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Chamonix Snow Report 21/22

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Chamonix 21/22 - Please keep this for snow reports in the Chamonix valley. NOT lift pass discussions. Courmayeur, Portes du Mont etc, will get their own thread.

First snow for the winter, snow rain limit 1800 or less

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Fresh snow the last few days - clear today - 80cm-1m at 2300m



It's all fresh, so no base to cover those rocks.
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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?
First track setting of the season



just enough to get out, no sign of rando man on the piste....yet.
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Heading out on the 11th (COVID rules permitting)...what’s the cover like so far?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
All pistes have a good base, les Houches is very tracked by RandoMan. Snow making but not pisteing. A good few cm of fresh covering saturdays nasty rain layer.

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CMB finaly waking up. Pistes are getting pisted and snow cannons are making snow.

Skiined up Les Houches this morning. Lower section is 2 bashers wide, more to make easy access for snowmobiles and patro to get up and down the hill than anything else. Above Maison Neuve there is a lot more activity.
A few cm's of fresh made for nice skiing this AM

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks for the updates Smile
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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!
Snow cannon are running flat out - pistes are pisted



But mother nature has also delivered



Sorry somone had to make tracks in it.



There is still some untouched

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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Looks great up there today on the webcams, and another dump coming tomorrow. Couldn't ask for more at the start of the season really.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
As I mentioned I was in Chamonix/Cluses for business Wed/Thurs -- no skiing on the agenda but a big dump and the word is that this is one of the best Decembers in recent memory. Once again was impressed with snow removal on the A40 as well as in town. By 9 a.m. Thursday roads were pretty clear.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Looks like the snowiest 10th December in the webcam archives

2015 - 2016 - 2018
2019 - 2020 - 2021

(2017 missing for some reason)



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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.
Current situation - Manky, damp, mushy pistes, grey sky with multiple cloud layers and a side of drizzle.

Yesterday we skied the Vallee Blanche, we were the only ones to walk out the door and down the arete all day!

Snow not bad, light pancake flat. Glacier, very different to previous years, very open. Not a place to go without serious alpine experience.



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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
@Idris, thanks for that - we’d wondered about heading up to do VB but will give it a miss this trip as a bit rusty on alpine skills.

Yesterday we skied Tête de la Sallaz above Romme. Reasonable snow up high and slushy moguls when back in the pisted area. Nice if somewhat soggy day out.

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Inboard wrote:
@Idris, thanks for that - we’d wondered about heading up to do VB but will give it a miss this trip as a bit rusty on alpine skills.

Yesterday we skied Tête de la Sallaz above Romme. Reasonable snow up high and slushy moguls when back in the pisted area. Nice if somewhat soggy day out.

La Romme is where I am working (day off today) as Lifty, Patrol and Maintainance
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
ChxAv29Dec. “ 4/5. Snowpack very unstable due to massive rainstorm. Large full depth spontaneous slides likely <2100m on steep terrain. Roads may even be threatened. Wet snow will be very easily triggered up to 2700m. Highly likely most ski lifts will be closed.”

From Avalanche Academy. A day for staying home.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Col Montets closes from 11pm
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Well, what a difference a we snow storm makes. A delightful hour or so pre a big lunch in knee deep or so powder!
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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?
All good on Grand Montets this morning, plenty of powder to play in. Bit chilly though!
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Must be amazing conditions for a Vallée Blanche at the moment snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
"flew in from Bournemouth beach, E.A.S.I
didn't get to ski last time
all the way the kindle on my knee
man I had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the EU, back in the EU, back in the EUSSR"


Landed in GVA and took the train to Martigny where I car shared over to Chamonix. A lot of snow on the col. For info, no-one manning the border post. It was surprisingly slippery on the climb.

a few afternoon turns in the woods



then a dip in the hotel pool with a Moscow chick



today weather was fantastic, ideal for blasting around the Brevent once the avalanche control had done their job. Tired now, relaxing in the jacuzzi hoping my legs are not too sore tomorrow. That's what happens when you miss a season, the legs aren't there.



up to Argentiere tomorrow, if I can make it out of bed.
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Legends in the Ensa couloir snowHead
https://www.instagram.com/aurelienducroz/reel/CYkDY3Tgp5R/?utm_medium=copy_link
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@sherman-maeir, GMs apparently somewhat wind blown yesterday, which Brev was not ...
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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!
@under a new name, a lot of wind higher up around 3000 m I saw.

