Sunday, 21 December 2008

Courchevel update

With the Courchevel lift system now fully open, and last weeks BASI course all finished, I went out with Ginny today to suss out the off-piste conditions.

There is a good layer of soft snow still about on everything that doesn't get too much sun, though after last weekends winds the cover is very thin in places, and areas like the Creux Noirs bowl look like they will take a long time to become skiable. After a look off the sides in 1850, and a brief stop in Camp de Base to try & fix a loose boot rivet, we decided to head over into Les Avals.

The walk up was more of a pain than usual, but with only 2 sets of tracks heading in we were guarantees some freshies...

Ginny on the ridge, Roc Merlet behind:

The ridge is a great viewpoint, and with a set of binoculars you can check out Mont Blanc, the Aiguille Verte, Grandes Jorasses, Mont Pourri, skiers on the glacier over in La Plagne, and a whole selection of other peaks and descents...

Looking into a thin-looking les Avals, with the distinctive rock pinnacles at the top:

Despite a slightly crusty start the rest of the descent gave perfect powder on easy angled terrain, perfect for a bit of cruising.

A quick stop for a drink and a chat with the guardian at the Grand Plan Refuge and we continued down the valley with fresh tracks all the way...

A final word of warning though...the snow pack is very thin, with a lot of rocks in evidence or just under the surface. There are also a few areas of windslab lurking in various locations, so ski with care!!

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