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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
snoozeboy wrote:
What? Noooooooo! @Whitegold, if only you'd told us sooner.

By the way, 42% of your statistics are made up on the spot.


for made up figures whitegold is always pretty accurate:

Code:
Enneigement
Diminution assez uniforme constatée depuis le début des années 1980 : entre -20% et -30% sur les cumuls vers 1500m, voir -40% sur les hauteurs de neige dans les
Préalpes vers 1200m. Chute brutale des fréquences de jours avec une hauteur de neige supérieure à 30 cm.


Amongst other sources of data:
http://www.observatoire.savoie.equipement-agriculture.gouv.fr/PDF/S2040/4_Ecos_EvoClimat_VarExo.pdf

Temperature has increased 1.5C in the region over the last 100 years, 1C more than the average for France. Source: http://www.umr-cnrm.fr/scampei/documents/docs/changement_climatique_et_evol_enneigement_alpes.pdf

I suspect some of the increase is due to the massive amount of construction in the Western Alps creating more warming due to pollution trapping heat and from the heat island effect - the warming is probably greater near the large population centers.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@davidof, hmm, interesting thought re construction and heat island-ing. Would be worthy of investigation?
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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?
Let's not forget those two critical factors in Alpine Weather that produce snow or do not produce snow and even though a +1c will have a certain effect it will not determine these factors as to what we will be affected by!*

Low Pressure = more often than not will produce the necessary precipitation at varying levels at varying altitudes and in varying regions.

High Pressure** = cold temps at night, more often than not sun throughout the day and can make cafe / restaurant piste skiing jolly good fun but alas no fresh snow and if sustained will produce hard boiler plate piste conditions depending on how busy the resort is.

*For sure some will say Jet Stream / El Nino is affected by global warming and affects pressure systems
**which is the outlook for the next ten days!
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double post


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Thu 22-12-16 10:35; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.

Just to cheer you all up, here's a picture of what is now the Tignes snowpark, taken on 28th November this year.
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good start for Cyprus !



and Lebanon
http://www.skileb.com/cam/image.asp?thepic=FARAYA_161220_151953.jpg
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Well, as I am now ending my 6th week of skiing fantastic pistes in Austria I have to say that this has been my best early season so far Toofy Grin


I would still kill for a powder dump though Laughing
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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!
A smidge thin in the Dolomites.
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Rogier van Rijn @ Sauze d'Oulx, loads of piccies
https://www.wintersporters.nl/weblog/bericht/330504/live-fotoreport-bakken-met-sneeuw-in-via-lattea-i
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davidof wrote:
for made up figures whitegold is always pretty accurate



Hmm, I see Whitegold's selection of data as biased, but there are other threads on the subject of global warming. Here's some other data, straight from the horses mouth which maybe is more pertinent to the OP:

A family of four booked my apartment this last week, leaving tomorrow. When they booked I offered them a partial refund if they would not be able to ski. With Chatel only being able to open less than half of its area on Saturday, I was pretty nervous that I would have to offer the refund and worse, have disappointed guests.

My guest SMSed me last night to tell me "We are having a ball. The blue runs are perfect for us and we have been everywhere!" having been skiing all week under blue skies and asking, could they book the same week next year.
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@snoozeboy, Very Happy
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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.
@snoozeboy, gullible English?
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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
What if this is the best part of the season ? Sad
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Millom wrote:
@snoozeboy, gullible English?


Him or me?

I suppose, if he's actually experiencing it, by definition (in English) that doesn't make him gullible. Maybe he's easily pleased? Maybe he read too many of Whitegold's posts, had low expectations and was delighted to find that the End Of The World wasn't Nigh but in fact a pub in Camden?

Maybe he's an intermediate skier happy to ski pistes under blue skies the week before Xmas?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@snoozeboy, skiing well prepared pistes under azure blue skies is not a pleasure reserved for intermediates... snowHead
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sauze d'Oulx | December 21, 2106


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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Zorrac, Hi Zorrac - heading to Les Carroz this day next week. Any update on whether any run from Kedeuz to Molliets will be open. The webcams seem to suggest no snow on blanchot (but I can see lots of lorryloads being delivered - is this just to open Plein Soleil?). Cheers, Eoin.
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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?
@eoinobrien29, Don't think they will be opening plein soleil, but they may be opening top of combe and then gron chair, and then you may be able to ski from top of that down to molliets. As they are making huge amounts of snow at that lift base. The cannons seem to going all the time.

That is just a guess, as we have been going to flaine, which is getting very tired around base of desert blanc and below that. There are buses from les carroz to flaine and back.
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snoozeboy wrote:
Here's some other data, straight from the horses mouth which maybe is more pertinent to the OP:


That's a perception and it may be more pertinent.

