WRITTEN by CHRIS ENSOLL
One of the biggest perks of my job is spending time in amazing places with great people. Here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks, from Chamonix and La Grave - two of my favourite places for off piste skiing. Getting away from the crowds is one of the attractions of off-piste skiing and ski touring, and you'll see that with the exception of the Vallée Blanche photos, it is just us and vast areas of pristine white snow.
When I'm working in the Chamonix valley I usually stay with my friends Pete and Cathy. I had a day out with Pete, ski touring on the Aiguille des Posettes from the Le Tour ski area.
The Grands Montets is the largest ski area in the Chamonix Valley. An altitude of 3300m and north-facing slopes guarantees quality snow, even late into the season. This is taken at the top station of the Bochard cable car, at 2800m.
I've known this young man, Dave Bowles, since he was a little boy. He now lives in the Chamonix valley, and we had a day out together at the Grands Montets.
I worked a day on the Vallée Blanche with Ben Bradford of Vertical Frontiers. The first pic was taken leaving the ice cave at the Aiguille du Midi cable car station to descend the ridge to start the Vallée Blanche. The second is on the Vallée Blanche below the Geant icefall, and the third is at the bottom of the Vallée Blanche below the Montenvers train station.
I had a booking for two days with a husband and wife team, Iain and Tricia Gill, but Tricia was unable to come out due to illness. We started from the Grands Montets cable car, skied down onto the Argentière glacier, up past the Argentière hut to the Col d'Argentière
Time to leave Chamonix and travel to the Dauphiné Alps for my next work, and to stay with our friends Marvin and Lisa.
I had a couple of days in hand to ski with Marvin before my next work started. The first day we did an ascent of Pics de Combeynot from the Col du Lautaret.
I made a short video of Marvin so he could see how he was skiing. He looked pretty good to me :)
On our second day we skied at La Grave - one of the finest off-piste skiing areas in Europe. The cable car takes you to 3200m, and there are miles of amazing off-piste runs to explore.
The first day of a three-day booking with dad-and-son team Tim and Matthew Coleman. All the following pics were taken at La Grave.