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Col des Courtes in Chamonix

Calm weather, stable snow,spingtime steep skiing in the Argentiere basin

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Greg van der Donk | Chamonix Contributor | Published: 18 Apr 2018

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Col des Courtes in Chamonix

After a spell of unsettled weather in Chamonix, we're now enjoying some sunshine and finally some real spring weather. Warmer temperatures means stickier snow that sticks to the steepest slopes, we went up to Grands Montets to see what this meant for the classic NE faces in the Argentiere basin.  

We joined the queue for the top bin just after 09:00, it didn't take long to get to the top and before we knew it we on our way up the basin. After a little bit of hesitation over which line to ski we decided on Col de Courtes, it had the fewest people going up and the top section was completely untouched. Being last in line, the boot pack was well established and we made quick work of the climb. 

It was sunny and windless so we paused at the top, let the group ahead of ski down, and then clicked in and skied perfect steep powder all the way down. All the classic lines in the basin have seen a lot of traffic, but are generally in good condition. The rest of the week will see warm sunny weather, but we might see a decrease in temperature and some snow in the high mountains at the start of next week. With the amount of snow we've had this winter, spring touring season looks set to continue for some time. 

check out Sam's Instagram for more on his trip to Chamonix.

Exploring beyond the ski resort boundaries is an amazing experience for anyone who's physically fit and has mastered the pistes well enough. There are, however, risks associated with venturing outside the safety of the marked/patrolled ski area, including awareness of your actions on those below you on the slopes. Mountain guides are professionally qualified and have extensive knowledge of the local terrain, to provide you with the safest and most enjoyable possible experience in the mountains; as a visitor here we highly recommend you hiring one. Many ski schools and also mountain guides provide instruction in off-piste skiing, avalanche safety and mountaineering techniques. Make your time in the mountains unforgettable for the right reasons, ski safe!

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