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Serre Chevalier Snow Report 2018/2019-and useful links

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So it carried on snowing overnight and this was walking to Friday night drinks.



There was a queue of people at the garage just down from us with people buying and then trying to fit snow chains.

And then various cars/vans not able to cope with the massive amounts of snow, most of us agreed over drinks that this was one of the biggest snowfalls that many a hardened seasonaire / local had seen, but that was not the end of it as it carried on!

I left my van in the lower parking area just in case our parking area was blocked by the commune snow plough with a wall of hard snow and then I'd have to dig my way out.

However, as I went down at 08:00 I still faced a wall of snow produced by the commune snow plough and then luckily the snowplough that we pay as apartment owners to clear our parking areas turned up and he cleared that wall of snow for me Cool



Then he came up to clear our parking area but that did not really help my neighbours Laughing



I should also add that at 08:00 we had blue sky, so OH made a huge effort as she was off games with fever yesterday and we mad it on to the Frejus Gondola at 09:05.

That was the good news the bad was that the Cretes drag was shut, so we did a Barres and tried a Pikeys Shoulder but snow was just too deep for me to cut a track.

So we skied down to the Côté Chevalier chair and did three or four laps off that in the vicinity of Rocher de l'Enfer before the weekend hordes started to arrive.

Then it was off elsewhere skiing some nice lines in the trees more or less all the way back down to the valley.

It's snowing lightly again now, but we're only due another 5cm or so.

Top lifts and Cretes are still closed, be interesting to see what they open tomorrow, think I'll pack skins as if Vallons is shut then would be a good call to skin up there.

Back down to 1420 laters to watch the rugby.


http://youtube.com/v/FM1HPPdmtUk
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Briancon old town
https://www.facebook.com/joti.kaktus/videos/383985845713357
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Bumped into my neighbour last night, Dr Varsinak who has his surgery in the commercial centre, and he said this was the biggest snowfall since 1990.

Seemed to be coachloads of Eastern Europeans & Frenchies dropping off sub 20yr olds who were having to make their way to the apartments, then in the bar two groups of said young Frenchies last evening, with two drinks between them, then they asked for glasses of tap water!

Top lifts again look shut, and windy will go and take a look, but not too enticing.
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Nice in the old town last night Very Happy

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Onnem wrote:
Briancon old town
https://www.facebook.com/joti.kaktus/videos/383985845713357


For those who know the old town, that's Cool
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Two days after the mega the snowfall and traffic chaos and amazing how quickly roads return to normal etc

Temps yesterday rose to +6 and in the sun the snow was melting quickly, on our patio the 90cm or so has compacted down to around half of that.

That said snow that has not seen any sun is nigh on still light powder.

Unfortunately, after the snow of Friday Saturday, the winds blew on Sunday and Eychauda ridge is once again stripped of all snow, and at altitude, you can see the impact of those winds.

We scored a couple of great lines yesterday, all be it a tad challenging at times, and the best snow was in the trees, though I kept thinking how had avalanche debris made its way into the forest, in fact, they were the residual clumps of snow blown off the trees.

There's still cold powder to be had I think in the trees, but I'm taking a couple of days off as I've tweaked my back (probably not helped by shovelling snow) just after I'd nigh on recovered from my fall of Jan 1st and just maybe we'll have spring snow touring back end of the week.

We were all saying last evening how busy the resort seemed with many Eastern Europeans who all seem to snowboard, but still feckin quiet compared to the ski factories of the Northern Alps!

That will all change next week but hopefully back allowing I'm off doing stuff.
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Very useful -I'm thinking about trying to get a week in somewhere flying out Sat 23rd or Sun 24th Feb and Serre is on the short list . From what you are saying Weathercam, it seems there was little snowbase until the recent megastorm but that is going quickly so now really worth booking yet.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@muddewater, pistes are and were in glorious condition as temps were so cold all through Jan allowing for snow canons to do their thing.

And the majority of the pistes are all N Facing so will not lose too much snow.

But for sure there's talk of high pressure and no snow till March and what with the French half term hordes who knows.

What I was mentioning, Eychauda is mainly an off-piste area.

However if it were me flying out 23rd 24th I'd look at Italy.

Actually, I am flying out the 23rd but to Denver Laughing
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@davidof, way too tracked out for me, that's why I had a day off on the 5th, now the day before...........

Have a couple of mates who want to ski pistes here tomorrow so think we'll go for the 100km challenge, though they don't know that yet Laughing

We easily clocked up 75km (inc lifts) in under 4hrs few weeks back, and we have more snow so can do more valley descents.

