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PYRENEES 2017-18

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Pyremaniac, Cheers.

I think the issue that Baqueira for with opening later is the way they contract their staff, who move on to elsewhere once the close date arrives. That said you would think a limited opening would work using local staff.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Well as I drove up the Collada de Toses (the main 'non-toll' access road to the eastern pyrenees when coming from the south - going via the motorway/tunnels costs 18€ each way on a weekend!) the rain turned to snow at around 1200m.

This slowed me down a fair bit and as I drove down through La Molina it was already past 9am. So with poor visibility, poor driving conditions, and (more importantly) fresh powder anywhere I looked, I gave up with the idea of trying somewhere new, and parked up.

The snow fell heavily through the day but there was hardly a breath of wind so almost all the resort was open, including the Alp 2500 gondola link. The visibility was a bit crap higher up but pretty reasonably lower down, I stuck to the trees in the Roc Blanc and Alabau sectors, which have reasonable tree-skiing.

With nothing bashed the pistes were getting chopped up, but with the resort very quiet there were endless fresh-tracks to be had off-piste. The fresh powder got to about calf-deep by late afternoon, with a slightly firmer layer underneath but which still had some give. All in all a great day.

couple of pics: https://imgur.com/a/Oyb3W

PS La Molina will be great this week as the sun is forecast to come out. The forecast for Andorra though is for snow, snow and more snow I think.
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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?
Wow, La Molina has had a really cracking season this year!
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Was in Grandvalira on Sunday, early on visibility was pretty poor, but gradually it brightened up and the snow was sensational. Probably the best I've seen it in Grandvalira, not too many people either...

This was near the Montmalus lift, the forests leading down to Soldeu were also awesome




Coming back on Sunday we were delayed by 2 hours due to protests in Ponts, Puigdemont was captured on Sunday and there was delays on the roads all over Catalunya
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Moist and grey in Baqueira today.
Healthy amount of snow, but zero viz up high meant a short day with a long lunch.

Best skiing was found in the trees heading down to 1500.
Never ski so far left of the piste before as there's never been enough snow.

More snow forecast for the rest of the week.
The season is going to end with fully loaded slopes.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
The never-ending winter continues...
Masella received almost 50cm of fresh snow these last couple of days, bringing them up to almost 2.5 metres up top. Port del Comte - squarely in the pre-Pyrenees where it ends up suffering some pretty rough seasons some years - has one of the greatest snow depths in the whole Pyrenean range, with well over 3 metres in places.
The tiny resorts of the Cantabrian range in northern Spain are claiming 4.5 metres in places, which is quite extraordinary.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hmmm
All well and very good for skiing and this is a vintage winter but I am starting to worry that the passes will be late opening which puts my bike tour route for early June in question!!
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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!
Well that was an interesting few days in Grand Tourmalet.
Blizzard conditions driving up on Saturday were more like a January day than the beginning of April.
The resort was effectively closed with only a few of the lower drag lifts open.
When the weather cleared and lifts open up on Sunday it was another cracking powder day.



By Monday the sun had done its worst and the snow was transforming as you'd expect for the time of year.
High winds and avalanche risk meant plans to ski on the Pic du Midi had to be shelved.

Amazing that there's only 10 or so days left of the season with so much snow.
The Pic di Midi lift is open until the end of April so still might get a few more days of lift serviced skiing.

@snowornever, On the way down yesterday there were already a few cyclists riding up to La Mongie.
I am sure they will be working hard to open up the passes.
Definitely, a bit of resurfacing needed !

Forecast looks like more snow next weekend as well.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Its been an exceptional winter, looking at some of the places I am more familiar with in the Alps, (col d'iseran for example) there is so much snow depth I really wonder how soon they will be able to re-open the roads!
I am not, however, in any way complaining, I am a firm believer that you can never ever have too much snow! Very Happy
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Most Pyrenees stations seem to be closing this weekend, which is a shame as lots of snow is forecast for Sunday!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I know.
Looks like Cauterets & the Pic du Midi are open to the 22nd & Piau Engaly to the 15th.
Grand Tourmalet, Grandvalira and Baqueira closing this weekend.
No signs of any extensions !
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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.
On some better news Toulouse to the Baqueira should be quicker next season -
https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/occitanie/haute-garonne/toulouse/tunnel-saint-beat-haute-garonne-devrait-enfin-ouvrir-fin-du-mois-avril-1452481.html
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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
It's all over now, for most resorts. Bad weather this weekend across the Pyrenees has meant that the season closes without much fanfare. Still, the Easter long weekend turned out to be better than one might have expected, with several days of good or great weather, and only one bad one



In fact, I would guess that Easter will have been key for the profit margin of many places, what with so many weekends of bad weather this year. Since the weather was pretty decent on the December mega-bank-holiday, New Year, and Easter, the numbers will disguise the severe lack of sunshine that has characterized this season.

