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Les 3 Vallées 2019/20 - Courchevel, Meribel, Val Thorens etc

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Some nice powder at the top of Plattieres 1/2 this morning, when you could see. Snow pretty wet lower down amongst the trees. There is a blizzard in Mottaret at the moment and more snow forecast tomorrow.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yep, pretty wild on the hill today - by early afternoon even Plantrey was shut...

but...

lots of good skiing in the trees - bit heavy if you dropped below about 1500m in the morning, but getting better already in the pm and snowing down in Bozel now.







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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?
Quote:

was the only person skiing down Doron..... and it was still icy!

Is Doron ever NOT icy Very Happy Very Happy
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Snow at last! Very Happy Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Great snow even at Le Praz/1300m. Took the red/black runs down yesterday off the Foret chair, and had those pistes practically to myself!

Seems they are delaying opening higher up this morning. Thursday will be the day!
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Cannons still going off in Moriond and it's showing no sign of stopping snowing at present. Had to get bus back to Moriond yesterday as links back from 1850 were shut due to wind. Hoping we get a few turns in this afternoon.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Snowing today snowHead in St Martin, but foggy, windy up top and flat light on occasions. Not all high links were open. Amused ourselves up and down the main village lifts/runs - am sure there will be plenty powder to play in tomorrow. The kind of day to keep us intermediates ‘honest, snowHead snowHead snowHead
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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!
Managed a full afternoon, changeable light and a bit more snow on and off but it appears to have stopped now. Loads of powder between the pistes to eat ! Nothing above Signal chair open because of wind and we took every bubble we could to avoid the chairs in the wind. Links to Meribel closed all day. Lights much better now the lifts are closing rolling eyes
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Yesterday was very good...

...but today was 'good-er-er' !

50cms + of super-light powder in the trees. Shame the 0º isotherm is due to go high in a day or two Sad





Note: I mis-timed all my photos today and these don't actually do justice to how good it was!
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Fabulous off piste conditions this morning. Unfortunately, it clouded over and the light got a bit flat this afternoon.
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Powder for the people today (and unsurprisingly also lots of windslabs for the people looking at news reports & social media) - sadly not only did the light go flat this afternoon but the temperature went through the roof and below 2000m the powder was getting heavier by the minute.

And to cap it all off today one of my gang was caught in clear transgression of powder day rule #2:

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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.
Crème brûlée all round today, even at 3000m, but some of the most skiable crème brûlée I have come across. Shame that this winter appears to be following the pattern of the last couple where a great snowfall is followed by rapid warming and super-high 0º isotherm a few days later Sad

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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
Indeed. Snow was fairly horrendous today compared to the rest of the week (even before the big snowfall the pistes were in excellent condition in Courchevel in particular).

Today the saluire express part of Meribel was quite dangerous with skiers way beyond their abilities below the Folie. Courchevel wasn’t so bad, but still soupy given the time of year. Felt like April!

Curious to see how they will manage the pistes for tomorrow. They are so good in Courchevel (of course the largely north facing aspect of the pistes helps!) I wouldn’t be surprised to see it still quite enjoyable for the morning at least, but not cold enough to get the cannons going of course...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Slush before lunch in Courchevel village yesterday, 9 degrees at 11am at the top of the Ariondaz bubble. Everyone went high quickly in the morning with the blue off the top of Saulire bearing witness to lots of questionable skiing.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sticky snow. Raining at 1850 today. Looks like it will cool down tonight at least, but quite depressing! At least this week was great.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Good skiing in VT this morning. Skied back to Les Men for lunch as the light was going via Bvd Cumin..pretty soft all the way. It started to rain in Les Menuires at around 1pm. That was falling as snow above about 2100m, so it’s not all bad.
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Yeah, it wasn’t too bad in the morning. I was on a chair this afternoon and the rain turned to snow as I crossed the freezing line 2000m or so!
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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?
+ 7C and pouring with rain in Mottaret today Sad
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Had a quick ski this morning before heading back to GVA. Light rain at 9am turned to pi**ing down by 11am. It was snowing above about 2100, with corresponding poor vis. Having said that, there was fun to be had. Leaving your own valley was not advised. By the time I went to catch the bus to the airport at 11.30..I think many bedraggled skiers had decided they had had enough.
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Snowing down to the bottom of the Orelle chairs this morning, but rain/snow level rose through the day and was up at about 2700m or more in the pm!
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Perty,

