Tuesday, 12 March 2013

It's not all bad!

After a rather pessimistic weather forecast (and a video blog to go with it from me!), things haven't actually been so bad over the last few days. There has been a fair bit of rain and black sky, but there's also been the odd good weather window, and I've been trying to get things done in between the showers.

Saturday was forecast to be a good morning followed by snow, so we decided to go for a steady day touring up to the Col du Tour Noir. This Chamonix classic is pretty mellow but has some of the best views of any tour in Cham and has some really fun, fast skiing on the way down. 

We took our time and luckily enough the weather improved towards the middle of the afternoon - proof that you don't always need to rush in the mountains! 

Skiing down to the Argentiere Glacier from the Grand Montets

Gary and Matt with the "powder grins"

Heading up, with the 3 big north faces of the Argentiere basin (Courtes, Droites, Verte) behind.

Sharon, Caroline and Tom with Les Courtes behind

Matt shredding

Sharon shredding, but much more stylishly

Final blast down to the hut

Skiing back to the Grand Montets pistes after an awesome day

Monday was forecast once again to be a pretty OK day, but I woke to heavy rain down here in Les Houches, and the original plan of touring in Italy was quickly canned in favour of "wait and see". Luckily the clouds parted in the early afternoon and Dave, Graham and I shot up the Midi and skied the Grand Envers in some of the best and deepest snow of the year. Win.

"There's no-one else here!!!"

Graham smashing it, shame about the hidden mogul on the landing!

Smashing again, this time without the mogul. I would have backflipped off it, obviously, but was busy taking photos

Today (Tuesday) was yet another day with plenty of black cloud, but a quick sunny period forecast for the middle of the day. Although it didn't look too promising from town, we set off for the top of the Midi with open minds and plenty of enthusiasm. Initially we thought about heading for the Cosmiques Couloir, but a check of the avalanche bulletin before heading up suggested that it wouldn't be wise, so we settled on a run down the Petit Envers. For some reason no-one had been down the main Petit Envers, so there was plenty of fresh tracks to be had. The cloud came and went but we had enough visibility to get us down and provide some awesome views. 

Neil questing on the Petit Envers

Katie and hero boy

Adam on his telemarks

Katie in the exit couloir below the Requin hut

Looking down to the Mer de Glace.

Finally, I looked out of the window the other morning and saw this.


The weather looks much the same for the next few days, so the key will be staying flexible and getting on it when the chance comes. Bon chance.