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PYRENEES 2017-18

 Poster: A snowHead
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@Pyremaniac, just going to be working the lifts and maybe doing a bit of shaping in the snowpark if they need an extra pair of hands. Been wanting to work up there for a while now so very happy to get a foot in the door! Luckily it's a station that is busier in summer than winter so maybe year round work(ish). Petit train d'artouste in summer, done it a couple of times and it really is good so would love to be working on it.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Pyremaniac, beautiful pictures. snowHead
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I was out in the French Pyrenees last month. Finally got round to making this video - I genuinely was so impressed, will definitely be back -


http://youtube.com/v/6aSCMEliY40
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@Pyremaniac Love those pictures and the report, just two weeks to go for us now so I'm getting excited. Looking at the webcams last night I could see more snow falling, although it looks a bit windy today. Is it half term now?

@iainm Your video has me tempted to try St Lary for a long weekend! After a great trip to Champoluc, we decided that we can do without ski in ski out accommodation sometimes, and being in a village makes a nice change. Not sure how this would work with transfers from Toulouse though, they're kind of expensive if you don't want to drive or arrive on a Saturday
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@Pyremaniac, great report, great photos. I can't wait to return.
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@dubmuffin - not so sure about transfers. I hired a car and drove to Saint Lary from Toulouse, was pretty straightforward. Saint Lary is not big, lots going on in town. Most central accom is just a short walk from the gondola. Have a great trip!
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Just spent 2 days in Ax 3 Domaines and 1 in Masella

I'd never been to Ax before, what a pleasant surprise, the snow was simply sensational, away from the main arteries the mountain was pretty quiet and there was whole pistes full untouched knee high powder and loads of easily accessible off piste. The area is a lot bigger than I expected, more than enough to occupy someone for 4 days +, it's also cheap at about €36 a day. Then you have the town of Ax Les Thermes, which has some great restaurants and being a thermal town it has a great spa/baths, there is also an open air pool of thermal water at the Telecabina where people can sooth the weary feet after a day on the piste..

We were scheduled to leave on Saturday night but there was an issue with the tunnel de Puymorens which was causing 5 hour+ (!) tailbacks to the town, so we stayed an extra night. On Sunday it started raining so we went to Masella, lots of people and plenty of snow, the easily accessible off piste had already been well skied out, and the powder already had a crusty feel to it. In my quest to find fresh powder I got my snowboard stuck in the forest, took the board off and once I planted my boot into the ground the snow came upto my chest! Took me about 20 minutes to get out, learned my lesson there..
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@mrvinegar - good feedback. I want to try and get to Ax next season
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@Dubmuffin - here's some info on transfers from Toulouse - €23 each way
http://www.n-py.com/fr/tourisme-pyrenees/bons-plans/ski-toute-la-saison/navette-aeroport-toulouses-stations-pyrenees-2-vallees
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Save some for us people!!! I'm just hoping "global warming" keeps itself at bay for the next 5 weeks before we arrive in Arinsal... the conditions look blooommmin ace at the minute NehNeh
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Light rain and poor visibility all over Grandvalira today.
Pistes were quite busy even though the French school holiday don't start until tomorrow.
Made up for the realitvely poor skiing with a excellent lunch in CBBCs just above Pas. Finally, sorted out their appalling service and food seemed better than I remembered.

Snow coverage is good if somewhat mushy with the high temperatures.

The roads were conjested coming up as well left so looks like it was going to be a busy weekend.

Might try and get out midweek, if the sun comes out.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@mortonia, oh dear, rain and mush, not a nice end to the week. From what I understand, it is due to get colder and there appears to be a little more snow forecast so next week shouldn't be too bad. I have my fingers crossed for good conditions the following week.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Snow just about down to 1400m today though a little wet I hear. 5cm of fresh reported, sun and cool tomorrow, colder mid week.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
This video is pretty scary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=wGTHS5x1Skc

Nobody too badly hurt it seems https://www.facebook.com/BaqueiraBeretEsqui/posts/1623914687695755
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@mrvinegar, I saw this on an instagram feed. Bit scary! Shocked
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Saw some huge crowns and very deep avalanche debris on the slope last year. Worryingly also saw some tracks running across the slope, cut by the avalanche path.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Reports of a bit of fresh snowfall had me off to Arcalis in Andorra today. I had a nice day in the sunshine but in hindsight I should have gone to the Grandvalira. Although the coverage was excellent, and the pistes in good nick, last week's slight thaw has crusted over the off-piste and what little dusting they had yesterday was clearly not sufficient. Arcalis is one of the better freeride resorts in the Pyrenees but it's rather limited in terms of pistes.

