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Tignes and The Espace Killy 2016/17 (Useful links in Post 1).

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@stewart woodward, Mmmm there has been a bit of a change since yesterday, perhaps a bit of snow late on, but the chance of thunder seems very slim. That said, it only needs one cloud to 'kick off' so somewhere in the Alps it might!!!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes, I'm looking at forecast of snow showers this afternoon, followed by heavy snow overnight. Yet there's a clear blue sky and very warm sun in Tignes right now. Puzzled
Best snow we found last week was Grande Motte and Double M. Otherwise top of Solaise, around Glacier chair, Arcelle and over to La Fornet. Piste L to Laisinant also good but was closed yesterday mid afternoon.
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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?
A different day! Firstly the snow conditions were hard on piste this morning, soon softening up, a case of moving round with the sun. But today my destination was here:



After the BBQ yesterday, I decided to have a go in a microlight. The 2 brothers, Loic and Félix, that run the microlight experience are both as mad about flying as I am so I thought I would give it a whirl. their parents are both microlight pilots who were at the forefront of landing microlights on water and on the snow, so very much on the blood! But first Félix had to get the craft out of the hangar, its a real 2 brother operation!



We started with a quick, but thorough, safety briefing I was strapped in by Félix, given a helmet (shades required!) and checked for any loose bits and bobs that could fall out and interfere with the propeller behind you. Both brothers speak immaculate English, so as soon as we started to taxy the running commentary started, no surprises.

A quick check of the instruments was followed by a muted roar from the engine behind me and in seconds we had left the runway behind us and were soaring over Val Claret.



Suddenly all the skiers looked like ants and it was time to play spot my pad! After passing over Lac de Tignes (not sure I would walk across it, given the colour) we flew over the Lac du Chevril now very much empty. Even though our speed was 60 miles per hoour, there is plenty of time to spot your favourite run or mountain. The sensation of speed only comes at lower levels.





With the Grand Sassiere to our right we traversed the Col de La Davie, now pretty much empty of snow and into the Revers de Doume, a narrow, wild and deserted valley. As we descended to low altitude the valley walls and ridges seemed to rush past. We experienced the ‘g forces’, nothing too dramatic, as spectacular view after spectacular view bombarded the senses. After a quick call on the radio to all the other fliers we emerged over the Dam to look down on Les Brevieres and Les Boisses.

A bit closer to terra firma:



All too soon it was time to return to Planet Earth but not before Félix had brought us up ‘close and personal’ with the Grande Balme before a smooth landing back on the snow, barely a hint of a bump. Not quite as fast as my previous life in a Tornado, but a lot closer to nature and the vagaries of the atmosphere. Big smile though!

After a sunny start a few bubbly clouds pitched up, some of them may build and give a shower later this evening, but I'm not convinced. There are a few to the south at the moment, they will subside towards midnight. Tomorrow will start like today, but there will be more cloud about by lunchtime. There is a definite trough developing over us which could lead some of the cumulus clouds (look like cauliflower) developing into towering cumulus (look like a castle!) so a chance of a shower after 3pm is pretty good. As ever, it may not be right over us - hit and miss. It will also be quite windy later on, potentially closing the highest lifts. It will be similar on Tuesday, but without the showers, perhaps! Currently Wednesday looks sunny throughout before clouds develop on Thursday, with plenty of sunny spells. As for Friday, no one is sure......
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Thanks for the 'virtual trip' in the microlight @chocksaway, sounds like an incredible experience.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
And congratulations to Sofia Landgren who plays in La Queue de Cochon most Thursdays for her success in the French version of The Voice last night. She will now be mentored by Mika through the rest of the series. I have already posted on the Val thread as she spends most of her time there (and works for STVI).

For me, her haunting rendition of Forever Young by Alphaville has been magnificent throughout the season, so to hear it on live TV was fantastic. Best of Luck!


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 10-04-17 12:02; edited 1 time in total
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@chocksaway, I flew a flexwing (Pendulaire) for 7 years and always wanted to to fly in the Alps. Your jaunt has prompted me to get a ride from the guys on a sunny day.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Rain has started. Currently about 11C in resort. So needs to cool off a lot for any even high to be snow. Holiday crowds but still a pleasant day.
Do the gurus think we will have anything to ski on in a week or so?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sad not what I wanted to read. There is talk of potential snow for Easter .... Pretty please.
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Mark1863 wrote:
Rain has started.


Lasted about 10 minutes, so not a problem

Quote:
Do the gurus think we will have anything to ski on in a week or so?


