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PYRENEES 2017-18

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Very Happy It's certainly not bottomless powder, but the valley is beautiful right now with snow right down to Vielha, and the temperatures today and tonight are still low, so it'll look decently wintery all around when you arrive Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks @Penelope, have a great week, hopefully see you at the EOSB Smile
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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?
mrvinegar wrote:
I'm going up tomorrow, can't wait..

Is there many on here who live in Barcelona like myself? If so it might he handy to organise a trip up sometime


I live just outside of Barcelona... will send you a PM...
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Soldeu update: according to a friend who stayed up there for the weekend, it snowed all day Saturday and finally stopped in the evening. Today is apparently good weather and great conditions. The week's forecast is for temps to say lowish and more snow next weekend... let's cross fingers.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Awesome day today in Grandvalira, sun and fresh snow , some great untracked powder between the trees around Llac Del Cubil
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With over 50cm having fallen between Thursday night and Saturday morning, the sun finally came out and provided skiers with amazing on and off piste conditions at Luchon-Superbagneres today.

Crazy morning off piste for me with great powder. Tired legs tonight Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Same here in Baqueira! Sounds like everyone had a great session today snowHead

Looking like very enjoyable conditions for the next week, albeit a tad warm for my liking (but I'm fussy wink)...and maybe some more snow on Thursday?

Ski_Guide, was Céciré open today? Must have been a treat!
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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!
I am in Lisbon, an hours flight from Barca, with a classic 9-5 job. 90% chance the answer will be no, but on the off chance it’s yes, if there’s a meet pls let me know?
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AlunAlun wrote:
Just back from two days in Soldeu, Andorra. Thursday was possibly the worst I'd ever seen the mountain in January, extremely icy and brown patches everywhere. Then, as reported, a good foot of snow fell overnight and all day through Friday. Fresh tracks to be found everywhere - although with no pistes bashed it was an effort getting around. Today should be pretty amazing though being a Saturday I suspect it will be very very busy....!


Friday's snow has definitely helped. Wanted to go up to Arinsal on Saturday, but the resort was closed most of the day - could not be bothered to go down to La Massana to get the gondola to Pal which was open, so ended up snowshoeing instead. Lots of snow around once above 1500m.

Anyway ended up having a lovely time on Sunday hitting the runs and watching some of the skimo world-cup too. This morning was decent too - ample snow for on-piste and well groomed. Looks liek sunshine for most of this week, so will affect snow conditions negatively, but apparantly more snow forecast this coming Friday.
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ysb33r wrote:
AlunAlun wrote:
Just back from two days in Soldeu, Andorra. Thursday was possibly the worst I'd ever seen the mountain in January, extremely icy and brown patches everywhere. Then, as reported, a good foot of snow fell overnight and all day through Friday. Fresh tracks to be found everywhere - although with no pistes bashed it was an effort getting around. Today should be pretty amazing though being a Saturday I suspect it will be very very busy....!


Friday's snow has definitely helped. Wanted to go up to Arinsal on Saturday, but the resort was closed most of the day - could not be bothered to go down to La Massana to get the gondola to Pal which was open, so ended up snowshoeing instead. Lots of snow around once above 1500m and good enough for ski mountaineering.

Anyway ended up having a lovely time on Sunday hitting the runs and watching some of the skimo world-cup too. This morning was decent too - ample snow for on-piste and well groomed. Looks like sunshine for most of this week, so will affect snow conditions negatively, but apparantly more snow forecast this coming Friday.
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More snow forecast for tomorrow which means this weekend could be a good one again 🙏🏻

Question, does Andorra always have 1.5 hour tailbacks at the border on Sunday evening? Last weekend was torture leaving
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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.
mrvinegar wrote:
More snow forecast for tomorrow which means this weekend could be a good one again 🙏🏻

Question, does Andorra always have 1.5 hour tailbacks at the border on Sunday evening? Last weekend was torture leaving


Yes, you can expect it over ski season, especially with Carnaval coming up. Leaving after 8pm might be better
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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
After a few days of sun and relatively warm temperatures, webcam shows Soldeu is getting a few more inches Smile

In the words of Leslie Crowther - "Come on down!" snowHead snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Well, I had the pleasure of meeting a number of snowheads on Wednesday evening; as expected, a lovely bunch of people Madeye-Smiley. Mountain-lovers generally are, aren't they! Hope you all enjoyed the last couple of days despite the radical change in the weather. Must admit, I didn't get back onto the hill until today...

...and the snowfall has been more interesting than I expected! Those 5cm here and there seem to have added up. Knee-deep powder in Bonaigua on the lee sides of slopes, though solid underfoot anywhere where the wind has reached, which when combined with the bad visibility is making for some interesting "instinct skiing". Since my skiing is not all that instinctive yet, there have been a few falls so far Laughing. I'm still resisting the temptation to go and grab the board though... gotta work on the all-conditions skiing instead snowHead

I don't see much sun on the horizon for the next week, although tomorrow and Monday may yet surprise us.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Pyremaniac, a great pleasure to meet you too! I think a number of us will be returning next year, if possible, so perhaps we shall meet again. Actually, I think Baqueira-Beret, and the Hotel Tuc Blanc, would make a brilliant Bash venue. I may have words with admin about this. Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Hurtle, Use your influence, Baqueira a great place. Will be there at the end of this month.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@peter w, I'll do my best, but doubt I have any influence!
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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?
@Hurtle, that would be great! I wouldn't hesistate to join, either officially or even just to catch up.

