That had to be some of the toughest off-piste conditions of my career this morning. In fact I didn’t even step foot off the piste! I stood at the edge and reached over with my pole to prod the snow and that was it. Test over!
Unfortunately the pistes were difficult today as well. Most of them were frozen solid and jolly icy. Some pistes were slightly better than others depending on what time of night they were groomed. But, for the most part they were rock hard and on light touring boots and skis it wasn’t easy.
With the volume of fresh snow we never had a chance today as the necessary lifts just weren’t open. With the rain crust up to at least 2700 metres we couldn’t get high enough. There was just too much work to dig out the lifts at altitude and to get the pistes prepared. Hopefully tomorrow the resorts highest lifts will be open and we just may get above the the frozen wasteland. Fingers crossed!
Andreas and Thomas knocked it on the head when it became evident that the off-piste just wasn’t happening. I ended up doing a couple of good hours of technique with Adam G and Michael R while Henry did half a morning up at the Fornet.
‘Man of the Match’ however goes to Chris who stayed out for the entire morning. Not only did he stay out but he delivered on his clients wishes. He had three new French clients who had never ‘skinned’ before. Chris took them up the Col de Fresse teaching them basic touring technique and kick turns. Once on the Col they skied the piste down into Tignes and back and they were very happy. Bravo Chris, talk about turning pro in extremely weird conditions!
There is no doubt that the rain has absolutely ruined some beautiful snow. But, it has also purged the mountain and helped to stabilise what is left. Rain always sucks short-term but it helps in the long run. In fact it helps to protect the village from massive powder avalanches such as the famous UCPA disaster.
The Lavachet has gone right down to the ground. All that lovely goblet that we’ve been skiing didn’t support the new snow (as predicted) and it’s purged itself. I’m looking forward to having a proper look around tomorrow and make a note of what slopes have purged themselves. And perhaps more importantly, what slopes are still waiting to go.
Henry just called and the Club des Sports races were cancelled today because the pistes were so hard. And they are a pretty hard core group of kids. They don’t cancel lightly.
Wish us luck and stay tuned!
PS Added one photo of rain battered snow on a roof.