It's that time of year when it's not all about skiing
Decisions decisions to ski or to cycle though does depend on the Weather Gods on the daySki touring or cycling later in the day are the decisions to be made this time of year as we hope for sub-zero temps overnight or temps in the 20's by noon
It seems this past week that we suddenly jumped from winter to summer with maybe only a few days of spring in-between.
Temps in the afternoon were consistently in the mid to high 20s and by early afternoon it was almost a game to spot any skiers attempting to ski back down into the valley on the slushy slopes. Now as we enter the last week of the season those valley runs down into resort are looking very shabby indeed and some like the Luc Alphand piste are closed along with the lifts at Monetier.
It's almost a choice of which side of the valley to go out and play on, the sun-kissed, south facing slopes devoid of snow are perfect for hiking and cycling or the north facing slopes that still do have reasonable amounts of snow above 2,100m.
We're fortunate in Serre Chevalier in that we can drive up towards the Col du Lautaret 2,058m, park up and then we have a choice of ski tour routes, though taking the dogs means we are restricted to the Galibier / Vallon de Roche Noire sectors.
With the hot temperatures of last week, I opted to go ski touring with our mountain mutt, Ullr, taking a route that only four days previously I was skiing cold windblown snow (some would call it powder). In fact, these are the activities for last week:
Sunday 10th April: Ski Tour Vallon de Roche Noire
Monday 11th April: Ski tour for Crete de Côté Plaine
Tuesday 12th April: Cycling in the Valley
Wednesday 13th April: Cycling up to the Lautaret
Thursday 14th April: Piste skiing working on carving technique
Friday 15th April: Ski Tour Crete de Côté Plaine
Saturday 16th April: Resort Slackcountry Ski Touring
Sunday 17th April: Cycling Col du Granon
So as you can see it was a pretty active week!
The Friday ski tour up to the Crete de Côté Plaine was especially memorable as it was the first time that Ullr, who is now 13 months old, had really encountered classic spring snow, and the added firmness of the snow pack allowed him to really let rip over the snow. He was loving it as you'll see from the video below.
As I type this it could well be the last day of summer before a possible return to autumn/winter, with the prospect of snow at the weekend at altitude, so it's out with the bike and cycle over to Italy for coffee.
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