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Is this the worst ever start to a European ski season?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don't think it's the worst start to a season, in the 3vs anyway, but it might be the worst snow.
The difference is that they have worked wonders with what natural snow they have and also man made to make pistes that are pretty good.

I found this years pistes better than the last couple of years with less ice and softer snow. Why? I have no clue, possibly that it hasn't had the freeze thaw conditions of last few years at this time?

So the snow may be the worst but the season start is better than it deserves to be. If the high pressure block continues into the rest of winter? Then clearly all bets are off as many lakes look pretty depleted already and i imagine most resorts have gambled by using the bulk of their water tor xmas / new year.
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Quote:
If the high pressure block continues into the rest of winter...
rolling eyes
- It's still only December.
- It will snow. It always does....
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
KenX taking a few seconds out to consider how shite the snow was today in the slack country Cool

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Much of Switzerland good. Aosta good. ...

rolling eyes
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@mountainaddict, you are right it will snow, but I do think the general pattern of the last three years or so will put a dent in the bookings for next year about this time.
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mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
If the high pressure block continues into the rest of winter...
rolling eyes
- It's still only December.
- It will snow. It always does....


Yeah but 2025 doesn't count. Very Happy
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Onnem wrote:
Retour d'est is notoriously difficult tot predict, seems this one is less copious than predicted. Pila got knee deel though, courtesy of wepowder
http://wepowder.nl/report/14474

And read meteomorris' prediction (paste URL into google translate, it's in Dutch)
http://wepowder.nl/forum/topic/235283

Update, indeed less than forecasted, but still nice piccies, ses this forum topic
http://wepowder.nl/forum/topic/235281


I got Retour d'est 3x last Fearuary in Sauze.... what a week that was. 3x 50 cm of snow... mind you before that, Sauze was a sad story.

Roughing at Snowbird at the mo - in the middle of 1 meter storm. Don't cry for me Argentina...
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HeidiAmsterdam wrote:


Roughing at Snowbird at the mo - in the middle of 1 meter storm. Don't cry for me Argentina...


Are you interlodged yet? One time I'll get to visit Utah in a storm cycle I hope.
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@chrisb, I think you're spot on there. My wife and I were set on the family going skiing at christmas 2017 but we were just saying today that based on the way things are at the moment we won't now book in advance and just leave it until the day before.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
HeidiAmsterdam wrote:


Roughing at Snowbird at the mo - in the middle of 1 meter storm. Don't cry for me Argentina...


Are you interlodged yet? One time I'll get to visit Utah in a storm cycle I hope.


I'm at the Cliff Club Lodge, if I had better spitting skills, I might could hit the tram... I'm all good. Also, scored: Complete heat and serve Turkey dinner from the grocery store at the base of the Canyon. $49.99 for a 13 lb turkey with the fixings... It's like Martha Stewart goes skiing or something.
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Was over in Garmisch with my daughter today. Considering there is zero natural snow it was really quite enjoyable. They have prepared runs from the top (start of the Kandahar downhill) all the way down to the valley. Slightly icy in places, but mostly quite grippy firm snow. Not bad at all.
Snow is coming on tuesday so all will be well then.
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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.
In the words of Corporal Jones "Don't panic" It will snow snowHead
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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
After last year's experience at the preBB and BB, I feel very relaxed. I just wouldn't have believed what a good time and how much good skiing it was possible to have on the small amount of real snow and brilliantly managed artificial snow which were available. Just being in the mountains with friends is wonderful, some skiing - and there's always some - is a bonus.

That said, the reports coming in on the death of someone falling a very long way on the Grands Montets are chilling. Basically it's a message of too many people skiing on the available pisted snow, often scarily polished, bringing a danger of collision, and/or people skiing off-piste in dangerous terrain because safe off-piste is scarce.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Just back from the Dolomites (San Cassiano), no natural snow but nearly all the pistes were open with excellent artificial snow, the Sella Ronda was open in both directions as was the Hidden Valley (horse tow as well). It is unbelievable how they manage to keep so many pistes open, full credit to them and will certainly return
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@gazza330, so impressive, isn't it?! I just love that area, summer and winter. The Dolomites are the BEST! Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've just got back from Seefeld. The first 6 days on man made snow were between OK and very good (only a few runs closed). The last day was a nightmare due to rain on Monday evening followed by a very cold night. I was almost glad to fly back Wednesday Embarassed
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@musher, ugh, rain followed by a cold night, horrible and dangerous combo, whether on real or artificial snow. Evil or Very Mad
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Hurtle,
The kids didn't seem to mind, it was just me being careful as I had to drive to Munich the next day wink
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@musher, I think that kids find sliding about on sheet ice quite amusing. I don't!
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Up top its good - down low its bad. If you pick a low resort you are playing with fire anyway...go high if you decide to go early in the season...its good reason November / December area cheaper months (bar xmas and new year of course Very Happy)
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Quote:

go high

or go to Austria ...
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I hear Japan is also a good option
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Talking to people in my apartment in Val Thorens i am amazed at how the snow has held up from when we were there a couple of weeks ago.

VT seems pretty empty compared to normaol at this time so the weather must be hitting things.

Going back to the OP i would think it's now starting to look like the worst start particularly for low resorts.
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Hurtle wrote:

That said, the reports coming in on the death of someone falling a very long way on the Grands Montets are chilling. Basically it's a message of too many people skiing on the available pisted snow, often scarily polished, bringing a danger of collision, and/or people skiing off-piste in dangerous terrain because safe off-piste is scarce.


the rescue helicopter flies over our house (for some reason, there must be a big arrow on the roof) on its way to Grenoble hospital. It has been like the Korean war over Christmas with back to back flights - the pilots must be racking up the hours. Someone killed at la Plagne too in a collision and Val d'Isere on ice (but walking I believe). Amongst other deaths and injuries over Christmas, including neo pro cyclist Etienne Fabre who just joined Romain Bardet's team.

