Friday, December 21, 2012

Awesome Powder Skiing Day

We started off by dropping down from the traverse to the Mattis piste into the “L” valley. This is a stable but quite steep slope in places and the snow was deep, soft and almost totally un-skied. The Scandinavians must have had a hard night on the town because there were none in sight. Normally you just need to blink and 20 of them are in front of you eating up all the fresh snow.

The skiing was far too good to hang around taking photos and film so the shots here were taken after the best of the skiing was done. We were skiing from about 2800m down to 1800m in deep powder the whole way. Laissenant first and then the Signal at Le Fornet were the places we skied and the snow was equally good, deep and soft everywhere. The gullys down from the Grand Vallon to Le Fornet were unskied and full of deep snow – great fun to play with.


We had time after lunch to squeeze in a great descent of the Pays Desert  at the Col de l’Isèran (seen in the panorama photo) were the snow was also exceptional even at 3200m altitude. For once it hadn’t been flattened by the wind.




Avalanche zone in the middle of the Grand Vallon – a dangerous section with steep pitches through rocks that should have been strictly avoided. This slide was released by skiers – one of whom paid the ultimate price. I avoided that area for a reason - it's over 30° and convex at the top - plus the risk in the morning was level 4. The slab was 1.8m at the fracture, 150m across and 350m long.




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