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Chamonix 2018/1019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yeah fantastic wintry ski day today. Another 10cm overnight and some nice wind blown powder off the Herse chair.

Up early enough for fresh lines in the Lavancher bowl this morning. Pierre Ric was great this afternoon. Heavy showers in Chamonix tonight means more fresh snow to ski tomorrow. Great stuff Cool
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
An even more fantastic powder day. Another good 20cms of cold wintry snow on top of the fantastic base meant that everything was in perfect condition again up above Argentierre.

We had a couple of stellar runs into the Combe Pendant late morning in the sun. Just perfect Cool

Sadly last day of the season for me but still another week to go here in Chamonix before the end of season party.
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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?
The mountains are clear this morning with another covering of new now above 1300m.
Sadly, time to leave.
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Skied fresh tracks down the Petit Envers yesterday. Snow right at the start was glorious but it got heavy quite soon and I found it hard going. Can still get to the steps avoiding the ladders with a short hike.
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Cooling down again after Thursday. Could be another weekend of fresh off piste skiing snowHead

Anyone out till the closing day on Sunday I think ? Lots of English voices to be heard there earlier this week.
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Another 15cms possible this afternoon and tonight. And then another 20cms on Saturday. Lifts closed today and tomorrow reopening on Saturday and Sunday for the end of season party.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Don't know if there are any Vallee Blanchers left out there, but there still a fair bit of snow around. At the end It is a 10 minute walk on the sad snout of the Mer de Glace to the steps which is a million times better than hauling up the ladders.

The french side is transforming to spring snow, the Italian has quite a bit of sun affected fresh snow. Both should be pretty good straight after the forthcoming weekend of snowy weather. Tracks going up to the Glacier de la Noire/Pointe Yeld, and down from the Tacul Shoulder. If only I could grow a pair!
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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!
https://panocam.skiline.cc/chamonix/grand-montets

Another nice top up ! Forecast is for another 15-25cms on Saturday Cool
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@HammondR, it must be time to hang up your boots for the season. Sounds like a good one.
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@jbob, as usual you are not wrong. Just loitering for the closure of GM. There could be some classic upside down touring on Sunday. Then perhaps a good final Tour on Monday/Tuesday. It would be good to use my altitude adaptation (we traversed the Domes de Miage and decended the Armencette Glacier last week), but realistically I am probably just getting more clapped out!
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What's the update on the rebuild of the GM cable car?
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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.
2-3 years according to the Mayor and some instructors I spoke to. The fire tensioned the cables which have twisted the foundations of the top station apparently so some serious work.
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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
Astounding. Is there still (or was there ever) a car on the glacier?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
There was. They recovered it in October.

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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@RobH2017, at least 3 years from what we hear... it's a big job.

Now, a sensible, well managed operating company would have contingency plans (as in, plans of what to rebuild with as I presume that the decision on technologies isn't to just rebuild what was existing?) ready to go in such an event...

I wonder if the CMB do?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The cynic in me says not. Hopefully the recent investigations into contract awarding might make this one more transparent and robust. Or not.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@RobH2017, given the general optics from them, I suspect not either. I mean, you would imagine you'd be doing an annual or bi-annual review of "if this lift burned down, etc. what would we ideally replace it with".

Not necessarily a full planning application but a general feasibility study and at least an idea of best path forward.

Maybe it's not that easy?
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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?
The fire literally changed our plans this past year - was all excited about going back to GM but, well, not getting to go up to the top without a substantial amount of effort changed our plans.
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@ItaloSkier, the effort wasn't that great to get up there (especially when the Bochard was open), and the little effort it did take made it so much quieter. On the skin track there always seemed to be a good few folk ascending, but once over the ridge you never saw anyone.
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Same for the top of the Pendant bowl when the Bochard was shut, and that was only a 5 or 10 min hike.
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@midgetbiker, but... if you are a piste skier, unused to skinning and without required glacier skills...
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Must have been amazing. Tons of untracked powder. We managed to ski it on a semi-whiteout day and I was following someone from ESF so we found nothing but fresh snow and left the first tracks. It was glorious!
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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!
@ItaloSkier, “following someone”....

rolling eyes rolling eyes
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under a new name wrote:
@ItaloSkier, “following someone”....

rolling eyes rolling eyes


Yeah, let's see...

