What a day - 2009 dawned to blue skies, and 30 cm of fresh powder! Julia and I headed off to Vicheres, a tiny resort of just three lifts in Switzerland, to celebrate our joint birthdays. Neither of our mothers would have had a particularly great Hogmanay the years we were born as I arrived on the 1st and Julia on the 4th, though I am sure Julia would point out there are quite a few years between those two events! One of the reasons we set up Tracks and Trails is because we are both so nosy - always wanting to see what's over the next mountain and round the next corner, though maybe 'inquisitive' sounds better.
Anyway, its one of the reasons we are always seeking out new routes in places such as Vicheres where hearing an English voice is a rarity, and lift queues are virtually unheard of. The overnight powder had created a good layer on the hard packed snow underneath, enough to have us squealing with delight as we bounced our way down the mountain. After a few runs we put on our 'skins' and went off touring over to the Bec Rond area - a small and inviting summit - where there were absolutely no tracks. The views from this ridge are absolutely stunning - Mont Dolent, Mont Velan, the Grand Combin and many more. The ridge from Plan Monnay is a popular snowshoe walk, quite understandable given the viewpoint it provides - 360 degree panorama! We finished off our day by an off piste descent in untracked perfect powder until we reached the tree line at which point we found a steep descent down a forest clearing. Much fun was had coping with the deepest fluff of the day and attempts not to wipe out a spruce tree created much hilarity! Hopefully, you might join us for snowshoeing at Vicheres one of these days?
Meantime, from Julia and myself - very best wishes for 2009, we hope it's a good one for you.