The snowfall keeps on giving, today. I was actually starting to get motion sick from not being able to tell if I was even moving or not, so have bailed out to the lovely rural retreat close to the resort and am enjoying some delicious hot food straight off the open fire... Next year I'll have to show you guys some of these lesser-known places wink
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Ooh, keep me informed. Just got my Snowheads orange buff to join the club Smile But we are usually limited to half term / Carnival skiing.

I’m in El Tarter next week, so it can dump this week all it likes, sorry to be selfish!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Over a metre of snow has fallen this weekend in Cerdanya ...

https://www.nevasport.com/noticias/art/54761/La-nevada-deja-en-las-pistas-de-la-Cerdanya-un-metro-de-nieve/#comentario_8
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Absolutely dumping in Soldeu this morning Smile

(Me, glued to the webcams every three hours? Nah... rolling eyes Twisted Evil )
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Orange200 wrote:
Absolutely dumping in Soldeu this morning Smile

(Me, glued to the webcams every three hours? Nah... rolling eyes Twisted Evil )


That makes two of us... Heading out on Sunday to Soldeu, so trying hard to only update the webcams every hour 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!
This is great news! Just back from my sneaky Italian weekend so ready to obsess over the weather in El Tarter for the next three weeks - does anyone have the webcam link handy?
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I do most things, including webcam link, from here: https://www.soldeu.com/
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Or for wider, Grandvalira info: https://www.grandvalira.com/en/live-webcams
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
They're all the same cams Smile
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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.
Looks like the secret is out: the FT ran a nice Heli-skiing piece on the Val d'Aran this weekend.
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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
Pyremaniac wrote:
Well, I had the pleasure of meeting a number of snowheads on Wednesday evening; as expected, a lovely bunch of people Madeye-Smiley. Mountain-lovers generally are, aren't they! Hope you all enjoyed the last couple of days despite the radical change in the weather.


Nice meeting you too. You have picked a lovely place to spend the season. It was a real shame to have to leave just as the visibility was improving and there were a few inches of fresh powder on the slopes. Hopefully I'll be back some other time. What's the preferred language in the region, Spanish, Catalan or something even more regional?
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You know it makes sense.
Off to Baqueira in a few weeks, anyone recommend a ski hire place, I'm flying ryan air and it doesn't seem as economical to take one set of skis and I'd like to have a shorter pair than mine currently are to make demoing a snowplough easier Wink

Ideally I'd like to leave the skis near the lifts too so I can get a small hire car.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Little Martin wrote:
Off to Baqueira in a few weeks, anyone recommend a ski hire place, I'm flying ryan air and it doesn't seem as economical to take one set of skis and I'd like to have a shorter pair than mine currently are to make demoing a snowplough easier Wink

Ideally I'd like to leave the skis near the lifts too so I can get a small hire car.


Friends who have an apartment in Vielha recommended a shop called Bodysport (in Vielha). However when we rented a pair of skis for my wife last month we were perfectly happy with the 'resort' rental place in Beret - I glanced around and they seemed to have a good selection of skis. They get very busy though, it's like an assembly line on peak-season weekends.

You can rent a locker at Beret station (I think they're about a tenner a night). I highly recommend starting/finishing your day in Beret if you can, it's just a bit quieter and more pleasant than Baqueira main resort.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Clear skies at last today and I dashed up for an afternoon in Port del Comte, a small resort in the pre-pyrenees, about 100km south of Andorra (the usual day-trip suspects of La Molina-Masella were chain-access only; whereas Port del Comte had had the bashers working overtime, clearly).

The webcams and telly reports are not lying, the region has had a simply enormous dump in the last two days - the snow level was almost covering the circles at the top of the coloured poles demarking the pistes!

Only a couple of chairlifts were open but that was enough to find plenty of untracked powder. Though by the end of the day it was pretty much all tracked out. The powder was okay but surprisingly dense - no fluffy pillows up to your waist.

With reasonably stable-but-cold weather forecast for the eastern pyrenees it looks like all the resorts in the region will get their act together and there should be fairly epic piste conditions for the weekend.... along with endless hordes of locals who have been drooling over the webcams all week!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Does anyone know if the road from Puigcerda to Ax Les Thermes is Ok? This website suggests it's closed but google Maps says everything is normal

https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Traffic?geoboundaries=42.4614601,1.5016937:42.7782674,2.2364044

Edit: Aha it seems thats it the col for Porte Puymorens that's closed, the tunnel there seems open
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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?
AlunAlun wrote:
With reasonably stable-but-cold weather forecast for the eastern pyrenees


Actually I tell a lie, looks like it's going to keep on snowing!
https://www.theweatheroutlook.com/twodata/arpege.aspx?run=na&charthour=25&chartname=eurprecipsnow&chartregion=eur&charttag=Snow
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“... along with endless hordes of locals who have been drooling over the webcams all week!”

