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Chamonix Snow Report 20/21

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
(I'm starting a new threadbecuse the old one isn't snow reports its a more a lift pass discussion, should be in piste or elsewhere).

Here in France, we are in the strange situation. We have freedom of movment, with a 8pm to 6am curfew. Ski resorts are sort of open, cafes are take out only and there are NO skilifts. The first two pics are my view from home this morning.





These are on my skin to the top of les Houches





As you can see in this pic, there are not so many on my decent, in fact I skied untracked pow, a lot of the way home. While most people skied back down the bumpy messy, partly covered in snowmaking mountains that they skinned, snowshoed, waked up!

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Like the pictures. If I am right on location, it looks as if the Tramway de Mont Blanc hasn't yet decided to open for pedestrians yet. (To be fair, we know first hand it hadn't a week ago).
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Cheers for the pics and update.
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@Idris, so how much do you think we got above, say, 1,500m?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyone have any views on the best skin tracks are for some solo exercise? Are the marked ones through the woods at GM or Les Houches ok at the moment, or is everyone just going straight up the pistes?
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Not skiing but you get an idea of the snow conditions
http://youtube.com/v/YZcif3piz9E
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@hold_my_biere, haven’t been up to Lognan but Le Tour is in good nick if a little sparse as is Les Houches. Somewhat skied outbthough NehNeh NehNeh
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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!
@Idris, nice dronage, some fantastic views in there. I'm jonesing so hard for the alps right now...
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Skinned from the bottom to the little hillock just as you're coming down from Cornu. 1000m of up at just under 5kg a foot having spent 2 weeks mostly exercising my mince pie arm was no joke! And if anyone knows how to stop compeeds from sliding around thus getting blisters anyway then I'm all ears....

Snow was surprisingly good once you got past Parsa. We had powder skiing which was tracked but not too bad. Still lovely and soft and was an enjoyable ski. Then came the home run down which was an exercise in snowplough rock hopping. Gross. The skis still have several new gouges despite skiing down like a granny.

Looks like plenty of snow forecast for the next 10 days along with strong winds so snowpack could be dicey.
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I did that one before New Years and the lap under Parsa was well worth the big trek to get up there. I’m thinking about renting an electric bike to get up/down there next time though, especially if it’s a ski destroyer now. Never ridden one before, so no idea if that’s a feasible plan.
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I think you mean under Cornu as under Parsa is just the home run? There were a couple of guys pushing fatbikes up as we were coming down with skis on their rucksacks. Ski the powder then bike the home run sounds like a good idea but that's a lot of kit to be hauling up 1000m on foot.
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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.
Yeah, I’d definitely want an electric bike for it! Parsa is the one that goes up to Altitude 2000 and then has a few choices back down that are normally blue runs.
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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
Anyone else read the report regarding the chap that fell down a crevasse yesterday! Very lucky!!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ_JMwQlM88/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I was waiting for the person in the video to disappear Toofy Grin
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looks like there was about 30cm in town last night. Difficult to see from any of the webcams how much there was higher up. It’d be handy to have a big striped depth-measuring stick in front of some of the webcams in the ski areas.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@hold_my_biere, I measured 30cms this morning. at 1,080m
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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?
Snow a good amount again last night but felt quite wet/heavy underfoot on my walk to work this morning.

I skinned up Les Houches yesterday after work at around 2pm and there was good coverage the whole way down. Got to the top of Maison Neuve lift/1600m before the weather started to turn. The ski down was surprisingly enjoyable, pretty tracked out but the chop was still soft and it was nice to ski moguls again Very Happy

People we spoke to at the bottom who'd done a couple of runs said the afternoon was better than the morning when it was sticky. It looks relatively mild today and tomorrow but still with plenty of precipitation so snow conditions could be anyones guess. I'm not touring today or tomorrow but gonna head out Saturday I think.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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(Prarion) A lot less people out today, a few 100 total (normaly its 1000+). Probably scared off by yesterdays rain.
Much better skining etiquet (sp?) everyone keeping to 2 or so uptracks, not wandering all over the place.

Its much nicer today, rightside up snow. Getting lighter towards the top of the snowpack and the top of the mountain as it should.

Knee deep unless you find a patch that wasn't perviously trampled on, then its mid thigh....but you stop pretty quick if you go in that deep.

A fair bit of bashing (but not pisteing) going on, most mid mountain runs.

Only got realy heavy in the last 100m.

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Yep ditto! Snow was really nice today Smile

Given that they've effectively warned off ski touring anywhere in the valley tomorrow by saying they're bombing everywhere all morning (yeah, right...) does anyone know what the snow is like in contamines/St G/Praz Sur Arly and any good routes up from the bottom around there? We're thinking of the marked route at Praz at the minute.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

And if anyone knows how to stop compeeds from sliding around thus getting blisters anyway then I'm all ears....

The only suggestion I can make is to warm them, with a hand - or better a hairdryer - for as long as you can be bothered, before putting socks on.
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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!