Why not Puzzled The pistes are all based on artificial snow which takes a lot of warm weather to make it disappear.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
It was another lovely morning, I went to the gym for a change but I could see that conditions were pretty much as yesterday, hard pistes earlier on, softening later. As I emerged from my siesta (pretty much like the Marmottes) it was indeed raining and looked miserable, but the sun is now back out, such is the nature of showers. I'm not sure where the snowline was but there will have been a dusting on the Grande Motte. Still its better than being in Meribel on Thames, the Chaudannes webcam looks like the Somme (and spookily the azimuth sweep has reduced in the last couple of days..........).

We still may catch another shower or two tonight, they are quite far apart on the radar picture. But the skies will then clear to ensure hard pistes in the morning. But it should be sunny to start with with clouds bubbling up through late morning. These will stick to the peaks and I would be quite surprised if they develop enough to give a light shower (though other aps have different views). It will be a couple of degrees cooler. Wednesday looks like being a day of blue skies and sunshine, the temperature will be back up to todays levels. Thursday will be the same with the added addition of strong breezes at altitude, it may close the odd high lift and it will feel a bit cooler, which will lead to some very pink faces, as the tendency may be to not reapply the make up at lunchtime! On Friday there will be a hint of a breeze and we will be back to having a few fluffy clouds on the peaks. Saturday will be a mixed bag of sunshine and showers, its all a bit random at the moment but it looks like next week will be 5 or 6 degrees cooler than this week with lots of April showers. This means the snowline will be much lower (around 2000m) so th epistes above the villages will still be in good condition and if we get a big shower, who knows, a powder morning or two on either of the glaciers (but you will have to get up early to catch it!).
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Went for a little walk today in the glorious sunshine

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155255057619345&set=pcb.10155255058354345&type=3

Loads & loads of snow out there if you know where to look wink
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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.
@stewart woodward, Can't get that link to work Puzzled
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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
@stewart woodward, Have you been out touring?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
GeorgeVII wrote:
@stewart woodward, Have you been out touring?


Yes Very Happy They need to build some lifts out in that 'back country' rolling eyes
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hi everyone. Hope this is the correct place to post this. Flying out next week for a last minute bonus week and wanted to ask for some advice about planning a route to get best possible conditions. We (wife and I) are decent intermediates although we tend to dodge lumpy reds and most blacks. Will stick to the pistes. Happy to be on first lifts every day. Just looking for a calm cruisy week. But I'm not sure where we should head. We are staying in VC with EK passes and have skied the area many times before so are familiar with most of it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dave
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Dhayman, welcome to snowHeads snowHead

I've never skied the EK this late in the season, but I'm sure someone in resort will be along soon to help you out. Have a great week (you lucky so and so!) Toofy Grin
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Another beautiful day in the EK.

Firm pistes this morning which soon turned a little softer in the bright sunshine & soft bumps later in the day.

A few high level clouds in the morning to spoil it for @Mark1863, but for the rest of us I am sure it was just a prefect day wink

Looking forward to more sunshine tomorrow Puzzled
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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?
@Dhayman, Welcome aboard the sH express. As next week is likely to be very quiet the pistes will not bump up as much as they are this week. I would start from VC and head to the sun, so up Tichot and Grattalu and lap Grattalu until you have got your legs back. After that head down piste Lac and take Grand Huit and ski down into Le Lac from where you can take the Tov gondola ski down creux and back up Tommeuses and ski down Henri into VC. For another day try the glacier on the Grand MOtte,Double M is a red but rarely bumps up. For an away day I would go to Le Fornet, but I would ski down into La Daille and get the bus to the Laisinant chair, take the blue down to the bottom of the Vallon Gondola and take that up to the Glacier. You could then return via the up and over and ski around the Solaise but I would download in the Solaise gondola, by mid afternoon Plan M may well be a nightmare. Bonne Chance.

Both Tignes and Val D'Isere seem busy this week, so this morning was a case of dodge the queues. Everyone seemed to be heading high, so we went, you guessed it, low. All the way to Les Brevieres where the snow was soft but still more than deep enough to get down without damaging a ski. Only the last few turns of the summer road are not skiable. After that we decided to head for La Daille, again soft but not a problem. I didn't see a stone all the way down which is unusual for this time of year. The sky was quite cloudy this morning but it has cleared earlier than forecast, it was a nice afternoon for defrosting the freezer!

