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Snow. be careful what you wish for.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
When we look at the annual weather forecast thread there is, almost, universal rubbing of thighs at each predicted fall of the white stuff. Excited little groans at the idea of bigger depths descending.

This year has been exceptional.

Yet the result has been incredibly poor for the average skier. Last year was way way better - at least for those staying in high resorts.

I am not trolling and I am being serious.

Last year, and I can only speak for Val Thorens there was reasonable cover on all the pistes. Every person who rented my apartment reported back much the same. Fantastic sunshine, pistes surprisingly good though bit icy and scratchy, fantastic time. This year it’s ‘deep snow great, flat light, trouble getting here/going, cant go out, miserable, one or two epic days, deep snow but still icy’.

Now most people who ski are not snowheads off piste pow junkies. For the majority, although they haven’t rationalised it last year was much better.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We were just saying the same thing yesterday Confused (although there's still plenty of season to come)
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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?
I was out in VT for a week from NYE last year and thought it was actually quite rocky / icy. Everyone was slipping all over the place. There was some snow on the Thursday which was fun but otherwise I thought conditions were fairly poor.
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@emwmarine, Valid points but as@shep says there's plenty time yet and I'd far rather be discussing too much snow than not enough. If you book way in advance to ski this early you takes your chances? Eastern end of the Alps looks just fine.
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@Mi|es, Welcome to snowHeads snowHead

Yes would agree that by the end of xmas it was only just coping and the snow in january hugely welcome. but.... people loved the sun and did ski. the pistes inly really started suffering around xmas and the depth of snow wont stop the pistes now getting hard and icy.
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Disagree.

I was out last week. We had some restriction as in the vis was poor higher up in the second half of the week but in general the skiing was fantastic. At the start of the week you could ski down to all the base stations and even though it was skied out you could go off piste. Then we had fresh snowfalls which meant powder skiing at tree level and at times a bit above. We go skiing evey Christmas and Easter and it was the best we've had for at least three seasons.

This week has been a bad week to be out because the weather has killed the skiing altogether for 2-3 days. But for sure the next 2-3 weeks are going to be great skiing. And quite possibly these sorts of snowfall could set things up for the whole season.

Surely even piste skiers want slopes with no stones/brown patches and to be able to ski right down to the villages with all piste options open.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'm pretty sure there was at least one week last season with 3 days of snow causing flat light etc too.

Bar the last 3 days (where rain and warming was the real problem) this season has been far far better for everyone.

DO you actually just mean NYE week 2017 was better than 2018?
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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!
Of course crazy conditions in the mountains and this week for many has been far from ideal.

I've had two friends staying and whilst they are off piste junkies such has been the snow pack and viz that they have not donned skis for two days.

Also whilst high altitude (above the tree line) resorts can be a great guarantor of conditions, in the depths of winter storms they will be the first to close down.

And whist we have huge accumulations of snow for us OPJ's it's unfortunately pretty damn useless at the moment.

However, unless we get a serious period of warm temps the end of season cover down into resort and other valleys is looking great!

And as I mentioned in a weather thread, you can have loads of snow on the piste but at busy times of year with all the holiday hordes sliding around it will quickly turn hard and icy.

Roll on next week Cool
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No such thing as too much snow - just bad timing.
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And with due respect anyone who goes to Val T in January without a realustic awareness that they could face up to a week of whiteout is a fool.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Weathercam, i was talking to the coprop lady in the tourist office and she made the point that the conditions that would make most holidaymakers happy would be two days snow interspersed in a week of wall to wall sunshine.
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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.
@Dave of the Marmottes, +1

The ski factories like Tignes and VT are pretty soul-less places at best at least down in the valley here there's loads of other activities to do and it is very rare that bottom lifts are closed.
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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
Maybe what we all want is lots of snow fall overnight then lovely sunny days? Probably most of us would say thats the ideal? Apart from that there must be many different opinions about good ski conditions? Personally I`d rather ski a couple of days in a week on fresh snow and miss the rest than have a week in the conditions that existed over last Xmas/New Year (eg Les Arcs, Val D'Isere) and many of the previous ones (eg Morzine, La Tania) brown anywhere lowish, icy, with only artificially supported pistes. But many skiers seem very happy to be on the slopes everyday so long as its possible to ski them. We are all different.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
‘ Reliable for snow’ is not the same thing as reliable for skiing.

