Surprise Surprise

The best snow on shaded slopes of the Toule Glacier

Location: Helbronner & Courmayeur
Snow: Deep powder in the shade, heavy in the sun
Weather: Sun & cloud

It’s entirely fair to say that winter 16/17 has been totally shit so far in Chamonix.  I’ve had less than 10 ski days so far instead of my usual 35-40 by this time of year, and with warm temperatures and school holidays starting this week plus lots of work on, my ski motivation has been at an all time low so I’ve been shopping for bike parts and making summer plans already.  Then today came along and completely blew away my expectations.

Italy got a bit more recent snow than the French side of Mont Blanc so Graham and I headed through mid-morning to have a look about.  One lap off the top of the Helbronner lifts to start with (my first time in over two years) for a line far right on the Toule Glacier provided excellent deep powder especially in shaded areas.  The snow was warming up fast and got progressively more heavy and sticky back towards Pavillon midstation so we decided than one run was enough.

Over on the Courmayeur lifts we bagged just one main run too, exploring further left than usual from the Arp for fairly mellow skiing with some interesting gullies and plenty of untouched powder all the way to the Zerotta road, and the Val Veny trees were skiing pretty well at the top of our home run but got heavy very quickly.

Graham: Steps down to the Toule Glacier

Graham: Far right of the Toule Glacier

Graham: Very nice off the Arp

Got a comment, question, or your own report from elsewhere in the Chamonix valley? Leave a comment below (Facebook login required).

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