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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 >

Not As Easy As Expected!!!

After two really difficult days we thought that with the sun out and some new snow that it would be fairly straight forward this morning but it proved to be a tricky morning. The wind has been brutal with 217kph recorded on the Pisaillas Glacier a couple of nights ago and we had a very limited opening early on today as many key lifts needed maintenance of some sort before they could open. The wind has whipped all the fresh snow off most expositions leaving a nasty rain crust on the surface and at mid-to-high altitude it was ‘wishbone’ snow but in the lee we had some excellent skiing and really couldn’t have done any better. I figured it out fairly quickly when I zoomed off the Verte for my regular ‘snow-test’ and almost had my leg ripped off in the non-supporting rain crust and it was a U-turn back to the piste. We then had a promising test off the Fontaine Froide and found some nice gullies of lovely powder so Andreas and I headed to the Tour du Charvet via TJ’s Shoulder and enjoyed a ‘morning winning’ decent with some wonderful scenery, ambience and as good of snow as it was possible to find today.

Everywhere you look the mountain has purged itself, which is great news, but it certainly has left some serious rubble and debris to traverse through. Getting out of the Charvet took some care and getting across to the Altiport was a pain as well. Still, after to days of ‘cabin fever’ no one was complaining!

Due to the limited opening our options were seriously cut down and we exercised our right to the lift priority as there were some big cues and it was a privilege to be able to cut through the mess. Thomas and Henry skied all day so eventually the lifts got going and they ended up skiing in the lee off the Motte and had some cracking skiing. Chris was also in action and I think he skied the Tour du Charvet as well although I never saw him after leaving the Gourmandine.

I’ve never seen the Danois as packed and loud as it was last night. It was difficult to get into the place but I preserved and ended up have a great time. With cabin fever gripping most of the holiday-makers many of them had started drinking around noon and I’ve never seen so many drunk people squashed into the Danois before. The regular Tuesday band couldn’t get up the mountain so Ed Mullit and Jamie stepped in and put on a fantastic show. They ground it out non-stop for about three hours and had the place absolutely rocking. People were being passed around the room (surfing I think it’s called?), some were dancing on tables and Ed and Jamie would have continued but a huge Welshman fell backwards onto the stage and doused their electrics with beer!  Bummer, gig over! There was a big ‘Alpine’ presence with some outstanding from Clare, James, Richard, Elaine, and Vicky while Vernon and I did our ‘dancing on the spot’ routine. It was a really good night out and I’m really looking forward to Karen and Andreas on Friday.

The wind picked up significantly this afternoon but fortunately we should have some sunshine in the morning, which is crucial at the moment as you really need to be able to see to ‘sniff’ out the avenues of good snow. Stay tuned!