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~ Wednesday 2nd January 2013

 Santa brought lots of snow for Christmas, but also lots of wind, cloud, avalanches and warm temperatures. Challenging conditions!

Excellent powder at Arolla

Untracked to the valley!

Look closely and you can see the snowboarder crawling from the avalanche debris. Cat 3 day, steep lee slope, jumping off the cornice...

To complicate things further it's been quite busy with record ticket sales at Verbier and more people in Nax than I've ever seen there before - the new lifts have made a big difference with chairs replacing the old drags. The refurbished Bendola lift at Grimentz (still no seats though!) broke down first thing in the morning causing a frantic drive around the Val d'Anniviers in search of a working lift with no queue - St Luc came up trumps with excellent skiing. 

13 year-old cruising big turns in the Orzival bowl!

Today the sun came out for our tour to the Col des Ignes. With great snowcover right to Evolene someone suggested skinning from the house...which is a long way. Worth it though. Great views and the best snow of the winter (so far)