A few catch up posts. Back in February it was cold and snowy enough for some local ski touring in the Edinburgh area. On the 9th of February I managed a morning tour with Pamela in Dalmeny including the novelty of skiing to the beach for a paddle.
On the 14th of February Euan and I had good long tour in the Pentlands just as the thaw was arriving.
This week I’ve been lucky enough to get out in the Pentlands again in winter conditions. On Tuesday Ivor and I were out for a walk in glorious sunny weather with a dusting of fresh snow. On Friday Pamela and I managed an opportunistic ski tour. The snow cover was good on paths and tracks where it had a base and had drifted in on top overnight. Away from these there was no real base except in small sheltered locations and care was required. A great fun day, which helped to keep our winter skills ticking over as best we can currently.
I have had an interesting couple of weeks with off piste skiing and ski touring in; Val d’Isere, Tignes, La Rosiere and Sainte Foy followed today by winter climbing on Cha-No. All good fun.
Mike and I were out on Meall nan Tarmachan today with a Falkirk Outdoors Ski Touring team of Alan and Caroline. We shared the minibus with Craig and the High Tops team who changed their objective for the day based on the condition of the road above the Ben Lawers parking and took in Meall Corranaich and Meall a’Choire Leith.
There was snow cover down to 400m. We parked at the parking area at 470m and the road had hard pack snow and ice at this level. We were able to skin up from near where the Meall nan Tarmachan path leaves the track and skinned up east of the path before cutting back to the ridge and heading up to pt. 923m. We skied down a short way on to the east face on deep, but heavy wet snow, before returning to the col north of pt. 923m. A good descending traverse on the west face allowed us to return to the ridge, which we then skied down to the track.
The snow (and turf) was saturated at all levels. Generally good cover on most aspects above 700m with North and East slopes having deep accumulations. Much easier travelling on skis today than on foot, but the wet and heavy snow made turning difficult.
Last week I was in Kvaloya. This Norwegian island is located in the Artic Circle. It provided skiing from summit to sea and many beautiful summits to visit.
This week I am in Val d’Isère and Tignes off piste skiing and ski touring. This is one of my favourite European areas with quiet summits to visit and large areas of off piste.
I have just finished a brilliant weeks off piste skiing and ski touring at Alpbach in Austria. As a venue I thought it was outstanding with plenty of skiable summits and a huge amount of terrain. Additionally the mountains were quiet.
I hope to get back sooner rather than later.
I have just finished a great weeks skiing in Gressoney with Infinity Mountain Guides and Team Bombardinos. We had a variety of conditions concluding with a big dump of powder.
It was great to be back in Gressoney as it is a superb area with a huge variety of terrain. Trees, couloirs, peaks and open slopes.
I am currently out in Gressoney with Infinity Mountain Guides and Team Bombardinos off piste skiing and ski touring.
Due to recent high winds conditions are variable but there is still great fun to be had.
I am just back from ski touring in the Troll Peninsula with Scott and Tina. We had an amazing time skiing great snow in remote valleys and on coastal peaks followed by a super friendly experience in the café at Dalvik on our return each day.
I would highly recommend Iceland for those who want to ski tour late April and May in a magical place where solitude can easily be found.
Paul and I have just spent a week in the Vanoise. From Monday to Friday we were ski touring with NOCG (Naval Outdoor Centre Germany) and Infinity Mountain Guides. Some of the highlights were;
- Rocher du Charvet (2856m) and the Palafour off piste run.
- Ouille de la Jave (2867m) and Ouille des Tretetes (2948m).
- Dome de Pramecou (3081m) and the Tour of the Grande Balme off piste run.
- Ouille Noire (3357m) and the Pays Desert.
- The Grande Motte (3423m) and the Couloir Petite Balme.
On Saturday, Paul and traversed La Tsanteleina (3601m) by climbing the North Face and descending the South Face and Glacier du Couarts Dessus. We had a great time on what was quite a physically challenging peak that before mid may (when the road opens) involves 1800 metres of ascent and a significant distance.
Lots more photos on the facebook page.