By Andy Townsend, Head of Snowsports.....Rain is running in mini rivulets down the windows of the patisserie as I stir my café au lait for the hundredth time. This was supposed to be a late season ski touring holiday, instead it had turned into a few days of dodging the weather, making plans, and changing those plans whilst watching the remaining days of our holiday get washed away with the never ending rain.
The offending weather system was stretched across the central Alps and was dumping wet heavy snow with strong winds on all our possible itineraries. Instead of skiing we were getting frustrated in the valley. A chance meeting with British Mountain Guide, Andy Teasdale had let to our third or fourth coffee of the day. As I stirred my cup, I pondered why Andy was looking so relaxed; he had a group of clients for a ski touring week, so why wasn’t he pouring over maps and avalanche reports trying to find somewhere to ski?
With a scrape of his chair Andy stood, zipped up his jacket. “Right, thanks for the coffee, I’m off to ski in the sunshine of the Haute Maurienne, tata” and with that he was gone.
It took us a little time to find the Haute Maurienne on a map, but sure enough the area lies to the south of Val d’Isere and the Gran Paradiso and was forecast to miss the incoming weather. A quick trip to the map shop and we were on our way to Val d’Isere with a loose plan for a tour.