Early winter roundup

Oh my! How time flies! December and January have flown by. It’s time again for Kashmir Curry Powder- and I have not even written about the 40 days skiing I have done since my last update. The 3 rain events we had early winter have played a major role in route decision this early winter. The Avalanche danger was at level 3 until last week. And it’s not like those weak faceted layers have gone away or anything. They are just being bridged by a thicker layer on top and/or have gotten so general that a collapse in the snow pack would mean a slide of loose facets rather than a slab. It sounds like a bit what is going on in Gulmarg right now.

But it has meant that I have searched for higher elevations. That rain left the valley floors quite dry, and the summits caked with a thick layer of powder. Mt.Fort summit was left to the guides for weeks, since the front slid and left the piste with bare ice. That was kind of nice, not being chased by a group of helmeted freeloading “Freeriders” everywhere I went. We skied into the Val d’Heremence several times, Fionnay, Hidden Valley while it was still hidden, and recently been re-discovering the fine cappuccinos the Italians can do.

The people I have been skiing with have been outrageously open for adventure and we have come home fully satiated with emotions of outdoors. The snow at higher elevations has now been battered by the North, South, East and West winds. But the mid-elevations are still offering up fine pow for those willing to climb for it. Here are a few of the shots…

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About Hans Solmssen

I am a professional mountain guide living in Verbier, Switzerland. I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii after my father moved to Hawaii to teach at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. He created a horse program at this high school, located in the middle of the largest, privately owned cattle ranch in the US. Horses were a major part of my life, even playing polo for a few years. I moved to northern Vermont to go to school, and discovered skiing. Little did I know, this would become my life's passion: guiding friends and clients over the mountains around the world on skis and foot. I moved to Verbier, Switzerland in 1982, and entered the Swiss guide's program in '88. I received my UIAGM "pin" 3 years later in 1991. I have two kids, Anya and Kevin.

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