It’s been a busy few weeks here in Chamonix. After the best December in ages the weather took a bit of a turn and we had a very mild, stormy period that brought rain to over 2400m and therefore some high avalanche dangers. Skiing in the rain is never much fun, although it’s surprising what you can achieve with a bit of Gore-tex and coffee stops!

Les Houches was a good fall back option in these conditions, pretty low avalanche danger there if you stay away from the steep off piste runs.

Ski touring in the rain – going uphill keeps you warm!

Thankfully we had so much early season snow the rain didn’t actually affect it too much, and if anything, this heating and subsequent cooling will help to stabilise the snow in the long term making for a better winter season overall.

It’s good to look on the positive side off things!

Now we’re back into a normal weather cycle, temperatures are back to seasonal average and we’ve had some fresh snow up high. The latest weather has come in from the south, meaning Italy has had more snow, and in some cases too much, resulting in various valleys being closed off completely for fear of natural avalanches.

Here in the Chamonix valley, we had a pretty large natural avalanche that swept into the barriers at the bottom of the valley, which thankfully did their job nicely. No casualties, but some property damage.

That all sounds a bit epic, but the skiing conditions are good here at the moment and some of the runs are in the best condition I’ve seen them for years thanks to the amount of snow we’ve had. There are lots of options for both off piste skiing and ski touring and our up coming trips will be spoilt for choice.

Off Piste skiing at Les Contamines.

Ski Touring in the Aiguille Rouge last weekend

Lunch at the Loriaz refuge – Ski Touring at it’s best!

Avalanche transceiver practice at the Grand Montet

The Avalanche track at Les Houches