decided today wasn't the day, with the new soft snow rapidly getting heavy and not well bonded to the shiny layer underneath.

Looking in the top of the Parent:

The fall-back option wasn;t too bad though, with the North Face holding perfect powder...not bad (if a little short):

From the summit I had spotted someone skiing another Val T classic, the couloir Brechu, and felt it would be rude not to use a boot track and great conditions to have a look for myself.With Ginny I skinned up to the old 3300 lift station on the ridge, from where she skied back down the perfect powder we had just skinned up, while I pushed on up the ridge to the entry of the couloir...looking in:

Great conditions though very sloughy, having to stop every few turns to let it all slide past. Looking back up:

The Couloir Brechu is also obvious from the top of the funitel peclet (look up & slightly right) and is well worth the effort in my book: steep line, nice ridge scramble to get there and very few people...

Below the couloir the snow was awesome, and we linked up good soft stuff most of the way down to Val T. Ginny making tracks:

4 days touring coming up this week, so here's hoping the weather settles down for a bit!

1 comment:

  1. Great Pictures!

    Don't you think Val Thorens is the best ski resort in France?