Friday, 30 March 2018

Vanoise Off Piste Perfection coaching course

This week i have been running an Off Piste Perfection course based in the 3 Valleys. The purpose of the week is to mix coaching and mileage on some great off piste runs, with a bit of touring thrown in if conditions are right.

On Sunday clear skies and soft snow allowed us to ease into the week with some Courchevel classics:

On Monday the visibility started off very poor, but we made great use of the morning with a focussed coaching session on piste which we were then able to transfer to off piste in the afternoon as the weather improved.

Tuesday's forecast was for a bright start rapidly turning to snow, so a long morning with a later lunch was planned and we headed up high in Mottaret. Expectations for the snow were low with the mild temperatures, but we were pleasantly surprised by up to 10cm of fresh up high, and with the visibility holding out much longer than expected had a fantastic morning pushing onto some steeper terrain...

Wednesday - once again the forecast was for a few bright spells in the morning, followed by cloud and precipitation, and once again we managed to keep reasonable visibility almost to the end of the afternoon. The 15-25cms of fresh that were forecast were just about there, which gave great skiing where the base was smooth or soft, though the snow was rapidly warming and turning a little heavy by the afternoon. A good morning was spent putting first tracks into several Courchevel classics like the Pyramid face and Creux Noirs!

With a small top up and cooler temperatures Thursday turned into another belter of a day, barring an hour or two of poor visibility over lunchtime, starting with first tracks down the Becca Couloir and finishing off with a couple of laps in some very atmospheric (and powdery) Mont Vallon couloirs, with lots more good skiing in between!

The last day of the course came with a tricky weather forecast, with very high winds due at lunchtime. These turned out to be blowing hard right from the off, and with lots of lift closures in Meribel we put in a focussed skills session on piste, and then re-located to La Tania and went up into the Courchevel lift system which was much more sheltered from the wind and also gave us some good cold snow to finish the week with a couple of great laps in the couloirs!

A huge thank you to David, Terry, Jez, Phil and Charlie for a great week - I look forward to skiing with you all again next winter!

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