Only trouble is that it's a Friday and that means loads of idiots about on their last day, and currently from what I hear every other one is an out of control Eastern European snowboarder Laughing

As for more snow, my mate who we call the snow god arrives tonight and he has to pick a mate up from Grenoble airport at 10:30 Monday morning and the current forecast is possibly suggesting that the Col could be shut!
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We toured up near the Izoard on Wed, very mellow but what was apparent was that there was still good powder to be had in the trees and North facing slopes.

So for yesterday I suggested a tour just up from Le Casset and for one of the guys it was his first major tour in a long time, and at nigh on 70 he did really well, able to chat all the way whilst climbing up though once he got to the magic 2,000m + he did slow up a liitle, but twas a sterling performance.

And the descent was great!


http://youtube.com/v/qc0hOyjwfUk

Doing some piste skiing later so will report back on that.

Some snow still on the table for Sunday into Monday, then a week of sunshine as the hordes arrive
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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.
Morning all,

Currently enjoying the Alpine sunshine Serre Che, slightly busier yesterday than Thursday with plenty of wreckless people about to keep you on your toes!

Looking forward to some snow at the weekend, fingers crossed the optimistic forecast comes good. Very mixed bag depending which sites you look at!

Just wondering if any SC snowHeads can recommend trails/pistes to explore (maybe treelined with lots of little side hits? I’m thinking back to the ‘star wars’ run we used to lap in Avoriaz).

Also, any recommendations for back country guides (Missus and I have all back country gear but wouldn’t be comfortable exploring without any knowledge of the area).

And third but final question... from the top of the Clot Gauthier lift there looks like to be a run/cat track descending from the ridge line across the clot gauthier peak and Col mea. Is this a lift serviced route? Only I couldn’t see lift going up there? Maybe it was hidden from view from where I was.

Thanks all! Toofy Grin
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@Drifter210, there is sometimes a cat track there and if the Eychauda drag is running, you can schuss down and then up on it, then it's a skate or bootpack to the summit of the Clot Gauthier where you can ski the NW face down to the top of the 2 drag lifts.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Currently raining in chantmerle. Was some nice snow at about 2-3 pm further up the hill which freshened things up nicely. But quite windy up top.
Looking for board lessons for the kid tomorrow and may try some more off piste if the snow is Ok

Any recommendations for board school?

Anyone fancy some off piste then let me know. Got Pieps shovel and probe obvs, and a fair idea of how to use them. Though thankfully never in anger.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Stacks of lovely snow yesterday and last night. Most pistes with a nice soft covering this morning. Loads of lovely staches on any spare bits of ground.

Hopefully still some decent powder to be had tomorrow when we revert to the skis. Both our toes are gubbed from boarding today.

A few lifts were marked shut this afternoon, so perhaps they will open tomorrow and fresh tracks to be had.

Mmmmm
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
20-25cm in the trees at Chantemerle, loads of untracked, lovely..............
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Can't wait. Back again on Sunday...
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@RetroBod, still lurking?
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@KenX, Can't stay away!! Me and Mrs Retrobod staying in Villeneuve this time. Tied to school hols I'm afraid. Entertained by Crystal so don't have to brave the car parks!!
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Hmph. Strong winds seem to have got rid of most of the nice snow
Some good bits in the occasional gullies or Lee slopes but not a patch on yesterday, which was amazing. Woods also getting fairly tracked out.
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@TheGeneralist, Too true... But have to keep the guard up. All that snow has blown somewhere and so windslab will continue to be a risk. Slides can happen even in the woods.
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Yes I believe @Weathercam can attest to that!
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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!
Pretty much all the north facing tree skiing is finished now, but the pistes are still in fantastic shape!
Strangely, south facing off piste that was wind affected sastrugi/crud now seemed to have morphed into reasonable heavy powder, so with a bit of careful aspect choosing, the game may go on!
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On the plus side the wind has formed some lovely little cornices on the gully/valley thing near the jumps park which gives a useful addition to the woefully short selection of kickers by the button lift.

Give the kid a bit of practice for next time we go to Nevis Range.
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As I suspected, S-facing slopes are cooking nicely, with Skevinski up at the Lautaret:

P1000215
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
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Weathercam wrote:
We toured up near the Izoard on Wed, very mellow but what was apparent was that there was still good powder to be had in the trees and North facing slopes.

So for yesterday I suggested a tour just up from Le Casset and for one of the guys it was his first major tour in a long time, and at nigh on 70 he did really well, able to chat all the way whilst climbing up though once he got to the magic 2,000m + he did slow up a liitle, but twas a sterling performance.

And the descent was great!


http://youtube.com/v/qc0hOyjwfUk

Doing some piste skiing later so will report back on that.