More snow is forecast monday and tuesday.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the breaks in the weather have been few and far between during the last week or so. In the central Pyrenees in particular, it's been hard to find moments to even bother stepping out of doors!

In Baqueira, there was a small window last Friday:





followed by several hours of sun (a miracle!) on Sunday morning, which was very enjoyable. By midday though, the black clouds were already forming overhead...

....to give us almost a metre of new snow between Sunday night and this morning snowHead

The whole of the Bonaigua sector has been closed for the last couple of days and was so for several days last week too, due to the inevitable avalanche activity after last week's short but effective rain episode; the Pyrenees looked like a bomb site afterwards, with pretty much everything purging. I think they're being extra cautious at the moment in Bonaigua, after that video from last Thursday has been doing the rounds (it's never a good look to have serious avalanches almost reaching open pistes, is it; but that piste is literally the only connection between the eastern side of Bonaigua and the rest of the resort, so if it shuts then so does the entire sector.) Tragically, around the Pyrenees there were several avalanche deaths on the following day or two, despite the avalanche bulletins being very clear about the risks. As for the last couple of days, just as we've seen several times this season already, the flag went from 1 on Sunday (the top of the snowpack was absolutely rock solid after that rain had frozen) directly to 4 on Monday... nobody can accuse this winter of being boring!

The snow levels are fantastic all across the Pyrenees; there's hardly anywhere with less than 2 metres up top; Porté Puymorens in the French Pyrenees just to the east of Andorra has 3 metres.

Which brings us to the next few days: it looks like it could be the weekend of the season this weekend! snowHead Mostly sunny from Friday to Sunday, with low wind and endless powder! Anyone who's out there should make the most of it... we haven't had three consecutive nice days since New Year (maybe not even two in Baqueira), and the snow returns next week.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 22-02-18 0:00; edited 2 times in total
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Pumba, sounds great - let us know how you get on.
iainm, great video! There are some lovely resorts on the French side... I wish the Pyrenees were a bit easier to traverse so that I could visit them more easily without such long drives!
mrvinegar, I too liked Ax and would definitely like to visit again on a powder day. I reckon it could be a bit of a treasure trove.
AlunAlun, it's easy to make that mistake with Arcalís; I've done it myself a couple of times. You need to be really sure that it's a powder day and not just a few centimetres.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
2m of snow in two days in the French Pyrenees...leading to some challenging driving for the piste basher guys...


http://youtube.com/v/Pug0KSM1FAA
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Ha that video is great

This weekend is going to be awesome for those lucky enough to go

I'm a bit worried about that cold front due to hit next week, I'm booked into Baqueria from Wednesday onwards...
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
http://premsa.gencat.cat/pres_fsvp/AppJava/meteocat/notapremsavw/304983/ca/fred-intens-neu-cotes-baixes.do
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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@mrvinegar, My limited understanding of Catalan (?) seems to suggest that is a severe weather warning - would I be correct? Off to Andorra on Sunday so have my eye on that low too, although I have been rather preoccupied with the UK forecast lately snowHead

We need an on the spot update from @Pyremaniac Smile
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Here is a google translated version

"...will affect Catalonia between Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28. In this scenario, an episode of snow is expected extensive, with a level that could lower to sea level. The accumulated thicknesses throughout the episode may be between 0 and 5 cm at points on the coast, between 5 and 15 cm in the pre-littoral and central depression, and between 15 and 30 cm in the Pyrenees and the Pre-Pyrenees, especially in the southern slope. The snowstorm will rise from Wednesday at noon, and on Thursday rainfall in the form of snow will be restricted to the Pyrenees and the Pyrenees."
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Ah yes, I did see a big mass of snow covering northern Spain when viewing a UK forecast yesterday, that explains it. Our friends are driving up to Andorra la Vella from Barcelona sometime on Wednesday - that'll be fun!
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Will be in Baqueria from Sunday for a week. Should I bring my Soul 7's ?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Arriving Pas tomorrow... So if me and my bro did fancy paying for a free ride guide/ beginner course, would it be Weds or Thurs which would see the most fresh stuff?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Not a bad day in Grandvalira today.

