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Tignes and the Espace Killy 2017/18 (Closed - No more posts please!)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It was an odd morning - there were patches of blue this morning and some hill fog which was very chilly on the face, although the temperature in the village meant everything was dripping. As the cloud thickened from the west we decided to stay on piste. The few cm of fresh snow have improved them and hidden some of the polished areas. As lunchtime approached the light went flat and it started snowing at around 1.30pm. Since then we have had moderate snowfall, almost heavy at times. However, the roads are still wet and black. Meanwhile, all the melting snow and ice is continuing to cause problems, the tunnel just out of La Daille is currently closed as they clear the ice off the road that has been 'encouraged' to drop off by the Council. The shot shows the top of Toviere - you can just see a veil of cloud to the right drifting up the valley:



That pan of spaghetti is on a rolling boil now, the next few days weather is going to be a lottery, there is less consensus than at Prime Ministers Question Time! It will continue snowing until early tomorrow morning and the wind will pick up through the night. So expect a progressive opening as the pisteurs check everything is safe. There may be some sunny spells like this morning, or it might just continue snowing lightly, the snow intensity will pick up in the afternoon, the high lifts will probably close; it would be a good day to stay close to home (or indeed in it!). Thursday still looks windy (more work for the pisteurs!) and it will probably be snowy but on a one in four shot there may be some sunny spells, more likely in the afternoon. Friday will probably be breezy and a mix of snow showers and cloud, it will be warmer later and perhaps the odd flash of lightning after dark. As for transfer day it would appear that it will be mainly snowy, the all important rain snow line will start down the valley, move up to the Dam and then pop down to Bourg for a late meal! So the roads may be black initially, but for arrivals after dark expect to need snow chains (Stay tuned for more).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@bar shaker, Where is the great Hot Chocolate place, please. Thanks.
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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?
@peter w, It's the Bellevarde mountain restaurant. Come out of the Olympique or Funival and turn left and it's just a short way down the hill. The Fontaine Froide chair goes almost directly over it. The south-facing terrace is spectacular in spring sunshine, if you get any snowHead
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@moosepig, I actually think hot choc at the Datcha probably has the edge. Huge and you get marshmallows in it too.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sitrep it is absolutely tipping it down it started snowing heavily at 3pm but that was nothing to what’s coming down now.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@bar shaker, I had a hot choc at the Datcha two weeks ago and it was indeed yummy - but I didn't get marshmallows! I feel robbed Sad

I do wonder how long it's going to take all that snow to melt. I've never seen snowbanks like it in the EK, just incredible.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@bar shaker, I didn't say I had a problem with it. Like you, I said what I prefer to use.
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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!
@HoneyBunny, Good reason to go back!

We had another 15cm of snow down here in La Daille overnight, probably twice that up the hill. The pistuers are blasting at the moment but the clouds are clearing and it looks like it could be one of the seasons best powder days.

The wind is set to grow all day, I just hope that doesn’t spoil it.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
The villages received another 15cm of fresh snow overnight, 25cm on the Grand Motte. There were a few sunny spells this morning but most of the resort has been sat in hill fog all day. Anyone for Lindisfarne:

The fog in the Teens is all mine all mine (I'll get my coat).

It was also very warm - the snow on my balcony was like porridge and melted quickly and the few people I watched off piste were going pretty much in straight lines, it looked very heavy up to 2600m. So I did not feel too bad sitting in a 2 hour AGM for my building! There may have been some light snow at altitude but it was quite windy up there - a frustrating day I suspect. It started snowing on and off around lunchtime but nothing of any significance. This was a typical view out of the window:



There is a little more consensus on the weather over the next few days. The intermittent snow will continue tonight but it will barely fall to zero degs in the villages so a damp night. Hopefully we will see the sun after lunch tomorrow, there will be a few clouds around, it will still be just above freezing in the villages all day. Friday morning would appear to be OK but it will be windy at height, so maybe not a last day trip up the Grande Motte, a few snow showers in the afternoon. Saturday will be much cooler and cloudy all day. It looks like we will get only light snow showers but it will be snow quite a long way down the hill, so snow chains are looking likely for those arriving in the evening. Sunday is quite a long way off in weather terms, but fast moving snow showers and sunny periods is the best bet.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Another 7cm over night, which only stopped coming down an hour ago. The cloud is already breaking up and the sun is poking through.