Whiteout conditions
Off piste
First time down the mountain

Yes, absolutely following someone. Roll away with those eyes. Same section of GM last year saw two Brits go off a cliff. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-42903487
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@ItaloSkier, You have written in other threads about paying quite a bit for private instruction. I read "following someone" as skiing with an instructor you were paying. Something that annoys guides and instructors is people who are not part of their paid group following them in potentially dangerous areas off piste.
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@ItaloSkier, forgive me if I am wrong (and as I posted I did realise I very well could be) but I <assumed> (yes, yes, I know) that you meant you followed an ESF instructor and group without being part of it? I think on second reading that you just meant you were with an instructor and happened to be behind them... rather than ...

I have probably done you a disservice. In which case I apologise. But if I haven't... Twisted Evil
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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.
@HammondR,Domes de Miage, nice tick. I suspect you’ve still got a few meters left in you.

GM must be a dilemma. They will want to replace it asap but its not a trivial job and I would think at least a couple of summers maybe more. Not forgetting its two lifts that were ruined. But the real dilemma is what to replace it with. Do they even need to do the bottom section at all! As for the top ticket, should they increase capacity as its very busy for most of the season. Would having a lot more people up there spoil it and then there's the safety aspect of having a lot more skiers. They might think of widening the pisted area rightwards at the top. How about pisteing the grand mur. They need to be careful not to ruin the whole thing.
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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
under a new name wrote:
@ItaloSkier, forgive me if I am wrong (and as I posted I did realise I very well could be) but I <assumed> (yes, yes, I know) that you meant you followed an ESF instructor and group without being part of it? I think on second reading that you just meant you were with an instructor and happened to be behind them... rather than ...

I have probably done you a disservice. In which case I apologise. But if I haven't... Twisted Evil


No worries. Yes, I always hire private instructors for the first day or two. They help me with technique and typically take me to great spots on the mountain. So, yes, I was following my instructor.

Following another group is a dick move. In fact, in Saas Fee, we were going towards a little colouir and my instructor stopped and waited as someone passed us and he said he hated it when people followed him off piste.

That day... no one front of us, only group behind us (other than our tracks):

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@ItaloSkier, yuck. I would be taking a tour du duvet in weather like that.
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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 carnt really see any alternative to a straightforward replacement by a cable car. I think a 3S gondola would be too expensive and move too many people up to an area with a limited amount of skiing available ?

With the Bouchard open this week the Herse, Pierre roc and the new Tabe chairlift, there was plenty to ski with or without guides, because of the fabulous cover this year. I didn’t really miss the GM. 40 euros for a day pas was good value I thought.

Tomorrow and Sunday could be epic again snowHead
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Does anyone on here have any experience of/know anything about the Mark Gear All Mountain courses in Chamonix? I'm thinking about it for next season.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Peter S, I totally take your point re visitor numbers, although the CdMB may not, being grubby capitalists, but are cable cars cheaper anyway? and better vfm?

On the grounds that Flegere is being replaced by a gondola...
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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?
@esaw1, Mark is a terrific instructor. A group of us has arranged a series of private lessons with him on a couple of occasions.

His courses will leave you a better skier and much more tired.
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@HammondR, Thanks for the information. Sounds good.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Some ideas for those of you still there...

http://youtube.com/v/D0LHTDed614
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well, we had snow in town last night but GM was pretty grim for the last day. Windy and terrible vis. I did a couple of laps and came down. Ho hum.
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@Meltus, us too. After a couple of Grimbergens for a grim day Happy
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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!
End of the season in Chamonix for me.

After the upside down touring fresh tracks but low viz extravaganza of GM closing day, we had a beautiful final day.

Drove up to the little reservoir below the bottom Tete de Balme lift station. Ended up skinning about 850m to the Tete de Balme. Went across to the back bowls and had a mellow fantastic ski back down. For once no powder. But the only tracks on the mountain, cold, clear skies and a good chum enjoying it as much as me. If you are around it is very worthwhile.

It's always a relief not having to get home with a broken leg or no teeth.
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Scratched an itch on Monday and skied the Col du Plan North Face.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxQbKsdF9VH/
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@Fergus, nice one. Now that is a big tick.
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