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Tale of two very different ski tours but at the same location

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We've been more than fortunate with the quality of skiing we've had as a result of earning our turns over the course of some 14 or so sorties since November 6th and I'd be very surprised if we get a repeat of these conditions again in the next five or so years, though last year early December was pretty good as well, which sort of brings me to the subject in hand!

Last Sunday a mate of mine did a tour that I've only done once before, and he reported superb conditions, inc photos, though I was a tad dubious as I'd driven past there Friday before and did see a few cars parked up and quite a large group going up, however, I was aware that there were other lines that could be taken, so as there was really only one real window of opportunity for this week (we are very fussy) I made the call to go there and if needs must explore a little, especially as in the morning it was blowing a hooley at altitude and not much better in the valley but we had about 5cms of fresh.

What's special is that you climb in the forest and can ski in the forest or ski a wide steep glade, so numerous options, the only issue is that it is feckin steep hence after last time I named it 37 kick turns.

As KenX and I started out it became apparent there would be no issue skiing untracked, in fact our skin track quickly disappeared and we were on our own and I cussed that I had not downloaded my previous track and I hoped that without it I might still find my way through the forest.

KenX asked me why we'd not done it more often, as initially, it seemed very similar to one of our favourite forest tours, though I did remind him that a Brit was killed at altitude in a slide this year and that had sort of put the mockers on me wanting to go back up there as even though we don't tour up to the Col where the slide occurred we do ski and climb at well over 30%.

After about 30mins I was confident we were pretty well on the same route as that I had taken last time, where there was a good skin track to take, and every now and again you could just about make out a track but quickly lost it.

As we climbed higher so the gradient increases and we were in severe kick turn terrain, and not just three or four every now and again or so but a continual run of 30+ made more difficult by breaking trail and at times having to deal with windblown crust (strange to find that in the forest) and having to occasionally dig out the snow in front of the turn as the snow was so deep and steep!

Now the last time I'd been up there I was with my OH and the dogs, and my Mrs did a sterling performance and in the last 200m vertical or so the rattle was very close to getting thrown out the pram as she'd had enough and was questioning why we could not transition and ski back down and I explained it was better to get to a point above us and that then we'd have more options for the descent.

So yesterday it was me who was getting ready with the rattle as I was struggling with the snowpack, breaking trail and kick turns plus I was not too sure how good the descent would be with the snow we were encountering, but I had to go on as I would not let my OH stop so on we went, hopefully not a heuristic trap I thought rolling eyes

So we get to the transition point and I was well fecked, luckily during the transition the batteries recharge and I'm ok.

We probably in hindsight, which is easy to say now, opted for the wrong route and bejesus did we encounter some shite snow to ski and the first section well over 30% with numerous trees and bushes just to hinder your carefully planned turn.

For sure it did get better lower down but it was a bit of a horror story that I would not wish to repeat too soon.

Plus you know it's bad as we didn't bother with any video / pics etc Laughing

What is interesting is the "tale of the tape" as it were, or comparing my Strava for last year vs this year, and ironically it was only two days in it!

Last year was cold light powder, even the dogs had no issue, and as I mentioned a good skin track to follow, though still nigh on 40 kick turns

The moving time was 1:35:14 and heart rate av was 126bpm peaking at 150bpm with a perceived effort of 30 and the ski down was up there with the best!

Whereas yesterday was in a different league

Nigh on twenty mins slower 1:54:44 and av heart rate 143bpm peaking 160 and a Tough Relative Effort of 133* - in fact looking at my descent sometimes my HR was just as high as climbing up!

No wonder I felt well and truly fecked, and to make matters worse off games for a few days (I hope) with a strained knee.

*Relative Effort is an analysis of your heart rate data. By tracking your heart rate through your workout and its level relative to your maximum heart rate, we attach a value to show exactly how hard you worked. The more time you spend going full gas and the longer your activity, the higher the score. Relative Effort was inspired by the concept of TRIMP (TRaining IMPulse) coined by Dr. Eric Bannister.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Weathercam, every day on skis is a good day Very Happy
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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?
But then I wasn't the one breaking trail..........
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