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Pyrenees snow report 2019-20

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Very good trip.

Skied a few lines I'd done before.


Some I'd looked at from a lift.


Some that needed a bit of effort.


A couple that really got the heart racing.



But loads we couldn't get into or down through due to the lack of snow.
A good excuse to go back when there is.

ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I see the RN 116 has been closed again this time due to some rather large cracks near the previous repair site! Any one with any inside info? I’m sure there will be pressure for a fix somehow!
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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?
mortonia, nice pics.
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Dr. Will wrote:
I see the RN 116 has been closed again this time due to some rather large cracks near the previous repair site! Any one with any inside info? I’m sure there will be pressure for a fix somehow!


According the prefecture Twitter account and the local news, the ground hasn't stopped giving way yet. They won't be able to do anything to enable reopening the road until it stops. I'm not breaking the bad news to my neighbour who's taking his family to Font Romeu on Saturday that he's going to be taking a rather long diversion.
https://www.lindependant.fr/2020/02/04/p-o-affaissement-de-la-chaussee-sur-la-rn116-la-situation-se-degrade-dheure-en-heure,8709658.php
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
moody_git wrote:
Dr. Will wrote:
I see the RN 116 has been closed again this time due to some rather large cracks near the previous repair site! Any one with any inside info? I’m sure there will be pressure for a fix somehow!


According the prefecture Twitter account and the local news, the ground hasn't stopped giving way yet. They won't be able to do anything to enable reopening the road until it stops. I'm not breaking the bad news to my neighbour who's taking his family to Font Romeu on Saturday that he's going to be taking a rather long diversion.
https://www.lindependant.fr/2020/02/04/p-o-affaissement-de-la-chaussee-sur-la-rn116-la-situation-se-degrade-dheure-en-heure,8709658.php


Oh dear! Flying out on the 16th for a week's skiing of a series of day trips from a base below the incident using that road.....8 hours return daily is not possible and even if we get a place at short notice there is a long trek getting there... One would hope in the French school holidays they would be moving heaven and earth to get it sorted by then but looks quite serious!
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Have bitten the bullet and booked a not unreasonably priced apartment in Llivia as I doubt it will open soon...anyone used this town as a base? We should be able to go there direct from Barcelona airport after having met up with my parents and at least spend a few days skiing, and only one big detour journey to do rather than several!!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Llivia is fine, though largely an artificial town made up of second homes. (But is that really any different from Font-Romeu, for example?) It's a natural base for the Neiges Catalanes, and just a couple of minutes by car from Bourg-Madame and Puigcerdà.

Your change of plan is a good move, I feel.
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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!
Does anyone know if there is a convenient place to buy snow chains or socks on the way from Barcelona el Prat airport to the tunnel of Cadi? I probably won’t need them but you never know (may be icy/snowy on access to property as Llivia is 1200m up in the mountains) and there is no guarantee that the hire company will rent them!
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Dr. Will wrote:
Does anyone know if there is a convenient place to buy snow chains or socks on the way from Barcelona el Prat airport to the tunnel of Cadi?


Based on the current forecast I doubt you’ll need them , but there is a “Feu Vert” in El Prat
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Also there's a large Alcampo pretty close to the airport, which sells a wide range of chains and snowsocks. But as mrvinegar says, you're unlikely to need them - especially to get to Llivia. They stand more chance of being used up at the car park of Cambre d'Aze, for example. But even then, without a change in the forecast you'll be fine without them.

Do check that your car hire allows you to take the car cross-border; some don't.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Dr. Will wrote:
...and booked a not unreasonably priced apartment in Llivia...


Congratulations on that. At least you booked a stay in one of the most peculiar villages in existence, at least from a historical POV.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/world/europe/catalonia-independence-spain-llivia.html

Beautiful surroundings, sunny dry climate (like all of Cerdanya) at strategically well positioned between a lot of interesting ski areas.
Cambre d'Aze nearby, Les Angles idem, La Molina also within sight.

Also be sure to visit the thermal baths in Llo. Nice relaxing interpretation of apres-ski. Llo is a beautiful little village anyhow with good restaurants.
https://www.tripadvisor.nl/Attraction_Review-g488136-d2487430-Reviews-Les_Bains_de_Llo-Llo_Pyrenees_Orientales_Occitanie.html
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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.
Well one thing has been good most days this season and that's been the visibility.

