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Savoie inconnu 2018

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This afternoon visited one of the Savoie mega-complexes. Seemed like easiest way to get up high for acclimatization to altitude -- since I'm about to start a short ski mountaineering trip.

My hope to also catch some mushy corn skiing did not work. Too windy -- so as soon as the sun warmed some water molecules on S-facing slope, they just sublimated. Or maybe the altitude was too high.

Better days to come for mushy snow.

Ken
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fortunately the altitude acclimatization aspect seems to have worked.
Just got out from a ski mountaineering tour with key climbing sections around elevation 3600m, and steep 35-40 degree ski descent around 3400-3500m -- didn't notice any altitude-related problems, and I did get through it all up and down.

Not in Savoie, so I reported some details on UKclimbing.com
http://ukclimbing.com/forums/skiing/ski_mountaineering_france_2018-683026

Ken

P.S. tomorrow going to try some alpine rock climbing with approach on skis (outside Savoie).
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Today Sharon knew she wanted groomed-track cross-country skiing, so we went to Les Saisies yet again. Her no-wax ridge-bottom skis worked just fine in the mushy snow. She found that _more_ trails were skiable for her than said in the official snow report.
Fun time for her . . . "Quite a bargain for 5 Euros".

Fair number of people riding the lifts for downhill skiing, and cars parked in the village - (I think Les Saisies will be open into next weekend).

Ken

P.S. Meanwhile I did something unusual for Savoie ski time:
. . . rest . . .
After three days in a row of skiing and climbing.
Yesterday using skis to get to and from a multi-pitch rock climb (outside Savoie) worked rather well. See this report:
http://mountainproject.com/forum/topic/114266016/skiing-approach-to-multi-pitch-rock-climbs
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Yesterday Sharon and I tried some ungroomed backcountry snow away in Haute Savoie, lift-assisted at around altitude 2500-3200 meters, mainly S-facing, but also some N-facing. All seemed supportive (without getting into any underlying "rotten" stuff), like nice transformed spring corn snow. If we had started and finished a couple of hours earlier, surface would have been perfect mushiness, but having it slow but very skiable worked fine for us.

Day before Tuesday on-piste around 2500-3200 meters at mega-complex to the south (chosen because Sharon wanted more altitude-acclimatization before trying a backcountry tour), and found rather fun corn skiiing with (better-timed) perfect depth of mushiness.

Ken
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yesterday Sharon did her last day of cross-country skiing for this season. Was planning on Savoie Grand Revard, but checked website and found that they are (unsurprisingly) closed for the season. I suggested that she likely would still find snow on her favorite pistes there, perhaps walk around some base spots. But she checked for the higher-altitude option on the Alpe d'Huez website, which reported that three of their loops were closed, but two were expected to open.

So she made the much longer drive to this non-Savoie station, parked in the big Bergers day-parking lot. Walked into the ski pass office and they told her that cross-country skiing was not operating (despite the web report) -- no grooming had been done. After Sharon persisted and explained how far she had traveled, they said perhaps she could try hiking on the ungroomed trails. She purchased a single-ride ticket on the DMC lift. Next rode the navette / shuttle bus to Rond-point des Pistes, boarded the DMC lift carrying her skis and got off at mid-station. Found the SE corner of the Lac boucle trail, and skied out on that a ways to past the chalet.

Surface ranged from bad to OK, much impacted by walkers holes, and also snow-vehicle tracks + ruts. Turned around and skied back the same way. Decided with those conditions _not_ to ski down to the Alpe d'Huez base village, instead boarded the DMC lift at mid-station went back down on that.

Pretty views of surrounding mountains, nice to be out in the sunshine (but would not have needed to leave Savoie to do that).
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Tomorrow Sunday thinking we'll do some lift-served downhill skiing (maybe also some uphill skinning or kick-turn practice?) at
Meribel or Courchevel, having their last day of operation for the winter season.

Today we've got some infrastructure work to do (purchase some tools and a new portable refrigerator), so our gliding will be limited to rolling on asphalt close to Chambery -- Sharon on a bicycle, me getting another day of cross-country skiing with my poles with special tips for asphalt, and little wheels under my feet for skating. Preceded by some indoor climbing at Vertilac.

If might want to join for some of that, by all means let us know.

Previous two days I did a lift-assisted ski mountaineering tour, then an alpine rock climb with approach on skis, both away up around Mont Blanc. Sharon also away on Thursday rented on E-bike and did the wonderful anti-clockwise ride around the Lac d'Annecy.

Ken
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
has any snow heads met up with you yet ken?
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Not yet -- but I've been active on this Forum only a couple months.
So you could be the first to discover (and report?) the ways I'm different in the outside environment from text posts on forum.
And how Sharon is even more different.

Well I do like meeting people who love to ski. And Sharon likes meeting (also non-skiers) even more. It's usually fun + interesting, and it's rare that I do not learn something useful.

It doesn't cost anything to propose meeting-up in a forum post - (done well with that on other web forums) - so I try even if the percentage of actual meets is low.