I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed it and made the most of a couple of hours, despite the damp weather. Very Happy
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Two days so far (Sunday and Tuesday) with very limited skiing. Hoping for better for the rest of the week
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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 heard that heavy rain has caused a landslip closing the 915 going up to Pralognan
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Any more snow today? Bergfex forecasts seem very flaky?

Any tips for an experienced new-to-the-3V group leader? Got two boarders and a few intermediate skiers. Staying for a week in Courchavel 1650. Is the aim to get high as soon as possible? I’m looking for probably 80/20 on-piste/off-piste skiing split. How about restaurants worth booking?
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I was team leader a few weeks ago, albeit based in Meribel; Our approach has always been to break the 3Vs into areas and head for at least a morning in each area; so a 1650 morning, an 1850 and down into Le Praz, 1550 etc morning, an Olympic/Jerusalem/St Martin morning, a Val Thorens/Les Menuires day, a Mont Vallon morning with some cruise blues around Grand Lac ... all adjustable depending on weather and snow conditions.

We were mainly on piste and off the edges, but did have some guided off piste by Marmalade, though three weeks ago there was precious little powder to be found. If you are seriously interested in off piste I would recommend finding a guide or school.

Quite a few of our favourite restaurants have gone or changed hands, notably Le Lachenal in a St Martin and Crete’s.

At the moment the Bel Air above 1650 is on top form and the PDJ is always reasonably priced, and always worth booking early. The best quality meal that we had was at Le Blanchot near Meribel Altiport (you can get to it off the Meribel Village run) ... not cheap but very good. Clos Bernard off the bottom of Col De Loze chair had much better service than it has in the past and the food was good. Also ate in Les Pilates by the 1850 Altiport which was good and is also an agreeable coffee stop.

Not sure about getting high as soon as possible, since this depends very much on conditions ... 1650 and 1850 has plenty of low level tree options which are worth having up your sleeve for a flat light or windy day.
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craftybob wrote:
Any more snow today? Bergfex forecasts seem very flaky?

Any tips for an experienced new-to-the-3V group leader? Got two boarders and a few intermediate skiers. Staying for a week in Courchavel 1650. Is the aim to get high as soon as possible? I’m looking for probably 80/20 on-piste/off-piste skiing split. How about restaurants worth booking?


You'll probably want to get all over the resort, but do spend some time in 1650. The runs from the top of Signal and Chapelets are lovely, and we do a few laps up there. It's a nice long cruise down from there to Ariondaz. Worth getting over to Val Thorens at least one day. Pretty easy to get to, and there's only really one choke point.

Keep an eye on the closing time of Roc Mugnier, as that gets you back into 1650 easily. Creux, the run from the top of Sauliere down to there is lovely.

Le Clos Bernard is a must book. Our other favourites are:
Le Corbeleys - St Martin
Le Bouc Blanc
Cave Des Creux - if it's sunny
Le 1928
Folie Douce - self service is great. Try the tartiflette.
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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.
Just had message from 3V App that the Orelle gondola is closed until Feb 16th inclusive due to a landslide.

If you're affected, it says Contact STOR for more information +33 4 79 56 88 01
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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
Wild & windy up the hill again today - though the biggest problem was actually the queue on Verdons as it was the only way of accessing the Saulire/Biollay etc. Once the visibility improved late morning there was some fun snow to be skied in the couloirs where the wind had blown it in. 15/20cms due tonight/tomorrow down to 1200m-ish (but with more wind) so that should freshen/soften things up!

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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
offpisteskiing wrote:
Wild & windy up the hill again today - though the biggest problem was actually the queue on Verdons as it was the only way of accessing the Saulire/Biollay etc. Once the visibility improved late morning there was some fun snow to be skied in the couloirs where the wind had blown it in. 15/20cms due tonight/tomorrow down to 1200m-ish (but with more wind) so that should freshen/soften things up!



