A fresh dump of deep powder at this time of year is welcome for resort skiing, but not so welcome for ski touring! Even on the days when the clouds have lifted all of the off-piste areas are looking heavily loaded with wind slab. So it’s just too scary (and foolhardy) to contemplate skit touring at the moment with zero visibility and a very considerable avalanche threat. Which has meant we’ve been bashing the slopes at Grands Montets these past two days…
Day 1 at Grands Montets – with Blizzard
We went a little too low on the traverse through the Magic Forest across to the Retour Pendant chair lift on our second run. Even though we were perhaps only 60 metres too low we were forced to take our skis off and hike back up to the traverse track that takes you to the lift station. Going up hill through super soft, wet, fresh snow was extremely hard work. It took us nearly an hour to get back on track. By which time (1.45pm) they’d closed the lift!!! :angry:
Ian is good at being angry! By the time we’d walked back to the Plan Roujon chair lift the lift operator was assaulted with the kind of lecture only Ian is capable of. Then after just one more run through the Magic Forest they closed the Plan Roujon lift too! So later, back at the main Grands Montets valley station, Ian filled out a complaint form – we’d lost hours of expensive skiing time due to lift closures. We await the result. Perhaps a refund is in order?
Day 2 Grands Montets – with Poor Visibility
The next day had a better forecast (no snow) but we were hampered with low cloud and poor visibility. However, yesterday’s massive dump of fresh snow meant there would be deep powder in all the off-piste areas of Les Grands Montets (which is basically the whole mountain)!
We re-visited the Magic Forest which is much easier is better visibility (as it was below the cloud base in the afternoon). In fact the afternoon turned out a little sunny, so we also enjoyed a beer sat in the sun at the Lognan! 😛 We also traversed from the Chamois black run (“too easy for us”) across in to the Combe de la Pendant for the amazing powder this bowl collects – nearly 1000 metres of powdery descent. Ye-ha!! 😀