Tomorrow will be sunny throughout and warm. Thursday will start sunny and a few clouds should develop on the peaks, but the wind will pick up so these will be moving quickly. Friday will be a repeat, but without the wind. The big change should be Saturday with sunny periods and showers all day, the snow line will vary, but around 2100m, these will be accompanied by gusty winds in the afternoon. Sunday will be a good few degrees cooler, sunny intervals and breezy looks to be the order of the day. After that it all becomes unsettled and unpredictable, so I won't bother!
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Fantastic ski touring conditions close to the EK over the weekend. Very nice spring snow to be found on various sunny aspects from mid morning to mid afternoon. The North face of Grande Aiguille Rousse was holding cold, partially untracked powdery snow as of Saturday (above about 3000m)
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

take the blue down to the bottom of the Vallon Gondola


Blue being the key word here - the red alternative (Table d'Orientation) is possibly the least enjoyable run I have ever been on.

Great tips as always by @chocksaway, I would also add that the following runs should be on your must-do list (all blues / reds) :

Arcelle
Club de Sports
Double M
Genepy (both)
Mangard
reds on the Pisaillas glacier

Enjoy
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Some blasting took place above Trolles tonight in Le Lac as I was walking to the pub, causing a very big avalanche to come down on the piste. There are now 2 piste bashers going up and down to try and knock it into shape for tomorrow!

The 1830hrs webcam shows the slip:

https://tignes.roundshot.com/lac/

In other news the lake is now closed to pedestrians, it must be spring.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
That's some slip! And it's thundered right through the wibbling ledge Toofy Grin
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
moosepig wrote:
That's some slip! Toofy Grin


Please note that these 'slips' were set off by the pisteres to keep the slope save. it is normal at this time of year.
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Thanks for the replies and advice, much appreciated. Off to do a little snowdance now. Cheers
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
The spring skiing looks superb. Had a great week there in mid April last year. Best time to ski in my opinion. Have fun !
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
stewart woodward wrote:
moosepig wrote:
That's some slip! Toofy Grin


Please note that these 'slips' were set off by the pisteres to keep the slope save. it is normal at this time of year.



That's also another massive slip on the Lavache Wall.
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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.
As the resort is quite busy this week it was tome to go for a skin, to get away from the 'Madding Crowds'. As we set off the skies were clear but quite a bit of bubbly cloud built up on the peaks above 3300m, but a bit of shade when you are skinning is never a bad thing! So after a mid morning coffee it was up the Col du Palet and over the top and down to Plan du Janin and then up to the Col de La Grassaz. We 7 seven other folks on the trip until we got back to the Refuge for lunch where there was gang of snow-shoers.

Here's a view from the top of Col de la Grassaz:



And after a descent on near perfect spring snow (note you can hardly see our tracks, it was that good):



And here's a moody view of La Grande Casse from the Col:



After lunch we skied back down to Val Claret in slushy moguls, welcome home! The incongruous bit of the day was the number of spiders on the snow, I can only think that they had been blown up on the wind.

Tomorrow will be similar to today, mainly blue skies and perhaps some fluffy clouds later, depending on the fickle nature of the atmosphere. However it will be windy at height, perhaps closing the glacier lifts and making it feel a bit cooler. Don't forget the bronzing lotion! Friday will be identical to tomorrow. On Saturday we will have a bit of everything, it should be 5 degrees or so cooler, there will be snow showers and perhaps a brighter spell, it will still be windy; the snowline will be around 1900m, so a top up for most of the resort. The wind will remain on Sunday but we should have sunny intervals. Monday and Tuesday now look warm and sunny before showers kick in mid 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
Lot of "bombing" on the Lavachet Wall below the avalanche barriers as soon as lifts closed this evening. The snow came off down to the ground over a fair size area. Some was on to the Trolles - watched it come down. Bashers followed up quickly. I am not sure this was purely a safety thing. They may be farming the snow to keep the runs open until the end of the season.
Day off for me on Weds as I got hit on the Double M on Tues. Shiner and bruised ribs for my troubles. Worst bit I was with a guide and it made me miss the afternoon after paying for the whole day. Just come back on piste and was hit about 200m later. Smashed ski pole as well. Evil or Very Mad
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Mark1863, Sorry you got clobbered. I think the bombing above Trolles is for safety, it happens every year around this time. Obviously, the snow helps on Trolles but as the piste could easily have been open well past the middle of May last year, it is merely a by-product. The slope above Trolles is steep and west facing so catches a lot of late sun, with the dark rocks that are never snow covered it is a classic site for a 'late in the day' spring avalanche. As we have had a lot of easterlies this year, there may be more snow up there than usual.