Once the front totally clears, we’ll have a blue bird day.

Don’t forget your sun cream.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Back 7/4. Not sure whether to do another Snoworks course or a few mornings/days with tea club?
Knee problems prevents too much climbing etc.
Conditions sound a bit of allsorts
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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.
The vague and unpredictable weather continues. We had rain in the villages until late evening which then froze on the pistes leaving a hard layer. There then fell another 15-20cm as I have already used the box of chocolates analogy it will have to be Liquorice Allsorts to describe today's conditions. The early morning fog and light snow soon cleared to leave a morning with plenty of light though there were a lot of clouds and the odd bank of hill fog to negotiate. The new snow bumped up on the pistes very quickly, off piste was a collection of hard crust with heavy fresh snow on top, sastrugi, gullies with fresh snow. As lunch was taken the sky started to cloud over and we now have 'bright but overcast' and snow showers. There was a couple of loud bangs, the brains trust at the Rosée Blanche could not decide whether it was a couple of avalanches, a couple of Gazex bangs or thunder! As it is very warm the day was abandoned as flat light and clumpy snow are a recipe for getting hurt. Having said all that we did find some nice turns down Familial, quite hard work in the heavy-ish snow, but very pretty none the less:



Tomorrow will start OK with sunny periods but a strong wind is likely at altitude, though not guaranteed. The cloud will thicken through the day and the wind speed will increase, just keep an eye on the links. We should get snow showers in the afternoon, maybe later rather than sooner. The light snow should continue until the early hours of Saturday, and then stop leaving a cool and cloudy morning. We may see some sunny periods before it clouds over for Happy Hour and the snow showers start again, it looks like snow down to 1100m so lets hope the sun warms the roads during the day so they stay wet and the late arrivals won't have to do the 'chain dance'. Sunday looks mainly sunny, a bit cooler than the last couple of days, but don't rule out a snow shower in the morning. Spring returns on Monday with sun and fluffy clouds and much warmer temperatures.
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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
We headed east and probably had the best of it. A quick drop off from the Laisinant lift down to Signal was steep and deep. Perfect snow.

Pissaillas was in pristine condition and virtually untracked. All but Geant was open but the real fun was between the pistes. Miles and miles of clean tracks.

We had lunch on a rock between Cascade and Moraine with almost wall to wall blue sky. We could see the cloud in the West over Les Arcs and Tignes, but it remained unbroken sunshine... until 2.30 when thick cloud got pushed up the hill.

We bolted for Fornet putting fresh tracks through Pré Chemin. The last of Pyramides was badly chopped up so Mrs Shaker took the cable car. It was soft and screamed out for tree runs between the pistes.

Beers and medals were taken at the Crozets... and the Coins des Amis and the XV.

Great day!!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The view from the pillow this morning was quite promising - blue skies but the clouds soon appeared and were quite clearly whizzing across the sky above the mountain tops. As the morning progressed there was more and more cloud and a very strong wind in places, even down into Tignes. there was generally enough light until lunchtime. From 2pm we have had mostly light snow showers but one or two heavy ones as we caught the edge of the thunderstorms which were quite prevalent down the valley. The conditions on piste were very mixed from hard pack to soft lumps, a lot of the off piste was hard and chopped up this morning. The quality of it was reflected in the number of off piste skiers - not many at all! The avalanche activity continues apace, a lot of slips yesterday, including one just above the Triffolet Piste which was significant in size. This is a view of Col de la Tourne at midday - a sort of average of the conditions for today:



So what can we expect over the Easter weekend? Traffic jams certainly, some snow, some cloud and some sunny periods. Maybe not an Easter Bunny - but who knows the first Marmotte in Tignes can't be far away! Because of a weak occluded front over the area there is much debate over the detail of tomorrow, it will be cooler than today, the wind will drop (maybe some gusts around lunchtime and it will mainly be cloudy, the sun may appear in the afternoon. Never rule out the chance of a light snow shower, but I don't think there will be many until after dark - fingers crossed for the roads. With the changes in temperature, new snow and wind the avalanche picture will get even more complex. Sunday looks like being a windy and snowy start but the sun should come out in the afternoon with some residual cloud. The temperature will ramp up significantly on Monday with sun and fluffy clouds. These will thicken through the evening into Tuesday which will be warm and showery, potentially some of them may be thundery, it may well be raining up to 2400m - looks like spring!

The Savoie is expecting 23000 vehicles to leave the Tarentaise tomorrow, which shouldn't be too bad providing the snow eases off as forecast, buut there will be 33000 arriving filled to the brim with Easter Eggs so there will be traffic jams irrespective of the weather which may contribute a complicating factor in the late evening. If you are flying tomorrow it will be a bit dank and dreary in England initially, but there is only a slim chance of fog at Leeds, Luton and Bristol which could cause the wheels to turn a bit slower. It will be quite blustery in Scotland. Over here it should be OK for flying with a chance of a bumpy shower in the afternoon. Bing Bong Doors to automatic!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Again from under the duvet there was much promise! To the west there were blue skies but just to the east there were dark skies, this photo was taken early doors of the Toviere looking towards Italy:



However, we had had another 5-10cm of snow, in some places this was quite a bit deeper. It was a nice addition to the pistes and on high it was quite fluffy. So we headed up the glacier after the pisteurs had finished blasting away and were rewarded with plenty of fresh tracks. The battle between the clouds and the sun continued all morning until the clouds won just after lunch, the wind also picked up so it was decidedly chilly on the face. We have also had some quite heavy snow showers this afternoon.

So what of the weather, there is nobody better than Al Jolson:

And where you see clouds upon the hills
You soon will see crowds of daffodils
So keep on looking for a blue bird, And list'ning for his song
Whenever April showers come along

Whilst I can't promise daffodils on the Palafour (maybe a Marmotte) it looks like a week of change and showers. Tomorrow will be a reverse of today, the snow showers will continue through the night and will continue until just before r just after lunch. There will be a gusty wind in the morning so expect a delayed start in some areas as the pisteurs get all noisy again. The big change for Monday will be the temperature, it will be 8 or so degrees warmer at lunchtime, thee will be quite a few clouds around but lots of sunny breaks. the wind will pick up in the afternoon. The light showers will start on Tuesday, which will be warm and windy, the night may be frost free so the snow pack will be more complex and rain showers up to 1900m will not help. We may well be treated to evening avalanche control this week - standby for the windows to rattle about 5.30pm. Wednesday will be similar, warm, showers and windy, some of the showers maybe a bit thundery.

For those arriving on Easter Sunday, there is a chance of a shower almost anywhere in the UK and a slim chance of fog at Leeds, Luton and Sansted, nothing too worrying. Over here it will be fine for flying.

And finally..........watch out for the fish! (le poisson d'avril)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Meteo France have issued a special bulletin because of the recent weather...




This is a translation courtesy of Henry’s Avalanche Talks...

Special Release Avalanches of Météo-France

written on FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018 AT 16:07

Avalanche risks still considerable in the Alps: an unusual situation at this time of the year.

The snowpack is very unusual for the season in all the mountains of the Northern French Alps and Hautes-Alpes: it is very consistent, sometimes reaching a record high above 2000 meters altitude; it still of winter nature in shady slopes that do not get sunshine. In addition, we expect two more significant snow events over the weekend.

