I arrived in the Alps late Monday evening and following a rest day on Tuesday I have been off piste skiing and ski touring for the last five days.
On Wednesday Malcolm and I met at Les Contamines ski area and had a good day out using the lift system to access off piste terrain. We also skinned a short distance to gain access to good spring snow and some nice tree skiing.
Malcolm and I met Cube on Wednesday morning and headed to the Vallee Blanche above Chamonix. We skinned across to the Italian border before descending towards Chamonix. We skied the right-hand side of the ice fall which is in good condition this year. This area of the descent provided some good snow but other areas of the Vallee Blanche were very variable.
Robbo, Jon and Mikey joined me on Friday. We had a good day out at Les Contamines finding some excellent spring snow off piste and spending time looking at avalanche rescue and ski touring equipment and skills.
The weather forecast for the weekend was poor so we chanced a trip through the Magic Tunnel (Tunnel du Mont Blanc), so called because often when it is raining in Chamonix it is bright sunshine in Courmayeur. We were not disappointed and have spent the last two days in the sun. On Saturday we visited the Bonatti Hut in the Val Ferret. This is a brilliant hut with great food, friendly staff, comfortable rooms and showers! After a 6.30am breakfast on Sunday we made the ascent of the Col de La Manatra. The snow above 2300m gave brilliant skiing. We were joined by only one other team and had amazing views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding peaks.