The weather in the mountains can change so quickly. Often weather forecasts conflict against each other and nothing is for certain. In this case I always look into the sky and read the signs.
A sighting of Cirrus clouds is often a good clue for the deterioration of weather and a new front coming in. They are characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving the type its name from the latin word cirrus meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair. The strands of cloud sometimes appear in tufts of a distinctive form referred to by the common name of “mares’ tails”. The position of these mares tails often give you the wind direction.
These amazing delicate looking clouds generally appear white or light gray in colour and form in the high atmosphere at altitudes above 5000m. The amazing thing is that they can form on other planets, including Mars,Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, and possibly Neptune. They have even been seen on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. Just beautiful.
I woke up to the smell of fresh powder. Seeing fresh snow fall the day and night before of up to 50cm there was no chance I was going to over sleep. I was too excited! It was my day off from teaching in Tignes and Val D’Isere, working independently for myself JCskiing and for Ultimate Snowsports Ski School. This was my chance to explore and to play in the backcountry. Just a 15 minute drive from Tignes Les Bossies we had arrived in the small gem of the resort of Station of St Foy. Whilst riding the first chairlift the powder opportunities where endless. We took the low traverse from the top of the Marguise chairlift and was confronted to white untracked face of powder. Putting fresh tracks in the untracked snow. It was amazing!!then we cut into the trees for four more runs. It was too good to stop for lunch.
When the high traverse was cut from the Marguise chairlift it was then time to go into the backcountry…of the Vallon de Mercuel. We arrived into the untracked open bowl of deep powder where every right turn I was getting powder in my face known as face shots.
Then we skied into the tree line and cross the river. Then 20/30 minutes of skiing the snow luge run, then the foot path through sleepy closed hamlets onto a road ending up into the pretty village of Le Miroir where we took the public bus back to the Station of Sainte Foy. Amazing!!!and that was just the morning!
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