26th April and 4th May
Both times to Les Grands Montets at Chamonix. May was always going to be the tricky month – a poor ski season and I would have had to make an expensive trip to Zermatt or Hintertux in Austria. Les Grands Montets is north facing, high and usually stays open into May.
By the end of April most lifts in the Alps had closed, even though there was plenty of snow. Les Grands Montets extended its season until the middle of May but could have stayed open later. Both times I went the car park was full with cars from France, Switzerland and Italy. Both days were hot and sunny.
C came with me on the first day and sat in the sun, read the Weekend FT and did some blogging from 2000m. I rather sadly started counting the vertical descent that I was skiing and got to over 5000m when I decided to call it a day. Is that a lot or just average? That could be another challenge for next year – though I’ll need to get the legs fitter…
The second day, a week later was rather a carnival atmosphere with the area at Lognan set up for people to ski over a water bath as well as lots of fun and games and music. There were many people up just to soak up the sun and atmosphere. The snow was in great shape early on, but was getting a bit soggy by mid afternoon.
Les Grandes Montets is a quite awesome place. I did a bit of off-piste but not from the top cablecar as the queue was horrendous, and anyway I wasn’t so confident of finding my way down past the glaciers edge. I must get G to take me again next winter so I learn the way.