20/12/11: Deeper & Deeper

Chamonix snow conditions are at an all-time high right now. It's been snowing with little let-up for a week, and everywhere in the valley is white. White trees down to valley level, white roads lower than Servoz, white teeth in big white grins from over-the-head powder turns, everywhere.

This week I've had overheads at Les Houches and Brévent. I've avoided Grands Montets. This was a mistake today, when they finally got the Bochard lift open, to the awe of the lucky few who got up there first...I don't use this word very often, but conditons are epic up here. All time. People are talking about the lightest powder they've evert skied, about 'as much snow as 98/99', about buying Jeeps. I spent last night at Vallorcine, in a charming little chalet nested amongst the wind-sculpted snowdrifts of the high Col des Montets.

Naturally with all this snow around we've been treading very, very carefully. I decided not to ski the Brévent bowl yesterday, even though it looked rammed full of snow. I stayed out of the Bergerie couloirs, and I avoided the shots off the back of Les Houches down to St Gervais. But Grands Montets has been getting it today. The Philippe, Fontaine, Trapette couloirs are all mogul fields after heavy traffic, but as terrain inches open, it's about being the first up there to get the goods. There's well over a meter of Utah-grade fluff up there, people. Do what you can to get it.

***Just heard that the whole of Brévent is closed tomorrow 21/12 for avi control. Hopefully that means they're clearing out the Hotel Face and Charlanon bowl for a potential Cornu opening Thursday...fingers crossed!

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