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Chamonix 2018/1019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
jbob wrote:
Near the Maison Jaune



Looks bad, slightly selfishly it is not hear where I am staying....
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
https://www.ledauphine.com/haute-savoie/2018/12/14/violent-incendie-dans-une-residence-en-renovation-route-des-aillouds-aux-houches
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Le tour is very good for beginners. There is a bus service but it can be a bit of a schlep - its probably about 20 minutes from chamonix town to the resorts in either direction - so 40 mins to get from les houches to the far side of the valley. Chamonix ain't convenient but has other advantages, including closeness to airport and nice atmosphere.
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Word on the street is Bochard opened today, and promptly broke down for 1 hour (mates were stuck in there...). Cham's wonderful 'modern' lift system continues to shine..!
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https://cmb.eliberty-insight.com/campaign/email/en/mirror/YToyOntzOjE1OiJlbWFpbENhbXBhaWduSWQiO2k6MTAxO3M6ODoiZW50aXR5SWQiO2k6MzA3MTt9?pk_campaign_email=101&pk_campaign=20&_oid=2726

Midi opening Saturday. Think I’ll give it a few days before I chance it.
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@jbob, let's hope they opted to buy a proper Swiss cable this time instead of a cheap Chinese one.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
There used to be a joke about the swiss selling their old cables to the french who used them until they stretched, who then sold them to the Italians who used them until they broke.
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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!
Just look at the webcams and it looks stunning this morning

https://www.montblancnaturalresort.com/en/webcams
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@jbob, thanks. Shame there won't be a secured touring track - I'm thinking 'unofficial' ones will get cut pretty quickly though.

Glad I did a bunch of glacier training last year, though definitely looking to repeat this year!
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@fixx, they will need to do some security on the slopes above the Herse as it threatens the ski area. I think a track will get established from the top of the Herse quite quickly, its around 400m to the very top from there. I've skinned up from there before and it's nice. I followed the Pylones piste which was closed at the time. Straight up the Face would be a bit steep (for me) plus there's some big holes up there.
Also traversing round from halfway down the Blanchots to the Glaicer d Argentiere won't really be much more effort for getting to the Col d Passon etc. than doing it from the top.
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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.
GM in melt down this afternoon.
The Bouchard and the tabe both closed.
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Quote:

GM in melt down this afternoon.

What does melt down entail?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The Tabe is broken. Its a dead end so folks are having to be evacuated, it looks like in piste machines. The bouchard is half of the uplift at the top.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just arrived to the heavy rain in town...
Any suggestions for quick ski tomorrow morning before heading to Geneva pickups...?
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@footsoldier, the obvious place would be Les Houches as it’s on the way however the cham meteo forecast for tonight is,

“FRIDAY EVENING DECEMBER 21 - AND OVERNIGHT
Bad weather - rainy up to median altitude range - very strong winds high up
SKY CONDITION : overcast.
PRECIPITATION : continuous and moderate to heavy until towards 20:00 - turning into showers, locally heavy - rain-snow limit towards 2100 m, rising towards 2400 m at times, dropping back towards 2000 m by the end of the night - expected snowfall towards 2500 m : 20‑30 cm, windblown.
WIND - ground level : SW light ‑ light to moderate at times.
WIND - mid mountain : W moderate ‑ moderate to strong at times.
WIND - high mountain : W -> WNW strong - near gale at times.
TEMPERATURE : low +3°C.
ISOTHERM 0°C : 2400 -> 2600 -> 2300 m.
ISOTHERM -10°C : 4500 -> 3900 m.
Same kind of weather in the bordering Valais and Vény-Ferret in Italy; drier and milder downstream of Morgex.
ROAD CONDITION ••••• : ongoing snowfall above 1300 m. Driving is becoming tricky
in the vicinity of Montets and Forclaz passes. (Fri. 14:30).morelive precipitation radar over the Alps”

Which might mean a lot of it will be rain at Les Houches!
So maybe higher is better but although it could be fantastic, I suspect there will be delayed openings, listen out for explosions when you wake up and if you hear them then roll over and go back to sleep.
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Thanks jbob- I didn’t make it!
Nor today, as now have houseful to get organised, but will get out tomorrow and investigate.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@footsoldier, I did hear that high ie over 2200m up at GM today was good. I’m not out until the 28th.
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@jbob, not sure who you spoke to, big winds, poor vis, lump porridge on ice. Not my idea of a good day so went for a vino.
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Instructor friend told me GM and Le Tour were decent.
More rain and 6deg tonight, is not making me excited...
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footsoldier wrote:
Instructor friend told me GM and Le Tour were decent.
More rain and 6deg tonight, is not making me excited...


