Outdoors Magazine

Off-piste and Ski Touring January 2012

By Mountainspirit

Second episode of our monthly updates on Winter 2012, featuring again the off-piste skiing in Chamonix.

To summarize skiing conditions in Chamonix the last 4 weeks: A few seriously snow-loading storms with up to one week high pressures in-between, allowed for a lot of powder skiing off the lifts as well as a good start of the ski touring season.

The general snow cover is better then ever and we especially enjoy all the skiing on the lower half of the mountains down to the valley floor, exploring new variations that are seldom skiable but now full of fluffy snow on a thick base.

However, we must admit that the camera came out almost exclusively on sunny days…enjoy the result!

January Skiing 2012

Weather and Snow Report

First week of 2012 it was still snowing almost every day with good melting temperatures in-between the storms. Often the dumps started with rain in lower altitudes and hard winds up high. Getting to ski all the favorite shutes down to the valley floor that were never skiable last winter added lots of interesting options also for the snowy days.

A sunny period in mid-January got us started on the ski touring training… Fun skiing in not so high altitude, such as in ski touring in the Aiguilles Rouges and from Brevent and Le Tour, offered the most and best snow.

During 20-21 Jan, again it fell enormous amounts of snow, and most of the Chamonix lifts remained closed for 2 days. Until blue skies opened up the full potential of the high mountains, the tree skiing on Grands Montets and Brevent was the savior that delivered never ending face shots. Topping this with some moderate snow falls and cold temperatures during the last days of Jan, the snow was finally perfect (and in perfect amounts) for powder skiing on big, open slopes.


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