Another cloudless day in Grandvalira, but cold and the snow stayed hard all day.

Pistes in pretty good condition even with the lack of any new snow and not too busy considering it's the first weekend of the French School Holidays.

Lots of traffic coming up as we were going down so expect it to get busier.
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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
Thank you very much for your helpful advice guys. Think I’m going to probably ask my parents to pick up a child booster seat on the way to Barcelona as including that is a ridiculous 88 euros on top the car hire, about seven times the value of a cheap seat!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Bareges(Grand Tourmalet) had a late start on Monday due to naff snow (only green/tree run open at 10am), we aborted the visit to go to Luz Ardiden instead, which was the usual ice cube & snow gravel on hard pack start with softer conditions developing according to sunlight. Didn't go up today, but mountains looked pretty naff from Luz given low cloud.

Conclusion: everything appears just like 'end of season' except for slightly cooler temperatures, so wait for fresh snow before venturing into this area. Even so, sunny conditions will still provide an enjoyable days' skiing on what remains - until that snow.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The last 3 days in Baqueira have felt more like April than February.

Each day more runs were being closed, with the Beret area suffering the worst.

Still some good skiing to had as the snow softens up in the sun, but more brown and bare patches appearing in all 3 areas.

2 weeks away from the mountains for me. Hopefully, a weather change and some snow for when I'm back.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yet more obstacles put in place for my annual ski trip with Storm Dennis and Easyjet combining to cancel the outbound flight on Sunday to Barcelona, forcing me to rebook the outbound flight to 2 days later- grr!
So after having previously booking accommodation to account for the RN 116 landslide closing the normal access road from my parents' house, going to forfeit 2 of the days and having to book 2 extra days elsewhere so can have more than 2 days skiing....

The 2 extra days are in pretty much the last hotel with rooms in the region, Hotel le Catalan, about 2 miles from Pyrenees 2000/Font Romeu



which hasn't got brilliant reviews but it's a bed and plenty of opportunity to ski during the day! Then we will drive directly back to Barcelona on the last day.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/16/french-ski-resort-moves-snow-with-helicopter-in-order-to-stay-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?
I was just about to post that!

Talk about a bad year!
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Dr. Will wrote:
Think I’m going to probably ask my parents to pick up a child booster seat on the way to Barcelona as including that is a ridiculous 88 euros on top the car hire, about seven times the value of a cheap seat!


Just FYI, for future reference, you're allowed bring a child seat for free on any plane journey with a child. Car rental is rip off and if you review Ryanair baggage prices they actually include a charge for these items, but if you're travelling with kids its free. Just in case you didn't know.

Or at least it was free prior to Brexit! Am assuming its one of those pro-consumer rules from our European overlords
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mm off to Soldeu on 1st March -hopefully it will cool down and snow a bit before then
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Baqueira is holding up well, had the cannons on last 2 days in morning, not this morning though.

Feeling a little warm, but perfect for enjoying the sun at the moet bar
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Definitely still v much skiable in the Pyrenees Orientales, some of the more sun exposed runs in Font Romeu and Les Angles are closed but still a good 90%+ of runs open.

Currently staying in the somewhat rustic “Hotel Catalan” at la Cabanasse that was booked at the last minute to extend skiing time after Storm Dennis set back our outbound flight by 48 hrs. However has surprisingly decent food if you choose wisely! Looking forward to half day blast in Espace c’Ambre d’Aze before we head back to Barcelona for a late flight. The important thing is that my children got enough lessons for my 5 year to get hooked on skiing with a bear cub badge at the end and the eldest to get a shiny golden star badge Very Happy
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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!
Rain is forecast in the next couple of days in the Pyrénéan foothills, but the thing is, is that going to be snow up top? And how low will the snow line be?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Got back at the weekend from my first ever visit to Baqueira for my 50th - absolutely loved it. Warm all week so we were restricted to the pistes apart from a bit of spring snow off piste in the afternoons. Very excited to come back with my middle aged free ride crew next season and hopefully get some good snow.
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