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Wayne and Gill Watson.
Alpine Experience
Alpine Experience

Off Piste & Back Country Skiing Specialists

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Wayne's Photos of the Day >

A Late Finish!!!

I finished late and have just returned from Bourg on an essential shopping trip before it all hits the fan. Essential as in food and 19 bottles of wine, and not one toilet roll as a protest!

Blog and photos to come after a bath and a beer in the Danois. Stay tuned!

I gave the Danois a miss tonight to get the photos and blog done. I thought it was a cracking good day today but the skiing was secondary as it turned out to be a ‘travelling-safely-in-the-mountains- experience’ with loads of ambience and some moments of excitement. Thomas and I decided on the Col des Montets as it was warm and we wanted to stay high and as north as possible. The forecast was for a decent amount f sun but it was a little bit more overcast than expected and there was a decent wind blowing at altitude. Our ‘skin’ from the t-bar to the little col was slightly technical but everyone dealt with it really well without the use of couteaux. It was incredibly atmospheric on the cold as the wind was ripping through the col and we needed to be careful to not lose anything while taking our ‘skins’ off or to get hit in the chops by the buckle on the flapping ‘skins’! The snow on the backside wasn’t as good as we were hoping but it supported and skied pretty well, certainly better than the Pays Desert did yesterday! On the second ‘skin’ we had some gusting wind that pushed us about in places and once we started to arrive at the final steep slope to the Col the action started. There was a girl and her friend trying to ‘skin’ to the top, which is seriously steep and it was on the firm side today, so it was extremely technical. The girl leading was seriously good on her feet and her kick-turns were brilliant but the bloke she was skiing with wasn’t in her league and he fell about ten metres from the top and slide down for about one hundred metres. Unfortunately his ski continued down for another 300 to 400 hundred metres and the girl ended up skiing down to retrieve his ski. (That was them out of the picture!) Thomas then started to make the boot track up the last slope,which wasn’t easy, and I was glad to have Thomas in front because it was hard work. Merci Thomas! Thomas made it to the top, followed by Doug and Adam but when Chrissy was just reaching the top and reaching up for Thomas’s hand she lost her footing and was off like a rocket! She slid about 75 metres and fortunately Robert was directly in her path and managed to help her stop. It just shows how helpless one is when sliding head-first and she did a great job as between Chrissy and Robert she stopped without continuing on down like the poor bloke before her. Her shovel handle flew out of her backpack and somehow Robert managed to collect it on its way by and her ‘skins’ flew out of her sack as well but they stopped on her own. She was a little shaken but unhurt and I can tell you that it certainly got the attention of everyone else and we all focused  sharply as we booted it to the Col. Once on the Col the light was fairly flat and it was a mission to get down in one piece but we did have some pitches of good snow. by the time we arrived at the lower slopes the snow was incredibly heavy and we just traversed out to avoid too much pushing at the bottom. It wasn’t an easy morning but I think everyone enjoyed it and it was the type of adventure that people will remember!

Meanwhile Chris had a 75-year-old woman called Hillary and Hillary has been skiing in Val d’Isere since the 70’s and is a long-time friend and client of YSE. She has skied the Pointe Pers before but had never been through the gorge and she absolutely love her trip over the Col Pers and through the Gorge du Malpasset. Bravo Chris!

Fingers crossed that we don’t get shut down because this panic over the virus is getting serious. I could go on about my thoughts on it but I’m hungry and tired. Maybe tomorrow?

It’s raining lightly in town so we should have some fresh snow in the morning. Stay tuned!!!

PS Don’t forget Karen and Mike at the Danois tomorrow starting at 5:30. It’s Mike’s birthday and promises to be a great gig. See you there!