Girls in the Storm • February 28 - March 1, 2017

Kate and her family have skiied with Kathy on and off piste at various times over the past 5 years. Last year, Kate and some of her family branched out into touring, and she was hooked. She invited a couple of her friends to join her this year for an introductory 3 day ski touring outing.

As you'll see, our long dry spell ended quite abruptly, and just as they arrived, in a storm that literally did not let up for the entire three days! We made the best we could of it, and did manage to have a lot of fun and the deep snowy woods were beautiful. The snow was great at times, indeed our main complaint was too much of a good thing!

Other Trips with some of these folks

Kate Vacher

Chamonix - January and February 2016
Chamonix - February 2015
Chamonix - January 2013
Chamonix - February 2012

Return to all recent trips


Our first day was the worst forecast we've seen in a long time: lashing rain/snow, and high winds even at low elevations! So we hatched a conservative plan, sticking mainly in the woods and keeping out of trouble. We started out in the neighborhood of the Praz Sur Arly ski area, near Megève. A "before" photo, still dry and in good spirits, if a bit incredulous that we are going outdoors in the rain!


A bit later, the rain having turned to snow as we gained elevation, the smile is still there!


We reached a cozy and welcoming slope-side restaurant just in time, ready for a meal and a bit of warming up and drying out.


After lunch, the gale has not abated! Bracing against the gusts, we sprinted across an exposed field and back into the woods.


Our lodging in Contamines Mont-Joie: the friendly and welcoming Gai Soleil.


A charming old building with lots of character, and great host/hostess, and really nice food as well.


Our second day dawned only slightly better; the wind was down but it was still snowing heavily. We opted to again stick mostly to the woods and meadows where we could be assured of safe slopes not exposed to avalanche hazard. We began our walk at the beautiful chapel of Notre Dâme de la Gorge, dating from the turn of the 17th to 18th centuries.


The woods were even more full of snow after the long night of storm. But so beautiful and peaceful to move through.


About an hour in, we stopped to peer down into the chasms carved by a tumbling stream below the "Roman Bridge", said to have been part of a road developed by the Romans as early as the 1st century, linking the Tarentaise and the upper Rhone valley above Geneva. Today it was just lovely in the snow.


Further up, passing a group of farm buildings and old chalets, someone has a sense of humor.


Breaking out of the deep woods at last, we enter an area of wide open meadows.


We couldn't resist a detour to ski a moderate-angled glade through the woods. Burly trail breaking!


Juuuuussst steep enough to get some turns in!


Playing in and out of the track on the return voyage.


Back at the hotel, another reward for our considerable efforts.


OK, it's our last day and.... woah, wait, what's that on our faces, sunshine?!?!??? Can't be!!!


Well, it was, and it lifted our spirits. Though sadly only for a few moments!


Today's tour was up into the high country above "Romme sur Cluses", a lovely little mom and pop drag lift area far above the Arve river in the northere Aravis. Again, beautiful woods packed with new snow.


Breaking out of the trees and into the high sub-alpine.


At our high point, we really were hoping for views, or at least glimpses, of Mont Blanc. But alas, though intermittent cloud breaks allowed us views back toward Sallanches, the high peaks were stubbornly secretive. But we managed to fashion a little dining nook out of the chilly breeze for our picnic before heading back down.


This snow was actually more than skiable! Some fun was had.


It's getting seriously deep and heavy here though!


By the time we got back to the car it was soupy snow and rain again! Gotta love it in a (very) sick sort of way. So I hope the gals will come back for another try with a better forecast! It was fun, wasn't it? Thank you all and see you again soon.

Your Comments - more info
comments powered by Disqus