Backcountry Skiing in the Pyrenees

Personal log of a novice backcountry skier in his backyard

Saioa (Nafarroa) – 15 February 2013

It’s been raining/snowing non stop for the last two weeks. Unfortunately there hasn’t been many breaks in the weather… and when they happened (half days if that) I was too busy to take advantage of them. On top of that many mountain passes have been closed to the traffic due to snow or high avalanche risk. So finally today, 48h after the last snow episode, and although I knew that the weather was going to improve drastically in the pm, I went for an early morning tour at the Saioa as I had to be at 9pm at Barcelona airport (a 5h drive).

Indeed when I reached Artesiaga it was cold, windy and there was hardly any visibility at all. Just compare today’s photo with any other photo I’ve taken previously from the very same place (like this one). Seeing though that there were some people on the mountain, I decided to follow the tracks. I hardly saw the summit before I reached it, and had there not been any tracks at all, I think I’d still be there trying to find my way. Some faces (specially S and SE) have plenty of snow while the N face sees big lumps of grass. The ski down was nice in spite of the heavy and wet cement. Had I not been in a hurry -and had the visibility been any better – I’d probably gone for seconds.

Now I’m in Barcelona for the weekend, but driving back to Donosti tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, in spite of the warm weather that was forecasted for Euskadi this weekend, there’ll be some snow left for me on Monday.

fog at artesiaga

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This entry was posted on February 16, 2013 by in Winter and tagged , , .
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