Sunday, 27 January 2013

Andermatt - continued

A short video showing conditions in Andermatt last week on the Off Piste Improvers course:

Now back in the Vanoise, getting psyched for 4 days of steep coaching for IFMGA Mountain Guide Andy Perkins and 2 of his friends. Had a quick blast in Courchevel yesterday and rediscovered some forgotten couloirs - 400m of 40/45ยบ straight off the lifts...

A is for...

A is for...
... Andermatt

Though it could easily be for Awesome, Amazing or even Powder (OK, I know that doesn't start with an A...).

Last week I was running an Off Piste Improvers course here, my first visit, but certainly not my last!

Poor visibility on the first 2 days did little to slow the team down, and we found great powder every day. The slow lift system at Andermatt is a bonus - like La Grave it limits the number of people skiing the mountain each day, meaning the powder lasts much longer than resorts with 'modern' uplift.

Just off the side of the piste on Gemstock:

The views aren't bad:

Even the sunny side skiing is good - a 'busy' day at Natschen:

Splitting our time between Natschen and the Gemstock we managed to cover a lot of the terrain available, with lots of coaching on the way... Alex, Chas, Julie, Sarah, Ruan and Peter all made great progress through the week and ticked off some of the classics: Felsental, Guspis and Vermigel amongst others.

More deep powder off the Gemstock:

Backside of Gemstock:

Alex going deep:

A big 'thank you' my friend Bjorn Becker who works on ski patrol here and provided some great info on conditions & skiing!

There are still some spaces left on our remaining courses this winter - check out the website for details.

Sunday, 13 January 2013


More fresh snow for the French Alps!

Yesterday I had what may be my last day off for some time, and with 30cm of fresh snow and clear skies it would have been rude not to make a few turns. I haven't skied with Charlie for a few years so it was good to catch up and watch him ripping telemark-styley on his Kingswoods:

Monday, 7 January 2013

Courchevel bling

Courchevel - it's all about Russians, bling, fur coats, and expensive everything... right?

Not necessarily...

Warm up turns:

Time to head up - a gentle 800m uphill:

Into the halls of the mountain kings...:

Breche de Portetta:

First turns.. a few tracks already but still mucho softness:

Taking the skinny variant - still plenty of room to link turns though:

As soon as it widens there is softness aplenty:

Last turns in the couloir:

Time for some speed in the Creux des Dents:

A short skin & some lunch later & its time for the bonus turns:

Greg gets excited at first sight of the secret couloir:

A short ab is needed to access the goods:

And finally... 700m of steep powdery couloir to the valley floor:

Thanks to Greg for his good company, 'unthanks' to the Office du Tourisme in Pralognan who, while confirming the time of the bus back to Bozel, failed to mention that it wasn't leaving from the usual stop...

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year couloirs

Great day in the Espace Killy today with Leanne & Si; a mix of technical coaching, lots of good terrain & fantastic snow!

Leanne in Table D'Orientation couloir:

Si ripping up PIsteur's couloir:

Loads of space to lay down tracks below Pisteurs:

Saying hello to Mickey's Ears

Leanne drops in:

Good snow all the way down!:

3 days off now & a good weather forecast. I might need a day off skis after 8 days straight of work, but the weekend could be fun!