Thanks for the update - how are the pistes holding up?
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offpisteskiing wrote:
Wild & windy up the hill again today - though the biggest problem was actually the queue on Verdons as it was the only way of accessing the Saulire/Biollay etc. Once the visibility improved late morning there was some fun snow to be skied in the couloirs where the wind had blown it in. 15/20cms due tonight/tomorrow down to 1200m-ish (but with more wind) so that should freshen/soften things up!



Thanks for the update - how are the pistes holding up?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@franga, not too sure, but the off piste was good today Happy



In all seriousness, Courchevel pistes (the few we skied today/yesterday) are good above 1550-ish, though some icy patches as the winds have been ripping through in the last 2 days. The only thin one is Brigues at the end of the day down to le Praz - definitely a bit scrapey.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@offpisteskiing, please make it be all the powder for March. Yours, an expectant punter Wink
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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?
@Sharkymark, my order is in... though given the number of high Iso 0 days this winter I can’t guarantee it! Happy

If its looking thin I can always bring some powder back from Kyrgyzstan. (On second thought that may not be such a great plan!).
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I’ll get the edge file out...
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Any rumours / news about a potential lift company strike on Saturday?
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Folks any suggestions for powder this morning? Cracking day after a bit of accumulation over the past 48hrs?
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@craftybob

Obviously @offpisteskiing, is the expert but if you're over the Belleville side then there's some easily lift accessible off piste under the Lac Noir chair on La Masse, you can plot your route down on the lift up Very Happy

@franga,

From latania.co.uk

France One Day Strike - Saturday 15 Feb 2020 - INFO:
This week's strike involves season workers protesting against reforms to unemployment rights & pay. Many ski areas are being targeted and strike notices have been received locally to S3V who manage the Courchevel, La Tania & Mottaret ski areas (of course most people will be travelling rather than skiing on this day in any case).

S3V say they are making plans so this will have little impact on the opening of the ski area on Sat 15 Feb. There is however action planned with protests at the Rond Point de l'Europe in Moutiers from 08:00 to 10:30 which could cause traffic delays. In addition the FO and CGT Unions are also trying to mobilise season workers for demonstrations in the Courchevel Valley.

The S3V ticket offices will remain open until at least 18:00 on Saturday and open early at 08:00 on Sunday to help minimise any disruption.
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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!
jonathancarty wrote:
@craftybob

Obviously @offpisteskiing, is the expert but if you're over the Belleville side then there's some easily lift accessible off piste under the Lac Noir chair on La Masse, you can plot your route down on the lift up Very Happy

@franga,

From latania.co.uk

France One Day Strike - Saturday 15 Feb 2020 - INFO:
This week's strike involves season workers protesting against reforms to unemployment rights & pay. Many ski areas are being targeted and strike notices have been received locally to S3V who manage the Courchevel, La Tania & Mottaret ski areas (of course most people will be travelling rather than skiing on this day in any case).

S3V say they are making plans so this will have little impact on the opening of the ski area on Sat 15 Feb. There is however action planned with protests at the Rond Point de l'Europe in Moutiers from 08:00 to 10:30 which could cause traffic delays. In addition the FO and CGT Unions are also trying to mobilise season workers for demonstrations in the Courchevel Valley.

The S3V ticket offices will remain open until at least 18:00 on Saturday and open early at 08:00 on Sunday to help minimise any disruption.


Thank you Jonathan, very useful. We are staying in Albertville on Friday night so we'll aim to be on the road by 6:30AM on Saturday. We have our lift passes already.
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A glorious, sunny day in the 3Vs, with some great off piste skiing. Quite a contrast to yesterday's blizzards. Getting pretty busy on piste with some fairly long queues in places.
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A great day yesterday, blue skies and soft snow everywhere!





This morning wasn't bad either (and this afternoon too given it was pumping down with snow!! Happy ).





Wet snow below about 1600m, but already a noticeable fresh layer by 4pm!
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