As is usual, the weather at the eastern end has generally been better than in the rest of the range, and thanks to some spectacular snowfalls arriving on easterlies this year, the season will have been a clear financial success for the eastern resorts.

I treated Friday as the official end of the lift-served season in Baqueira, getting out there to enjoy the extreme spring conditions that followed the dramatic rise in temperature on Thursday. There's still an extraordinary amount of snow around, even at 1800m:



There should be some pretty good touring and snowshoeing possibilities for the next few weeks. There's yet more snow on the horizon, down to as low as 1400m it seems!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Some results coming in now from the resorts, giving us some insight into how their season went:

It was a record-breaking season in Grandvalira, with 1,800,000 ski days sold, putting it in 15th place globally. They say that this was despite lots of weekends of poor weather. (And of course it got off to a somewhat worse start than most other Pyrenean resorts for no reason other than the luck of the draw, it seems; although it's all relative, and in any case what sells those ski days isn't bottomless off-piste powder.)

Extraordinary that the break-up of the commercial union between the two halves of this resort still seems to be going ahead.

As for the other major Andorran resort, Pal-Arinsal has reported an increase on last year, with 533,626 days sold. They are optimistic about their 10-year plan to create a skiable link between Arinsal and Pal (which is currently an off-piste descent that can be a bit sketchy in terms of avvy risk, but well worth it when it's on.)

It's also been a historic season for the publicly-owned Catalan resorts, which received so much snow this year that the photos will be doing the rounds forever! Between them, they sold 714,535 skier days, with the lion's share going to La Molina of course. They're declaring it their best ever year! They closed with metres of snow still on the ground, which is highly unusual. It's one of those seasons where you wish there were some kind of Pyrenean "Epic Pass"... there's not a resort in the range where it wouldn't have been great to have done some of the classic runs.

As for Baqueira, they're also claiming it as one of their best years, with 887,000 skier days sold. To be honest, this has surprised me a bit, given how many times I saw the place empty on weekdays, and with pretty bad weather in general; it apparently snowed on 63 of the 142 days of the season! However, there's no doubt that it was heaving at peak times. Cumulative snow depth this season was 10 metres; which although it was twice that of last year (which received a "typical" amount of snow) it's considerably less than the legendary season of 5 years ago when more than 14 metres fell. Apparently the minimum temperature this year at 1800m was -14.3ºC (and I swear I was out that day; it was one of the sunny days of December, funnily enough); and the average snow depth for the season was 1.26m, which just goes to show how regular the snowfall was. Average depths across a whole season are usually much lower in all resorts, mainly due to the opening few weeks.

Here are the figures for number of skier days sold over the last few seasons:

2017-18: 887,000
2016-17: 808,120
2015-16: 888,773
2014-15: 793,822
2013-14: 772,555
2012-13: 784,339

Almost all the Pyrenean resorts are now closed, with the couple of usual suspects such as Piau Engaly closing on Sunday... And lastly the three die-hards that one would expect: Pic du Midi, Arcalís and Masella all running until near to or right up to the end of the month. Masella will be just a week shy of a 6-month season; it typically has one of the very longest seasons in the whole of Europe for a non glacier resort, I believe. They've just received another 30cm of snow, too...

Away from the Pyrenees, a lot of small resorts have extended the season. The resorts around Madrid have received another half a metre of snow these last couple of days! Spain is in danger of shaking off its beach image Laughing
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Not everywhere closed yet, heading up to Gourette tomorrow morning and they’ve had at least 60cm of fresh that has fallen today/this evening! As a bonus it looks like the sun will be shining in the morning! I’ll let you know how it goes. Bluebird powder day in April, got to love the Pyrenees.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well I can confirm that good powder is still available in the Pyrenees, fabulous morning at Gourette with a delayed start whilst they were doing avi control, no better sound whilst waiting for a station to open!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Anyone have a weather website that they recommend for the Pyrenees ?
Ta!
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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?
For the Spanish side http://meteo.cat/prediccio/pirineu
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
cheers will have a look! Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Well last two weeks have been an interesting mix of very wet cold days and sunny very warm ones!
Luz st Sauveur is a rainy place after thunder last night
Not ideal for motorcycles tour but
FANTASTIC scenery everywhere!!
Great roads and little traffic apart from superhuman cyclists on the col roads
A must do again trip
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