As a result, the risk of avalanches remains at least “considerable” (level 3) Saturday and Sunday in the mountains of Hautes-Alpes, Isère, Savoie and Haute-Savoie; they could even become “High” (level 4) Monday on some massifs as temperatures rise.

Météo-France, therefore, draws the attention of mountain practitioners to the still wintery nature of the snowpack and the risks of avalanches, which are not just in the high mountains.

During the whole Easter weekend, this particular situation encourages us to recommend the utmost caution and to bring all the appropriate safety equipment before considering leaving marked and secured trails.

For more information on the weather conditions and the risks of avalanches in the mountains, you can consult the “mountain” pages of the Météo-France website (www.meteofrance.com ), as well as the Météo France and Météo Ski mobile applications.

Full article here - https://henrysavalanchetalk.com/meteo-france-special-bulletin-avalanche-risk/


Take care out there gang!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The weather was not appealing this morning, snowy, cloudy and windy. So it was time for a few end of season jobs; but by lunchtime things had improved dramatically and the sun was out with a few clouds on the peaks. Most of the new snow had arrived at high speed last night so off piste it was quite compacted but there was a good deal of fun to be had. The pistes are still in excellent condition, it was only late afternoon before it became soft in the last 100m or so into La Daille. The Grande Motte was looking resplendent this afternoon:



Tomorrow will start sunny and a few clouds will bubble up during the day, but nothing to spoil Easter Monday's skiing. It will be about 8 degs warmer and there will be little wind, so a few less layers would be a plan. The terraces will be full tomorrow! After a warm night Tuesday looks like a day of problems for the pisteurs, windy, warm and showers of rain up to 23 or 2400m by day. The showers wont be heavy - but unpleasant of you catch one below the snowline. The exposed lifts will be shut. Wednesday does not look good, a few degrees cooler but there will be heavy showers all day and some may be thundery with very blustery winds, it will be snow down to 1900m. A day not to venture too far from home on the current forecast. Thursday will also be windy with light showers in the morning and sun in the afternoon. The temperature than ramps up for a sunny and summery weekend.
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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?
Lets start with a giggle - yesterday Radio Val published the deliberations of the local council saying that all chimneys would have to be extended by 1m because of the problems caused by this years heavy snowfall. Seemingly this was the perfect 'poisson d'avril' as it had just enough truth in it to be viable. So today they retracted the deliberations saying that they had misunderstood and that the council had decreed that snow would stop when the levels of snow reached with 1m of the chimneys - with a subtle hint as to the date Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

This morning was nice, mostly blue skies with a hint of clouds whizzing across the blue. However, high cloud soon moved in from the west and stole the visibility and these have gradually thickened through the afternoon, but the main story is the temperature - about 10degs in Tignes by lunchtime. So we set off early and I now defer to Robert Browning:

Out came the children running.
All the little boys and girls,
With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after
The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.

I have never seen so many kids on the snow front - surely the Pied Piper must have come from Hamelin to Tignes and Val D'Isere! We had decided on a short tour this morning, so off we went up to the Panoramique and skied across the lower glacier to skin up to the top of the Pramecou. From there we could see that Mr P Piper had taken the whole world up to the queue for the cablecar, they must have read the forecast!



This is the view the view towards the Col de Ves and beyond:



And then we skied back down round the Dome de Pramecou:



Where we found great snow and very few tracks! After another short skin we worked our way to the Grand Balme and home for lunch. Fab.

