Monday 15 December 2014

Tête du Pré des Saix

Despite the stubborn refusal of winter to make an appearance this year, I was determined to get out over the weekend. Sharon and I took a punt on there being some snow in the Flaine area and drove up to have a look.

We were pleased when we got past Les Carroz to find that we could start from the Les Molliets car park, at 1400 metres, instead of needing to carry on up higher to reach the snow line, and from there we decided to go for the Tête du Pré des Saix. So far so good.

The first sign of winter that I've seen this year!

The skin was enjoyable but we were both pretty worried about the lack of snow, the cover being so thin that there were several long sections we weren't even sure we'd be able to ski on the way down. 

A very dry Vernant Valley.

Sharon nearing the summit.

Just below the top, with a great view of the Mont Blanc Massif.

The wind was howling when we got to the top so we didn't hang around but we were there long enough to notice that the snow cover looked much better on the back side of the peak. The pistes had clearly been bashed quite a bit and they looked much more appealing than the rock and grass we'd been skinning up so we decided to follow our noses back to the car. It turned out to be pretty easy to find our way back and we linked some really nice pistes with some cruisy, slushy off piste and generally had a really fun time. 

Me loving the view.

Nearly home.

Overall we managed to have a really good day but there's no getting round the fact that this is an extremely dry start to winter. It looks like there might be some snow coming mid-week but generally it's looking a bit bleak. I chatted to one of the top men at Chamonix ESF last night, who's lived here his whole life, and he assured me that, "it will come - it always comes". Hope he's right!