The STYLE ALTITUDE regular ski blog and webcam with daily updates in the winter featuring weather, conditions and riding reports on piste, off piste, sidecountry, slackcountry and backcountry from our HQ in the Southern Alps. Also, regular posts throughout the year with blogs and news from the mountains.
Catch what's happening in the mountains with our ski blog and Live WebCam looking across to the pistes of Serre Chevalier 1400 Villeneuve, France. Check back on our earlier ski blog for February here
CLICK HERE FOR LIVE CAM which is at the bottom of the page
FIRST DAY OF SPRING - AND A WARM SPRING TOUR
- 20th March 2017
- Elaine Deed
Mobiles were buzzing last night with plans for a ski tour, this morning, over the Grand Area up the Granon road. I understood from Ken that there would be seven of us including two other wives. So I was hoping for a mellow tour. Of course, there's always the possiblity that the other women could be fitter and faster than guys but I only know one other gnar female tourer - and she's married to a mountain guide. So I was lulled into thinking it would be a 'sortie cool' as the CAF call the sort of tour that's not steep, icy and adrenaline fueled.
It was a classic blue sky ski touring morning. But the thermometer was rising rapidly. It was already hitting 6C at 8am parked up on the Granon road at 2000m. When Ken drove up to our van my heart sank a little as only three guys got out. No wives. I then spotted an ice axe on Richard's backpack. It soon became apparent that the plan was to go a new route, high and along a ridge where it 'might' be icy requiring ice axes and boot crampons. None of which we had with us. And which,actually, I don't even own.
So Gav and I bailed, erring on the side of safety and, also, knowing that being exposed on a ridge is not my favourite place on earth. Plus we had the Rando Chiens with us. So we skinned up 600m, instead, a total of 4K climbing to the far less exposed ridge of the Crete de Cristol.
We had the amazing dual view - south to the pistes of Serre Chevalier and north to Nevache.
After a short break enjoying the absolute peace of the mountains, warm spring sunshine and sharing pate en croute with the Rando Chiens, we skied down to the sweet sound of shifting sugar snow, steeper at the top but easy turning all the way back to the road.
Ken and the other two guys weren't back by the time we got to the van. But Ken confirmed via text that I would have hated the exposed ridge. He also sent the image below. Yep a slide, emphasising the danger of timing and rapidly warming snow:
- 18th March 2017
- Elaine Deed
Lazarus has risen. After a week nursing an infected ankle, Gav decided to don ski boots and go touring. The reason is that he's had his boots 'remodelled' by Benoit Dran of Feet & Fit in Briancon and can now wear them without pain. The Rando Chiens barked Halleluyah, we're back on tour.
Except this morning dawned with blue sky and some high cloud, then got progressively worse turning into more of a greybird day. We were half way up one of our favourite ski touring routes when the weather closed in and the wind whipped down from the peaks. It was also keeping the snow hard and icy on long traverses, which didn't help Gav's ankle or my vertigo.
So we called it a day and skied down in flat light and what was surprisingly good spring snow.
- 17th March 2017
- Elaine Deed
The mercury's rising here in Serre Che and in most of the Alps. Percipitation is due sometime at the end of next week but rain or snow? Fingers crossed the temperatures drop enough for more of the white stuff.
Gav's been back nearly a week from the epic ski tour of the Alpes Maritimes and still can't put on a ski boot. If you've got five minutes, grab a coffee, read his Tour Guide report and catch some of the breathtaking pics from the Alpes Maritimes Mercantour ski randonnee tour .
Catch up on this winter's ski blogs:
March 2017 ski blog
February 2017 ski blog
January 2017 ski blog
December 2016 ski blog
Check back on Winter 15-16:
Live cam is located here (on the ground floor)
View detailed snow forecast for Serre Chevalier at:
Link to alternative static webcam: