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Pyrenees 21/22

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@JD Mark, Been to the exact hotel with Nielson twice. El Tarter is not exactly buzzing apres ski but the hotel is good with a wide variety of food. It's a couple of hundred metres from the nearest chair lift. If you're skiers, I'd recommend renting the lockers by the chair lift. If you're boarders, use the free lockers at the hotel. There's a bar attached to the hotel and okay for drinks but not exactly a wild night out.

I've only on pisted and some runs are long and great. Tree and non-tree runs available too for all difficulties. As confident intermediates, there's nothing too difficult. My personal experience indicated more reckless skiers at the Pas end (but maybe it was just my bad timing).

Nielson also do (at least they did 2 years ago), some ski guiding - well worth it for free.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Del Clos is pretty decent. In terms of bars immediately nearby, you've got Dylan's round the corner up the hill, parallel to the main road (best in the evening not for après, and it is full of locals and lifties) and they've just rebuilt l'Arbaset which is the obvious après spot.

There are two main runs down to the lift. Gall du Bosc is a nice but narrow blue. Esquirol is wider but icier and frankly not that enjoyable. Both actually start a lot higher up.

Rossinyol is probably the most scenic of the blues, but Solanella XL is a lot of fun.
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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?
@JD Mark, conditions aren’t fantastic at the moment. It hasn’t snowed for a few weeks, it’s been very warm for the last week and very busy. Some of the pistes are starting to look a bit thin with stones coming through (don’t use your best skis!). There’s still plenty of good skiing though. The plus side is, it’s getting cold for the next few days and there’s a reasonable amount of snow forecast to freshen things up. There’s a good chance of good conditions when you get here.
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It’s snowing right now and it’s cold enough for the snow cannons to be running. snowHead

Having a lazy start to today after getting up early to ski Arcalis yesterday.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Looks like a snowy weekend. Very Happy

Screenshot-2022-01-07-at-18-57-01
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@mortonia, it does indeed.

We had a sprinkling of snow on Wednesday which along with the snow cannons on full bore did the pistes no end of good.

It’s now been snowing most of today too. It was quite breezy up top earlier, hopefully that dies down a bit allowing some of the snow to stick. In more sheltered places the conditions early next week should be perfect! I’m hoping it’ll be perfect tomorrow too because I’m back at work on Monday and won’t be able to get out on Sunday.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Looking at the webcams its having a good amount of snow today! This time next week will be on the way!
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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!
Lots of snow in Soldeu. 30 cm I would estimate and still coming down heavily. It's quiet heavy the snow b but it's good fun to ski in
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I made a futile attempt to reach Formiguères yesterday, got about 20 mins from the station but the road was deteriorating fast, bad visibility and absolutely bucketing down with snow...a friend who did make it got stuck in a 2 hour tailback leaving yesterday evening...he said the snow was epic though!

I went over to La Molina/Masella instead. Lots of wind at the top and bad visibility, some new snow on top of an icy base, best snow was on the Masella side...
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Well that was a few interesting days. Initially, I didn’t think we were going to make it up with the serve flooding on the roads leading up to the Val d’Aran.
A few diversions around the flooded sections and arrived in a busier than expected Baqueira.
Turns out they were open lifts after avalanche controls had done their work, meaning everyone was concentrated into the central Baqueira ski area.

After such a promising forecast the rain had done its worst.
Anything below the freezing level was on piste icy and rock hard, and off piste crusty and washed into weird waves of snow.
I looked like it had been raining almost up to 2000m.

Lovely sunny conditions, but with no snow forecast for a while it will be a case of sharpening those edges for the pistes.
Or hiking/touring higher up to get the good untouched snow.

The Freeride World Cup is in Baqueira the week after next.
https://www.freerideworldtour.com/event/2022-freeride-world-tour-baqueira-beret

Looks like they will be using the face under Tuc de Baciver as there are signs up saying don’t ski it.
If you want to watch then the top of the TSD Dera Reina from Beret would be a good spot.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@mortonia, I understand that the snow is pretty good around these parts at the moment. Whilst it did rain for quite a while, it kept snowing for the most part above Soldeu and then snowed for long enough down to about 1500m to cover any of the rain damage. Still over in Arcalis an avalanche (I think on Tuesday) took out part of the La Coma restaurant. Videos show quite a bit of damage.
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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.
Just back from a weekend in the GrandValira. It seems that the rain that affected Baqueira missed the higher parts of Andorra, as @hammerite said. There was half a metre of fresh snow on Sunday/Monday and it stayed cold all week: this weekend there was still fluffy snow on the trees.

Chilly but sunny weather meant a generally spectacular weekend of skiing. Piste conditions were good to excellent; pretty much the entire resort is open and in excellent condition; though the lower blues that come down to the resorts were icy in patches at the end of the day, not much fun for my tired 8-year-old daughter.

The off-piste, as you might expect, is almost completely tracked out. However, the advantage of the GrandValira is that it's so big that there is usually an untouched corner somewhere. I traversed in to the face/couloir to the left (looking up) of the Solana chair ("trencalos"?) and got some fresh tracks but it felt a bit unstable in the main couloir, so went over to Llac de Cubil, which is in permashade. I had never played around there before and it turn out you can bail from the t-bar lift near the top, and traverse across to a wonderful playground of sparse trees and rocky-outcrops. Powder conditions were pretty amazing given that it snowed 5 days ago. It's a good spot to session as although the runs are relatively short, you end up right by the t-bar to take you back up, and there is never a queue for it. Great stuff. Photo below for reference.

The temperatures are due to warm up a little this week before getting colder again. I suspect that with the cannons and bashers doing their things, the piste conditions will continue to be reasonable, but off piste will crust over. There is a dusting of snow forecast for later this week but i wouldn't hold your breath for anything special.

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