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Chamonix 2018/1019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
under a new name wrote:
not sure about a “big” dump. Chamonix Meteo, who are probably the best and are real people behind the screen suggesting 5-10cms.

But it’s hard to forecast quantity.



Interesting, let's see.....top end of computer model range WRF has 80-90cm at 1500m and at the low end ECM has 40cm in the town by monday.

http://www.meteociel.fr/previsions-wrf/27625/chamonix_mont_blanc.htm
https://www.yr.no/place/France/Rh%C3%B4ne-Alpes/Chamonix/long.html
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@staffsan, It's not that they are never open... but they need good cover over the stony/rocky path and as @midgetbiker, alludes, the snow pack above needs to be safe.

And, it's not as though they are a high priority for the pisteurs...
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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?
HammondR wrote:
@Jonathan Bell, if you are prepared to put the effort in to flog uphill, untracked powder still to be had. Skied from the Col de l'Encrenaz to Col Montets/Le Buet today. About a quarter was so so, the rest fantastic. Got biffed on the head at the Col Beugeant by my chums skis on his bag. Could have done with a Doc!


Thanks for the tips. Made a grave error of trying Courmayeur. But had a great lunch.
Hope the head recovers - just super glued my mates chin after he chinned the ice!
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hollando wrote:
Hey, quick question. Can you buy the Rapid Card at the lift pass offices by the ski areas (e.g. GM) or does it have to be online?


I think you can buy at the offices. A friend of mine went to Montenvers Station to get one for his daughter, which is where we always try to pick passes up from as the queues are much better
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I had to do it online for my wife before xmas, though I can’t remember why exactly I couldn’t do it at Montenvers. Might have been because she was reactivating an old one? I’d phone and check anyway though.
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@Jonathan Bell, recommendation 2; gentle tour round to the Col de Cicle at Les Contamines today. Couldn't believe the powder to still be had. Also the mellow meadow runs down to Hautleuce looked like dry powder and were untouched. Off back to use the lifts tomorrow (Saturday). Burns night hangover notwithstanding!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Hey, quick question. Can you buy the Rapid Card at the lift pass offices by the ski areas (e.g. GM) or does it have to be online?


Fairly sure you need to do it online as it needs your photo associated with it like season passes. Post to UK takes about 10 days or collect at Montenvers.
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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!
Yellow vests at the bottom of the viaduct blocked road completely in the direction chamonix. All lorries stopped cars coming up through servoz. More gathered in Servoz by the station but not doing anything.
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I was in Chamonix on Thursday and asked someone if any gilets jaunes actions nearby and they said no!
Had a good day at Flegere, back next week.
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jbob wrote:
Yellow vests at the bottom of the viaduct blocked road completely in the direction chamonix. All lorries stopped cars coming up through servoz. More gathered in Servoz by the station but not doing anything.


By the time we came up at 16:30 there were more Gendarmes than Gilets Jaunes.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I'm heading out tomorrow with a couple of friends for a few days. I've a new set up I'm keen to try uphill but my mates don't believe in skinning when there's a perfectly good lift nearby, so is the skin track up from the Herse and the ski back down straightforward enough for someone on their own who doesn't know the area that well?
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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.
Yes, it’s well marked and well populated! (Obviously usual precautions apply..)
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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
@footsoldier, thanks.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Take it easy for a couple of days 4/5 avalanche risk posted.

http://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-montagne/bulletin-avalanches/haute-savoie/OPP03
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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've been up the mountain today on an avalanche course. Was really good timing since the skiing was limited by the weather anyway so the training was a great use of time.

Soft slab was noticeably forming even on the lower slopes at Le Tour today. Add in overnight high winds and heavy snowfall and the bulletins talk of 'an ideal cocktail for slabs' is what we saw in action today.

I'll be on my own so still planning my day but looks like low wind and fresh snow, the pistes should be in great shape.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
How do you think the off piste will be shaping up after this snowfall (when the avalanche risk is lower ofc)?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
GM was surprisingly good yesterday, nice grippy snow with a few soft pockets in places and some powder in the trees.

Le Tour was very scratchy today but filling in.

It's very windy out there tonight. Week ahead looks like lots more snow. I don't know how well it'll settle but our guide/coach was very concerned for the week ahead.

Watch the bulletin carefully and play it safe.
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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?
@Tom Doc, for my money, not worth any flogging uphill in the next two or possibly more days. There is so much fresh snow falling and forecast that with some thought and cunning you should be able to make plenty of fresh tracks without resorting to human power.

If you absolutely must go uphill, one of the safest, most rewarding and gentle introductions is the so called Magic Forest at GM. If you are equipped with skins you can ski multiple steep lines straight down (instead of vearing off right like the masses. When you hit the gentle uphill track just put your skins on and plod back up to the lift. My chum calls it Upside Down Touring.
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The missus is in Chx and reporting a decent load of fresh snow. Is she exaggerating? The thread seems quiet, so maybe not, as everyone may be out hitting the pow instead of inhabiting the web.
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@midgetbiker, given that 40cms or so dropped in Avoriaz by yesterday afternoon, wouldn't be surprised if Cham had got similar.
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midgetbiker wrote:
The missus is in Chx and reporting a decent load of fresh snow. Is she exaggerating? The thread seems quiet, so maybe not, as everyone may be out hitting the pow instead of inhabiting the web.


Instagram suggests the entire valley is absolutely loaded.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@midgetbiker, shin deep fresh tracks in some locations in St Gervais yesterday and particularly at some back of beyond Le Tour spots today. Needed a very close eye on avalanche conditions.

As if we weren't sick of the best start to a season any of us has had, off to Loriaz tomorrow to have a look in the trees. If all else fails we will have a good lunch there.
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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!
@HammondR, yeah, I decided that.

