Planic Attack. Deciding What's Best for Ski Touring?


So what was the plan for today's ski tour? Would there still be powder higher up on north-facing slopes? Should we head where they'd had more snow but where there were reports of it turning heavy pretty quickly? The forecast was for sun but was there enough freeze/thaw for spring snow?

Last night, Gav, like the snow in the valley, was having a melt down. Or a planic attack, trying to decide on the plan to ski tour for the best snow at this time of year and following a very varied winter snow season. Who knew how good the conditions would be for a descent of around 700m?

So Plan A was discarded, replaced by Plan B and then back to Plan A. Meanwhile I was having planxiety, fearing that snow conditions could be testing wherever we went. In the van on our way to the chosen destination (Plan B), honestly, if Gav mentioned the potential for crust once more I was going to get out and walk home.

For Plan B to work, Gav decided we should leave with our powderhound, Ullr, around half an hour later than normal for this time of year, at 09.30, as he reckoned that the powder would be transforming to that creamy texture that's almost as good as pow. This meant that our usual parking space was already rammed by the time we arrived so Plan B became Plan C with a different starting point and a more southerly aspect that looked, in the day's colder temperatures, like it could have the dreaded crust.

Plan C turned into Plan D for the ascent as Gav decided to climb up to the ridge with a magnificent view, image above, on the north-facing side which seemed to be holding the cold powder. 

And, result! It was pretty cool powder all the way down until the last 100m descent where, miraculously, the crust had melted and turned into spring snow.

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?