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Serre Chevalier 2021/2022

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was wondering if the replacement for Clot would go a little bit higher? It runs alongside Mea. There was a replacement planned for Mea planned a long time ago, around the time they put the new Cucumelle lift in.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Think we'll just have to wait and see re the drag lifts, if you look at Google Earth / Satellite you can clearly see the route of the old Tele ski Clot Gauthier and the map below shows it in situ, now we have to climb up there, but it delivers about four to five good pitches, similar to the old drags they had leading up to the Crete.

But it does show that they are not too bothered about taking old drags out at the expense of losing piste, why they ever took the Pre du Bois out is beyond me Puzzled



And someone put a gateau on the terrace overnight Very Happy



The forecast is for it continue to mid/late afternoon.

This is excellent as will mean they can groom the XC pistes in the valley now.

Webcam is up and running in our garden.

https://stylealtitude.com/serrechevalierweathercam.html
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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?
@Weathercam Thanks for working out why some of us couldn't see you camera. All fixed now Smile
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Heading out to Le Monêtier on 2 Jan for the week, this picture makes me really excited! Thanks for sharing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
More of the white-stuff falling today, so that's a good base now in the valley that will last even with the warmer temps forecast for next week etc

Was quite technical skiing yesterday on the ungroomed pistes down from Frejus village with the wind affected snow but there were still some good untracked lines where you could make some nice turns.
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Oh well, all that lovely snow has been blown away, at least off-piste, where it still looks good it is very wind affected, even lower down in the forest and meadows below Frejus.

The good news is that they've bashed the pistes well and the Ski du Fond opened today, though conditions, with a vicious wind, made sure no one was on it!

Quite surprised at how busy all the parking areas were up in Villeneuve, though possibly due to only one lift open in Monetier and people avoiding Chantermerle parking, and maybe having to show Pass Sanitaire for the Gondola as on the Casse chair there was no control, but that maybe is a bit of a far fetched theory?

And even with all the parking there was no queue on the CDB.

We dropped off the CDB and dropped down to the Clot Gauthier chair which was not running as all that sector is closed, and was quite stunning as to how the wind has trashed all the slopes up that way, but maybe the pistes which are less exposed are ok?

Ski du Fond / Cross Country piste



We skinned up to the top of the Crete and did one short run, and then did another climb with the OH boot packing, and then skied the meadows and forest down to Frejus where we then skied the meadows above Pontillas before joining the piste, and then it was a piste ski on very hard pack, almost icy pistes back down, amazing the difference in 24hrs!!

Gauthier chair and loads of snow last Sunday



And then today



Telltale signs of wind-affected snow, no smoking powder just polystyrene crust/shrapnel Laughing






http://youtube.com/v/uDkTvsxxz8o

Looking at the next 12 days not snowflakes at all, nice and sunny and temps during the day circa +5 that could well see us venturing out to find Spring snow?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We've probably had the best couple of days piste skiing in Serre Chevalier that we've ever had!

Helped enormously by deserted pristine pistes.

Holidays start this weekend so will be interesting to see how busy it will get.

Lift served snow off-piste is pretty well trashed, or severely wind affected, though I will be doing a mini road-trip probably tomorrow to check somewhere out but that will involve self propulsion.

Weather is glorious and snow is holding up well in the valley and on-piste (though a few stones appearing) as sun is so low in the sky, though fast disappearing on our South facing terrace.

Forecast is sun, sun and sun for 12 days !

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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!
Tomorrow looks rubbish, maybe a cloud in the afternoon!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Well, FWIW a quick report.

It's been sun, sun and more sun.

And combine that with a lot more holiday traffic on the slopes, temps dropping to minus 8 in the valley at night rising to +7 and that's a great recipe for boiler-plate conditions.

To be honest I have not been up the hill preferring to cross country ski and the conditions have been excellent for that, however, I'd heard reports that it was not brilliant up the hill.

This morning I thought I'd take a look for myself and I was more or less the first on the CDB and the first on the Clot Gauthier and it seemed the higher you went so the snow was worse.

Taking the Clot Gauthier I have never seen the main off-piste face below the chair so devoid of snow, and was amazing to see the rocks and boulders that really do need at least a couple of metres of snow to cover them, which is what we did have up to a couple of weeks ago before the strong winds trashed it all!

And the top of Vallons I found myself in the cloud.

The pistes at altitude are very bare with many many little stones and bare patches, it's only when you drop down to where the canons have been working that the pistes are in a lot better condition.

