Day 1 – drove overnight from London, arrive in 1 metre of fresh snow, most of Chamonix areas closed apart from from Les Houches, so skied there. Freshtracks all day but getting heavy with the lower height and warmer conditions.
Day 2 – Grand Montets (3300m), Argentiere open for the first time since the snow – queued for 1.5hrs and 1hr for only two runs, but amazing lift accessed fresh powder turns on both runs (Point de vue & Pylones). Good visibility.
Day 3 – Argentiere – most lifts closed, heavy rain turning to snow by mid-morning – decided to skin up the dedicated skinning path to right of Lognan cable car through the trees. 800m vertical, c.2.5hrs.
Day 4 – Grand Montets, Argentiere open again with fresh snow, 2 fabulous freshtrack runs before the weather closed in and closed the lift. Afternoon in tracked powder under the Tabe chairlift.
Day 5 – met with Ski Club GB guides Kathy, Hannah & Andy to ski with for remaining 6 days – Courmayeur, Italy (2755m) for fresh powder, trees runs in poor visibility. Amazing lift accessed powder tree runs until lunch when the weather closed in.
Day 6 – 1 metre of snow overnight – St Gervais/Megeve – low down resort, with trees. Eating powder all day!
Day 7 – Argentiere – two couloirs under Lognan cable car, then Grand Montets x2 after lunch and then back down one of the couloirs.
Day 8 – Courmayeur – warm and heavy with 4/5 avalanche risk – long lunch!
Day 9 – blue sky Vallée Blanche, with 600m vertical (1 3/4hr) skin, from Courmayeur Skyway (because of the crowds in Chamonix), skied back all the way to Chamonix.
Day 10 – blue sky Vallee Blanche with short skin again from the Italian side, train back to Chamonix from Montenvers. Then finished the adventure with two more Grand Montets, front and back.
Snow conditions from very deep powder, light and fluffy to heavy powder, then chopped powder and moguls. Introduce some climbing on skins and the fitness demands are very high. The holy trinity of skill, equipment and fitness (relative to the group) was all tested but in testament to the Ski Fitness programme, my fitness was very high.
I put this up to follow-up on the concept that the Ski Fitness programme is tried and tested (amended and re-amended) to ensure it actually works in the real world.
“What is even better than finding a good book like this is knowing that the author is not just a cut-n-paste expert, or an academic, but a tried and tested elite athlete with authentic wisdom to share. I have personally witnessed Ollie’s incredible athletic ability, and since he is proof of his teachings, this book will get you there!” Paul Chek