SKI BLOG

The ski blog featuring (almost) daily updates from the mountains with our Editor and Tech Editor and those other renowned powder hounds, the Rando Chiens...

Off-piste, backcountry, slackcountry, ski touring, piste cruising, tour routes, mountain weather reports, snow and piste conditions

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I'd not packed the gear away yet as I've been hoping and waiting for one last hurrah and with the return of winter over the weekend maybe a chance of powder

Daylight and there was persistent cloud up at the Lautaret, however an hour or so later it looked to be clearing, so got ready quickly and into the van for the 15min drive up to the Col du Lautaret...

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Marmots and bouquetins are all out whether you're ski touring or cycling up the mountain.

With the classic Col du Galibier sign completely buried under snow at 2642m, it'll be a while before the road opens for cycling. However the marmots and bouquetins are out to play...

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Powder Days: 40 (plus). Spring Touring: 10 (ish)

Forty days of powder and still counting. Maybe 10 spring touring days and almost giving up. Meanwhile the snow snakes were lurking under windblown crust causing a man down - or two.

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So it was off to Laa Laa land, one of our favourite ski tour areas where the terrain reminds us of the rolling hills of Teletubby Land.

The Teletubbies, in this case marmots, were frolicking around their burrows as the sun rose throwing long shadows on the slopes of one of our favourite ski touring areas...

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Up early for spring ski touring and back for a poolside BBQ, yes it's Wednesday and another hard day in the mountains.

With super warm and sunny days, it's perfect for spring ski touring early in the morning and BBQ in the afternoon. And okay so it's Wednesday? Just another hard day at our office...

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The weather is a truly bizarre, one morning I'm sliding across the road in the van snowing heavily, very next day I'm cycling up the same road

Three very different consecutive days in the mountain. From skiing fresh snow well over a metre deep to cycling up the Col de Montgenevre to then coping with rotten spring snow...

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Ski blog from the French Alps featuring (almost) daily reports on what's happening on the hill

The snow snakes are lying in wait, this spring, under crusted, heavy and grabby snow. Yesterday, after 10cms of fresh up the hill,and not ideal off piste conditions, they pounced again...

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Ski Knee Injury Alert. Part 1.

What happens during the seconds it takes to fall in crud in the backcountry? Alf Alderson, describes those (literally) agonising moments when he fell skiing off the back of La Plagne ...

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Ski blog from the French Alps featuring (almost) daily reports on what's happening on the hill

We lost count of how many powder days we've had here this winter but then, thanks to Strava, we were able to add them up. And it's been 40 days. And that's not counting Japan...

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Powder hounds

The month started with The Feast From The East and waist-deep powder. It ended with a surprise Easter Feast of more fresh. In between we had some powder, some spring, some WTF...

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Ski blog from the French Alps featuring (almost) daily reports on what's happening on the hill

After a couple of days of rain in the valley, waking up to snow outside the window was a welcome Easter Saturday surprise. Also being changeover day no one was out so we had the powder to ourselves...

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Ski blog from the French Alps featuring (almost) daily reports on what's happening on the hill

Usually by this time of year, the Rando Chiens are as fit as a butcher's dog thanks to almost daily ski tours. But this winter the spring snow isn't transforming and Mamma Kiki's putting on weight...

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Ski blog from the French Alps featuring (almost) daily reports on what's happening on the hill

Much as we love powder and feel blessed with how many days this winter we've had in the white room, we've been pining for warmer days and those classic ski tours in the sun and spring snow...

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Ski blog from the French Alps featuring (almost) daily reports on what's happening on the hill

It's the winter that keeps on giving... powder. So the spring touring skis are still in the garage while the fat big mountain ones get another two days of play in around 50cms of fresh snow...

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Haring around La Grave to avoid the crowds

It was always a plan to go to La Grave as the weather was looking good, and if the lift wasn't open all the way, we'd ski tour in Chazelet. But unfortunately many many others had the same idea...

