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Sat Apr 12, 2003

Final ski

I had made a pact with James and myself that I had skied the last snows of the season. James wouldn't have the opportunity, and for me it was expensive without guaranteed work. But when someone suggested a last mad pash dash ski it proved to be beyond my powers of denial. The Pashone was back in form after a positive prognosis for his back problem, and he delighted in reporting a late heavy snowfall across the western alps. So it was we arrived saturday evening at the Brusson house of Max di Brusson in Brusson for officially the final ski of the year.

We had with us a new face - Alastair from Britain. Alastair proved to be a competent skier, having learn't his craft on the sparse icy slopes of the British highlands. We explored the area from Champoluc across to Gressoney and down to Alagna. Being so late in the season the slopes were quiet but the snow was still good if a little compact and icy in the early morning. We saw little evidence of the 40cm reported fallen. Perhaps the sun had already done its work and we kept mainly to the pistes until we reached the head of Gressoney. Here you find some of the best off-piste runs in Aosta and we descended the Vallone d'Olen Bedemie before re-ascending and taking the slow run back down to Gressoney for lunch. This was pretty tough on snowboard, the snow was sticky with just a few to many flat areas to be enjoyable. The situation however was superb, the views amazing. This was the longest 'off piste' run I had yet done, and it was great to be off the piste where skiers surely provide greater danger than a well judged avalanche assesment.

We didn't waste any time in celebrating the final final ski with a beer and a crescendo of owl noises in the bar.


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