There is really only one word for tomorrow's forecast - miserable. Luckily the precipitation will only be light but it will start in the early hours and will be drizzle/rain to about 2300m. There will also be a strong wind, it will not freeze in the villages tonight and it will be warm tomorrow (it won't feel like it though). This all adds up to a complex bubbling cauldron of trouble for the snowpack off piste. The official avalanche risk is 4 tomorrow. So my plan is to go to the gym! There is much discord between the forecasting systems on Wednesday, from sun in the morning and snow later on (from 1900m) to snow all day with thunderstorms, they do agree it will be windy; hopefully there will be more clarity tomorrow. Thursday will also be windy, with lower temperatures, snow showers in the morning and sun in the afternoon. Friday and Saturday - scorchio, sun, high temperatures bikinis and board shorts!
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The precipitation was light thankfully as we have had everything going past the window, rain sleet and snow. It has been windy and warm all day and you can visibly see how much the snow has settled on the roofs and lots of water has disappeared down the gutters. So the oven got its end of season deep clean and the gym exercised the non skiing muscles! Still there was lots of brave souls out on the soft pistes.

The conundrum that is tomorrow is not resolved so the best advice is too look out of the window, it will be windy but as to how much cloud and precipitation I don't know. It will be a little cooler than today so if it snows it will start getting moist below the Dam. There could well be sunny periods or it could be pretty much like today. But the high pistes will be very firm initially, lower down they will be soft. Thursday will be a bit cooler with light snow showers in the morning giving way to sunny periods in the afternoon, but there will be less wind so probably not a bad day. High pressure arrives for Friday - blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures a great last day for most. Saturday will be even warmer with quite a few fluffy white clouds drifting across the sky, but plety of sun. The wind will pick up late afternoon heralding the arrival of more cloud and showers overnight.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Had a trip down the valley this afternoon, 22' C in albertville
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Well today was the classic "Game of Two Halves", a well known football quote but with no known attribution. It started windy with mainly blue skies and reasonably warm. However, there were menacing skies to the south of the Grande Motte which appeared to be kept at bay. And then we had 'half time' which was barely long enough to suck on a segment of orange as the clouds shot over the resorts and it was snowing by 1230pm. The air also became damp, so it was time for home. There was little off piste activity today and the pistes were very firm on high and slushy down in Les Brevieres. The Sahara has also deposited some of its sand on us courtesy of the southerly wind (that funny orange hue on north facing pitches), yet another complication for the avalanche forecasters and pisteurs. There were quite a few pistes closed today due to avalanche rick and pisteurs were patrolling the woods above Brevieres triggering wet slides. But to return to the footy and Kenneth Wolstenholme "They think its all over - it isn't now" as the sun reappeared at 3.30pm allowing people to draw pretty lines in the 2 cm of fresh snow!



The snow showers will return later and we will have a windy night, so expect a progressive start as the pisteurs deal with all the complications. We should have sunny periods and snow showers until some time between morning coffee and afternoon tea (maybe lunchtime!) and the wind will abate a bt. As the wind is from the north the air will be cooler than today, might be worth another layer. Again the pistes will be hard early doors and softening lower down. Friday looks like being sunny all day, very warm with light winds, tanned faces and beers on the terrace. Saturday will be similar but with a few clouds on the peaks, if there is enough sun perhaps some real spring snow?? There is much debate about Sunday, it looks like a mini retour d'est forming, so a strong and warm easterly wind will blow. How far the showers of rain (to well above the villages) will get over the border from Italy depends on which forecasting supercomputer you believe!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
End of an Era party at the Alpaka, Saturday 21st April. Crying or Very sad
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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!
Its over to Chaka Demus and Pliers:

Tease me, tease me, tease me!

After 15-25cm of fresh snow overnight we awaoke to cloud and light snow and a cheeky breeze. Even as I munched the cornflakes there was some bright patches so an RV was set for 10. But the cloud kept filling in again. We knew there was fresh snow there but couldn't see it. then around 1230 it started to clear and got better and better. With the fresh snow the pistes soon lumped up, but the few stones that appeared have been covered. Off piste the snow was of various densities, quite light at mid mountain, wind blown up high and later down low it was approaching quick setting cement. We tried up Grattalu, up the Grand Motte and down Genepi (20cm of fresh on piste and tumbling intermediates). Then the sun emerged and we skied Familial, just the odd layer of cloud adding to the mystery:



The sun is now blazing and water is cascading down the road.