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The first Spring Tour of the season 9th March 2018

With warm sunshine for two days previously we were hoping that the snow would transform to spring snow, so it was out with the spring touring gear and, of course, Les Rando Chiens...

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Classic Serre Che Weekend 5th March 2018

Riding the storm and fresh snow on Saturday and then Bluebird on the Sunday going steep enough to get speed up in the deep pow but avoiding the ever-present avalanche danger...

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A New Route Off The Back. Ski blog.

For some peace and pow away from the chopped up sidecountry and hordes on the pistes the idea was to take a new route off the back with the intention of skinning up. Well that was the plan...

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The Powder Feast From The East. Ski blog.

The first day of meteorologic spring, 1st March, arrived with a feast of powder brought by the easterly storm giving us thigh deep powder in Serre Che - and that's just on the piste...

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Powder hounds

Compared to other years February was pretty cold with only a hint at spring conditions. But it was one of the best months for powder hounds in the Alps - sidecountry, slackcountry AND backcountry...

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Japan was good but was this better?

While Japan was a superb experience and the snow incredible; a lot closer to home last week saw some skiing conditions that were up there with Japow. But you had to know where...

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Up early for ninja powder slaying in Serre Chevalier and La Grave. Ski Blog. 18th February 2018

When it's a sunny Sunday morning after some fresh snow the day before and it's the middle of half term in February, the only way to win first turns is for ninja tactics and an early start...

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Over the back, slackcountry in Serre Chevalier. Ski Blog. 16th February 2018

Looking at a rain laden forecast I'd decided that I would not ski. But it's amazing how 5cms of fresh and blue sky can tempt you out and with texts and WhatsApp pinging away a plan was made...

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Between winter and spring. Ski Blog. 15th February 2018

The temperatures have been cold up until now but the sun has been out. So it's still technically winter with powder on north slopes but awaiting the freeze/thaw for classic spring conditions...

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Author of Skiing With Demons Chris Tomlinson blogs for Style Altitude from his hospital bed after a piste collision with a Swiss snowboard instructor.

Haemorrhaging money as well as blood Chris Tomlinson author of Skiing With Demons was helied off the mountain. Catch his blog from his hospital bed about his (costly) road to recovery..

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Ski touring to find a very secret stash of untouched powder

There is still cold powder on north facing slopes. There are also a lot of ski tourers out there. So we found our own secret stash and, no, we're not shouting where it is from the roof tops..

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Where to find the best powder beginning of February

Where to find the best powder at this time of year? Sidecountry? Slackcountry off the back? Ski touring in north facing trees. Or at a certain deserted ski resort with virgin off piste?..

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Making the most of the recent snow in Serre Che and La Grave

It's getting a little more challenging to find untracked powder and what there is can be rock hard wind affected crust, but with the recent snow falls and wind there are stashes to be had...

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In the White Room

We redecorated our office! For January we've been working in the white room - starting with heavy snow in France and ending for us with Japanuary and a week spent knee deep skiing in Niseko...

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Topping up with freshies in Serre Che and La Grave

It just takes a few centimetres to top up the off piste. So scored three out of three days of very nice powder thank you both in Serre Che and La Grave. And it's still only January...

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New route going off the back of Col de la Ricelle

As it started to turn positively spring like in Serre Chevalier, Backcountry Editor, Ken Reeve finds his way home, going off the back and skiing down to his front door in Prelles...

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Cat skiing on our own in an abandoned ski resort in Niseko

It wasn't so much backcountry as old country, going up via a Cat with four guides to ski waist deep powder on Weiss Mountain, an abandoned resort 20 minutes outside Niseko...

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Take Only Photos, Leave Only Tracks

We've left quite a few fresh tracks in the powder ski touring in Niseko over the past couple of days and also taken more photos of the amazing scenery than we have space to publish...

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The Land of the Falling Snow

We're in Japan, the land of the falling snow where it never stops topping up with fresh pow. Meanwhile back in the French Alps it's turning Japanese with more and more snow..

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Snow. Ski laps. Wind. Repeat.

