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Sauze d'oulx snow depth - should I change resort?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Absolutely. I had very similar thoughts skiing with our 12 year old. Things like this only emphasize how dangerous the mountain environment can be even on a mild, clear sunny day. A reminder not to lose concentration and to stay safe out there!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
That is awful . . .I have a 9yr old, words cannot describe the anguish the family must be experiencing.

I have some issues with the pistes at Sauz in my minimal experience that has put me off from returning - skied there this time last season and must say that I wasn't particularly impressed; boiler plate under artificial in the busy bottle neck areas can create issues for experienced skiers with tired legs, let alone beginners eager to get back for afternoon snacks. Not sure what the solution is other than improved options / information for skiers to download via lifts (a la L2A) . . ?
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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 hope the blue/red will be open by mid march... we have a relative beginner with us and don't fancy the "carnage" of the black piste run on the home run if we can help it rolling eyes
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I skied that run a few times last season. It's not difficult but can still become treacherous given the wrong conditions. The last time I skied it the person I was skiing with, a guide, took someone under his wing as she was starting to panic due to white out conditions. I, BASI level one long since expired, followed up the rear in an ever increasing group that eventually numbered about 12. We passed the signs of an accident that was obviously being properly managed and later heard that it had been fatal. (Same barriers involved I suspect). It's obviously a dangerous area but I suspect the local management are faced with a dilemma. Close the run and force everyone to return via the black or leave it open because there are many who are not capable of skiing blacks. Sauze is marketed to a degree by the fact that you can link into France so if they close the links... Not a decision I would like to be responsible for.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
esaw1 wrote:
I skied that run a few times last season. It's not difficult but can still become treacherous given the wrong conditions. The last time I skied it the person I was skiing with, a guide, took someone under his wing as she was starting to panic due to white out conditions. I, BASI level one long since expired, followed up the rear in an ever increasing group that eventually numbered about 12. We passed the signs of an accident that was obviously being properly managed and later heard that it had been fatal. (Same barriers involved I suspect). It's obviously a dangerous area but I suspect the local management are faced with a dilemma. Close the run and force everyone to return via the black or leave it open because there are many who are not capable of skiing blacks. Sauze is marketed to a degree by the fact that you can link into France so if they close the links... Not a decision I would like to be responsible for.


I agree with the dilemma...tough one for sure. We would all want a thorough investigation into how the accident occurs, but if the end result is sending newbies home with broken bones by funnelling them down black runs, this also helps no-one, including the resort as it will put people off returning. Sad I don't know the area as we are going in March but I wonder if this is the first known accident/fatality at that particular location which is why it's taking time to re-open, maybe looking at alternative routes down... Puzzled
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@Spike107 - both the red and the blue run can be pretty nasty late in the day, particularly if the wind is up and visibility is poor, as it often is up there. The red has a steep, narrow entrance section, with the mountain face on your right and a drop off (protected by quite flimsy netting) on the left. As one of the main link runs it gets pretty chopped up and can be windblown and icy too. I'm guessing that was where the fatality last month occurred (but could be wrong). After that section it's not too bad - in good light I would even say nice. The blue run is not steep at all but is a much longer, narrow, cat-track around the mountain-top before getting to the place you can rejoin the red. It can get quite busy but there's no real scope for overtaking and there's a big drop-off on the right. I read about another fatality on that one last season (IIRC) where a young man went off the edge and crashed into a wind-break or avalanche barrier.

In normal circumstances the black might be the best option (certainly less busy, though I don't think it is an "easy" black), but obviously if everyone is having to go down it it will be, as someone else observed, "carnage".

It's difficult to see what options they have at the moment and also in the longer term. I don't know much about piste engineering, but I'd be surprised if there is much scope for remodelling any of those runs significantly. They could perhaps allow downloading in the chair (in fact I was wondering if they are doing that already) but it is a pretty old, long and slow lift.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It's difficult to see what options they have at the moment and also in the longer term. I don't know much about piste engineering, but I'd be surprised if there is much scope for remodelling any of those runs significantly. They could perhaps allow downloading in the chair (in fact I was wondering if they are doing that already) but it is a pretty old, long and slow lift.

Couldn't agree more.
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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!
I had a look at the Italian news reports and apart from being incredibly sad, the detail seemed to be that the child lost control and slid for 50m before colliding with a post. It suggested it was lower down, rather than at the top of the run.

I skied the run last year a few times and it was fine - at the top it is just a typical linking section that gets heavy use, rather than a particularly pleasant piste. It obviously catches the wind a bit, but that’s not unusual at 2700m. My impression was that Via Lattea is relatively safe: Tignes was a bit unnerving with small children and Avoriaz was terrifying. Sadly, most resorts have trees, drops and other dangers that can be fatal if you are unlucky. In Tignes, for example, there was a sturdy net but with a gap under it (not enough snow) that I could have slid through easily and a cliff on the other side.

Some decent netting down either side of the pistes would keep people well away from the wind breaks and provide a visual reference in bad weather. Letting people take the lift down would also be good if the lift is configured to do that. I have also seen pistes being bashed in the daytime to make them better (in Austria if I remember correctly). I think they would have to close the piste for 20 mins though, to do it safely. Let’s hope a practical solution can be found that helps prevent another tragedy.
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Quote:

I skied the run last year a few times and it was fine

I have to point out that given the lack of snow this past month and also that it is the only route back into Sauze this becomes a very crowded piste late afternoon and as I was staying in Cesana I saw first hand from the chair how dangerous it can be. A packed piste full of nervous skiers on a steep slope . .. . real carnage! The blood truck was attending some unfortunate person and there were literally a dozen other skiers either on their backsides or recovering from a fall. Some had even taken off their skis and attempting to walk down!!
So my advice would be unless you are a strong intermediate don't use the piste back, down load to Cesana and taxi or bus it back to Sauze.
I'm not trying scare people off, on the contrary, just offer some advice on personal safety. My friend and I skied it fine but we had an empty piste going over and we are fairly competent but with bodies strewn all over the piste it increases the difficulty. Just be careful! Very Happy
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Does this explain the blacks we are all talking about?

He mentions that black 25 has been widened slightly... But conditions looked OK to me when he went down and certainly not "the run home"....


http://youtube.com/v/LyTK5_YzSUw
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
It was like that when we skied over nice and empty and with a decent cover but late afternoon when everyone returns back to sauze and finds all the cover scraped off it’s a different story!
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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.
usally the case... hopefully fresh snow for the weekend for 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
February 1st
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