Tomorrow will be gorgeous, blue skies and sunshine with a light breeze, and it will be very warm. The pistes will re freeze tonight so expect corrugated iron followed by great snow followed by slush, timing, aspect and altitude will be everything. There will be a few clouds around on Saturday, maybe more in the afternoon and a gentle easterly, another nice day for a transfer. Sunday will be similar but the chance of a raging easterly is quite significant, the weather system has slowed down so we will have to wait and see. There will be some weather on Monday, mainly cloudy with a swift wind and some light showers, these may not make it far over the hill from Italy. It will still be warm so it will be damp up to 2500m or so.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
So has spring finally sprung in Espace Killy Puzzled And will there *still be snow for our trip there on 22nd April Shocked??

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(*Well there has been on our 6 or 7 previous late April/early May visits!! Very Happy )
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
mountainaddict wrote:
So has spring finally sprung in Espace Killy Puzzled And will there *still be snow for our trip there on 22nd April Shocked??

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(*Well there has been on our 6 or 7 previous late April/early May visits!! Very Happy )


There's masses of snow. My friends who are resident reckon they will be skiing into June... if it doesn't snow again.

Here's a link from the Tignes FB page... Shocked

https://www.facebook.com/TignesUK/videos/593086437690486/
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
If you fancy a bit of fun, the Step Up event is going on under Thomeusses lift today. Starts at 11am.

Ramps, BBQ, hilarity and all to raise funds for protecting eagles.
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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.
ROAD ALERT: The road between the Dam and the Brev turnoff will be shut tonight at 1800hrs for at least 30 mins as they blast Col de La Davie - if it slides big time it may take some time to dig out the road.

The weather report is down to Gail and Rosemary Clooney:

So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin
Smilers never lose and frowners never win

So big smiles all round, there was just a bit of high cirrus until midmorning and then nothing but blue skies and sunshine and boy was it warm. The charge round the pistes to the meeting point showed us very hard pistes. For the best off piste we went up to the Grande Motte and down Leisse, followed by Rabotch and Genepy where there were still fresh tracks in compacted powder:



we then had a hike up to the North Face of the Borsat which was boot deep, not light but much fun and grins. After coffee it was time for the Grand Blame - again great snow. As the temperatures warmed and the pistes bumped up it was time to come home early for frantic Friday.

After a warm night the pistes should soften more quickly in the morning, it will be mainly sunny with a few clouds floating about. So in the shade it may feel cooler than today - out of it, it will be warm. Sunday will start similarly but with a strong easterly wind. The cloud should thicken in the afternoon and it may be thick enough for a light shower of snow down to 2000m, more likely to the east of the resorts towards Le Fornet. Monday will be mainly cloudy and there might be the odd glimpse of the sun. The forecasts are disagreeing over the chance of showers, if they do emerge from Italy they will be light. The weather synopsis for Tuesday is low confidence, a mix of light showers and cloud with a chance of thunder.

For those on the roads, a bit quieter this weekend with 27000 coming up and 26000 heading out with a tan. As the roads will be clear I only expect small hold ups at the peages and the traffic lights. For the air traveller there should be no problems, the chance of a light shower anywhere in the UK, fine and beaut over here.
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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
Grand morning. First Marmotte has just stuck his head out, just to the left of the Palafour chair and just above the track to the Savouna.

Edit: Now joined by rest of family!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Yep marmottes running around in La Daille too.

