Ski Touring With Dogs in May in the French Alps

Ski touring up the Col du Lautaret

Last Hurrahs

The ski touring kit has been drying in the afternoon sun, as going into May we're having classic spring ski touring mornings accompanied by the Rando Chiens chasing those marmot whistles....

We were out on 1st May for a ski tour up 600m to the top of Gardiole, leaving Style Altitude HQ at 08.00. We transitioned around 11.30 and had pretty good spring snow all the way back down to the van, a great introduction to ski touring for our piste-loving friend, Steve aka Captain Cafe. By 12.00 noon we were sitting in, yep, a cafe in Villeneuve enjoying the sun and a cappuccino.

For Gav it was his third ski touring day in a row having climbed 750m up Combeynot for cold powder on Monday. But after the Gardiole tour he still had the energy and appreciation of the windless sunny weather to transition from Gore-tex to Lycra and cycled up the Lautaret.

For the Rando Chiens the cold firm snow, first thing is perfect and, also, the fact that marmots are sticking their heads out of their snow holes and whistling tantalisingly. The day before, up from the Col du Lautaret, the Randos (surely the only ski touring Jack Russells in the world?) must have chased around 20k to our 10k ski tour, following each whistle only to arrive at the hole just as the marmot ducked their head down, holding one middle claw up to the dogs' disappointed faces before disappearing out of sight..

So there's still easily enough snow for ski touring BUT the weather's all over the place for the next week, with sub-zero temperatures on Sunday and lashings of rain on Wednesday, which will mean, yep, more snow up top.

Therefore, we could be ski touring right up until mid-May when we head for Tarifa for a month of kitesurfing.

If it's all over for you for skiing or snowboarding you might want to check out the 5 Things To Do at the end of the season. Wash your ski/snowboard pants? Yeah or gnar...?

Ski touring in warmer foot-sweating weather will always bring out any ski boot hot spots and blisters. How are your ski boots? Having issues? Here is Gav's definitive guide to ski boot problems.