What a summer it’s been! The weather has been perfect. Not too hot so many of the alpine routes stayed in shape well into August. We just had a good dump of snow above 2500 meters so that will help keep the glaciers white as we move in the autumn season.
Fi and I moved across the valley to Bruson. It feels so good here. I can’t get over how quiet it is. We’ve lived in Verbier going on 40 years, so it’s quite the change. So psyched to still have ski in and ski out from my doorstep.
The view of Verbier from our new place in Bruson.
Ton and I did another sweet adventure together, following the Bagnes-Magic Valley border traversing La Sale-Pleureur-La Luette ridge. What makes this trip so fine, is the feeling of solitude and the outrageous views and exposures above the two valleys. There all sorts of different terrain features, from obscure footpaths leading to the Bivouac Pantalons Blancs, to the solid moves up onto the summit of the Sale. The ridge between the Pleureur and Luette makes for some good route finding on crumbling dirt and rock. Then Luette gives you some relaxed rock climbing to the finish. The gang at the Dix hut have it all figured out with fine food and excellent hospitality.
Hope you’re enjoying your day wherever you are, inside or out, masked or not, and hope we get to play soon together in these mountains on dry ground or slippery.
There was deep powder and glorious sunshine over the Christmas holidays. How nice for everyone who came. And came they did! It was very, very busy in town. Then everyone left and all the obvious off-piste was done! Skied! Tracked!
It’s been a month since our last snowfall. So finding fresh tracks is super rewarding. I’ve been guiding freeride skiing every day, finding nice stashes of powder low in the forests and deep in the shady couloirs. We’ve been going high into the mountains for great adventure too. With the avalanche risk so low, one can ski really steep terrain now.
I made another little video of Chris and I skiing a local couloir. Thanks for the footage of me Chris! And it has just snowed 15-30 cm in this part of the Alps, so we are back to a bit of fresh powder skiing!
You’ve got to love these Alpine ski areas in Switzerland, France and Italy for the super quick access to the wonderful Freeride Skiing terrain! Using the lifts and modern freeride skis, mounted with light ski touring bindings, one is quickly into the virgin powder.
Yesterday, we took the lift to Attelas, then toured on from there, quickly getting into some real nice powder for a couple of good runs. It’s still relatively thin, so one needs to be real careful not whack into the rocks hidden below. I put the 3-axis gimbal on again to get a little video of Gilles floating…
We have good snow coverage now here in Verbier. At 1500 meters in town, we have 30 cm of compact snow. At 2000 meters we have 65cm of various layers. Above that, the wind and warm temperatures have filled couloirs and faces with snow. Because of these high temperatures, these layers of snow are bonding very quickly, which is unusual for this time of year. The avalanche risk should descend to level 2 out of 5 by tomorrow. The forecast is calling for bluebird weather for the next two days, and the two week forecast shows a depresion sitting over northern Europe, bringing a humid, westerly flow through to mid-December.
Verbier is now open all week, having opened for weekends a month ago. Here’s a 1 minute video showing what freeride conditions are like at present.