So the snow came and went….the sun started to shine again. Another high pressure cycle began, bringing beautiful blue skies. The stable weather does give perfect conditions for other passions not just skiing. The night sky had been beautifully clear and the stars were out in force. My friend Howard is also a keen photographer and was after a specific spot in the valley to take photos at night from. I knew the perfect place.
We clipped into our skis at about 7pm in the Le Tour car park and set off up the skin track. Already the stars were shining. We had a good feeling we were going to be able to shoot what we wanted to. Trying not to go to fast so we wouldn’t be freezing with sweat once we stopped we slowly skinned up to the mid station. We were excited so that was hard!
The snow cannons were blasting out snowy ice crystals with their lights on full beam, looking up as if they were signalling to the stars. Kinda funny as a few days before we had 50cm of real snow! The shape they were casting made for some really cool effects. Stopping briefly to see if we could capture them we snapped away. Suddenly the wind changed direction and it was as if we had been thrust on a north face in the depths of winter. Tonnes of spikey, spiney, cold, spindrifty little biting monsters were being blasting against our faces and down our necks. Time to carry on up!
Arriving on the ridge is was clear we had made a good call. Superb, clear views all the way down the valley. Hiding behind a little lonely tree which made a perfect windbreak I donned all my layers. It was cold. Two insulated jackets and a waterproof later I was a good temperature although I was very jealous of Howard’s down trousers.
Taking photos of the stars I find is very hit and miss, the first few that I take always seem to be a bit naff. It takes a while to get the right lens, right ISO, shutter speed in fact every setting needs to be perfect to get what you want. However, Once in tune, the results were super. After three hours outside we were pretty nippy and it was time for pizza! Blasting down the freshly pisted pistes with head torches on full beam we were at the car in a matter of minutes!
This is why I learnt to ski!