Anyway lots of other ways to meet skiers. Like yesterday morning an English couple also arrived early at the free-day-visitor Parking at Mottaret. Same idea that it would be great to ski the final day of Meribel's season. Same idea of which lift to start on. Completely different strategy about where to base in France for skiing. Somewhat different ideas about what kinds of skiing.

Then plenty of good skiing in bright sunshine. Tho Sharon and I did most of our morning runs in the S-facing pistes above Val Thorens.

Today Sharon is out cycling on the roads of Savoie doing the wonderful Balcons de Lac du Bourget / Rhone River loop. While I'm organizing for ski mountaineering outside -- drive up to Mont Blanc massif.

Ken
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Ken and Sharon at Meribel yesterday

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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
kenr wrote:
Not yet -- but I've been active on this Forum only a couple months.
So you could be the first to discover (and report?) the ways I'm different in the outside environment from text posts on forum.
And how Sharon is even more different.

Well I do like meeting people who love to ski. And Sharon likes meeting (also non-skiers) even more. It's usually fun + interesting, and it's rare that I do not learn something useful.

It doesn't cost anything to propose meeting-up in a forum post - (done well with that on other web forums) - so I try even if the percentage of actual meets is low.

Anyway lots of other ways to meet skiers. Like yesterday morning an English couple also arrived early at the free-day-visitor Parking at Mottaret. Same idea that it would be great to ski the final day of Meribel's season. Same idea of which lift to start on. Completely different strategy about where to base in France for skiing. Somewhat different ideas about what kinds of skiing.

Then plenty of good skiing in bright sunshine. Tho Sharon and I did most of our morning runs in the S-facing pistes above Val Thorens.

Today Sharon is out cycling on the roads of Savoie doing the wonderful Balcons de Lac du Bourget / Rhone River loop. While I'm organizing for ski mountaineering outside -- drive up to Mont Blanc massif.

Ken

if I were out there Ken is love to have a meet up with you. I won't be visiting the mountains till summer now and that won't be the Alps but the Tatras. I've enjoyed reading your posts. it's some life you've got
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thanks for the kind response - (also the previous colorful one).
Hope you get to Savoie next year ... later winter / early spring -- then by all means send a message even if I haven't gotten around to posting on Snowheads forum.

Ken
snow conditions     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Tomorrow Thursday Sharon and I are going to try the frustrating (hopefully also entertaining) sport of _finding_ an outdoor climbing rock. We've got a couple of crags in mind out in the Maurienne, perhaps finding one will succeed.
. . . which if we still have time and energy remaining . . .
will lead to the better-known sport of outdoor rock-climbing - (which for us tomorrow means the Sport and/or Top-Roping variety).

Friday might try for some more sport cragging and/or a "via ferrata" climbing route.

meanwhile . . .
Yesterday Sharon skied pistes from Orelle. She reports that most of her early runs were on the Val Thorens side (while waiting for the SW-facing pistes on the Orelle side to get a bit mushy). She found some friendly bumps at Val Thorens to practice on (and saw one person who actually had less competence in those bumps than she did).

Monday road-cycling she indeed completed the spectacular and varied Rhone River + Balcons de Lac du Bourget route and finished on the (off-road) asphalt cycling trail to make it to the city of Chambery. She was on an E-bike ("velo electrique") hired from the Velostation by the Chambery gare -- and she does not care if you call that "cheating", since she had a wonderful time.

Today she (along dozens and dozens of other groups and individuals getting out on a pleasant _Wednesday_) rode an E-bike on a road-cycling route this time on the other side of Chambery . . . passing thru La Rochette + Borgneuf + Montmelian + Chignin + Challes les Eaux + St Baldoph -- thru delightful small-farm terrain, also crossing and riding alongside the Arc and Isere rivers, and finishing on the varied+pretty off-road asphalt cycle-path into the city of Chambery.

Monday + Tuesday I was away doing a ski mountaineering route in the Mont Blanc massif. Since this was outside Savoie and was substantially a _mountaineering_ outing, I posted my report to UKclimbing.com ...
https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/skiing/ski_mountaineering_france_2018-683026

Today I supported Sharon's road-cycling (by driving her with hired E-bike to starting point). Next an attempt at indoor climbing training at Vertilac gym, which led to the recognition of a more appropriate activity:
Rest

Ken
snow conditions     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
kenr wrote:
Thanks for the kind response - (also the previous colorful one).
Hope you get to Savoie next year ... later winter / early spring -- then by all means send a message even if I haven't gotten around to posting on Snowheads forum.

Ken


I'll be in Tignes over Easter next year for a week and a half maybe 2 weeks.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
April 21 is often a good time for us to ski in Savoie (keep hoping it delivers on snow). It has been a very long time since Sharon and I got out as far as Tignes for skiing. So meeting you could be a special opportunity (one of the benefits of new people).

