Monday, 26 March 2012

Steep Vanoise 2012

This week I was skiing with a small group from the Eagle Ski Club who had arranged a private 'Steep Vanoise' week basedin Bourg St Maurice. With no new snow for a week but perfect weather forecast conditions were just right for some exploration.

On Monday we were up in Les Arcs:

The team on the Aiguille Grive:

Aiguille Grive North couloir:


Secret powder stash:

The views aren't bad!

On Tuesday we headed up to Tignes for some steep spring snow on the South side of the Grande Motte.

Perfect corn in Couloir 3500:

Day 3 was St Foy day, with a skin out to Couloir Doudou. We found good chalky snow in the couloir, followed by great spring snow all the way down to the Archeboc refuge. (Camera left at home so no pics!).

Day 4, La Plagne - still some powder to be found in Les Rodzins & more spring snow in the afternoon in the Friolin N couloir:

Incidentally, the main exit to the Bellecote North face is better filled in than I have ever seen it - the stream bed is completely banked out!

Last day - more great spring snow in Les Arcs with a run down Couloir Genepi, followed by a traverse of the Col de la Luge with 600m of fantastic snow down to the Mt Pourri refuge:

Thanks to Rob, Dan, Steve and Phil for a great week (and thanks to the weather & snow for playing ball!).

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Kyrgyzstan - suite et fin...

Day 6 - Breakfast

A nice bonus - 20cm of fresh with no wind greeted us this morning!

Turning out nice again...

Mike R in camouflage

Last night bonfire

Last day - time for a quick powder lap before heading back down to the village

Running repairs to Mike's bindings - nothing a couple of cable ties and some duct tape couldn't sort out...

Back down in Ichke Jergez, time for another trip with Schumacher back to Karakol for a welcome shower and a good night's sleep.

The next morning we embarked on another white knuckle drive round lake Issyk-Kul and through the Shoestring Gorge back to Bishkek in very wintry blizzard conditions...

Huge thanks to Ryan at 40 Tribes Backcountry - great set-up, I will definitely be back for more!

Kyrgyzstan part 3

Day 4 - Sunshine, Powder

Yesterday's summit:

Todays goal:

Great snow:

But care needed - up high NE slopes had all released spontaneously along with som cross-loaded NW aspects, but care was needed everywhere in the trees!

2 x 30-40 cm layers releasing...

But great skiing to be had with careful slope selection:




On day 5 we went questing into the trees to try and find a low route into the next valley East - loads of potential here, but the higher routes in all involved skiing dodgy potentially loaded slopes. Unfortunately after some hardcore tree-bashing we had t admit defeat, and nipped back up for a lap on the West face from the 'Lunch Spot' at 3200m on the main ridge. 500m of nice (if heavy) powder, then homeward-bound for the yurt..