Thursday, 6 April 2017

Ahead of the game

Frogs have already laid their eggs in the ponds in Zinal
Spring has definitely arrived early this year. The swallows and martins flew in at least 3 weeks ago and up in Zinal the frogs have filled the little pond with spawn, the willows are in full flower and the Plats de la Lee has virtually no snow on it
Pussy willow in full flower
It's been about 4 weeks since we were cross country skiing here

Friday, 17 March 2017

One fine day

It's been a week of blue sky and warm spring weather but the forecast says it's changing at the weekend. So today we headed up to the Cabane d'Arpitettaz for lunch out on the terrace. After a 1200m climb a cheese sandwich never tasted so good. The view up to the glacier is amazing, as was the spring snow we found on the ski back down. PK

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Where the river runs through

The gorge at the end of the 'Plats'
The southern end of the 'Plats' flood plain is blocked by a wall of rock -while the footpath climbs up and over, the Navisence river has cut down through it, forming a narrow gorge. This steep gorge is impassable in summer due to high water levels, but at this time of year you can climb across the exposed boulders and work your way up gorge. It's a wild mysterious place - especially today with the swirling mist and low cloud. PK

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Tele-marking time

You don't need much snow to have knee deep powder.
After some promising snow in November, we had virtually nothing in December. In fact, it was the third driest month recorded in the last 150 years, and the level 4 hazard was for fire not avalanche. However, there was enough cold for the resort to make snow and so, as we waited for the season to really begin, we took up our telemark skis and started to practice.

Last April we decided to give tele-marking a go, and spent four days with Nicko of Telemark Tracks ( over in Val d'Isere. (You can read how we got on in the follow feature in the Financial Times )

When conditions require you to stay on the groomed stuff, this is certainly one way to not get bored with the piste. We've moved from blues to red and (with a bit of fresh snow) to some gentle off piste. More practice required but things are slowly getting better - as are the snow conditions. PK