There are worse places to be in lockdown. The sun is shining, the view is spectacular and the supermarkets have plenty of loo paper. But it's like going cold turkey staring at the snow covered mountains...
It's mid-morning on Wednesday, the first full day of French lockdown and needing a permit to go out. Having noted the PGHM of Briancon requesting ski tourers not to go up in case of the need for rescue and hospitalisation, we are now looking out at the mountain opposite Style Altitude HQ, spotting a handful of tourers ascending the pistes.
But, yesterday, Le Figaro reported that in Chamonix one ski tourer died in the Northern Alps and another plus a snow shoer were injured on the first day of confinement of the population and despite calls from rescuers for no one to go out on the mountains.
In Isère, the PGHM of Grenoble took a ski tourer to hospital who fell and dislocated his hip. One of the group he was with pretended he hadn't heard about the confinement, according to the rescue service.
The PGHM and CRS of the Alps, in charge of mountain rescue, supported by the French Federation of Alpine and Mountain Clubs (FFCAM, 95,000 members) and the National Union of Mountain Guides, have called on ski tourers to give up excursions to avoid giving rescue and hospital services extra work during the coronavirus crisis.
So it is tempting to go up the mountain especially as dog walking is allowed and the Rando Chiens do love uphill walking on the snow but Gav is going cycling up to the Lautaret, which is allowed - and probably far more likely to end in injury than skinning up and skiing down the piste...
Search the Site
MOUNTAIN VIEWS: Weather Reports & Webcam
Views from the mountain WebCam along with weather reports and conditions...more
Another day, another great ski tour in Japan. It's so easy to fall into a rhythm every day of skinning up, skiing down, soaking in an onsen, having a beer, eating traditional Japanese food. And, then, waking up to repeat it all over again...more
SKI K2 PEAK TO BASE? MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? OR POSSIBLE? Watch a new feature length documentary called The Impossible Descent, revealing how Polish ski mountaineer Andrzej Bargiel became the first to ascend K2 without oxygen and to click into his bindings at 8,611m and descend without removing his skis...more
THE CORONAVIRUS EFFECT ON SKI RESORTS 2020/21. Should you book your ski holiday now? Or wait and face rising prices? The ski industry is holding its breath praying there is no further fall out for skiing and ski resorts next winter...more
TOP TIPS FOR SKIING OFF PISTE AND POWDER. How do I ski powder? How is skiing off piste different to on piste? Do I need fat skis to freeride? Check out these tips from ski instructor, James King, to ski powder like a pro...more
THE TOURING 20s. Those whopping lift queue images from Vail that went viral in February as well as the coronavirus pandemic have been a wake up call for American ski resorts, realising it's time to dial down the crowds, reduce car travel and even create a resort without lifts, for more chilled and environmentally-conscious skiing experiences in the future...more
The cycling season for me would normally start in late March but 8 weeks of confinement meant I could only cycle within a one km radius of home, so other strategies were required to get cycling fit...more
Getting out of Dodge (Italy) in haste back in March, it seemed a good plan to return, post covid lockdown, and collect all the gear before heading back to the UK. But make a plan, make God laugh...more