On Thursday & Friday I was out with Mark, Mike, Andy and Neil for 2 days of ski touring introduction, with a night out in a mountain refuge to add a bit of spice..
On the Merlet shoulder, smiles all round despite the bitter temperatures:
Searching for good powder on the sunny slopes off the shoulder:
Skinning round onto the 'Rateau shoulder':
Perfect fresh powder in the shadow of the peaks:
Gentle slopes leading back to the short skin back to the hut:
Andy outside the Refuge du Grand Plan, plenty of snow on the roof!!:
Lionel's new avalanche dog:
After some fine soup, Diots & Crozets, Tomme & Beaufort & a blueberry tart courtesy of Lionel the hut guardian we retired for a slightly noisy but very warm night in the hut (Happy Birthday Ben!).
Next morning, the team primed for action:
The best way to wake up - leaving some fresh tracks in untouched powder, figure 8's courtesy of Andy & myself, Freeride arcs courtesy of Neil!:
More champagne powder:
Great views of the Vanoise peaks:
With some tired legs in the team we opted for some lift served off piste for most of the day, finding perfect powder in Little Equinox, and on the North side of the Col du Fruit (worth the short walk!). Mark & Mike on the ridge from Creux Noirs to the Pointe Emilienne:
A late afternoon couloir... Andy in the Emile Allais variant:
And some more fun on the way back to La Tania, soft snow all the way:
With continuing cold conditions, and a relatively stable snowpack it's all looking good for the coming week!