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~ Wednesday 25th March 2015

This week is the Eagle Ski Club "Slightly Steeper" week, billed as E3 S4 in Eagle grades. For people who can skin 1000m every day and ski 40 degrees in control, there's no shortage of "slightly steeper" skiing in the Val d'Hérens! Based in the friendly, family-run Hotel les Mélezes in les Hauderes, there's a huge choice of areas within 20 minutes' drive.

The week started with a wet weekend - it's never good to arrive in the rain - but it meant fresh snow for Sunday...

Down to the Vallon des Ignes.

Perfect weather on Monday but a poor forecast for Tuesday pushed us into making the long climb to the Pointe de Vouasson. Tough going for day 2, but worth it for the descent to Evolene. Reaching the summit we found only 1 set of tracks in the huge NE face - and they turned right onto the "normal" route, leaving us the un-tracked glacier tongue.

Skiing off the top of the Pointe de Vouasson. Perfect.

Blue sky, white snow, fresh tracks.

Nax on Wednesday, with the excellent lift access giving post-Vouasson legs a break! We still ended up skinning around 800m, but saw no-one and skied un-tracked slopes all day.

Skiing the NE face of Mont Noble

Off Piste on the North Face of Mont Noble. All the tracks are ours.

Today the forecast was poor, but happily it turned out ok in Evolene. Up the Pic d'Artsinol, down the Dixence side, and back up over the Rionde de Vendes before skiing a great spring descent into the forest - new ground for me too! The ski world is fond of "secret" spots, but often all it takes is a little touring. With a map, some imagination and a little luck we've skied 4 days now without meeting anyone or skiing tracked snow!