Some snow still on the table for Sunday into Monday, then a week of sunshine as the hordes arrive

Did this tour start from Les Boussardes Gavin? Looks like the valley you take to get to the Combeynot peaks? That's where we are renting for April, touring from the front door Very Happy
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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.
@KenX, wow, can that sky get any bluer? 3 sleeps....
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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
Some friends considering Serre Che for either 18th or 25th Jan next year. I know weather predictions are guesswork, other than maybe one more week for snow to arrive on 25th, but from any of the locals/regulars on here would there be any noticeable difference in how busy the slopes are in either of those two weeks? Thanks
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You know it makes sense.
@toyah807, both weeks will be quiet. We will probably be out there ourselves for those two.
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Skevinski enjoying the powder below the Col de Laurichard:

















And Irbis doing more of the same, on his birthday no less!



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Warmest day of the year today, nearly hit 14 degrees and felt very warm in the sunshine.

Have a mate staying and he went up the hill and did around five hours saying pistes were not at all busy, no queues and pistes in really good condition, he's doing the Serre Derby with Darren T's nine-year-old son who skied his legs off Laughing

I've been over La Grave way past three days and we scored great conditions, yesterday, best day of the season me thinks.

And again skiing with a 14year old who just rips, bit like his mother and not to mention his dad Shocked


http://youtube.com/v/3Y8M4num0Os
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Oh feck sign of things to expect, now have tailbacks down on the main road with the hordes arriving Sad

Had a great ski tour today from La Salle up to the Gardiole, tough and long and not too sure what to expect on the descent but turned out to be very good.

Pistes on the other side of the valley


And the view of Serre Che pistes from the Gardiole
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Terrible news from the valley this morning. Four teenagers killed and 2 seriously injured in an early morning collision with a lorry on the main road in Chantemerle. RIP and sympathies to their families.
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Today opted to go up from Pointless at 11:00 which seemed even more pointless as it had stopped and they said it was going to be 20mins, so we were just going to try and see if there was any parking at Frejus, and or go home and within 5 mins it started up again.

We then skied down to Frejus gondola from top of Pointless and there were so many numpties around (going back for lunch), we saw one 5-year-old walking behind his dad up the little chemin where you have to gun it down to Chazelet, and then people generally twatting around.

We then took Barres and the Mea drag and went over the back of the Col de Mea all the way to Vallon de Chambran snow was sublime in stretches and grippy in others, I took a couple of falls but maybe I should have been on my fatter skis as I was only on my 88's.

I also came right out of the binding on a turn and bruised my knee, hopefully, think I'm ok as managed to skin up to Col de Frejus and then Cucumelle chair and ski back down Vallons and to Pointless!

Have to say the wind has really fecked a lot of the snow, we're having to sniff out gullies and the like, sort of what you'd have to do end of March and I'm getting concerned as to how much snow there will be in even a couple of weeks rolling eyes

But we have had mega dumps in March, it's just that it will now fall on warm land.


http://youtube.com/v/xyMMVCxZ92M

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A good bunch of 26 of us look forward to arriving in Chantemerle on 3 March.

I've looked through this thread for some tips of mountain restaurants etc and have scribbled them below. Hope that's ok to make use of what you folks have already and kindly suggested. Any other tips would be very very welcome.

I'm also looking to demo some Dynastar Legend x88 & x96 and comparable skis if that's likely possible somewhere ? I should also be asking where it would be good to play in some easy access off piste too !

Thanks
Paul

Mountain Restaurants:
Villeneuve
• Pi Mai near the bottom of the Vallons chair
• Echaillon good mountain restaurant (under the new Cote Chevalier chair/off to the right of the Fangeas piste between top of Casse du Beouf and Clot Gauthies lifts).
• Chazelet bottom of Casse du Boeuf.

Chantmerle
• Chalet Hôtel de Serre Ratier
• Le White (at Serre Ratier).

Monetier
• Peyra Juana (off Rochamout blue towards the bottom of the mountain). Small rustic hut, long communal tables. Great (and huge) plat du jour. Menu always does look a little basic, and hasn't changed in years, but they come into their own with the Plat du Jour (often more than one) and home-made desserts.

Prorel
• Chalet Serre Blanc just above Rocher Blanc chair.

Apres Bars:
• The Station Chantlemerle. Best situated apres bar, foot of the Luc Alphand black run. Terrace with great ski view
• Spirit bar, Briancon - next to church in the old Town
• Alpen bar, Monetier.

Rental:
• Riquet Village Sports in La Salle / Villeneuve probably has the best high-performance kit to rent
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@paulmags, not too bad an edit Smile

Station bar is no longer.

There is the Grotte under the Aravet lift.

Where are you staying or did I miss that?
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Aaaahhb just seen Chantemerle !

So you have Plein Sud hotel which has a nice bar and is run by a good friend.

There are then a few orher bars than charge an arm and a leg for drinks, Maurice bar for instance and a new one Le Boudoir.

There's the Triptique resto and there Loup Blanc next to where Station was/ is
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Also high end ski rental in Melquiond sports in Chantemerle.
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