Backcountry Skiing in the Pyrenees

Personal log of a novice backcountry skier in his backyard

Cap de Marimanha (Val d’Aran) – 3 March 2013

Second -and last- day of the ski touring course with the plat de résistance. A tour that is not technical nor difficult, but that has a very long approach: the Cap de Marimanha. The conditions were still great (both the weather and the snow, which was holding on extremely well in the shady areas), but this time I wasn’t so lucky with the set up I hired; specially with the Scarpa Avant TLT boots (discontinued as far as I know). They felt way too loose and heavy, and made me suffer a lot during the long grueling approach (and gave me a couple of blisters). On top of that, as the day progressed they were feeling looser and looser and made me feel very insecure during the more technical downhill bits near the resort. The skis I got were a pair of 178m Mustagh Ata Superlight; I found them very easy to ski …until we hit the packed and groomed bits near the station. By then not only I was tired, but as I said before my boots were feeling very lose and I had very little control on the skis. Before that, I had some issues with my binding on the steepest (and final) push to the summit, which made me stop short of the Cap de Marimanha. A shame, but I decided to play safe as I didn’t want to loose one ski there. All in all 15kms for a +1300m tour.

Now I’m back at home; from the highway I saw that the Saioa has some snow left but we are having very high temps and I’m not sure if it’s going to be worth driving there for some knee deep soup. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye on the forecast… which doesn’t look so good: a S front with rain and high temps is hitting the Pyrenees tomorrow. We’ll see.



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This entry was posted on March 4, 2013 by in Winter and tagged , , , .
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