Friday, 14 January 2011

Early season steeps

With a couple of days off remaining before a big stint of work, and word on the street of good conditions on the Argentiere North faces, Ross & I caught first lifts at the Grands Montets yesterday and headed off up the Argentiere basin:

With a fair bit of snowfall in the last week all the faces were looking very white, with the Courtes & Col des Courtes both looking as snowy as they ever get! Not wanting to tempt fate (& snow stability) on properly steep slopes we headed for the Col des Cristaux, a 5.1 rated descent with 400m at 45ยบ:

With so much snow the boot-pack up the face was always going to be hard work, even with our 'secret weapons' the going was tough:

We finally ground to a halt about 100m below the ridge - the top layers of snow were denser and more slabby, and the general feeling was that the nearer to the ridge we got the more risk there would be (lots of South wind a few days back).
Contemplating the scenery:

First turns - feeling the snow...:

Good 'semi-heavy' powder, great to ski, with not too much sluff to worry about:

Ross wishing he had his Kuros:

Ross lower on the face:

Perfect early season training:

A few more turns before the bergschrund:

Setting off on the long slide back down the glacier:

End of playtime now... Saturday evening sees the start of the first of this winter's Off Piste Introduction courses. There are still spaces left on some courses later this winter - check out the offpisteskiing website for details.

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