Thursday, 15 February 2018

Vanoise coaching, Maurienne Off Piste Improvers & half term 'hell'

Once again I am playing catch up on the blog front! Work and family have combined to keep me away from the keyboard the last couple of weeks...

Picking up where the last blog post left off the last couple of days with Phil, Katie, Steve, Ali, John and Roger were nothing short of spectacular!

A great week sampling some of the Vanoise's finest, and once again reinforcing my point of view that a valley base and a flexible approach pay dividends in terms of being able to seek out the very best conditions!

Last week I was back down in the Maurienne valley running an Off Piste Improvers coaching course. Again a valley base allowed a flexible approach to not only find the best snow but also experience the different ski areas within easy reach of our base in St Jean:

The team enjoying a great descent out behind Les Karellis:

Les Sybelles proved to be the highlight of the week, so much so we went back for the last 3 days, scoring fresh tracks right up to the last run on Friday afternoon!

Tim going 'full send':

Many thanks to Alex, Chas, Peter, Kate, Tim and Phil for a great week - see you next winter!

Right now the half-term rush has begun back here in the 3 Valleys, but with really cold weather and blue skies early in the week the stars aligned for my regular morning crew on Tuesday and Wednesday, with some classic Courchevel and Meribel lines in fantastic condition:

And finally yesterday I managed to sneak in a descent from the very summit of the Croix de Verdons - this has been on my list since I first came to work in Courchevel (19 years ago!) but somehow work has always got in the way when conditions have been good, and it takes a quite definite set of conditions to make it skiable, as the via ferrata rungs in the upper section need to be covered, the snow needs to be soft but not too unstable (50m cliffs below the top slope) which is not easy on an East facing summit... Nice to finally put turns down from the summit cross after a few turn-arounds due to bad conditions over the years!:

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