Didn't go to GM but Vallorcine. Bit foggy in Chamonix when I got up but sunny up the valley, well at least on the east side which I was not on. The sun didn't get out until around 1pm in the valley but higher up the pistes were south west facing and in the sun early on - is that a good idea for a ski area? It felt even colder today than yesterday. Snow is still cold in the trees.


The Russian girl is Emilia or something like that. She's an "influencer" working in Chamonix... influencing people I suppose. She was with some other Russians staying in town but I don't know any more. Also spoke to some Americans and 3 English guys who'd come up from Geneva on the same flight I took but with one of the transfer buses, I believe all were EU residents. No checks at the border and the transfer companies still seem to be working with the limited guests that there are.

Chamonix looks wonderful under the snow with the Christmas lights (shouldn't they be down now).

Discovered only one train per hour up and down the valley at half past from Chamonix station so you don't want to miss it.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@sherman-maeir, "xmas" lights as is typical stay up all season. I think. No longer notice them!

We had a nice morning, mostly just Hotel Face. Off to Italy for the day Happy
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
X-Post: Free cross country lessons/coaching on 18-19 Jan for improvers: https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=4903313
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Blowing hard on the Midi
https://www.instagram.com/p/CYmfprOMMt7/?utm_medium=copy_link
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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.
Sorry not snow related. Has anyone travelled through the MB tunnel recently in a UK reg car. Any issues. Thanks.
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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
Any update? getting excited now for next Saturday.... snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Lee Houches yesterday. All pistes good. Off piste above Maison Neuve and out of the trees good. Above top of Maison Neuve still good in the trees!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Received this by email from Fatmap:

Chamonix Conditions Update 14.01.2022
From La Chamoniarde - Office de Haute Montagne
Some news in this anticyclonic period!

The lifts are open and the snow cover is okay overall. The cold has returned. There is some fog in the plains. An almost “normal” situation for a month of January!

The main activity remains ski touring. Even if the snow cover is good, you have to be careful below 1600m - you can easily touch the ground or frozen avalanche debris. Since the last snowfall last weekend, there has been quite a lot of NE wind but in a very localised way. Some areas are trashed while others have remained protected - this is where you have to be good at choosing your route!

As a consequence, you have to be wary of the presence of wind slab here and there. Similarly, the quality of the snow varies greatly from one sector to another (from powder to sastruggi and everything in between)! The southern slopes are starting to warm up. Watch out for the isotherm rising from tomorrow!

All the classic sectors are frequented but we are struggling to get precise feedback, especially on the lower parts of routes (whether you need to carry skis...).

Very good conditions are reported around Les Contamines (around Lac Jovets and Cols Fenêtre, Cicle and Chasseurs)... The Roman road is okay and you can ski to the car park. The new refuge des Près is open.

Pointe Noire de Pormenaz from Plaine Joux: the Chorde couloir is okay, wind affected snow above the Lac de Pormenaz.

Aiguilles Rouges : the classics are getting tracked..

The traverse between the Col des Crochues and the Col de Bérard is again reserved for good skiers (alternating frozen snow and wind affected snow).

Generally speaking, the Bérard valley remains fairly protected from the wind except at the top: the further down you go, the better it is. On the steep slopes, we were told that there was a lot of ice, which was not recommended according to the feedback we got. The bottom of the valley is relatively easy even if the snow cover is quite poor.

Crampons are useful to access the Pointe Alphonse Favre. The top of the Glacier du Mort has very hard snow, 50 m side slip necessary; packed powder below.

