Posted by: sunshack | December 31, 2014

Chasing Snow

A quick trip to Chamonix to catch some early season snow usually delivers the goods. Combine this with a skills tune up from Tinderbox Ski and I’d be set up for the season. Slight problem. For the first time since I’d started skiing, I’d arrived in a ski resort that had remained closed because of a lack of snow.

So we headed to Verbier, which was open. The snow was quite good as well. The views from Mont-Fort were spectacular. A head for heights is useful.

View from Mont Fort Verbier

View from Mont Fort Verbier

 It was my first day back on skis after a long layoff, and my skiing was not too good. It was great to be back in the mountains after a pretty tough year.

Mont Fort Verbier

Mont Fort Verbier

On one night I also attended a session on Avalanche Awareness in Chamonix. The Mountain Guide running the event, gave attenders the heads up on the snow quality in Pila, Aosta.

It’s the 1st time I’ve been in a ski lift that crosses a motorway.

Aosta to Pila Gondola

Aosta to Pila Gondola

I was a little unsure, but this is a really long lift, and delivers you right into the ski area.  The ski area information for Pila reads as if it’s quite small, but having skied there it seems bigger. It also has some interesting in-bounds off piste. The snow was pretty good, nice and grippy, no stones, and no ice.

Pila during mid December

Pila during mid December

Travelator at the top of Pila pistes

Travelator at the top of Pila pistes

I was pretty surprised to see a Travelator in a plastic tunnel at the top of the lift system. Going up the conveyor was quite surreal. The end of the ride deposited us at the top of a really good black grade piste with some off piste routes available with easy access. We decided to return next day and tackle some of the slopes.

Looking for the line

Looking for the line

Next day, quick revision of plans, as the snow was falling and the weather was less than optimal to ski off piste. So I spent my day doing White Pass Turns and Charleston’s drills. I think my skill level has improved a bit because Chris is a versatile Ski Teacher.

Lets not do the Offpiste today

Lets not do the Offpiste today

Back in Chamonix, the weather had decided to deliver some of the all important White Stuff.

Chamonix looking seasonal

Chamonix looking seasonal

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