Off-Piste: First day of winter

2016-03-05 by davidof


Route Taken: as topo
Road Access Clear

Vertical Climbed: 2320 meters (7612 feet)
Vertical Descended: 2320 meters (7612 feet)
Distance: 17.5 km
Weather Sunny, some snow showers


Surprising season. The long range weather reports in the autumn warned of a warm Jan/Feb with a return to winter in March and so it is. There is around 80cm of new snow at 1800m, maybe 30cm at 1000m but very dense, maybe 300kg/m3 so skiable to low levels. So we decided to go to our local resort of St Hilaire for a bit of piste and off piste skiing.

Junior was keen to ski the upper phantom village but I was not so hot. There is a track down from the top of the ski lifts but it is steep and narrow in one place and this really needs going off into the trees. Something tot and I have done in the past but it always requires a lot of coaching on my part. The powder was very dense and not so easy to ski, a real spring dump rather than the light powder of winter. Bizarrely a snowplow had been round all the abandoned roads that lead nowhere and as the route crosses these it meant some faffing.

After doing some piste, the Combe was closed due to the avy risk we did a couple of nice laps of the lower phantom village.



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