It snows, we ski the fresh powder in cloud doing laps in the low vis and then comes the howling wind. So the high lifts have to close and there's more snow to come. And more fresh pow...

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Ski blog featuring slackcountry skiing endless powder in Serre Chevalier

Finally use the drone to film - it was a superb day for it, made even better by the tour going off the back of the Col de Mea towards Vallon de Chambran passing the little Cabine de Beger...

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Making use of first lifts and skins to do untracked powder.

With all the visible off piste now tracked out we used first lifts for untracked sidecountry powder and then went over the back into slackcountry using skins to hike back up...

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Another day, another play

Higher lifts opening gave access to more powder with only a few freeride groups out to play in untracked powder and the trees. So it was back to the land of the lost ski..

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With snow falling and low vis, it was a good test for goggles and waterproof outerwear before going to Japan in 10 days time. But, hopefully, the snow will be even lighter!

A morning spent skiing knee deep fresh, lapping closed pistes and hiking / skiing a ridge through the trees for an epic run back down to resort. A good practice for Japan in 10 days time...

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When certain friends visit it's a bit of tradition that I attempt to give them an interesting time on the mountain. As they often use guides I feel beholden to give them a day to remember!

With the grim forecast of strong winds and possibly rain for the next few days the plan was to make the most of the fresh snow we had even though we knew it might be a little wind affected...

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The Ski Blog December 2017. It's snow time!

Boom! There's epic snow throughout the Alps in December. Temperatures drop and over a metre of snow falls in two days in Serre Chevalier. And then there's more snow...

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More snow, freezing temperatures and traffic mayhem

On one of the busiest Saturdays of the season in the Alps we have a foot of overnight snow, freezing temperatures and low cloud. It's the perfect storm for typical transfer day mayhem...

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It's warming up in resort. Including the apres.

The temperatures have been rising, the snow melting and freezing at night. Walking down to the van in the morning has become an extreme sport. Meanwhile the apres is warming up too...

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Using the lifts to access the powder

With around 10cms of fresh up the hill after Monday's snowfall and empty lifts, it's time for some more slackcountry powder. Yes, it's just another hard day at the office skiing in Serre Chevalier...

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It snows most of the week - and then the resort opens for business so there's limitless untracked off piste. What an amazing early Christmas present!

It's the official resort opening day at Serre Chevalier, there's untouched powder everywhere - and very few powder hounds around. Saturday skiing really couldn't be more sweet...

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So now there is serious snow throughout the Alps. And pretty good powder if you put on skins and avy bags.

Snow, snow everywhere but no lifts open! So it's out with the cross country skis in the bad vis BUT as soon as the sun comes out so do the fat touring ones for climbing up to find the pow...

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Boom! The snow arrives. Snow, freeze and thaw bring interesting snow conditions for driving as well as for skiing.

We're no longer just dreaming of a white Christmas or suffering from Comparanoia. We have serious snow! Also freezing temperatures creating traffic mayhem - and the need for thermals!

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First lifts open and there's the first proper snow for powder touring in Abries in the Queyras with the Rando Chiens to judge the depth.

As Social Media comes alive with Christmas card images of snowy vistas it's easy to suffer from Comparanoia, the fear of other resorts having more snow. But we know snow is coming...

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Waiting for snow, waiting for the resorts to open. To ski or not to ski? Do you wait for the lifts and decent snow or make the most of what's on offer?

It's the start of the ski season and we're now back in the mountains live from Serre Chevalier in the Hautes Alpes. Time for the first ski tours of the winter to find snow and try out new kit...

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You can almost feel the chill breath of the White Walkers beyond The Wall with the swift approach of Winter 17-18 and the new ski season...

GB Ski and Snowboard athletes talking Winter Olympics, Travis Rice's new epic film premiere and The Hoff on Mount Battersea at The Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show. Yes, the ski season's begun...

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The Bike & Hike Blog from Serre Chevalier August 2017.

High season in Serre Chevalier now and also very hot as we're in a mini heat wave supposedly...