Just a few clouds this morning, just having another cup of Yorkshire whilst it softens up a bit.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Another warm spring day, the sky was only punctuated by a few very persistent contrails from the jets overhead, which gave a haze like appearance to the sky at times. Today was a day for social piste skiing, punctuated by coffee breaks! The pistes are busy but again you have to go against the flow, so down to La Daille it was, just great sitting in the sun. There had been a hard freeze overnight, so one or two aspects were a bit slick, but the pistes in the sun were soon soft and mogully. After the second coffee break we ventured up the Grade Motte, when the crowds were at lunch, the snow up there is still in very good condition.

Tomorrow will be very much like today, warm and sunny. A few clouds may develop just as the holidaymakers are making their way back to the hire shop; the wind will also pick up in the afternoon. Saturday will be a mixed bag of wind and showers, not such a great day. The snowline will be around 2300m in the morning, dropping to 2000 in the afternoon, the air will feel cool and damp. It may well be a day for the hardy, currently the showers will be light so not a great deal of snow. Since yesterday there has been a change in the forecast thanks to a cold front that has decided to come further south so Sunday will be a day of light showers with a hint of sun in the afternoon, the snowline should be around 1900m. Monday will be a bright sunny day but a good 5 degrees cooler than this week, which will be a relief. Beyond that looks showery and cool for the time of year. But if that front decides to stay a bit further north then this will all change back. Stay tuned!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
does anyone know if there is an hourly rate in the underground carpark in le lac? We may arrive early enough to ski saturday afternoon and would like to stick the car in the car park for say 4 or 5 hours. After we decant into the aparment in the evening we'll dump the car back down in the free parking at les boises and get the bus back up but it would be convenient to ski saturday from le lac. The web site only quotes the daily rate of 17 euro so is there anything in between the 2 hours free and a whole day?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@andyrew, If you exceed 2hrs but do not stay for 24 hrs you will be charged a hourly rate. Probably about €10 for the 4/5 hrs.
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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?
thanks, that was exactly what I hoped. Not stated at all on the web that i could find!
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The last day of blue skies for a while, the pistes were very firm out of the sun this morning, may need to have the edges sharpened before the end of the season! It being Friday there was big queues to get up to the Grande Motte so we opted for Grand Pre La Daille and coffee. One or two of the tracks are now closed from the Triffolet down, there are also just a few patches on the main piste, but on the whole not bad for this time of year. The Isere was noticeably faster flowing than even yesterday. Other than that not a great deal to report except some pre season cleaning.

As I said yesterday, the weather is being a little fickle at the moment so another set of changes, and guess what tomorrow it will probably change again! So here is my best guess, clouds will build tonight but there will be a few sunny periods tomorrow ahead of thickening cloud and light showers in the afternoon. It will feel a lot cooler, compounded by the increase in the wind speed later on. The snowline will be about 1900m. We are now expecting fast moving sunny intervals on Sunday, the highest lifts may be closed. Monday is now back to looking mainly sunny with similar winds. It will be much cooler on Tuesday (down too freezing at resort level) and there will be a howling gale and light snow showers down to 1400m, the last gasps of winter perhaps?

Generally, the weather for flying tomorrow will be fine, a chance of a shower in Scotland and likewise over here late in the afternoon. The Savoie authorities are expecting 27000 vehicles going each way tomorrow, this has surprised most of us as it is the same as last week. So a few traffic jams on the way up. As some of the resorts are closing down this week (from Tuesday Courchevel is limited to 1850 only) I now expect Tignes and Val D'Isere to be as busy as this week.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Apart from a short outing yesterday today was the first real bit of skiing since Tuesday. Ribs still very sore but at least every breath did not hurt. If I did not relax over a bump I was more than gently reminded.
There is still plenty of good skiing about. Hats off to the pisteurs. Long mornings the order of the day.
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Apart from a short outing yesterday today was the first real bit of skiing since Tuesday. Ribs still very sore but at least every breath did not hurt. If I did not relax over a bump I was more than gently reminded.
There is still plenty of good skiing about. Hats off to the pisteurs. Long mornings the order of the day.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Arriving on Sunday for a few days. Stopping in melezes again down in Boisse. Hoping to be able to ski back to hotel each day. And hoping that we can ski down to breviere on Sunday afternoon and have a few laps on the free lift.
Cheers
Smag
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@smagsmith, Brev looks to be accessible on hire skis, only, if you follow my drift. The snow looked very brown from the road yesterday. You'll be fine getting back to Melezes though.
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@smagsmith, Brev looks to be accessible on hire skis, only, if you follow my drift. The snow looked very brown from the road yesterday. You'll be fine getting back to Melezes though.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@chocksaway, Many thanks for your regular updates. Arriving Sunday for a week and I hope there will be some spring snow still available.
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