On Saturday I was skiing with Chris of Alpine Experience, the guide service Liz and I had used the previous Sunday. It was a mostly cloudy day but quite warm as the clouds probably came in overnight. Given my experience on west facing Le Manchet late Friday, any powder Saturday was going to be high and north facing.
We started with Bellevarde to Borsat. Chris led us on the same traverse from the lift that I had done on my own Tuesday. But he went farther skier’s left to get past Friday’s tracks. From Val Claret we took the funicular up to the Grand Motte tram and caught a sunny break in the weather.
From the very top here we skied about 1,000 vertical on the soft piste.
We then cut left, where Chris led the way down this north facing powder.
Wayne’s group is making tracks ahead and to our right.
View back up from halfway down.
Chris leads the lower half adding on to Wayne’s group’s tracks.
Chris took a picture of me as I passed by.
From the bottom we skinned about 10 minutes up to the Rimaye piste.
From the skin track we have a view back of our tracks and the Grand Motte glacier.
The east wind from this week’s storms exposed the glacier ice compared to last week.
We rode the Vanoise chair up and Chris led us skier’s right of Genepy.
The snow from the final storm had finally stuck up here, but this pitch was sun affected. However it was easier for me on the 112mm DPS skis than for the other clients on skis in the 80’s range.
We skinned a similar sector 15 minutes as with iSKI on Thursday to get more north facing. Here’s the skiing from there:
Here it takes me more effort to make the shorter radius turns that Alpine Experience likes to see in the powder though.
The light deteriorated at the end and someone crashed in a dip as I had on Thursday.
We skied lower Genepy to the Tufs lift and Chris led us to Envers de Comparibles. This was west facing so once again I was glad to be on the wider skis. When we rode Tufs again to ski our last run down to La Daille, we stayed on piste as the lower snow was too heavy to go off piste. On piste was heavy too, and this is when my legs felt the work of the past 3 days.
With the guided day over at 1PM, I called Liz and found her at Tignes 2100. She had a tough morning. There was a mix up with her scheduled lesson with Evolution 2, the same company with which we skied Valle Blanche in January. During the 40 minutes it took for them to find an instructor, Liz’ Armada powder skis were stolen from outside the ski shop.
So Liz reported the theft to the local gendarmes and skied over to Col de Ves on her Blizzards. The light was flat in the afternoon, so we rode up to Toviere from Tignes 2100, skied to La Daille and called it a day before 3PM.
This was also the afternoon we relocated from the Tsanteleina hotel where we had spent 9 nights to Savoyarde for the final two nights. Our original reservation was for 7 nights leaving Val d’Isere Thursday. But when weather forecasts showed a snowy week, there was a lot of uncertainty when the clearing powder day would be. So we extended Tsanteleina to Saturday, scoring the best powder days Thursday/Friday. At one point there was a 4th round of snow predicted Saturday, and even though that was soon retracted, it made sense to stay put since Val d’Isere got far more snow from all the storms than the other big French ski complexes farther west.
I skied 6,700 vertical in Val d’Isere and 12,500 in Tignes Saturday, about 5K of powder.