Printemps est arrivé
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
More blue skies this morning and it was quite warm, the clouds did build through the day but it is still too bright to say that it spoilt the afternoon. As you can imagine the pistes were anything from hard to fantastic to very soft, but they still have full cover. Off piste even at altitude the snow has consolidated significantly, what was good yesterday was less than average today even on north facing slopes. There was the hint of some spring snow but not the real deal (that we found!) yet. The thin layer of cloud did not help matters there as it took the sting out of the sun. So after the first marmotte was spotted from my window this morning, its over to David Essex for what we saw next:

She flies like a bird in the sky
She flies like a bird and I wish that she was mine



So perhaps (he or she) the Gypaete Barbu (or bearded vulture) was out for a quick meal before the newly emerged marmottes had regained their senses! After that interruption we skied the Bellvarde, all the way down to La Daille, where cover is still excellent and finished off with a non stop from the top of the Motte to Val Claret (1451 vertical metres for the bobble hats).

Tomorrow will be warm and cloudy a bit like this afternoon, but there will be a brisk easterly which will pick up during the afternoon, just keep half an eye on the links and exposed lifts. After a windy and warm night (there may be the odd light shower) Monday will start with sunny periods, the wind should drop and leave us with very light showers in the afternoon, a rain snow line around 2000m. At the moment Tuesday looks predominantly cloudy with a breeze. Some light showers may pop over from the east, or they may stay in Italy! The best guess for Wednesday is breezy, sunny periods and showers. It is April after all!

For tomorrows travellers, pretty much like today. The roads will be fine (if a bit pot holed), there is a chance of a shower almost anywhere in the UK but the only issue I can spot is a slim chance of fog at Bristol and Stansted. Over here it will be another fine day for flying.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It was a bright start this morning but a lot of cloud was blowing in from the south which made it down to about 2800m in places. But the wind was the big story - the top of the Plaet drag reminded me of Doris Day in Calamity Jane:

I just blew in from the windy city
The windy city is mighty pretty

That windy city being Tignes and our destination the Palet Refuge for a Sunday morning coffee. The snow down was still crusty and a bit testing, but given the avalanche activity and the warm wind we couldn't leave it much longer. So coffee was taken and then a skin home to civilisation (of sorts) and lunch.



After a windy and warm night tomorrow should be much like today with a bit more sun in the morning than the afternoon when we may get a few light showers of snow, especially over towards Le Fornet. Tuesday will be much cooler and mostly cloudy in the morning with light showers down to 1500m, it may improve a bit in the afternoon with the sun peeking out. The detail on Wednesday is a bit confused, but a reasonable but windy start (top lifts closed) with maybe some showers later. April showers and sunny periods seems to be the order of the day for Thursday.

In other news Borsat IV had to be evacuated last night as the roof started to 'subside' under the weight of the snow. All the renters were rehoused in other Odalys residences, an expert has been called to assess what to do next!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@chocksaway, Many thanks for your interesting and informative updates throughout the season. A couple of questions if I may. Will be flying into Chambery next Sunday and wonder why as the approach is over the lake, invariably the plane will fly over the town and make a sharp turn to starboard and land facing the lake rather than continuing to descend and land. This seems to happen even if the wind appears to be very light. My second question concerns lunch, an important feature in spring skiing! There used to be a restaurant beside the lake in Tignes, sometimes used by the Tea Club. I have not been there for some considerable time and wonder if it is still open and if so is it recommended? Thank you again.
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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?
The 21st as stated above is the Alpaka End of Era Party. I am told by the bar staff that it closes for good that night. All things must pass.
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@peter w, If there is a northerly wind the aircraft have to land into the wind, otherwise they would be in danger of running off the end of the runway if the wind were behind them (as you add the tailwind to the aircraft speed and vice versa to get your speed over the ground at touchdown). Chambery has a short runway anyway so only a very light tailwind is acceptable. Aircraft can't make an approach from the south because of the mountains, the rate of descent would not be safe. You have obviously been 'unlucky' as often there is a southerly wind which allows them to land in a straight line. But then you have problems in overcoming the tailwind on take off as the aircraft has to effectively overcome the speed of the tailwind before gaining speed to get airborne. If we were going to build a skiers airport we wouldn't start here......!