Swiss Meteo say it is the driest and 4th warmest December for 150 years.

http://www.meteosuisse.admin.ch/home/actualite/meteosuisse-blog.subpage.html/fr/data/blogs/2016/12/bilan-de-decembre-2016.html?utm_content=buffer44175&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Meteo France say worst snow conditions for a couple of decades.

Given there is some skiing, some quite good at altitude esp. in parts of France, Italy and Austria, it is not the worst start ever, globally.

Bonneval sur Arc has all runs open on natural snow: http://www.bonnevalsurarc.fr/accueil-bonneval-sur-arc/webcams-bonneval-sur-arc_146.html

With 45,000 season workers laid off in the French Alps alone it is not good either.
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emwmarine wrote:
.....VT seems pretty empty compared to normal at this time so the weather must be hitting things. .......


Think they've all come to Serre - as pistes are all skiable - though I'm not going up any more till they all feck off.

Walking through the villages last night don't think I've ever seen it so occupied - nigh on 95% French who I presume have come here as opposed to those resorts with bad snow cover, and parking antics at times is ridiculous!

Restaurants everywhere at lunchtime doing roaring trade but with kids going back to school Tuesday we should see a major evacuation today and tomorrow and then me thinks will be very quiet.
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When this thread was started on 20th December it really was too early to comment on how good the start of the season was. However, we are now half-way through the season and while things have certainly improved I get the sense that it probably was one of the worst starts we've had in a very long time and that it has continued to be very poor. Of course, many people have had great skiing but my impression is that we have a very limited base and a shallow snow-pack compared with most years. There is still time for massive amounts of snow to fall and in recent years March has been the best time by far, but is it at least close to being the 'worst ever start to a European ski season?'

[Im hoping to ski at the very end of March, but I'm certainly not booking anything until much closer to the time when I know what conditions are likely to be]
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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.
December wasn't actually that bad, not much snow but cold enough to preserve what we had. However as the drought extended January was pretty poor. Only now has snow arrived in any amounts. With a glacier though always some décent skiing to be had.
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As ever it depends where you are - you can't really generalise Europe as a whole. My impression of season so far (most of this based on what I hear - I've only been in Tirol/Vorarlberg - so feel free to correct me!):

- Tirol - below average, but could have been worse (November was great, parts of Jan v good)
- Dolomites - Crying or Very sad
- Oberösterreich/Salzburg - Dec and Jan were actually pretty good with lots of snow. Now probably starting to get desperate for a re-fresh?
- South west Italy (into France?) - seems to have been pretty good so far!
- Greece/Balkans - I think quite good?
- Turkey - I think lots of snow (again)?
- N France - seems to have been pretty dire, up until last weekend?
- Norway - below average at this point, but prime season there is more April anyway

Certainly not been a stellar season up until this point, and pretty challenging if offpiste is your thing. Piste skiing? Well the weather has been lovely and v cold, so pretty ok I think - at least after the man-made stuff got covered by the real deal in January.


Last edited by 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 on Fri 10-02-17 11:06; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Where I have been...

Champoluc - very good piste skiing, just as most people like it, since the start

Chamonix - lower slopes struggled until a few weeks ago, things looking fine now - off piste NSG

PdS - likewise
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As someone who had held off skiing in Europe until last weekend I have to say I was pleasantly surprised (although helped by the fortuitous arrival of 3 days of snowfall) Still plenty of evidence that piste were thin and gravel would work its way up and some low tide in quite a lot of off piste areas that one might ordinarily expect to be well covered going into mid Feb.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@clarky999, Salzburgland could do with a re-fresh although the northern shadowed off piste is still skiable (apparently) but Upper Austria seems to be as described!
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Espace Killy has been amazing since the opening weekend, on 28th November.
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Summary of off piste in the Saas valley Switzerland, this road can normally be skied Shocked
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Looking at the weather thread unless the first half of March is super snowy I think we can safely say the season is going to be short.

Not sure what to do about another week. The one I had became hideously warm and reminded me that I don't really enjoy skiing in anything but average to deep cold. Lots on this year and will probably keep the cash for, hopefully, more certain conditions next year.
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Things are great in the Pyrenees; there's snow everywhere. Many resorts have 100% of pistes open.
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Shh @Pyremaniac, I'm out there again in three weeks and I don't want any crowds Smile
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Can we change the title to worst season ever??!! The forecast in general is looking pretty average indeed. A few places getting snow next week but the temps are high for the first half. Long range has nothing impressive either! Not going to waste piles of cash on boring boiler plate on piste this year. I hope I am wrong and it snows soon. I want some powder! Can the US send us some snow please.
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@BMG, it's actually not as bad you think, at least in Tirol. Had some really good 'spring powder' (still fresh tracks and 10-20cm deep in parts) on Wednesday here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQkML_alk_R/?taken-by=clarkleberryfinn, pistes soft enough to get an edge in even on 125mm skis (other than the shadows), another 5-10cms fell today, 20-30+cm doesn't look unreasonable for the week 25th onwards.

Can't really say it's been worse than last season anyway. Not that that means much Laughing
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@BMG, You could always hop a flight to California. Up to 33 inches on the mountains by Tuesday with more later in the week

https://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe

Mind you after some real drought years they needed to get their average up.
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The season has been bad, I wonder what the average snow depth is now, vs what we would normally see in the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees
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