Must be a different GM to the one I was at for a short while Smile

Looks like Noah type rain right now, and so warm
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@ChrisKernow, they did say they were storm riding! My daughter went climbing in Italy.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Top half of index was decent yesterday. Firm enough off piste to ski fast, but soft enough to make nice tracks. Bottom half had an unpleasant crust, but pistes were still fine. Not cold enough to be icy. Hardly anyone about in the morning either.
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Wandered late up La Tour, having slept somewhat in. It's been a rough few weeks.

Dicked around for about 20 minutes in the queue for Autannes which broke down around every chair. Abandoned that plan, just to get a ski in and went back down to base station. Decided might be time for lunch so stopped in l'Olympique which was heaving and very "average".

But nipped back up again, Autannes running more appropriately, wandered round to Tete de Balme some nice stuff at the top, very sketchy at the bottom.

Headed for home and called it a day. Chamonix side generally much better.

So conditions pretty good for xmas week, IMO/E.

Not crazy busy but some very dodgy and dodgy fast skiing going on. As you'd expect, kids partout.
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I've noticed all the snow parks in the chamonix valley are showing as Closed. Is this because of the snow conditions?
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@dave_3, my suspicion is that there isn't the luxurious depth of snow, certainly not in Les Houches to allow their construction.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@under a new name, seems they’re having lots of problems with the lift infrastructure this year. What’s going on?!?!
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@BobinCH, I'm not really sure it's so unusual and I don't really know. Today could easily have been a few very young and poorly controlled ski school parties falling around at the top.

Usual local complaints, of course, about under-investment.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@BobinCH, you only have to look at the lift system and compare it to other ski areas which have similar day ticket prices and see the difference... Very little money being put back into the lift system (IMO)...
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@offpisteskiing, I haven't really looked at the numbers (at all) but it seems a little more complex and long term than that?

i.e. Flegere tph replacement delayed due to the technical challenges, La Tour TC replacement delayed due local resistance to planned installation?

There does seem that the CdMB seems to favour cheap parts, etc., which might not have the service life. I would be keen to understand why the replacement AdM cable failed so very, very quickly, for example.

and call me old-fashioned, but there do seem to be a lot of catastrophic fires... Twisted Evil
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@under a new name, Flegere should have been done years ago, around ten years back we were stuck for a couple of hours at the end of the day waiting to be downloaded as the home run was shut. That day the box was still going at 8pm.
They are moving but oh so slowly. A couple of resorts excepted, many Swiss resorts suffer the same. When I look at comparable resorts in the Aosta valley. like Monta Rosa and Cervinia they have progressed way more quickly.
I'm also interested in the story of the AdM cable and a little hesitant to jump on it.
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AdM cable (traction) failure was simple human cheapness (greed). Rather than do the job properly the first time.
Which involves building a whole temporary cable way to transport the cable.
They just dragged it along the floor.
The 1st replacement (the one that failed over he summer) was installed the same way.
I had dismissed my Courmayeur friends stories as hearsay.
Until Chamonix Mountain Guide friends showed me video of them doing this.
You wouldn't drag your climbing rope to the climb, a couple of miles through the dirt, would you?
In early autumn I watched the Italians build a temporary cable way to deliver the most recent cable.
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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?
Anyone been up the midi yet this season?
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@jbob, afaik (possibly not very far!) Flegere - according to at least one pisteur mate - was simply down to the technical challenges of replacing a lift in a situation particularly prone to gusting wind (which I suspect also contributed to reliability). You’ll note its replacement for next year has required a 2 summer project.

Looking at Monterosa, the major in-vestments have been from Piedmonte to try and make Alagna a functional ski station in its own right.

The Aosta resorts have only replaced what they had andnonly then at the very, very end of extended by necessity service life (Frachey and Crest). And something had to be done about the Punta Indren access.

@Idris, jeepers. That sounds like extremely poor decision making!
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@Idris, that backs up some things I had heard too...

@under a new name, is there not a problem with routing a new Flegere lift that it goes over the golf course and also some land owned by someone else, neither of whom want pylons on their land, hence limiting choices (particularly wrt lifts that would cope better with the winds)?
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@offpisteskiing, that would be entirely plausible.

Similar to the planned re-route of Charamillon being blocked by the hoteliers/restos at current base.
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Can't they say they're building hs2 through it and chuck everyone out!!
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@under a new name, i just dont believe the wind story when you look at where lifts have been built and a modern gondola must be way more resilient than the macarno cable car they have now. The no pylons over the golf course sounds a lot more plausible. Here’s an idea what about moving the whole thing to La Joux come up at the bottom of the trappe. Could even link to GM!
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@jbob, a GM link is surely technically feasible...?
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Here you go. Dismantle Flegere and flog the land. Buy some land at La Joux, build a pay multi story/ underground car park. One gondola to Flegere and one to the bottom of the lavanche bowl. I suspect avalanches might need to be thought about.
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