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Pyrenees snow report 2019-20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Happy autumn everyone! The new winter season is just a few weeks away, and the pre-season snowfalls have started.

There are several news-worthy developments this year:

Grandvalira in Andorra has some new pistes and lifts in order to incorporate the Peretol snow park into the ski area proper; there's now a green piste which runs from Grau Roig along the hem of the mountain, alongside the Valira river, to reach Peretol. This piste is divided into two by a short drag lift half way along which allows it to regain altitude. Consequently and sensibly they've also run short red and blue diversions from the opposite side of Grau valley (the side closest to Pas) to connect directly with that green over what looks like a bridge over the access road that goes to the car park. To get from Peretol back up to the main ski area, they've extended one of the existing Pla de les Pedres lifts downwards - and, naturally, extended one of the existing blues downwards from where that lift used to start to where it starts now, a hundred metres or so lower down. Here's the new piste map: https://www.grandvalira.com/sites/default/files/files/mapa_1920_cast.pdf . For the moment there's no new car parking available at the Peretol (Bordes d'Envalira) entrance and so I guess it's bus-served only. Although the marketing says that it's all about connecting the Peretol snow park, the reality seems to be that it's strategically useful to connect Grau Roig to Peretol via a cat track so that the Grau-Soldeu connection isn't reliant on the Cubil chairlift that goes from the Grau car park towards Soldeu and which is one of the worst bottlenecks in the whole area; if that lift were to go out of action there it would cause big problems - until now.

Peyragudes in the French Pyrenees has a new gondola which at last connects the town of Loudenvielle to the ski area, with the aim of reducing the traffic going up the mountain road and hopefully also increasing the number of summer visitors (which seems to be an objective of most ski areas these days, and rightly so). In the long run it's conceivable that they'll run another gondola up the other side of the valley to the Val Louron ski area, thus creating a very respectable interconnected area.

La Molina in the Catalan Pyrenees has at long last taken steps to improve its IMO terrible lift connections, with the gondola which ran up to Masella now going all the way to the top of the mountain, and with a new chairlift from that same departure point now going up to the Coll de Pal beginners area (reached by car along a back road) which was effectively cut of from the rest of the ski area (as far as beginners were concerned) because daring to leave it implied having to then take the gondola and a very difficult red (Comabella) in order to return. I'm sad that the lower half of Comabella will no longer be the oasis of peace which it always was, but I can't argue against this very sensible development.

Little Puyvalador in the French Catalan Pyrenees, which closed two years ago after defaulting on its debt, will be partially reopened by the local mayor who's managed to grub up €600.000 to get the lower drag lifts running again. It won't offer much to anyone but beginners like that, but the ticket price will be a mere €20 and of course the idea is to try to get the whole resort open again.

And finally Boí Taüll in the Spanish Catalan Pyrenees has been taken over by the publicly-owned FGC (Catalan railway company) which rescues every failing ski area in Catalonia. They now directly run six of the ten Catalan alpine ski areas, and I for one am pleased that they keep these little places alive and thus maintain jobs etc in the mountain valleys. Boí in particular is a gem, and it would have been a tragic loss.

Last season was entirely unexciting, weather wise, and so I struggled to get in the mood. But I guess it's normal to have a boring season from time to time. (That said, the numbers were apparently perfectly good across the board, so maybe I've become far too reliant on fresh snow!) Here's hoping that this season delivers the goods snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks for the update! Yeah last season was weird, some crazy temps, I skied in 20°C+ multiple times and each time the pistes were jammed with people, hopefully the coming season is more like 2018...
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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?
@Pyremaniac, great info as usual. Fingers crossed for an exciting season.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Nuit De La Glisse in Toulouse next week should get the old skiing juices going.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
mrvinegar wrote:
Thanks for the update! Yeah last season was weird, some crazy temps, I skied in 20°C+ multiple times and each time the pistes were jammed with people, hopefully the coming season is more like 2018...


Yeah baby!

Already have some snow one the high tops, although a lot have melted away. Found quite a bit of snow out walking last weekend. All just little teasers. But hey, Arcalis in Andorra plans to open late November already. I guess they are hoping for enough snow in the La Coma bowl. Let's see what the next couple of weeks bring.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
The first snow of the winter has fallen across the Pyrenees, and it looks like it'll keep on coming during the next week or so. A promising start to the season!

A little more news: both Baqueira and Arcalís will have a new red piste this season. The one in Baquiera connects the Baciver sector with the lower part of the Orri de Tredòs black; in Arcalís, it's in the La Coma sector.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Cauterets in the western French Pyrenees was the first to receive a metre of snow the other day! (That place gets tons of snow; it's often the ski area with the most accumulated snowfall in Europe - and occassionally in the world - at some point during the season proper, thanks to those north-westerlies coming in straight from the northern Atlantic... Good old Ireland, keeping only most of the precipitation for itself wink)

No sign of any early openings yet, but all eyes are on Masella and Arcalís as usual.
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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!
It looks like the snowy weather - primarily from westerlies - is going to continue for the next week and a half, and with decently low temperatures to boot.

So it comes as no surprise that Masella will open tomorrow with the customary blue piste in the Coma Oriola sector, progressively opening more pistes as the week goes on. Formigal and Astún in the western Spanish Pyrenees have brought forward their opening date to join Arcalís in Andorra in opening on Saturday, as has Porté Puymorens in the eastern French Pyrenees (just over the border from Andorra) - which will apparently be the first French non-glacier ski area to open this season.

Things are looking good so far... snowHead
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Had a drive up and over to Formigal yesterday and although there was a lot of snow on the French side of the col the Spanish side looked to have quite a bit less due to wind would be my guess. They are still looking good for opening this weekend as already mentioned, and then full opening will be from the following weekend. No news of bringing forward any opening dates for the French side in these parts as yet, however, my notification for my employment at Artouste did have a ‘caveat’ about the start date possibly being brought forward. That said we´re not due to open until mid December anyway.
Snowfall has been abundant in these parts so I’m sure some resorts will be seeing if it’s financially viable to get all the staff in early!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Bucketing down in Andorra...
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Pumba wrote:
Had a drive up and over to Formigal yesterday and although there was a lot of snow on the French side of the col the Spanish side looked to have quite a bit less due to wind would be my guess. They are still looking good for opening this weekend as already mentioned, and then full opening will be from the following weekend.

Indeed - but happily the last couple of days of snow has topped things up again, and it's looking very decent right now:
https://www.nevasport.com/noticias/art/57963/Formigal-abrira-33-km-de-pistas-de-esqui-mientras-sigue-nevando/

They'll be opening 33km on Saturday, which is a reasonable offering for this "bonus" weekend.
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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.
It certainly is! The Pyrenees look fabulous today as the cloud has lifted and the sun has made an appearance. Snow limit looks to have dropped to about 800m last night.
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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
Absolutely! Here's a spectacular compilation of images from today covering the majority of Pyrenean ski areas, on the Spanish "cousin" of sH: https://www.nevasport.com/phorum/read.php?48,4051400,4073491#msg-4073491
What a great way to start the season! snowHead snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Must be easier to upload photos on that site!!!!

Fab compilation of photos, just checked skipass and they are saying another metre in the next week down my way.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Grandvalira webcams are looking impressively white, and their site announces opening 30 November.

Season pass approx 20% discount until 8 Dec for those interested.
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