Indeed almost the reverse is true in the alps. The Dolomites and sheltered parts of Austria with efficient snow making offer extensive reliable early piste skiing most years.

All the m guide books caution about the exposure and bleakness of above the tree line skiing, particularly early in the season.

However if you are seeking off piste skiing you wouldn’t choose to go to the Dolomites.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I agree, snow level is only one factor in a great days skiing or a week. Weather is perhaps not a secondary factor, it is often the primary issue. (for me at least)

I really do not enjoy piste skiing in white out conditions in high winds.

Skiing from a van, over an extended stay in Europe, you can pick the days you ski on. This means that invariably you will only ski when the wind is low, and visibility good.

In Scotland, the lifts are not open much during the blowy season. (usually early season). Visibility is often low when the snow falls in early season conditions. Rare days in Scotland when the sun shines, wind is low, and snow has fallen recently and not melted because of rising temperatures and rain, are worth three days of white out windy cold skiing conditions in the Alps.

Lets face it, in a week in the Alps, you do not get perfect conditions on all days unless you are very lucky.

Best wait to February, March time when the conditions are usually better on average.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Currently out in La Tania for a few days-after arriving on Tuesday we had 2days of continuous rain which is perhaps not unusual at 1300 metres. What was unusual was the it had also rained heavily right up to 2300 metres with the rain creating shallow galleys in the snow and ruining any chance of off piste skiing.
Makes you wonder if there is anything in the climate change theory?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Peter S wrote:


However if you are seeking off piste skiing you wouldn’t choose to go to the Dolomites.


Yes you could along with helli skiing
All down to the conditions
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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?
almost there wrote:
Currently out in La Tania for a few days-after arriving on Tuesday we had 2days of continuous rain which is perhaps not unusual at 1300 metres. What was unusual was the it had also rained heavily right up to 2300 metres with the rain creating shallow galleys in the snow and ruining any chance of off piste skiing.
Makes you wonder if there is anything in the climate change theory?


Sun dictates our weather. What we do to the Earth is has very little affect.
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@Mr.Egg, that sounds like the dangly bits from folk who think that half an hour musing on their couch has equal validity to an overwhelming number of scientists having done decades of work and real world measurements subject to rigorous peer review
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Many years have seen everyone doing the snow dance right now. It's a brilliant base that will hopefully will see a long season
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Many years have seen everyone doing the snow dance right now.


I've kinda missed that... This year every day it's just boring stats about much more snow has fallen. The daily torture of the 'FI wigglies' long forgotten...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I've done the last 5 Christmas weeks in the 3V and this last one was the best yet. Without fail VT has, for me, been the least enjoyable skiing of the whole area each year.
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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!
Conditions in November and December in Austria this year were certainly much better than last year with frequent snowfall to low levels, fresh powder, excellent pistes as well as sunshine to enjoy it all in.

For large parts of the northern Alps this week has been exceptionally difficult (and for some places it isn’t over yet). The combination of large numbers of visitors, disrupted travel followed by resorts closed, people stuck in lifts, rain to high levels, critical avalanche risk is hardly going to win many fans.

However, picking this week as a comparison seems a little unrepresentative of the season so far and I suspect (and hope) the season as a whole.
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In the Espace Diamant - and lots of other lower altitude French resorts I'm sure - Christmas week was the best for many years and this NY week the worst for many years.
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emwmarine wrote:
Yet the result has been incredibly poor for the average skier.


I seem to remember you were groaning about the snowy weather in another recent post. I think you're in the minority. The average skier actually likes generous snowfall.

Give me a few days of snowy weather over a week of sunshine any time! Snowmagedden in S10BB resulted in many days of lost skiing - but what a week it was!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@emwmarine, agree. Our clients want sunshine and groomed pistes.