Even though there's many people around, the restaurant I went in for a drink circa 11:30 was very empty, for sure the Bivouac at the top of CDB is very much a Brit hangout but it was devoid of other nationalities too?

Now a few flocons falling though the forecast is not too much to get excited about and we'll be lucky to see 10cms or so, and then it looks like sun and warm temps as we head into the New Year.

So if you were meant to be out here, don't beat yourself up too much, and that's what I've pretty well been saying to one of my daughters who was hoping to come out in the New Year.

Ciao
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@Weathercam, ciao and thanks for the report. Have a good Christmas and hopefully there's going to be more snow before we're likely to be able to come out.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Very busy in the resort, I'd arranged to meet @KenX, for first lifts and I was late due to trying to find a parking place where we normally park and this was at 08:50 !!

We'd had more than expected overnight and was circa 10cm, maybe more up the hill. We had a good thrash around skiing powder that became heavier as the temps rose.

We had our little playground to ourselves for nigh on all the session, until two groups of UCPCA showed up, 12 in a group, 26 in total, one lap and they trash everything rolling eyes

The forecast is for some more snow before temps rise and then we're in for heavy rain all day tomorrow, so really don't know what that's going to the pistes!

And it's quite amazing how lax the mask-wearing is, especially so even in gondolas.

More about that here.
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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.
@Weathercam, having once stayed in another Club Med, with mainly buffet food, serve yourself wine, beer etc etc, I can vouch for the petri dish. I was lucky, but hubby still can't face a chees fondue.
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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
As Weathercam says, went up first thing this morning to make the most of the fresh powder before it turned to rain, managed around 8 laps off the Cretes and 2 more from the top of the Clot Gauthier lift before my legs cried enough!
Snow was really nice, around 15cm and far lighter than we expected, now raining in resort and due heavy rain all day tomorrow up to 2500m...... Skullie

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Wet snow continued to fall last evening, and we did think that maybe, being very much glass full, that it might stay as snow and not the heavy rain forecast.

However in the early hours, I could hear the rain, and or snow melting rapidly as it sounded like someone had left a tap on.

I was up early as was driving to Lyon to collect the Mrs and knew I could be in for an arduous journey, so first thing was to check that the Lautaret was still open, and then let dogs out, who were not impressed with the turgid conditions outside.

I shovelled the path, and the snow was so waterlogged it was horrible, clearing the van was not too bad though just as well I was wearing my Japanese rubber wellies as it was a quagmire of wet snow and puddles.

Decided on taking Ullr* and leaving the Jacks as I knew the Jacks would be ok on their own for seven+ hours but not too sure about him, only trouble is that he hates the van!

As I turned on to the main road at 07:45 I was amazed at how little snow-clearing had taken place and there was a good 10cms of wet snow on the road, but thankfully little in the way of traffic. Monetier was even worse, and indeed conditions were steadily tougher as I gained altitude, and I started to get concerned at what I would expect, and was surprised the Col was going to be open!

However once past Pont de l'Alpe the road was clear as the snow-ploughs based up at the Lautaret had obviously been up and down throughout the early hours, so it was just the local Mairie ploughs responsible for the villages in the valley that had not been out too much.

I only encountered one Polish van on the journey to Bour and all the time the temperature was all over the place.

Very heavy rain from Grenoble to Lyon and then seemed even worse on the return journey, and around La Grave there were a couple of mini slides across the road, one being cleared just after the tunnel below Les Freiux.

Drive back over the Col was not too bad traffic-wise and below the Pont the road was totally clear.

Friends reported that they gave up around 11:00 as conditions were just horrendous.

I'm really not too sure what they'll do with the pistes, all I can think is that they will groom the heavy snow, without hopefully the bashers sinking into it, so should be some Spring Corduroy on offer first thing before it will get skied out very quickly.

Tomorrow temps are meant to be even higher, lasting right up to Sunday, only good news is that the sun makes a return on Friday.

I'm not too sure what skis to even use, as I think the XC will be horrible, whilst the pistes will be horrible and busy to boot.

Like I've already said, if you were due to be here, you're certainly not missing great skiing!

And who knows what the French Govt will announce given the dramatic rise in cases**, though maybe they'll do what the UK is attempting to do and ride it out?

*Ullr got his own back on me by throwing up on me just past Bourg Laughing

**could still be holiday anomalies
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Weathercam wrote:
...I'm not too sure what skis to even use, as I think the XC will be horrible......


