We spent a day testing Black Crows this week with the crew of Paul Prentice, Andrew Jordan, Sally Bartlett and Tom Grant. Some of the snow we encountered was so wet and sticky it was nearly unskiable but a bit of a giggle none the less. As the sky cleared the snow started to dry out and the best turns were found at the end of the day.
My quiver choice was the Nocta for every day downhill freeride happiness, the Corvus for a phat performance freeride tourer with low tech bindings and the Orb Freebird for a big mountain touring / steep ski. For those that prefer something a bit softer there is also plenty to choose from in the range.
Today was about just getting out for me. Its been an emotional period, I hadn’t skied for a couple of weeks, my back was untested after injury, I wasn’t sure if the psyche was there for skiing big mountains…knowing the NE spur of the Courtes was in made it the obvious choice, nothing too hard or scary to try and regain the feel for it.
I was joined by Max, Tom and Dave although Dave had to turn back with binding issues. We made steady progress climbing the face in the sunshine but as we arrived at the lower angled summit slopes, the sun moved off and the snow started to refreeze. We called it a day and skied from there.
This is the fifth route I’ve skied on this mountain and I think the 11th time I’ve skied off Les Courtes. Truely a skiers playground.
Afterwards we watched Sami Haapasalmi and his Finnish friends ski the right hand finish of Col Aiguille Verte. Hats off for ticking one of the steepest sustained ice slopes in the Alps.
Tom enjoying the refrozen crusty snow through this section.
Tom having fun.
Max enjoying good pow.
Tom ripping it up.
Max blasting to the bottom.
The skiers are at half height. The bootpack is obvious. Steep. Can you spot the 4 skiers?
Still looks steep from this angle!