Missed the powder by a couple of days with most of the off piste skied out, but snow still in good condition with patches of fresh if you hunt around.

Piste conditions are excellent and not as busy as I was expecting with it being French school holidays.
Connections lifts queuing, but nothing too long.

Weather was closing in a bit towards the end of the day so lets see what tomorrow brings.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Whagwan wrote:
Arriving Pas tomorrow... So if me and my bro did fancy paying for a free ride guide/ beginner course, would it be Weds or Thurs which would see the most fresh stuff?


Current forecast shows Wednesday to be a bit stormy / windy, that could change though
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Looks like rain in the Pyrenees at lower (<1800m) altitudes later this week....
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mrvinegar wrote:
Looks like rain in the Pyrenees at lower (<1800m) altitudes later this week....


I'm keeping a keen eye out of this weekend. So far the Vallnord app is still prdeicting snow in all of its resorts from Tuesday night through to Saturday morning. Arinsal, not the resort itself, is at 1400m, so still wondering whether we'll get snow or sleet in the village.
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View from the top of gondola station that connects Pal & Arinsal taken this past Saturday.

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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Perfect weather today for our first day here in El Tarter. I think it might be the best of the week. Our friends are driving up from Barcelona early on Wednesday and it looks like it'll be a challenging journey

@mrvinegar, seems the snow level may have dropped a little since I last looked, hoping it'll all be snow here but might be t shirts not thermals by Friday
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Dubmuffin wrote:
Our friends are driving up from Barcelona early on Wednesday and it looks like it'll be a challenging journey

@mrvinegar, seems the snow level may have dropped a little since I last looked, hoping it'll all be snow here but might be t shirts not thermals by Friday


yeah I'm driving to Baqueria from Barcelona tomorrow and it looks a bit crazy

This is the snow level forecast according to meteo.cat

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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Shameless plug for my daughter's vid to show the weather a week ago in Grandvalira:


http://youtube.com/v/dPL0CmCnPPg
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We've had a fabulous 5 days in Baqueira... largely wall-to-wall sunshine, some great powder on Friday which lasted in the shade even until now, and unbeatable piste conditions. The avalanche risk was very low, so it was a weekend for finally ticking off some more adventurous routes (not that I got to do much of that, since I was with friends of all levels who've been waiting all season for a sunny weekend to come up and visit!).

I was being sent photos of several cm of snow on the ground in Barcelona this afternoon...it'll hit the Pyrenees in the morning. It looks like we'll have a long period of extremely unsettled weather, with plenty of snow but alas plenty of rain too. There's no choice but to take things a day at a time at the moment. I guess we'll look back on the last few days as having been the best of the season. It's been exciting to get so much snowfall this year, but honestly the lack of fair weather has been a recurring annoyance. As we always end up saying, a ski resort would much rather have lots of sun than lots of snow, provided that there's a decent enough base; I can't imagine that Baqueira have made much money on the terraces this year so far! Still, with luck the spring end of the season will still make amends (and the touring season should be fantastic I would think).
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I can tell you that as I type Lisbon is being hit with a lot of rain at relatively warm temperatures, predicted for the next 4-5 days, and I get the impression that that weather travels east; that would be in line with your expectations.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Orange200, sounds about right Sad

This morning it's snowing down to 400m at the eastern end of the Pyrenees (and rather higher at the western end). But during the afternoon, night, and tomorrow the freezing point will rise and rise up to 2000m. Of course, in most Pyrenean resorts, the majority of the skiable area is above 2000m so it's nothing to get too het up about... but it seems a shame to lose the lower part again (we're talking about off-piste only here; the pistes will be fine).

For those driving up from Barcelona today, please be careful! Chains/socks/winters are a must. The later you can leave the journey, the better, as the snow turns to rain during the day.
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Slight improvement in conditions for next week for Baqueira, last few days it looked more like rain than snow, get there on Saturday, can't decide if I need to get there for Saturday afternoon ski or not, will be weather dependant.
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It's been dumping up here in Andorra. It was deep enough that I could have walked out of the house with raquettes. Spoke to someone who went skiing this morning - visibility copable in the morning, very bad in the afternoon. Roads in Andorra already cleared, but anyone driving up from Barcelona, mmm... (take care as @Pyrenmanic said). The roads in Spain past the villages below La Seu are well covered from what I could see on 3/24.
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