Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Steep Vanoise

Last weeks Off Piste week in Tignes finished with a windy day skiing waist deep powder off the Brevieres bubble - a wild & windy end to the week, but setting up this week nicely with a fresh fall of snow...

This week sees the return of the inimitable Steep Vanoise week, and 3 days in we have certainly matched some of last years descents already! Monday saw us heading over to Val Thorens to get up high following rain to 2000m on Sunday, and we found great conditions with packed powder on the South Face of the Cime de Caron (with a start from the Table D'Orientation for maximum points..) and in the Bouchet North Face.
Yesterday we hit the jackpot over in La Plagne, after a nice warm up down the Rossets couloir we headed for the legendary North Face of Bellecote to find not a single track in situ...

Steve making the first few turns in Couloir Cairn...only 1200m vertical of perfect steep powder to go...:

Conditions were absolutely perfect, 4/5 inches of new fresh on top of more fresh underneath, and quite stable with just the occasional surface slough...

Graham going big:

Jack about to let fly with a 'Walpole whoop':

The turns kept coming and the snow stayed good, surprising considering the high freezing level of Sundays weather...

Working through the rock bands at the bottom of the couloir:

1200m later and still getting fresh turns in good snow:

A quick drink at the Fer a Cheval and we worked our way back through the lift system for another Rossets couloir and a great run down the Montagne de Bellecote before fighting our way through the crowds back to Champagny...

Today plans were changed by the weather, with a traverse to pralognan via the Col du Biol put on hold, and some Courchevel couloir action taking its place.
Skinning up the North couloir on the Aiguille du Fruit:

Visibility: not great; snow: creamy!!:

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