Friday, February 6, 2015

Too much snow got us stuck in Chamonix...

Stuck in Chamonix because of the massive snowpocalypse

With a HUGE storm on the forecast and still having to deal with our slick-tire-mounted-RV, we decided to drive to Chamonix to wait for the snow to hit us. Since it is too dangerous to drive the beast into a snowstorm over a mountain pass, we figured it would be a better idea to drive over the Col de la Forclaz and go to Chamonix while the snow hasn’t started yet.

Even if there was more than 40cm on the forecast overnight, the snow didn’t came early. While waiting for the snow, the boyz hammered the Brossignol ski-shot resulting in a beatered crew in the morning.

Since my girlfriend has driven all around Switzerland to meet us and was all fired up to go skiing in the morning. I left the boys get their head out of their butt and left with Amelie to go skiing.

When it is dumping, the Chamonix valley is renowned to drain into Les Houches which is one of the very few places where you can get some skiing not in the alpine. Not too excited about the idea of having to share the powder with that many people, I left with Amelie towards the Grand Massif.

As we got there, snow was coming down hard.
Beside the resort call Flaine, the Grand Massif is really not renowned as a powder heaven.
We actually got the surprise to find a fair of bit of groomed runs when we got there!
We started our day in Les Carroz-D'Araches, where it looked like we would be able to get some good snow and good visibility.

With plenty of room, we manage without to much problem to find some fairly deep snow!
Snow kept on falling overnight and with the RV still stuck in Chamonix, I rallied up with Amelie, Etienne and Babiche and we headed over Combloux which seemed to be a nice little quiet resort.

Quiet it was for sure!

There was so much snow overnight, that it took forever to the mountain to open up their slopes. Being more a family resort than a steep tree-run paradise, they had to groom most of the runs to let the skier not getting stuck in the snow.

Skiers were not the only one being stuck since deers were also having a hard time coping up with that much snow!
Battery failure kept the camera in the pack....

Next day was not supposed to be the best one ever. With some snow on the forecast and overcast sky, the boyz made the call to go over towards the Grand Montets. The snow was fairly good despite a rather treacherous base from which you had to be fairly alert not to ruin your ski base.
Everyone had a good day riding pow until the snow and the bad visibility finally made its way by late afternoon.
With the dead count rolling and the avalanche forecast being still on the high side (4 out of 5),we eventually decided to move the RV towards a more treed up destination. That would allowed us to stay safe in the resort while enjoy the powder orgy!

That leds us for a 3-4 hours drive from Chamonix to La Clusaz (for what could have been a 65km drive). We even had to put the chains in Annecy and to make the last 40km up the road driving at snail speed with the chains on.
All that driving paid off the following morning!

After a few not so good runs where all the fatigue from the previous day was showing off, we eventually found a really nice run just under the gondola.
We lapped it furiously all afternoon until no one was able to ski properly!

Babiche being sick, we tried to convince him that he didn’t missed that much....
An (other) late night over at the nearby bar grounded the crew for a day of skiing.

We had planned to keep the RV for one more week, but it has been so much of an hassle to travel with such a dangerous vehicule to drive on the snow, that we figured taht we would be better without it. With Etienne and Nic leaving to go back to Canada, we drove to Grenoble, clean the RV and made the plan to split up.

Etienne and Nic will fly back home as planned.
Jeff and Denis would rent a car and make their own way.
I would rallied up with Babiche and do some home based snowchasing while waiting until we can drive the RV back to its owner.

More powder harvesting on its way!!

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