Far, far worse than I thought!

I can only hope that they decided not to groom and wait for the weather to clear and suck some moisture out of the snow, but should imagine it might take a couple of days to repair and groom the pistes back to some sort of usable trail.

And there were some people (desperate) trying to ski on it, so chapeau to them



On some paths there were 20cm deep puddles of water and snow that you had to cross, though the main walking trail was not so bad.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
On the other hand, I went up on the pistes today first thing to avoid the crowds, this early in the season the sun is still weak up there, so the pistes were hard and rattly, don't know how that changed during the day as the temperatures rose...
There were some really brown patches appearing on the pistes...... Sad
The final run back down to resort was nice though (Luc Alphand black) unsurprisingly at +8 degrees!
And at 11:30, a colossal queue just to buy lift tickets, must have been 400m!!!!

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not sure if this is the right place to ask a travel related question, but I shall do so.

Going to Serre Chevalier March/April (subject to the usual restrictions of course)

Easyjet flights to Grenoble are only showing to 31st March. Is this because they don't fly there after March or because they haven't published the summer schedule yet? I also note that there are no flights to/from Turin in April. I note that other summer schedules are out.
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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?
@Ray Zorro, that's usually because they envisage that to be the end of the season, though does seem a little early, when is Easter this year?

Is there a BA flight to Turin?
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Easter is late - mid April this year.
BA flights to Turin look a reasonable price - thanks, hadn't thought of that option.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Look forward to seeing you this time Richard, fingers crossed and 3rd time lucky etc!!!
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We've had two days of circa 10cm overnight, and even though it's been very windy and viz rather challenging,@KenX, and I have had a couple of good mornings.

We still really would not venture and ski some of the more classic forest runs as there is simply not enough snow to cover all the tree stumps and other obstacles, but out in the open on the meadows, it's not too bad, but even then there is still not enough coverage on other meadow terrace runs up and around Frejus including Pikey's Shoulder.

After today, it's solid sunshine again, however it should be a lot quieter than the past three or so weeks and I think piste skiing will be rather good, in fact so good my OH has bought some piste specific skis.

I also had a hole burning in my pocket but was told that my six/seven year old White Doctor FT8 skis were still fit for purpose, and it feels good to ski them as Bob (RIP), the designer was such an integral part of Serre Chevalier skiing and people still give a knowing nod to the skis.

Little vid from today.


http://youtube.com/v/3A_lkRS9PCI
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quick update for anyone now considering coming out.

Pistes are in good condition from the reports I've heard, and it's very quiet here.

I should imagine that pistes are probably "hard" above the trees, as yet again we've had strong winds after the recent snow-fall.

Outlook is sun, sun and sun for the next 12 days at least.

Off-piste is still suspect as we're missing at least a meter+ of what we'd usually have by now.

I've written this up as a blog referring to what we've encountered the last couple of days ski-touring in two very different locations.

https://stylealtitude.com/ski-touring-location-location.html

And the XC trail that was closed after the rains, opened up again from Pontillas to Les Guibertes after the weekends snow-fall, but the wind of a couple of days ago has made that hard work.

Rumour has it with various lifts closed that you'd normally expect to be open by this time, that it's down to Covid staff shortages, and that might also be the reason as the lack of Cross Country piste preparation too ?
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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!
The forecast is still sun, sun and sun for at least the next 12 days

I've made various sacrifices like putting the Avy bags back in the cave and other off-piste orientated gear.

Patio/terrace just about devoid of snow now.

That said snow in the shade is amazingly cold and still powder to touch, pistes are in good condition and again very empty this week, not that I've been up.

I have been cross country from Pointless up to Le Casset and Monetier and XC pistes are in first-class condition.

Yesterday was ski-toured up towards the Granon/Gardiole and snow on the South side is not good, but we managed some reasonable turns on a NW aspect and then some fun turns on Spring snow over the terraces back to a great Cafe, which is only open in the winter months.

Le Petit Café d’hiver de la Joutru
https://goo.gl/maps/E9f9To9FKGb5z8jk7

Ski-touring again today exploring a sector further up the Valley less Fonts up from Cervières, and then piste skiing Thursday.

OH running the SnowTrail 10km on Sunday, I'm fast running out of excuses not to do it Laughing

And friends of friends out next week, and one of them wants to ski La Grave, which currently will simply not be worth it Sad
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