We're in Courmayer today - shin deep hero snow everywhere!
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Combloux, Portes de Mont Blanc, had over 20cm at village level overnight which was far more than forecast.

Struggling with a pinched nerve affecting shoulder so didn't want to risk any tumbles today but have just walked the dog up to the station where it was knee deep in places.
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15cm in Les Contamines more to come tonight and Friday. Weather supposed to clear up a bit for the weekend. I arrive Friday night Madeye-Smiley
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Anyway, from our experience up at Loriaz today (6 inches fell on my car at Le Buet station while we were out), the snow on the open slopes above the chalets was dense wind damaged slab. The snow below and in the trees was various types of predominantly fluffy snow. Sadly the trees weren't so fluffy...
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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.
4/5 avalanche level again for tomorrow.
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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
The forecast for Cham is nuts - 70cm in the next 24 hours!!!
http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-mont-blanc/weather/forecast/evening/6_days_weather_forecast.php
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Dunno when it fell, as the missus reported plenty when she left on Thursday, but there was certainly plenty around when I got in mid afternoon today. Then maybe 6" fell (unexpectedly) I think in the late afternoon/early evening, it eased up for a bit but seems to be revving up again as I post. So we'll see what tomorrow brings........
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tried to buy a day pass at Montenvers about 5pm for a mate to use tomorrow, but the lady basically refused to sell it to me saying they had just heard that tomorrow could be really bad and the money might be wasted.
Strange, because:
1- Cham meteo seemed to say tomorrow looked ok (though I haven't looked at the evening forecast;
2- They normally just take your cash and snigger as you walk away.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@midgetbiker, accumulations and wind meaning nothing open due avalanche risk?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Went to the Toula Glacier today expecting cold powder and wonderfulness and found breakable crust almost down to the midstation. The bottom half down to the Val Veny cable car was better but rocky at the bottom.

The start of the Toula descent is no place for the faint of heart at the moment. Instead of the usual peculiar scoop down to the steps, there is a 40 degree slope, becoming very scoured by skis, to a precarious dismount onto the steps. Don't drop a ski!

The bottom of the ladders has been extended and is much more tranquil.
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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?
You win some, you lose some.

After a bit of underwhelming Italy action yesterday, amongst the best skiing of the season today. Who'd have thought?

Slogged up to the Col de la Floria today. The very steep 200m gully down the north side did a splendid job of keeping people away. We met a young bloke from Finland at the Col and the 3 of us had the entire valley below to ourselves. It is almost entirely perfectly even, slightly dense powder all the way down. Anyone at a loose end tomorrow could do much worse than this. 2 days and it might develop crust?

Of course it is then a further 550m skin back up to the Berard Col. We had intended to go the 250m further up to the Keyhole, but there was no track up, and we didn't fancy putting one in. However, to our surprise the Berard valley isn't entirely tracked out and in its shadowy top still holds great powder. Anyone fancying the Crochues Berard couldn't go too far wrong tomorrow if you are early.
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Thanks for the update on Toula, too bad the conditions were as you said @HammondR. I was last up there about a month ago and had a look but didn't ride it - they were in need of some snow at that point. Heading back to the Aosta Valley for two weeks on Thursday so we'll see how it goes. Great to hear you had a better day today : ).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Did the VB yesterday with some friends. Well tracked as expected and the snow was pretty heavy going. The area around Montenvers and down the James Bond track is a death trap for skis, rocks everywhere.

All in all, probably won't go up again until we get fresh snow. Crochues-Berard could be a good shout though, thanks!
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hi all

coming back to Cham area for the first time in years. We are staying in St Gervais and hope to get us an Unlimited pass so we can go to Argentiere at least once.

couple of questions if I might, please.

Given the top lift is closed on GM, is it worth a day trip. We are not great skiiers but love ski routes and i have fond memories of the views along the Glacier Argntiere from when I was there 15 years ago. Won't get that, now. Should I bother?

Also is it worth the additional cost of a tunnel return toll (57 euros yikes!) for a day trip to Courmayeur?

I know its all horses for courses (weather/snow might be better and so on) but good to get some informed views....

Arriving next Sat for half term week...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Courmayeur can often have great snow when the Chamonix valley is struggling, and vice versa as well though. We were in Chamonix in mid January and Chamonix had good snow to valley level whereas Courmayeur was brown fields and lots of man made snow at resort level.

Personally I still love Courmayeur, makes a nice change from Chamonix and if there are a few of you in the car it’s not too costly between you. I’d recommend going mid-week though as it’s noticeably busier at weekends with the weekend skier crowds up from the towns.
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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!
@TheManOnTheBus, for my money I wouldn't bother with the GM, unless you are ready and willing to skin up to get to the Argentiere Glacier side of things. We have had an outstanding season so far since the 8th January and haven't skied GM once (except to reach the Col du Passon). I have however had 3/4 memorable days at St Gervais and Les Contamines.

As for Courmayeur, depends on what you want to ski. Following my last visit last week I wouldn't go for the off piste. Nothing like as good as where you will be or the Chamonix areas. If you want to ski some ok pistes with great food and views then give it a go.

If you travel with someone with a season or annual pass it is 14€ each way through the tunnel. Not sure if there is any reduction with a weekly MBU?
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Thank you, both. Hadn't thought (and know little about) Les Contamines. And great to hear the season is good. We are normally wearly risers/arrivers so assume parking wouldn't be a problem?

I'll have a think! I did sell it to my teenage son on the basis of "we can ski some of the most spectacular mountains" in Argentiere....

@bigtuboflard Three in a car - but only one of us paying!
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If you're staying in St Gervais I'd get an EMB pass and enjoy all that has to offer.
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