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France 2016-2017 :Alpe d'Huez, Oz, Vaujany, Villard, Auris

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Poster: A snowHead
Great piccies howiet.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Very windy, snow starting, a lot of lifts closed.
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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?
howiet wrote:
This one is for @davidof!



Message, ADH is not the place to be in bad weather. Happy
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A bizzare and capricious morning, with a forerunner of a potential snowmageddon (wind huge amount of snowfall in minutes, cloud all around) suddenly replaced by sunshine and visibility across the valley. Still chilly, but blue sky appears to be the order of the hour.

Waiting on coach trip to Chambery, no doubt there will be 3 more weather types between now and then!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Another stormy day, not too cold in resort but looks very windy up top. The weather should break by Wednesday so hope to get out then if not tomorrow.
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Weather alert from metro France

Passage in vigilance yellow "strong wind and risk of avalanche" in mountain
Communiqué of the Prefecture of Isère of 06/03/17 11h.
In France, France and the Netherlands are the main players in the Isère region.

These gusts of wind, accompanied by rain, reach 70 to 80 km / h in plain and 100 km / h in the mountains. The rain / snow limit is above 1000/1200 meters this morning and then at 1500 meters this afternoon before descending to 1000 meters tonight.

This night, the snow gradually falls towards 500-600 meters at the end of the night.

This situation, combining snow and strong winds, leads to an increase in avalanche risk in the mountains, particularly in the Belledonne, Oisans and Grandes Rousses massifs where the risk level is 4 (high risk).
In Chartreuse and in the Vercors, the level of risk is 3 (marked risk).

These snowfalls and strong gusts of wind are the causes of difficulties for road traffic.

The prefect of Isère calls for the utmost vigilance, both on the roads and in the mountains.

If you are going to the mountains, plan special equipment (chains) to place over the luggage with gloves and a flashlight. Use this equipment in case of heavy snow or signage forces you.

The prefecture of Isère also invites you to be very careful in the practice of hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and other mountain activities. In all cases, it is strongly advised not to leave the marked trails
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Wow. That's all I can say!
At least 40cm since last night in resort!

Snowploughs trying to dig out car parks!

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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!
Wow!
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Wow!
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What Jonty has said snowHead
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Looking at the roundshot web cams of Pic Blanc and Marmotte 3060 - it look`s as if you can`t even get out the lift station doors and onto the slopes because of the volume of snow.
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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.
Just had a fantastic few days skiing after the storm. Temperature in resort about six degrees today, snow forecast Monday/Tuesday next week.

Skied La Fare in Vaujany and I'm sure there was poster at the bottom stating that the new lift will be opening in December this year.
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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
Warm today, snow heavy even on Sarenne. Can't complain with the view!

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Heading back out to Oz for the first time in a while - December 2013 to be precise. Anything changed lift/slope wise in the last couple of seasons?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Slopes holding up well after yesterday's weather. Definitely best to hit slopes in the morning. Chamois red was really nice with very few people on it.


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Anyone there this week ? How's it looking ? tempted to book for easter but it's a gamble !
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tomlin169 wrote:
Anyone there this week ? How's it looking ? tempted to book for easter but it's a gamble !

Will be out this Saturday. When you say Easter do you mean actual Easter?
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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?
8-15th obviously they bottom slopes won't be great, I've not been there, I'm hoping there's a fair bit higher up that will be decent
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tomlin169 wrote:
8-15th obviously they bottom slopes won't be great, I've not been there, I'm hoping there's a fair bit higher up that will be decent

Yeah I'm sure there will too. Check my TR next week.
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tomlin169 wrote:
8-15th obviously they bottom slopes won't be great, I've not been there, I'm hoping there's a fair bit higher up that will be decent

I've only spent a week there but was surprised how little skiing there was up high.
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hmm, undecided..it's between here or Les Deux Alps really
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@tomlin169, You probably know that you get one day (?) free in either resort on the others pass ? (Minimum 6 days pass though I think). I am an Alpe d'Huez regular visitor but always have a day or so at Easter in Les Deux Alpes.
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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!
Just another quick post whilst I am in snowheads / Alpe d'Huez mode Very Happy Some great reports in this thread, even if most of the time the snow seems to fall when I am not there Sad Had a few "issues" this year so have not posted a lot myself. A quick recommendation for @howiet, who has put up some great pictures and reports of conditions, him being a permanent resident in the area Razz What he does not tell you, and I guess he is correctly observing forum rules, but I hope I can, is that he is the manager of a beer shop in Alpe d'Huez, not a pile em' high booze dump but a craft beer shop that sells various brews from a small craft brewery in Bourg d'Oisans. Very nice I found it too. You can find him in the Bergers shopping centre, and yes he does give you free samples Very Happy
I have no connection with the the brewery or shop, only as a satisfied customer.
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sugarmoma666 wrote:
tomlin169 wrote:
8-15th obviously they bottom slopes won't be great, I've not been there, I'm hoping there's a fair bit higher up that will be decent

I've only spent a week there but was surprised how little skiing there was up high.

ADH doesn't have as much glacial or very hight terrain as a select number of other areas such as Tignes and Val Thorens but it has some and if you just after a weeks piste cruising it would be fine. April is very much a time of rapid change and variable weather.
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tomlin169 wrote:
hmm, undecided..it's between here or Les Deux Alps really

LDA is a marmite resort - you may love it, you may hate it. Impossible to tell until you've been there. Snow wise is probably marginally better for late season skiing.
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Anyone know if the snowpark is holding up OK ? the fact that the Les 2 Alps snow park is up high is swaying me there
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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.
A couple of pics from outside les Bergers.