Except for the off-piste monkeys who want what we can’t provide, being a working washing machine on arrival. Embarassed

What this really illustrates is the total non-coincidence of, expectations, reality and the Daily Mail reporting of ski conditions.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Mon 8-01-18 17:09; edited 1 time in total
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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.
under a new name wrote:
@emwmarine, agree. Our clients want sunshine and groomed pistes.

Except for the of piste monkeys who want what we can’t provide, being a working washing machine on arrival. Embarassed

What this really illustrates is the totl non-coincidence of, expectations, reality and the Daily Mail reporting of ski conditions.


You made the point much better than me.
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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
@Mr.Egg,
Quote:

Sun dictates our weather. What we do to the Earth is has very little affect.


Are you an alter ego of the Orange Lord of Trumptown? wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
under a new name wrote:
@emwmarine, agree. Our clients want sunshine and groomed pistes.

Except for the of piste monkeys who want what we can’t provide, being a working washing machine on arrival. Embarassed

What this really illustrates is the totl non-coincidence of, expectations, reality and the Daily Mail reporting of ski conditions.

I think that is a massive over generalisation.

This weeks disruption as been unusual and hasn't suited anybody - who was out this week. However, it will be probably suit most of the punters going out in the next 4-6 weeks. You can't win them all - as I am sure all punters are well aware.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
PeakyB wrote:
@Mr.Egg,
Quote:

Sun dictates our weather. What we do to the Earth is has very little affect.



Are you an alter ego of the Orange Lord of Trumptown? wink


Very Happy best post of the year so far
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@emwmarine,
Quote:

best post of the year so far

Very Happy Only 359 days to go and I win the annual prize then!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Layne, i think you are missing the point. But as I can't recall the point, fairynuff


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Mon 8-01-18 17:10; edited 1 time in total
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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?
Please don’t call them punters. They are guests.
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under a new name wrote:
@Layne, i think you are missing the point. But as I can recall the point, fairynuff

It happens Laughing Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
telford_mike wrote:
Please don’t call them punters. They are guests.

Don't be so snooty. It's a term of endearment.
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Great conditions, last year on hard pack too many people going way to fast and it was dangerous, at least it's slowed them all down.
the rain has been a bummer though
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Layne wrote:
telford_mike wrote:
Please don’t call them punters. They are guests.

Don't be so snooty. It's a term of endearment.

They've spent large sums on a weather dependent variable experience - sounds like a punt to me.
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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!
No such thing as bad conditions; just different conditions.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

No such thing as bad conditions; just different conditions.


Absolutely! For years I've been organising a group trip for friends most of whom are less evangelical about skiing than I am to be fair but it always amazes me how much whinging people can do about the conditions!!

We've been to Les Houches and skied on piste with calf deep powder, "too hard on my legs, I just kept falling over"
Les Arcs in January with bluebird skies all week, "I was far too hot today, it was awful"
Meribel "it was fine today but I did find a bit of ice on that blue back into town"

My comments that skiing on different snow conditions makes you a better skier and 6 days in the mountains is better than 6 days pretty much anywhere else tend to fall on deaf ears! Yes if you have to navigate a whole section of boilerplate ice it's no fun but if one person tells me a perfectly groomed hard and fast piste is "icy horribleness" I will scream!!
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almost there wrote:
Currently out in La Tania for a few days-after arriving on Tuesday we had 2days of continuous rain which is perhaps not unusual at 1300 metres. What was unusual was the it had also rained heavily right up to 2300 metres with the rain creating shallow galleys in the snow and ruining any chance of off piste skiing.
Makes you wonder if there is anything in the climate change theory?


Lol.

Global warming is 100% beyond doubt.

The European Alps have seen 80-90% reduction in year-round ski areas, 20-30% reduction in annual snowfall, 20-30% reduction in glacier ice, and 10-20% reduction in Winter season-length since the 1970s.

Days and days of heavy rain at 1300m (and above) in the peak coldness of January this year is yet another sign that Europe is heating up.
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