Do you mean the Terrachu? Its right on the lake shore and had a turret like thing at the end. It is run by a Tour Op now and does not have a public restaurant. However, it is open in the summer for one more season before it is knocked down and replaced with a bigger hotel. For a lunch in the sun at not unreasonable prices I would try the Escale Blanche - big sunny terrace just off the snow front in Le Lac. The altitude restaurants tend not to be grest value.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks for all your marvellous information through the season chocksaway. Great stuff.

We'll be there from 22nd April for a week. Can't wait. Which brings me on to a couple of queries.

We were initially fancying a spot of ski touring and a night or two in refuges. I have emailed three guides/companies in the last couple of months to enquire about the possibility of a guide to do this - but no responses. They mustn't need the business rolling eyes.

We may now downgrade to some off piste mornings with Alpine Experience in Val D instead, as we've used them in the past and their group rates are excellent. Questions at this stage are:

1. Is there anybody offering anything similar in Tignes (ie one-off group off piste sessions as opposed to private guides/instructors)? Not as far as I can see.
2. Is the slope down to and back from the Palet Refuge generally regarded as an avalanche risk? We've hiked it with snow cover in June (for a night in the refuge) but I really can't remember what it would be like to ski... Puzzled. Wondering if we might just do a DIY trip for a night there...

Cheers. Smile
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@mountainaddict, As things are winding down it might be difficult, Evo2 have done stuff like this in the past. However, if you contact Kev at Tignes Off-Piste on Facebook he will certainly work something out for you, but you would be hiring him as a private. Sometimes Flo at Freeflo runs collective courses might be worth trying her as well.

As for the Palet Refuge generally not as you can get down there on shallow slopes, as ever you can find holes and cornices, you just have to pick your route. We went from the top of the Palet Drag yesterday - from there you should find an easy route - no guarantees wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Well how to describe today - here's Cat Power:

Today's grey Skies
And tomorrow

There was the odd glimpse of decent light before mid morning but we soon entered the world of monochrome grey with a stiff breeze and slightly cooler temperatures. Without the sun the pistes stayed hard until you were well down in the resort. Even the pistes down into La Daille are fine, but it wasn't very appealing so it was back for lunch and an appointment with a scrubbing brush! It started snowing lightly at around 4pm.

Tomorrow will be windy and snowy in the morning, but the afternoon should be better with some sunny periods, but a shower can't be ruled out. After a windy night there may be some work for the pisteurs to do - remain patient! Wednesday will be even windier, expect quite a few lifts to be closed. The sky will be mainly overcast and there should be showers (snow to around 2000m) in the afternoon. Thursday will be windy again, but not quite as bad, with some sunny periods and the chance of a light shower in the afternoon. Friday looks like being showery all day, but as ever at this time of year with this kind of weak weather system, the window often gives the best forecast.
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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!
Thanks for the info chocksaway - very helpful Smile.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Yes, very variable visibility today. We headed over towards Val d' first thing, but I was disappointed not to be able to find out what ask the Santons fuss was about, since it was closed due to avi risk. The light was terrible over there, so we went back to T where it was better in places. After lunch I found it better, good enough to wear glasses rather than goggles. There was also a steady very light fall of snow most of the time enough to lead to little stretches of powder along the sheltered edges of the quieter pistes. Avi risk now at 4, and there were several big new slides in evidence, including a triggered one that reached the edge of Face piste.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@chocksaway, Looks snowy but none too pleasant this morning. Family and In-laws are back in Tignes and staying just along the road from Mr & Mrs W. (so you may bump into something bearded other than a Vulture wink )

This may be (very) old news but Mrs G7 spotted it on a French FB page at the weekend. A proposal to develop a snowfront down in Lavachet. It appears to involve re-directing the road and creating a much wider piste from the track that leads down to the Bus stop/Brassero. Complete with tunnel type magic carpet for a beginner slope.
I couldn't figure if this was a new idea or something old that someone had re-hashed.
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