I have said something along these lines for the last three seasons, only to find that by Christmas Day the only snow to be had is sun-worn patches of slush. I would be the first to admit that maybe I’ve got a history of getting a bit too excited at the start of the season.
This year though, I haven’t seen the first few flurries of snow, and reacted by telling everyone how epic the season will be. For once in my life, I have had restraint. Until now, that is.
Yes, it’s about halfway through December, and at this point I’m fairly sure that the snow isn’t going to tease me and disappear again until mid-January. It’s finally safe to say (squeal… nah, I don’t do that) that this season is shaping up to be well and truly snowy. Farewell last year’s slush, rock-dodging and calling it a day early!
Forecasts for Chamonix say that it’ll be snowing for the next week at least. I don’t know about you, but after last year’s disappointing beginning, middle and end of the season in Europe, I’ll take that at face value. So (fingers crossed), the temperatures this year look at least vaguely consistent, Christmas is just around the corner and I have plans to visit Europe’s only genuine freeride focused resort.
Known as the scariest ski resort in Europe, La Grave has one lift, no ski pisting, and it’s not recommended to go up without an experienced guide. This might be the first year since 2013 that we in the French Alps get a base solid enough not to risk huge avalanches with every off-piste jaunt. (Excuse me while I perform a happy jig in my kitchen)
This year, I’ve had a bit of a late start to this season; loose ends in London have to be tied up before I can spend the next six months chasing snow. Honestly, it’s been a while since I was in the position to spend more than just portions of a season in the Alps; there’s been a lot of life to pack up and put into storage until spring. As of now though, I’m back and better than ever.
Goodbye autumn, we hardly knew you. Winter is back, baby!