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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
@skitow,
Thank you very much Very Happy Yes all snowheads are welcome for some tasting!

I was out on Sunday after the snowfall the day before. Lovely conditions. I think south facing slopes over on Auris are suffering now. Also piste to Huez village is closed. I may head out tomorrow morning so will have a better idea.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Looking over to Auris
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Snow disappearing Sad

But forecast for a little tonight Smile



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Maybe between 5-10cm overnight. Foggy in places today, especially in Villard Reculas. Pistes holding out lower down but will struggle as the week goes on.

Quietish slopes Very Happy
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We decided to head up to alpe d'Huez today despite some dire warnings of lack of snow from locals. Arriving a little after 10am it certainly didn't look promising. Some ribbons of snow about 30-50cm deep masquerading as ski runs.



After getting some altitude and doing a few shushes on the home runs we took the Marmottes 1, 2, and 3 to the Glacier to ski the Sarenne which was unexpectedly open. We had a lunch rdv at 12h30 which meant 1 hour to climb to the Pic Blanc, ski the run and get back to the town center.

That left time for a quick photo at the summit then ski down. After the col de la Sarenne the snow was very, very sticky.



After lunch we spoke to the pisteurs in resort about the Tunnel. They radioed up to the Glacier and their colleagues said they would open it at 14h30 but it was "very icy". This shot is from the Pic Blanc cable car looking down to the Dome de Rousses, not so bad.



The tunnel exit was challenging due to to lack of snow, super moguls and rocks but it wasn't icy but it probably had been in the morning.



We skied down to Vaujany then took the cable cars back to the Dome de Rousses to ski back down to the car.

Snow wasn't too bad, heavy and cut up in places but you could normally find some fairly good skiing. Only the flat bit of the Sarenne was really sticky.

Getting back to the car we had a flat battery. The bloke from the Garage du Pic Blanc came out with his starter and got us going, for a fee but we were pleased to get started.

Pisteurs told us that it has been one of the worst seasons ever for snowfall, the resort has been running 80 years. Only the extensive snowmaking meant they could run a more or less normal season.

Not sure we'll ski again this season. That's about 50 days on snow for me, most of them since mid January so I'm a bit knackered due to trying to squeeze a full winter into a couple of months. It is mad really.
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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?
So the end of season is just over a week away. The run down to Bergers has nearly dissappeared. I think a big well done to SATA for managing this far with the lack of major snow falls.
Cold weather forecast for next week so maybe one or two more opportunities.
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Good but shocking photos.

Really shows how bad the season was.

French glaciers will really suffer this Summer from the lack of Winter snowfall buildup.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not too bad above 2000M. Quiet slopes.

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@howiet, Must have missed you yesterday morning Sad Had a quick ski around the glacier, which was a bit busy, and then across to Montfrais. Took the little bubbles down to Vaujany as did not fancy the "slow giraud" and was the only passenger on the gondola back up. The driver (?) on that is a bit of a wildlife enthusiast and points out all the animals he can see in the woods below. All the lifties seemed in "wind down mode" anyway as it was so quiet. Last run back down from the dome was great until the very last part to Bergers on Les Agneaux with various numerous "grass" crossings. Good that you can still do some skiing though, plenty to fill 3 or 4 hours get a bit of sun and see some scenery.
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@howiet,
Quote:

but I hope I can, is that he is the manager of a beer shop in Alpe d'Huez, not a pile em' high booze dump but a craft beer shop that sells various brews from a small craft brewery in Bourg d'Oisans. Very nice I found it too. You can find him in the Bergers shopping centre, and yes he does give you free samples Very Happy


Damn: you should have said - walked passed a few time looking for shoe-laces (long story...) Oh well, shall know for next time!

Enjoy what's left of the season.

AR
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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!
We decided to go up for the last day, as the lifepasses were 36 euros for the two of us and it is the nearest skiing. We'd toyed with Val Thorens but it is a huge schlepp up the Belleville valley. It has been cold the last week but no new snow, in fact the last snow of any real significance was early March! Apart from near the Italian border resorts have been running on empty in the French Alps this winter. There have been a lot of retour d'est - probably because we went straight from an autumn to a spring weather pattern. What snow has fallen has been followed by foehn or brutal thawing. Hopefully this isn't the shape of things to come but I expect it will be normal by 2030.


End of the road

The best skiing today was below the Marmotte II and DMC 2. Up on the glacier the largely east facing runs were choppy. Off piste - spring skiing - was on some very crappy old snow. Below the Dome de Rousses and Marmotte 2 there were a lot of nicely prepared pistes - and still some visible corduroy in the evening - a testament to how few skiers were about. It is nice to be able to ski without the runs being crowded. Even the Jeux and Snowpark runs were nice to ski if you avoided the lakes.


Tunnel exit

Tunnel exit was tricky, especially if the moguls are bigger than you, we opted for the traverse as the cold wind had stopped the snow thawing properly so the mogul field had a lot of hidden patches of ice.


Aiguille d'Arves

Congrats to l'Alpe d'Huez to have made it through to the end with two home run pistes still operating.


http://youtube.com/v/C5Wqxi01_zk
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Snow down in the valley this morning, very frustrating after the poor winter!



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@howiet,

Bit of snow up here too, but cannot see a thing. As has happened to me every time this winter I have to leave tomorrow, when the sun is supposed to come out Sad

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