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!
It’s 10th July and here in Morzine we have just had 4 days of non-stop rain and its been cold. This is very unusual for a summer in the French Alps, as normaly we would expect long periods of high pressure at this time, bringing endless sunny days and temperatures in the mid to high 20s. Instead we woke to the sight of snow in Avoriaz this morning! Is this the first snow of winter 2014/15?! Surely not!
We are forecast a few more days of rain and then back to glorious sun next week, phew! But in the meantime, a trip to one of the glacier resorts for some summer snowboarding could be in order!
Here are some photos from Avoriaz in the snow this morning and followed by webcam photos from other resorts in the French Alps, including Tignes, Les Deux Alps, Val Thorens & Meribel.
Snow on the glacier in Les Deux Alpes, which is currently open for summer snowboarding…
Tignes in the snow which is also set for summer snowboarding on the Grande Motte glacier….
Next is Val Thorens…
And finally the summit of Tougnete in Méribel.
All this snow making you start thinking about a snowboard holiday for winter 2014/15? Why not join us on one of our snowboard camps in Morzine & Avoriaz!
Butta; how did it all start?
Butta is a UK company taking the snowboard world by storm. Jim, Co-owner of Butta came up with Butta’s own, eco friendly recipe in a ‘laboratory’ in his Dad’s garage! It doesn’t get much more home grown than that!
Jim had been a technician in servicing workshops for many years both in the UK and in France, waxing boards and skis all day every day, breathing in toxic fumes, never wearing a mask or having much ventilation. Jim says, ‘I would leave the workshop everyday feeling really bad, I had headaches, nausea, felt like I had been getting high all day and never wanted to go out. I was always tired, I didn’t want to go snowboarding, so I decided to look into the medical side effects of the products I was using and came across a study from California.
The study explained the dangers of fluorocarbons and the symptoms. They were the same symptoms that I had, nausea, vomiting, headaches, muscle fatigue, and even things like short-term memory loss and lowering your sperm count. I was about to turn the ripe old age of 30 and didn’t need any help with that! The study also advised a half hour exposure limit to fluorocarbons in any 8 hour shift which is enforced in the USA. So I had to question why I was exposing myself to this for 8 hours a day!
The study spurred me on and I set out on a little mission to find out about different eco waxes, I looked at what an eco wax was, what the difference was, how they rode on the snow and I never found one that I liked. This was when I decided to take over my Dads garage and turn it into a laboratory. This was the start of Butta. With my C in GCSE science it was not as easy as I thought it would be, however, 6 months later I came out with my first recipe, which is the Butta original.
Butta was never actually meant to go to market. It was really just for myself to use in my workshop but now, after 2 years we are stocked in over 80 shops in the UK, 3 of us still hand make every block (6,000 in the last 2 months).
My hope is that we are going to get rid of those fluorocarbon waxes, the ones that never bio degrade, the ones that people are leaving in the mountains every winter, very similar to throwing a cigarette but off the chair lift, it will stay there forever and add to that the damage to your body.’
If you are interested in joining Jim’s campaign to keep our mountains fluorocarbon free then check out www.butta.co.uk and take a look at their eco friendly products.
Butta essential tips
It’s super easy to wax you own board, read on for some tips to save you money and a step by step guide!
- You don’t need an expensive waxing iron. You can get a value iron for around £4 (in 2 years we are on our 3rd one and at times have waxed 1,500 boards in a week!)
- A keyboard stand from ebay will work well as a waxing stand. We pay around £15 instead of £120!
- Add some BMX handle grips to your keyboard stand for stability at about £5
- The Butta Service Kit gives you everything you need except the iron and stand
How to wax your board: Step by step
1 – Remove old wax from your board using the Green stuff cleaner. It’s totally eco friendly and easy to use. Never wax a board before cleaning it first
2 – Plug your iron in and have it on medium heat
3 – Holding your block of wax against your iron, drip the appropriate amount along your board evenly
4 – Evenly Iron the wax onto the base, making sure the iron is on a medium heat and never left in one place for too long
5 – One the wax has ‘set’, use your scraper to remove all excess wax. Always scrape from tip to tail.
6 – Using your brush, polish your board until the base is smooth and free of excess wax.
Keep an eye out for more tips from Jim at Butta on how to fix scrapes and dinks!
Recommend a friend and take home a pair of Anon goggles!
Our facebook friends will have seen the snow falling at Mint hq already so it’s only fair we get you even more excited about winter and tantalise you with our amazing snowboard camp deal!
From now until November 30th we have an incredible deal on our snowboard camp bookings! If you book before the deadline and get a friend to book with you, you will both receive 50€ off your booking*! As if that isn’t enough, you will also receive a pair of Anon goggles** just for bringing along your buddy!
Mint snowboard camps cater for beginners through to advanced, from piste to park, pipe and powder we have everything covered. Kick start your winter with the ever popular December Shred Progression camps to get your shred ahead of the game, or join the Burton Experience snowboarding programme which caters for those of you wishing to strap on a board for the first time. For riders with some weeks already clocked on the board we offer everything from a freestyle camp, to a backcountry shred week and a splitboard adventure camp. Try something new and keep entertained, progressing and having fun!
Have a look on our snowboard camp page on the Mint website for more information.
See you in the snow soon!
*Discount will be applied when balance is paid in full before the offer deadline
**First come first served basis based on payment in full and subject to stock availability