The early part of November 2016 has seen epic quantities of snow fall on the Portes du Soleil, France. Avoriaz received the first snowstorm on 5th November with Morzine getting covered with a blanket of snow too. Temperatures have been unseasonably cold with snow falling right down into the valleys, as low as 500m in altitude. On 13th November The Sunday Times Travel section announced that a massive 161cm of snow had been recorded in the Portes du Soleil! Here are some photos of this November snow and of winter 16/17 so far in the Portes du Soleil.
On 12th September we woke up to blue skies after another night of fresh snow, so we got the splitboards out for a tour up the Pointe de Chesery. Below are some photos of the epic November snow conditions in the Portes du Soleil, check here for more photos of our splitboard tour.
Due to the huge amount of early snow, Champery on the Swiss side of the Portes du Soleil, has announced that it will open 1 month early, on 19th November 2016. Avoriaz is set to open on Friday 9th December, although rumours are circulating that both Avoriaz and Les Gets might open early – we will keep you posted if so!
Have these pictures fuelled your stoke for snowboarding? We still have a few spaces on our pre-season snowboard camps, from 11th to 18th December, with 7 nights in a catered chalet in Morzine and 5 full days of coaching on the slopes of Avoriaz. With over 20 people booked on, we have groups of all levels from Beginner to Intermediate and Advanced Technical Performance. Join us and make the most of these epic conditions!
After a slower than usual start to the winter, the snow gods answered our prayers in January with an abundance of snow. The guys on our Off Piste Freeride course in early February enjoyed some fantastic snow conditions, with bluebird powder days and endless untracked descents throughout the week.
This course involves 5 full days of exploring the off piste terrain around the Portes du Soleil on the French / Swiss boarder. Our UIAGM Aspirant Mountain Guide, David Gladwin, led the pack with his second to none knowledge of the backcountry terrain in and around the Morzine – Avoriaz area.
The group enjoyed plenty of long off piste descents of over 1000 vertical meters, with first tracks all the way. Towards the end of the week they tackled some steeper, more challenging routes, involving hikes up to peaks unaccessible by ski lifts.
The course also included technical input into off piste snowboarding techniques, to help the group master the different types of terrain and snow conditions. You have to be able to tackle anything that the mountain throws at you!
And as ever David, who is a slight snowpack geek, enjoyed giving the group an understanding of avalanche risk and safety… and explaining how he makes calculated decisions when guiding them on their daily snowboard adventures.
Everyone finished the week absolutely exhausted and totally buzzing off snowboarding. Success!
DON’T MISS OUT on riding powder this winter… join us from 29th February to 4th March 2016 on the next Off Piste Freeride course!!!
Check out some of the photos of the freeride week below:
Thanks to the freeride group for the photos: Chris, Simon, Viet, Kev, Wael & Malcolm.