Monday, 9 January 2012

Aiguilles Rouges Recce

 There’s only so much easily accessible powder the soul can take, so Tristan and I decided on a tour in the Aiguille Rouges today, mainly to check out conditions and also hoping for good snow. We started up the Col Crochues, and were hoping to do a variation on the classic Crochues- Berard traverse, but the snow was pretty deep and trail breaking would have been tough, so we wimped out and followed another team up the normal route to avoid any unnecessary hard work! The Crochues-Berard is a great tour though, usually providing good snow and always providing amazing views, minimal effort and a pub at the end.

We were pretty shocked at conditions, and it is clear that whilst a lot of snow has fallen, the wind has been howling, and most snow above 2500m ish was very crusty and icy, with only south facing stuff being any good. We found minimal good skiing but what the bits we did find were sheltered and/or south facing. The wind has now stopped, and temperatures are on the rise so things are all about to change again but if I was a betting man I’d say that the best snow tomorrow will be south facing and between 1500 and 2500 metres. Natural shelters such as trees and narrow gullies should also provide good skiing, but anything up high and exposed to the wind of the past few days will probably be pretty tough going.

Off on a mission tomorrow to the Emosson Dam area, so hopefully that will be a good shout, but you just never know. Report to follow tomorrow!

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View from the Col Berard

You've got to love skiing

View from the apres ski