For every person that likes rippin' knee deep powder in the trees in the middle of a blizzard there are probably a dozen holiday makers who want sun, blue skies, fresh air, nice lunch stops etc. As long as a reasonable km of piste are open, even if the resort runs are on artificial snow and if things are not too crowded than that may be the ideal holiday experience.

The OP asked, perhaps mischievously "Is this the worst ever start to a European ski season?"

As we are talking about skiing the balance of man made vs natural snow may not be that importance. if the OP had asked if it is the worst start to the season in terms of snowfall it would be different.

It would seem that the only objective measure is % of runs open compared with previous seasons. Do we care if the run is on manmade or natural? How deep it is (as long as the ground and rocks are covered).

Today in the
Isere 21% of runs are open
Haute-Savoie: 11% of runs are open
Savoie: 42% of runs are open

source: http://www.ledauphine.com/meteo/meteo-neige - doesn't include some very small areas (which are probably closed)
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
davidof wrote:
For every person that likes rippin' knee deep powder in the trees in the middle of a blizzard there are probably a dozen holiday makers who want sun, blue skies, fresh air, nice lunch stops etc.
I'd say that ratio is probably more like 1:50.
snowHeads are clearly more avid than the average punter and even within our ranks I'd give it 1:20.
I mean there's no doubt that far more than 5% of us would be out 'braving' the "knee deep powder in the trees in the middle of a blizzard" but I reckon 95% would prefer "sun, blue skies, fresh air, nice lunch stops etc"
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I'm quite happy if 95% prefer pistes, hot chocolate stops and lunch, to fresh powder, all the more for me Cool

Having said that, the speed with which side country powder gets skied out has massively increased in the last 5 years. Now it seems that if you set first tracks, you can almost forget about going round for a second lap Sad
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
An infinite number of possibilities exist between waist deep powder and 100% artificial snow, sun and blizzard, hot and freezing cold.

How do both the expectations and the preferences of English skiers differ from those elsewhere in Europe and around the world?

When conditions in the Alps aren't great (like now with the odd exception) how does this affect the percentage of visitors at ski resorts coming from particular countries?
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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!
I think Millom asks an interesting question, but I think other factors, such as brexit or other financial crises have at least the same effect or higher.

I don't think English skiers are that different from other nations' skiers that live far from the ski areas. The ones that live close to here just wait for the snow to come, but even then, the vast majority of them will still ski hard pistes in preference to off piste. The majority of skiers are very recreational, no matter the nationality.

By the way, I doubt the aforementioned snow in chatel was artificial. It hasn't been cold enough to make it with the temperature inversions. It's more likely carefully pisted snow from early November that is held in the north facing pocket of chatel that doesn't see much sun til Feb.

To get back to the OP's question, for me the answer is "not yet, but it could be. Ask me again mid Jan".
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A few early extracts from the Chalet 1066 Diary at Les Gets. What is clear is that the current situation would be far worse without the recent investment in snow making compared to the 1980's and 1990's.

2002-2003

One of the more remarkable seasons. Heavy snowfalls in December, but high temperatures saw it all melt by Christmas. It then rained over the holiday period for 2 weeks, almost non stop, particularly hard over New Year. It was totally unskiable.

2000-2001

Well, it was good whilst it lasted. Lots of snow in November but temperatures of 20°C and more in early December put paid to the start of the season which was only possible thanks to snow canons.

1994-1995

No snow up to Christmas,. It rained all week in Les Gets to 1800 metres and looked like being a lousy season. However, on 30 December it turned to snow, and it snowed, and snowed, with breaks, but regularly for most of the winter

1992-1993

Another mild winter, snowed in mid-December, but thereafter was mild. Les Gets suffered as in the third week of January temperatures reached 17°C and it rained non stop for 4 days from 2300 to 2800 metres altitude. No snow left below 1800 métres.

1989-1990

A bitterly cold November ended on 16 December when it warmed up considerably and we all expected snow. Instead it rained for a week and at Christmas everywhere was bare except 3 runs in Avoriaz. The situation stayed terrible in January until 24th when it snowed a little, enough to open a couple of runs in Les Gets and a couple more in Avoriaz.

