After a couple of below average snow years here in the Alps old man winter finally delivered in style for the 17/18 splitboarding season. A couple of good sized dumps saw us riding deep, cold powder in early November but we refused to get too excited about the prospect of a bumper year – we’ve been burnt on that before!
By mid December it was pretty clear that the base was of sufficient depth already that it wasn’t going to go anywhere soon. Any more snow now was just a bonus and pow days became the norm once again here in the Portes Du Soleil.
Question what you already know.
The snow just kept on coming down along with the wind….slabs were building all over the place and choice of zones and lines to ride was becoming increasingly difficult to call.
For example: there is a classic off-piste line (Le Fontaines Blanches) off the back of the French Pre la Joux side heading down left into Morgins in Switzerland. Most seasons we would use a safe ( a large raised hillock) stopping point halfway down in case of a slide as the snow would then channel down either side of it leaving you safe on the top.
However when it did avalanche in February of this year it totally buried the hillock due to the sheer volume of accumulated snow (nobody was caught or hurt by the way) so it was back to the drawing board on risk assessing a lot of lines. Not a bad problem to have but still a problem as many zones in the Abondance valley were shut down because of avalanche debris in the usual run outs – it was over 10 metres high in some places. Oo lala…
We had already done a bunch of splitboarding, a lot of splitboard hire, Never Summer 2019 range snowboard test days and bespoke long weekends for clients before March rolled around and the start of our advertised (and fully sold out) weeks.
The first trip was 3 March and we finished on 20 April. Here are a few photos and videos taken along the way. Hope you enjoy looking and check back soon for the 2019 season splitboard course and trip details.