Sunday, 3 April 2011

Off Piste adventures

This week I am skiing with a small group of diverse 'medical types' - common thread being that they are all involved with the running of a mountain medicine course, which makes me feel vaguely secure (although they did all admit to leaving their first aid kits in the Hotel...).

On Sunday with warm sunny weather forecast we headed for the high ground of Val Thorens & Orelle, where we managed to track down some good spring snow off the Col Pierre Lory, and also in the 'Bouchet shoulder' couloir.

Exiting the couloir:

A happy team!:

Jack pointing out the day's goods:

Yesterday was generally moist, with cloud & precipitation (occasionally snow above 2300m) all day, so a technical day was had, working on various bits & pieces until we all were damp enough to justify an apres ski beer...

Today the sun was shining again, and with a good overnight freeze the game was on to find some spring snow. Emerging from the Caron cable car to a howling wind we battled our way along the ridge into the far side of the Combe Sans Nom and hit it just right - the top inch softening up on a firm base all the way to the exit.

Hiking in the wind:

Great snow on the descent:

A quick lunch stop and we threw a couple of laps off the Bouchet chairs, first down the North side (where the snow was 'interesting' to say the least) and then down the Bouchet shoulder where we really hit the jackpot, with 5 star spring snow all the way, billiard table smooth with not another track to be seen - just perfect!

Bouchet North face:

Mike R on the Bouchet shoulder:

And again:

Mike W showing great form on perfect spring snow:

Everybody happy?:

Loads of wet slides have been coming off E/S aspects in the last couple of days...I wouldn't fancy the Cote Brune couloirs at the moment! :

Tomorrow we are off to the Espace killy for the day, so who knows what we will find there?

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