As good or as bad as it gets.
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Are they going to restrict where you can skin up in Les Houches to prepare for the races ?
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@rjs, they already have, just by the work they have to do.
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Skinned up Praz Sur Arly today. Lovely marked track through the forest, very pretty.

Weather was glorious, snow was stable (they bombed yesterday). The Chamonix pisteurs were clearly trying to put people off touring in the valley this weekend with their dire warnings of bombing all over the place so we went elsewhere.

Got some beautiful powder around 1700m and even some fresh tracks. Got chopped and harder going as you got down and we wandered in and out of pisted sections. All in all, if no one in the Cham valley has been to Praz, its a cracking day out I can thoroughly recommend.

The bar at the bottom was doing takeaway as well!
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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.
http://www.data-avalanche.org/avalanche/1610800405113?fbclid=IwAR0otCyDpfPCBS5mk9_6KXbfZamO-8qkegUOFSfjWkJYHWzZFTeT4NPEOXI
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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
Les Houches this afternoon - pretty much all been pisted which made for a change of pace. The top part of the kandahar wasn't, which was nice but the little steep section before it flattens out was VERY mogully. The snow had mostly turned to hardpack moguls near the bottom if you're into that sort of thing Smile

Still a nice ski and was much quicker on the up so nice to see a bit of fitness coming back.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
“Compte tenu de la situation sanitaire actuelle, le Gouvernement a décidé de maintenir nos sites touristiques et nos domaines skiables fermés pour une durée encore indéterminée.”

From CdMB.
Not opening soon!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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@jbob, no, but unusually for CdMB, a reasonably sensible suggestion that one can have a 70% refund, which means for us, it's a €215 summer pass each, which is reasonably attractive.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@under a new name, when I was mulling over a season pass in the Autumn (seems a long time ago) I seem to recall they were offering 100% if they didn’t open by a certain date. If you get 70% refund and get the summer plus maybe a few weeks at the end of the season it not too bad at all.
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Looks like a 3rd thread will be needed Very Happy
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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?
Maybe they'll open AdM in April and then it really could be a good deal, and even more so if keeping it is the only way to get Club Privee for next season.
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@under a new name, I'd already applied for and got the refund for my annual pass. If I'd known this was on the table I'd have been tempted to keep it and just take the 70% refund! Ah well.
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@fixx, sis in law applied for refund before email arrived too. Refunds not due till April 30 so perhaps they’d like the look of your €215?

@jbob, 100% refund still available
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@under a new name, you make a good point... I'll email them in a couple of days when the flurry has died down, and see what they say!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
They've already said that access to next club prive is protected for people who go for 100% refund.

I went for 70% refund today - paid for most of my new touring boots Smile

Need some new snow by the way. Toured up the pointe d'andey above Bonneville yesterday which was great fun but already getting very heavy and thin at the bottom. We're not missing lifts at the minute and its really nice exploring all the places within an hours drive but as soon as it gets warm and you can't skin direct from the valley it'll be a different story...

Snow due tomorrow/weekend but then rain next week 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!
Ooppps!

https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/societe/haute-savoie-plusieurs-britanniques-positifs-au-covid-dans-une-residence-de-la-vallee-de-chamonix-1611248094?fbclid=IwAR1fhZUw6OvBBE1S6fP1N1U40VdK32F7e1aE7pLAlncJ9DkyjjcLAnOmO0A
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Meltus wrote:
We're not missing lifts at the minute and its really nice exploring all the places


Same here. When I took a mate up on Tues for his first ever hike, his first comment was something along the lines of 'the season pass model is dead'.
Maybe a bit extreme, but this season has changed many peoples views about lifts, the environmental impact, access to untracked snow, health benefits, finances etc

We get the impression that there has been another surge in locals renting / buying touring gear and snowshoes etc in January. It's likely that hundreds of seasonaires and other 20-something locals have now saved enough free gov money to get hold of some touring gear, and they have nothing else to do all day.

Probably too much to discuss here....but a lot of people have adapted and changed their outlook. Obviouusly not sustainable for resorts / job market on the whole, but some long term changes in mindset for some of the local population I reckon.
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I'd agree that a lot of eyes have been opened with regards to the potential benefits of earning your turns but I don't think we're anywhere near a situation where the season pass model is dead. As I say, it's all well and good at the minute, as its a novel situation, we're having a decent period of snow and many people are trying touring for the first time. When it gets to March and you have a long hike in ski boots before being able to put skis + skins on, it'll be a different story.

When the lifts come back they'll be full again. I'm a keen tourer but in a usual year most of my skiing is still off lifts. The majority who have picked it up casually because of covid, I think will drop it again. Chamonix is also a bit different to a usual resort in that even the 20-somethings seasonaires round here tend to have a more touring/mountaineering/adventurous bent than the TIG/VDI/L2A types.


Anyway - snow due today which is good as the past couple of days have been dry despite the forecast. This weekend will be my last opportunity for some good skiing before the torrential rain on Thurs/Fri Sad
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