Saturday, 11 February 2012

Alpe D'Huez wind

Yesterday was the last day of this year's Off Piste Perfection course.
On Thursday we had returned to La Grave where despite a gloomy morning briefing from the lift staff we managed to find some really smooth 'wind-buffed' snow to ski on. Not powder by any means, but great fun to ski. The wind had done its damage at all the main ski areas, and a final day at Alpe D'Huez confirmed this - the ridge from the Petites Rousses cable car to the Fare area was almost unrecognisable compared to Sunday!

Still, with a bit of cunning we managed again to find some nice smooth grippy snow in the Canyon de la Fare. Jim in the entry couloir, currently quite tight!:

In the lower canyon:

In the early afternoon we headed up Pic Blanc for round 2 in the Combe du Loup. The planned variation was binned due to the boot-pack being stripped & looking very unpleasant but we managed to find some good snow to ski hard left of the bowls while working on short/jump turn technique & tactics.

By the time we had skied back around & up to the Signal de L'Homme for a run the wind was once again howling out of the North & the communal decision to beat a hasty retreat seemed sensible as the temperature plummeted again & extremities started freezing! My thanks to Keats, Tanya, Nic, Jim S, Jim A, Mark, Andy & Nathan for being willing 'victims', and thanks also to my colleague Jim Kerr - a succesful week with good skiing developments from everyone and an enviable list of descents completed in good style - roll on next winter!

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