Saturday, 23 January 2016

Off Piste Improvers - Val D'Anniviers

Last week I made my yearly pilgrimage to the Val D'Anniviers for the Off Piste Improvers course. I have been coming to the Val D'Anniviers for around 15 years now and despite it regularly appearing in '10 best off-piste resorts you've never heard of' style articles for most of that time it is still very much an 'under-the-radar' sort of place. With very cold (-19C) temperatures on the first 2 days we spent alot of time skiing down low in the trees, and as the week wore on the temperatures rose, visibility improved, and we were able to make full use of the terrain. Despite the Chamois and 'middle' bowls being completely unskiable due to massive avalanches the week previous we were still skiing fresh tracks on the Friday! (Snow/conditions report follows the photos).

A big thank you to Chas, Kate, Peter F, Judy, Malcolm and Pete D for a great week - it was very rewarding to see the progress made by all throughout the week. Great to catch up with IFMGA guides Nick P, Nigel S and the legendary Serge Lambert through the week too!







Snow conditions:

Grimentz: All the 'close in' off piste is in good shape. Orzival was well-skied by most lines on Friday, but still with loads of space for fresh tracks. Good cover down to St Jean.

Zinal: The frontside off piste has great cover, a little patchier in the 'meadows' below the cable car station. Moiry dam run is OK once you navigate the very wind-stripped top 30m. A slab had gone in the first gully left of the normal route on Thursday, and reports were of a bigger slab which had released (or been triggered) in the next gully left by the time Nick went down on Friday!
Chamois and middle bowls are unskiable as the whole lot has released and is either back to a thin covering over rock, or avalanche debris lower down.

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