Friday, 29 January 2016

Steep ski coaching Jan 2016

This week I have been running some steep ski coaching for a couple of IFMGA mountain guides and their friends. This has been a regular fixture for a few years now and is always great fun and a good challenge...

The first couple of days we spent around the 3 Valleys, revisiting and expanding on some technical and tactical subjects from previous years.

Photo ©andypmountainguide

One of the benefits of skiing with Andy Perkins is he always manages to get a couple of good snaps of me in action- quite a rare occurence!

Photo ©andypmountainguide

On day 3 we went off for a run down the Couloir Cairn on the North Face of Bellecote. As always this didn't disappoint and gave the team a long consistent steep run to put the previous days' work into practise...

Yesterday we went back up to La Plagne and had a good day throwing laps on the amazing terrain in the Bellecote bowl. Flat light in the afternoon upped the challenge a bit, but we were rewarded with some mellow powder turns later in the afternoon when the sun came back out...

Going for a short walk:

Reaping the rewards:

Jim S styling it up:

Ramping it up in the afternoon - Andy P throwing some turns on 50º:

Jim K cruising mellow powder in the afternoon sun:

Thanks to Jim S, Jim K, Pete and Andy for another great week - looking forward to our 2017 session already!

Conditions update:

La Plagne:

Bellecote North Face is very bony at the moment, but Cairn, Canadians and variants are all in reasonable condition (at time of writing) and there was quite a lot of traffic coming out of Petite Face Nord. The Bellecote bowl still has some chalky snow on shady slopes, but sunnier aspects are getting a bit crusty. Pistes seemed to be holding up well. Passage de Frête and similar South-facing descents to Champagny-le-haut were being skied, but the last part of these descents is thin and timing is crucial as the lower sections are also exposed to afternoon 'warm slides' (one person caught on Monday on the summer path down from the Combe de la Vélière...).

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