There are quite a lot of tracks at the col and at the Brèche de Bérard (very good snow).

Le Buet is tracked without more information.

The Col de Beugeant was tracked today. Tracks also on the N side of the Belvedere pass.

The Lac Blanc sector (Col des Dards, Col du Belvédère) and the Col de l’Encrenaz were very affected by the wind.

Loriaz: you can ski from Le Couteray, either by the 4x4 road or the summer path. Pointe des Charmoz and Pointe de la Terrasse are tracked, good ski conditions.

Bel Oiseau sector: some portage in the forest, good conditions above in the sector. Carraye, croix de Prelaye, pointe Ronde: OK

Bassin d’Argentière sector: Col du Passon tracked, better skiability by going back the same way (lots of wind damage on the Le Tour side even if the snow cover is good).
Col du Tour Noir and Argentière have been tracked.

No activity yet to our knowledge on the Col du Chardonnet /Trois cols.

No one back on the N faces either (Col des Cristaux etc...).

Vallée Blanche: arête still not equipped (expected early February, to be confirmed) but in fairly good condition (no ice; however, reserved for ski mountaineers). All routes except the "vraie vallée" have been tracked. The snow quality was good at the beginning of the week, the upper part was a bit windy between yesterday and today but it was still quite good. The salle à manger is ok.

One team has been to the Brèche du Tacul with a descent on the Mont Mallet glacier which went quite well on 12/01. Brèche Puiseux tracked today without more information.

The Mer de Glace is quite dry, you have to be careful not to scratch your skis too much. You can stop at the grotto or continue to Les Mottets (there too there is still a lack of snow). The refreshment bar is open! The descent to Chamonix is okay except for the few turns before the farm where you have to go slowly (lack of snow).

A bit of activity on the Glacier Rond and the couloir des Cosmiques but only for the elite.

You will scrape your skis on the lower part of the Pré du Rocher.

Concerning the gullies: regular activity on the side of the Aiguille du Midi (Jottnar; Vent du Dragon), the Triangle du Tacul (Chéré), the E face of the Tacul (Gabarrou-Albinoni / Modica-Noury: be careful with the Rimaye which collapsed in part ten days ago), Pointes Lachenal (Pellissier), the Petit Capucin (Valeria gully). Probably some lines formed in the Combe Maudite (Filo D’Arianna...).

Nothing heard from the Argentière basin but there will be soon because of the good weather that is coming!

The return of cold weather has meant that ice falls have reformed! No detailed information but there must be scope on both the rive gauche and the rive droite of the Argentière glacier.

Snow shoeing routes are accessible. The more experienced can go up to the chalets de Chailloux and to the Loriaz refuge (unmarked routes).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Contamines couloirs snowHead
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ross Hewitt - Top guide available next week if someone’s looking to find some good lines
https://www.instagram.com/ross.hewitt/p/CYt34nZI9iP/?utm_medium=copy_link
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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?
Les Houches Saturday 15th.

Very foggy down the lower Arve valley, clear from Servoz.
Usual temperature inversion - relatively warm on the slopes, actually felt exceptional for January.

Light snow on all pistes, perfect conditions, except the lower end of Plan du Cret which needs a bit of new snow (where we only headed to for an excellent La Tanière lunch).

So far there is no expectation of any new drop for a good week, but with low temperatures it should all be fine - no repetition of the thawing we had end of December.

Side note, we stuck to the pistes and didn't explore much, but the area seems ideal for beginners/intermediates. At least with yhe snow conditions and pistes preparation it all felt smooth and easy. So the grading seemed a bit odd - our 4yo managed the reds (if a bit carefully and very slowly). And I managed to challenge my son on the blacks (for ex. Kandahar) - the total absence of moguls worked in my favor. He still had to wait for me, only not as long as, say, on Avoriaz's Frontaliere or anywhere off piste.
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www.chamonix.net/english/news/ridge-aiguille-du-midi-equipped-2022
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