1988-1989

Wet snow fell in the village on 1 December, more came later and it was cold and icy. By mid December there was 50 centimetres in the village. However, by New year the lower slopes were almost bare. It snowed lightly the first week in January, but then was dry and sunny for 6 weeks !
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I came to the conclusion this year that Morzine and Les Gets are fabulous summer venues, that can also get a bit of snow in Jan/February.
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bar shaker wrote:
I came to the conclusion this year that Morzine and Les Gets are fabulous summer venues, that can also get a bit of snow in Jan/February.
I don't know Les Gets well enough to comment, but I do agree about Morzine.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Remember that both Morzine and Les Gets are real villages that have become ski resorts and so were positioned by non-skiing farmers so they had the best balance of access to the high summer pastures. This makes them much more inviting places to stay than some concreate box with rotting wood nailed to it on top of a mountain for me but you have to accept the trade off that the ends
of the season will always be a gamble with snow in village/local resort only 'certain' Jan/Feb/March. But then that's why they also built gondolas to take you up to the top of the mountain where there is snow all season.

Also don't forget that the ski seasons doesn't start around Christmas because that's when the snow always comes, it starts then because that's when most countries decide to have a break in their school year so families are able to go skiiing. Just from the skiing point of view treating Christmas as just the Bank Holiday days, then back to school before breaking in late Jan would be much better!
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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
Conditions seem very mixed. Only 19 pistes open here in Les Saisies but skiing well. Had them to ourselves first thing, too. S
aw an instructor from Megeve - not far away - with a tiny client. I asked about snow there and the answer was "Rien. C'est la catastrophe."
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
For what it's worth, Garmisch has a few runs open and a friend reports them to be in good condition. You can ski down to the valley on the Olympia and Hausberg (Kochelberg) runs. Mostly artificial snow but at least you can slide on it. I've seen worse starts to the season.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Mjit, no, it's a pagan festival celebrating the turn of the solstice that the school year coincides with.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Mjit, Looked for a place to buy this year. Decided that there was a 3 month skiing season and a 9 month 'other' season, so bought a place that we would be happy to visit even if skiing hadn't been invented, but that we could ski from (via a quick car ride) when there was snow. Delighted with it so far.
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@Matt1959, I think that's a really good way of looking at it. We were more focussed on winter use being on the door step and short drive for summer events/activities... although there is much to do where we bought.
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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?
@Matt1959, those old farmers weren't stupid when it came to picking where to build their village.
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@Mjit, They don't call it the Abondance valley for nothing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
PowderAdict wrote:
...........the speed with which side country powder gets skied out has massively increased in the last 5 years........


Classic side country today in Serre Che - was amazed at how much was left - only trouble was on my 74mm piste skis, but still great fun ripping Cool

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I think I can finally answer this question courtesy of JoJoSki from skipass

> 3 mois décembre janvier février 1963/1964 : Cumul total à Zermatt : 9 cm, Saas fee 15 cm

and from RTS - absolutely fascinating documentary about a difficult winter

http://youtube.com/v/izEkN9z2Nz0


So there you have it, no it is not the worst start to the European ski season ever.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Some more data, from les Contamines (lescontamines.net)

Etape - 1450m
Ruelle - 1650m
Signal - 1880m
Aiguille - 2300m

23/12/2016: 0 10 10 20
23/12/2015: 5 10 20 30
23/12/2014: 15 10 25 40
23/12/2013: 15 25 35 45
23/12/2012: 75 95 160 195
23/12/2011: 100 120 160 200
23/12/2010: 35 40 70 120
23/12/2009: 35 45 80 140
23/12/2008: 55 55 95 115
23/12/2007: 55 55 120 150
23/12/2006: 10 - 30 40

So worst start to a ski season for a decade
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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!
@davidof, for Les Contamines.

Here in Saalbach the skiing has been fine. We managed 90km today without busting a gut (heresy, but we weren't out until 9.30-ish).
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Just back from Alp D'Huez-was a bit weird watching people hiking up the mountain in T shirts while trucks ferried diners to "La Cabine" restaraurant from the piste, with dust following behind them! Saying that, there was some good on piste skiing to be found up high and the sunshine was very welcome whilst eating lunch on a terrace! Also looked like the grass was starting to green up under the "yoghurt pot " lift through the village! Definately a spring like feel to yesterday-hopefully a return to more normal temperatures soon.
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admin wrote:
davidof wrote:
For every person that likes rippin' knee deep powder in the trees in the middle of a blizzard there are probably a dozen holiday makers who want sun, blue skies, fresh air, nice lunch stops etc.
I'd say that ratio is probably more like 1:50.
snowHeads are clearly more avid than the average punter and even within our ranks I'd give it 1:20.
I mean there's no doubt that far more than 5% of us would be out 'braving' the "knee deep powder in the trees in the middle of a blizzard" but I reckon 95% would prefer "sun, blue skies, fresh air, nice lunch stops etc"


I'll be one of 95% then. Smile

Having now made it to most corners of the 3V in the last week and enjoying cruising on the blues, I have to say what a magnificent job the workers have done in getting things open.

So far, only one blue that we wanted to ski on has been closed.

Back to VT today. Very Happy
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