Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Steep Vanoise 2017

I am a few weeks behind schedule on the blog front... it is hard to believe it is over 2 weeks now since the 9th edition of the now-legendary Steep Vanoise week! Where last year we had 5 days of waist-deep powder, this year was a complete contrast with chalky snow on North faces and some sublime spring snow on the sunny sides:

Day 1:

Day 2: Steep, smooth spring snow you say? Oh go on then...

Day 3: Bellecote North face and a 'Brucie (or Simon) bonus':

Day 4 - perfect spring snow out behind Les Arcs:

Day 5 - a massed ascent & descent down to Le Col with both teams with some 5 star spring snow with not another track showing:

Many thanks to IFMGA Mountain Guide Dorian Labaeye who was assisting me on the coaching/guiding duties, and thanks to Jack, Amanda, Rod, Michael, Dan, Gavin, Mark, David and Pete for being 2 great teams!

See you in 2018 for the 10th birthday of Steep Vanoise - provisional dates are 12-18 March so pencil them in to your diary now!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Maurienne Steep Ski Coaching & Adventures

Last week I was back in one of my favourite stomping grounds running a week of steep ski coaching & adventures for the Eagle Ski Club.

With high winds and heavy snowfall forecast for the first 2 days the start of the week was always going to be 'interesting'. Fortunately the Maurienne Valley has a variety of options and there is always a good venue for any combination of conditions, and we spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the trees skiing great powder:

The weather gradually cleared on Wednesday, but also warmed up considerably so on Thursday we headed up high in Bonnneval to try and make the most of the soft snow left on North facing slopes. By Friday a proper spring cycle had set in, but we still managed to find good cold snow in the couloirs of Valfrejus, along with a few smooth spring turns off the South side.

We finished the week in style with some perfect smooth spring snow from the summit of the Grand Argentier, followed by an impromptu demo from the Chasseurs Alpins:

Thanks to SOnia, Stuart J, Stuart C, Sarah and Paul for a great week and thanks also to David & Séverine at La Turra for their hospitality - see you next year!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Vanoise adventures

The Foehn wind is currently raging outside while I am having a well-timed day off after a busy week of steep ski coaching in the Vanoise for Jerry, Stuart, Jason and Roger. With an average age of 61.75 these boys can still rip and show there is no age limit for making changes in your skiing!

Thanks to the gang for a great week! Next years dates are already in the diary...