Who are you calling a local?! Very Happy

Carnival weekend now, so probably crowded until Tuesday evening.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I second the advice above re Beret, you can park for free and it's only 2 mins from the slopes to the car park, means you can hang out at the car for a break/picnic if that's your thing...less queues for lifts also
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Close to 2m of snowdepth at some places in resorts in Andorra now. And very cold atm. I suspect if anyone is coming up for the weekend you are in for a treat.
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Certainly cold and more snow predicted. Artouste should be getting 83cm in the next 7 days.... and as a bonus I start work there tomorrow for the last month of opening!!!
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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!
Well, it's been quite a week, hasn't it!

Where to begin? Well, we thought the snow was good the last time we saw the sun, some 10 days ago:



(and indeed, when we last saw the moon; there was a huge full moon on the night I drove back over the pass after meeting the sH group in Baqueira, and it lit up the entire valley beautifully:



And then the weather set in. And didn't leave. I mean, I'm all for snow, but seriously it's been zero visibility in Baqueira, with the exception of the trees down from 1800 and the lower part of Peülla, since what feels like forever! It's barely been possible to do anything, especially with all the pistes at Peülla closed for much of the week, with the exception of the linking blue (if even that). So much powder... and so little possiblity of playing in it Evil or Very Mad

It's had quite a result though... La Molina (of all places) has the greatest snow depths of any resort in Southern Europe, with up to 3.6m, so they claim. Those blacks down from Tossa d'Alp must be incredible right now! But it's the same everywhere, with huge snowfalls throughout the Pyrenees: all the Catalan resorts got a battering these last few days thanks to the quiet but incessant easterlies... but it's been hitting from all directions at one point or another, and you know it's good season when resort which depend on such radically different weather fronts as Port del Comte, Baqueira and Cerler are all heaving under the weight of the new snow.

And then, this morning, a brief but very welcome break in the weather. There were a ton of us stuck on the road below the Bonaigua pass, all chomping at the bit at 8:30 this morning to get first tracks; but it took the helicopter more than an hour to blast the mountainsides so that we could get up to Peülla. We all seemed to enjoy it when we finally arrived though:



As I was doing a run down Pala Gran, a young instructor had the back luck to avalanche a small but steep roll-over, just as I was going past. It was a soft slab avalanche of fresh snow which only half covered him, so luckily no injuries, but he lost his ski in the process which we didn't manage to find.


(slightly up and right from centre; amazing how the photos mask the steepness... where all the people are descending below it, where it descends from left down to right in the picture, it's a very respectable black piste)

It was exactly the orientation and steepness that always slides somewhere in Peülla in these conditions, just as indeed the avalanche bulletin says today. (He had no avalanche kit; I'm seeing more and more of this kind of thing in Baqueira: a general "open-season" mentality, including instructors leading very young kids down places that I personally wouldn't go without a beacon on... it's a worrying change. Peülla in particular is not the kind of place to let your guard down; there's a reason why the helicopter spends a hour working in Bonaigua on days like this.)

And then, alas, it was back to work before midday. Still, my wild and largely untouched valley is beautiful right now (in that respect, personally I much prefer it to main artery of the Val d'Aran), and so I took a moment to drive the long way home via Boren:



The horses outnumber the people at least twenty to one here!

And that's it; the clouds were already arriving in that photo, and the snow returns tonight. We can forget about sun for another week Skullie

I'm going to get off the fence, and call it: this season is going to be an epic of the likes of 5 years ago, with restaurants only reachable through snow tunnels, and cars driving over the pass between towering walls of snow. Bring it on! snowHead
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little ms spock wrote:
Nice meeting you too. You have picked a lovely place to spend the season. It was a real shame to have to leave just as the visibility was improving and there were a few inches of fresh powder on the slopes. Hopefully I'll be back some other time. What's the preferred language in the region, Spanish, Catalan or something even more regional?


Hope so!

In the Val d'Aran they speak their own language, called Aranese. It originates from Gascon which is the language of the French side of that part of the Pyrenees, which itself is a dialect of Occitan which covers the wider French Pyrenees and pre-Pyrenees. Geographically, the valley is French, and indeed before they built the Vielha tunnel it was completely cut of from Spain in winter and so naturally there is a significant French influence in the culture. It's a cultural gem, with some of the best examples of Romanic architecture in Europe. Hopefully you will have got the chance to see that literally every single village in the Val d'Aran has a beautiful Romanic church. Naturally, the natives also speak Catalan (the valley is Catalonia's outpost), and natives and newcomers alike all speak Spanish too.... It's one of the least separatist regions of the whole of Catalonia - largely, I suspect, because the money flows mainly from the rest of Spain!

Pumba wrote:
Certainly cold and more snow predicted. Artouste should be getting 83cm in the next 7 days.... and as a bonus I start work there tomorrow for the last month of opening!!!


Fantastic! What do you work as?
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@Pyremaniac, snowHead snowHead
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