It's been two months since the last time it snowed in our area. After having gone to scrape the last turns of powder, we begin to go around in circles. We look back, we go back in our photo archives, to see if it was better before.The touring pictures of exactly one year ago indicate that the snowy coat was not much thicker than the one of today. Then, we continue to scroll the photos in search of meters of snow. Suddenly, we come across photos from the winter of 2022, which seem to date from the last century.
Back to the past - La Grave and Courmayeur
It was the end of February 2022, when the Swiss resorts were crowded after almost two years of forced closure, Arnaud and Lois took the opportunity to make a small road trip in the direction of the 60s and 70s.First stop was La Grave, a legendary freeride destination. This place looks like an abandoned resort. It seems that even the rainfall has abandoned the region in recent years. La Grave looks like the defunct Super St-Bernard resort in Switzerland. The hour spent on the way up in the cabin is almost more exhausting than the descent. On arrival, a double espresso is needed before opting for one of the pretty couloirs. Time has stopped here, and so has the group of Americans in front of us. One hour waiting for each rope-mate to finish his Marlboro and descend the abseil. No stress. In this valley, we take the time to discuss with each other, to talk about the lack of snow. As usual.
On the way back, a short detour through the Aosta Valley is necessary. On the Italian side, Canadairs are spraying the mountain. A forest fire in the middle of February. All is well.By chance, Courmayeur benefited from the residues of precipitations which fall on the Mont-Blanc. Once on the spot, we have the choice between a brand new skyway which brings you in a flash on the massif of the Mont Blanc, or a cabin of 1960 which looks like a bathyscaphe of Jaques Piccard. As we are there for the adrenalin, we opt for the second option.
Courmayeur remains one of the historical capitals of ski touring and mountaineering. The atmosphere in this resort is light and you feel good. The food, not light, is excellent and the descents in the coniferous forests are surprisingly good despite the lack of snow.Return in Switzerland, we promise ourselves to return there.
Besides, it snowed 50 centimeters in the Italian Alps. Let's go back there?