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The Bike Blog. June / July 2017. After a tumultuous past week with the Tour de France and Etape du Tour the the valley is returning to normality.

With the Etape du Tour and the Tour de France over and all associated with it be it amateurs, professionals, organisers, spectators and the hordes of camper vans Serre Chevalier will now return to a more peaceful setting.

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The Bike Blog. May. Back out in the mountains and still a lot of snow high up making for some spectacular riding scenery and still beginning of May some Cols like the Granon still have snow at altitude.

And it's all about focusing on the job in hand, training for Etape du Tour in July. Though it's not all about road bikes, the beauty of Serre Chevalier is also the abundance of off road trails.

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The Ski Blog April - May 2017. This is the month when we can find ourselves skiing powder or ski touring first thing and then sunbathing in the afternoon.

The end of season in resort is this month so it's a good time to take advantage of the lifts for sidecountry and slackcountry. But it's also great for ski touring. Also sunbathing. And then there's snow in May...

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The Ski Blog March 2017. The first day of March has fresh snow. And there's more fresh powder as the month continues. But spring temperatures are rising,

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February 2017 Ski Blog. It's snow time! The month begins with new snow all over the Alps and, finally, sidecountry powder in resort...

The good news is we have snow. The bad news is that it's half term with hordes arriving throughout the month

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January 2017 Ski Blog. First no new snow. Then we have 10-20cms and it dumps in Austria and the Northern Alps but the fresh disappears off piste so it's time to tour for powder..

A dry start to January in the Alps....

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December 2016 Ski Blog. Chasing the snow and avoiding the holiday hordes, it's a case of taking road trips, going touring and early lift tactics

The season starts with chasing the snow...

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APRIL 2016 SKI BLOG. What will the weather bring, this month. Late snow? Or rain? Spring ski touring? Or hiking? Maybe, both...

There may be rain and warm temperatures, but also empty resorts, possible late snow and spring touring. Don't let April fool you that it's over...

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MARCH 2016 SKI BLOG. Snow time! Starting with spring, then powder, March delivers as one of the best months in the mountains.

From spring touring with the dogs to powder skiing in fresh, why we love March...

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FEBRUARY 2016 SKI BLOG. All eyes on the weather charts! A warm - and windy - start to the month, but all change throughout the French half term weeks..

A warm - and windy - start to the month, but all change throughout the French half term weeks...

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JANUARY 2016 SKI BLOG. New Year, New Snow. The end of the snow drought at last as the new year brings new snow to the resort.

New Year, New Snow

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DECEMBER 2015 SKI BLOG. Start of the season and the Snow Gods need to WAKE UP! December 15 ski blog. All we want for Christmas is...snow.

December 15 Blog. All we want for Christmas is...snow.

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MAY 2015 SKI BLOG. Far Horizons. Arctic Conditions

Arctic Conditions

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APRIL 2015 SKI BLOG. On tour.

Touring days continue.......

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MARCH 2015 SKI BLOG. Spring skiing in the Alps.

Spring skiing at it's best........

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FEBRUARY 2015 SKI BLOG. First tracks.

Snow and ride review for half term month

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Best ski tour of the season, so far! Touring in the Galibier sector with Rando Dogs in superb cold powder for skiing

Up in the Galibier sector with Rando Dogs in superb cold powder...

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JANUARY 2015 SKI BLOG. Making the most of the snow.

Making the most of the snow that's here in the French Alps...

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Skiing in St Veran Queyras

Small resort gets 11 out of 10 from top guide + half price lifts....

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Skiing in La Grave

After the snow and wind, made sense to go to La Grave....

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Ski touring from Pont de L'Alpe to Roche Robert in the Southern Alps

Early morning ski tour with the dogs and various wildlife on show....

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Ski Tour Chirouze with the dogs. Climbing from above the village of Le Villard Late (above Chantermerle Serre Chevalier), up to the Col de Granon

Climbing from above the village of Le Villard Late (above Chantermerle Serre Chevalier), following close to the road up to the Col de Granon

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