Also I've had some long-time spring ski mountaineering objectives around there. So that could fit.
. . . (and many years ago Sharon and I used the lifts of Val d'Isere to meet Georges and Odile for two nights at Refuge Prariond, doing some nice ski tours).

Ken
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
https://www.ledauphine.com/hautes-alpes/2019/09/25/corps-decouvert-dans-le-queyras-l-enquete-va-etre-classee-sans-suite

RIP Ken Sad

An iconoclast, a mass of energy
the flame that burns twice as bright
capable of taking the Newark redeye to Geneva
Driving to Chamonix and climbing Mont Blanc
on foot and skis from the Balmat/Paccard memorial
Alone.
I guess he'll take those secret Savoie spots and other places with him.

snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@davidof, tragic news if true, having just read most of this thread and finally got to your recent post above. The linked article says "she", and I can't find any other news on web, just a blog and books by a Ken Chaddock?

https://www.skiwellsimply.com/book-ski-well-simply

Kenr certainly lived/lives to the fullest imaginable, inspiring reports especially for his age profile. And a less important message about being nice to strangers on the web, you just never know. Respect the risks.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@polo, here is a bit more information: https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/117973661/kenr-ken-roberts-has-passed-away
He was also with the Eagle Ski Club and active on the UK climbing site: https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/kenr_rip-711367
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@davidof, Feck me when I saw your first post thing this morning it only had the first couple of sentences and I thought it was some type of mickey take with a huge chunk of black humour maybe.

But come back in this afternoon and OMG.

He was called out on more than one occasion on here and did come in for a fair amount of gip, and in his defence, I did say at least he was doing stuff.

And it would seem he died doing what he loved.

Good on ya Ken RIP Sad


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 6-11-19 8:20; edited 1 time in total
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I'm upset by Ken's death. I'm torn between the thought that it's better to live a year as a lion that 100 years as a lamb but it wasn't his time. To die from a banal rock fall is unjust. Lets hope it was instantaneous.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not what I was expecting to read in this thread Crying or Very sad Sorry to hear this news.
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@davidof, classic french expression, go with the former every time, try and fit in as many years as you can....could be run over by a bus right?

it appears he was quite a character, loved the story in the comments above about him wearing a helmet to meet up's
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
what a tragic end to a thread with a difference, RIP KenR
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
davidof wrote:
I'm upset by Ken's death. ....


Yes same here, re-reading through the posts, like me, he loved doing stuff and sharing with his Mrs, Sharon, and she must be devastated.

He certainly was great for his age, and as you get older you do get more eccentric and set in your ways, and don't really give a feck about what others think, and or it just goes over your head.

We'll try and get out there for you today Ken and will not let a little bit of cloud get in the way.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 6-11-19 9:35; edited 1 time in total
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
RIP, not often we lose a snowHead , and one lost in action at that

Clearly a man who loved, lived, and died the mountains
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@davidof,
Quote:
To die from a banal rock fall is unjust
But it, or similar, happens quite often. My wife's uncle, a fully qualified Austrian Bergführer, stumbled and fell on a simple ridge on Zwölfer, his home mountain playground in Kleinwalsertal. Fell 100m and was immediately killed. Hans had climbed serious mountains all over the world and then a moment of inattention, probably looking out for the eagles that are up there... A brother of a friend of mine was hit on the head and killed by rockfall on the Widderstein in Kleinwalsertal. Ostensibly an easy climb... A friend and ski buddy of mine killed in an avalanche a couple of years ago...
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All very sobering reading above.

Not quite Inconnu, hope no one minds, but didn't find an Hirmentaz thread....very cloudy going over Col de Cou in the Vallee Vertes today. Had a quick skin up to 1600m at lunchtime but visibility was terrible so took a snap and headed back down. Nice 20cm of snow at that level and only 5-10cm at the base 1100m.

IMG-8011
snow conditions     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
polo wrote:
All very sobering reading above.

Not quite Inconnu, hope no one minds, but didn't find an Hirmentaz thread....very cloudy going over Col de Cou in the Vallee Vertes today. Had a quick skin up to 1600m at lunchtime but visibility was terrible so took a snap and headed back down. Nice 20cm of snow at that level and only 5-10cm at the base 1100m.

IMG-8011


maybe viz was better higher up? erm, ok you can't go much higher round there it is true.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@davidof, yes when it comes to altitude I'm more of a lamb in lions clothing......small steps, was my first time using skins and poles, waaaaay more efficient than shoeing.

Of course now that I'm back down it's glorious sunshine all round but sometimes the timing doesn't work out. Hope you post some other Savoie Inconnu's....I'll be back with a better pic some day for this area.

And Bernex nearby goes to 2200
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
RIP.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
polo wrote:
The linked article says "she", and I can't find any other news on web


An interesting grammar point. In French the word victim is a feminine noun, la victime, so you are always a "she" whether you are male, female, LGBQTQWERTY+ or whatever, once you are a victim of something. There is probably some deep psychological significance to the gender of nouns somewhere.
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