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Chamonix Valley 2019-2020

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Gorgeous conditions on GM, not too much of a frenzy first thing. Fluffy and light powder above 2300m, below a touch heavier and slightly wind affected in places but still really nice.

Skinned up to rachasses for the last run- skin track in good shape once you’ve got past the bit where some idiot has tried to see how far they can get without skins but with side stepping etc. Descent was great. We rarely touched another set of tracks and had some entire faces to ourselves.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Aiguille de Midi finally opened at 12:30 today, well worth the wait, fantastic powder down as far as the end of the glacier du geants, thinner below that but just about made it back to Chamonix on skis.
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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?
Skiing offpiste at les Contamines yesterday. Still a bit of untracked to be found. However i also found some windslab on a west facing slope at around 1900m, cracked but didn’t slide probably due to the shallow angle.
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A random Chamonix question - Are there any air pollution regulations about bbqs, fire pits, bonfires, fireworks etc.? I’ve had a google but can’t find anything online.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Fireworks restricted in some ways, sometimes, I think. Open hearth fires will be banned as of I think ‘22? There’s a thread on here.

Bonfires? I think you are supposed to take all that stuff to the déchetterie, sorted appropriately.

If there are restrictions on BBQs or firepits no-one pays attention - beyond no coal BBQs in forests, grassland, etc for obvious reasons.

We just bought the in-laws a fire pit for xmas and received a plancha for the bbq so there better not be restrictions wink
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snowdave wrote:
@Layne, still at least 3 years away. The plans are undecided, lots of chat about moving top station but that would make it a massive project.

@SJOSHA, sole all the way for me. they even have online booking. Got new boots from them 2 weeks ago and they’re fab. However assuming you need the works don’t expect to come out spending much below e700-800.


thanks all, ended up going to Sole and they were awesome, would recommend also.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
What's the snow like in Les Houches?
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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!
@SJOSHA, glad they worked out for you!

About 10 days in on my latest pair from them (Cochise Light), and they are fantastic - fit and performance for downhill and touring are excellent. Not the slightest bit of pain.
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Skied at Le Tour today. After the sun finally emerged from the clouds it was lovely.



Its five days since the last bit of snow. The pistes were firm with a little dust and nice to ski on. Its was deserted.
Mont Blanc was wearing a small hat. The vert was hatless.
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@conor90, skied at Les Houches today. Pistes with one exception were great. Best of all there was hardly anyone there. The exception was some sticky snow which felt like something from the end of the season on one run on the sunny backside of the resort.

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jbob wrote:
@conor90, skied at Les Houches today. Pistes with one exception were great. Best of all there was hardly anyone there. The exception was some sticky snow which felt like something from the end of the season on one run on the sunny backside of the resort.



yes very sticky snow in places today, a bit like spring, guess it is the mix of some fresh and zero isotherm around 3000 meters.
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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.
Les Houches getting scratchy again in places, otherwise really not bad considering the lack of snow this year.
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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
Anyone been around the col du berard recently? Thinking of glacier du mort tomorrow but wondering if its all a bit icy?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Well, I went up to the glacier du mort. initial skin from Floria and the traverse from col de crochues is fine, skiing over icy debris towards the end though. The bootpack is well in, though I was glad to have an axe as it was pretty firm.

Atrocious visibility meant we went down some gnarly couloir on the west face by accident and had to climb back out.

The start of the correct ski had soft snow but weird sastrugi-like protrusions and clumps. Steep section was really nice, soft snow meaning I could get some decent jump turns in.

Once off the steep section there was about 10cm of powder over a firm base making for very pleasant skiing down into the berard valley.

James bond track is scratchy and shark infested. Just missed a train as we got to Buet so HAD to have a couple of beers in the hotel. Oh well Smile
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Meltus, wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Out of interest how much more serious is the bootpack up to Mort vs. the initial bootpack up from Floria?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
about the same steepness, if anything the one up from Floria is a bit steeper. Just a lot longer with higher consequences for a fall.
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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?
Poor vis today, hats off to @Meltus,
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Everything outside of Les Houches is shutdown today - High wind and fresh rain/snow.

Les Houches - Windswept proper winter up top and Welsh down the bottom and every chair is full (4 people on each chair not just a person on each chair!)

Did one run went home...might do another later....
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
http://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-montagne/bulletin-avalanches/mont-blanc/OPP03

4/5 tomorrow!

Col Montets closed.
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Had a really great couple of hours up Brevent this morning. Thought it would be too windy the way the bubble was moving about on the way up, but the runs under Parsa, which were the only thing open, were much more sheltered and there was comparatively few people about so it really didn’t get properly tracked until midday. Powder run after powder run and private chairs most of the time on the way back up!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Where do you think will be best to go tomorrow? For some powder
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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'm going to grand montets first thing until it gets tracked out (about 10am...) then le tour/vallorcine. Everywhere was shut today though so assuming you're on 1st lifts you should get a couple of powder runs. Will get tracked toute suite though
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Welp, didn't go to GM in the end as it said Bochard wasn't opening til 11 which turned out to be nonsense.

Le Tour had great soft snow and fresh tracks off the Autannes skiers left. Did 3 laps by which time it was totally tracked.

The aiguillette drag and Tete De Balme chair opened at the same time around 11 and we agonised before going for Tete De Balme. We were 2nd on the chair I think as it opened and got fantastic fresh tracks down the back. Very windblown/icy at the top and over lips but lovely and soft once you get into sheltered areas. Went a bit too far right and ended up bushwhacking back to the chair.

After a couple of laps of that we finished off with a trip down the south face of the possettes to the car park. Snow was beautiful at the top but soon got heavy and hard work. We should've hit it earlier....the curse of south facing slopes!

TLDR: north facing stuff = good but windblown
South facing stuff - good at altitude, gets heavy quickly.
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GM was nice, plan joran opened at 9 and we had 2 fresh tracks laps off herse (Italian bowl, lots of rocks up top but then boot deep & soft lower) before Bochard opened.

So much wind blown snow at the top of Bochard! Lifties had dug almost like a tunnel out of the lift building to the piste!

Lavancher bowl was already essentially almost all tracked by 10.30 but still soft and some occasional deep turns in between the chop.

Couple of laps of magic forest - really deep and especially keeping skiers left was untracked and caused some spontaneous whoop whooping.

Nice to have winter back Cool
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Anyone know if Grands Montets sports sell ABS cylinders? I see they rent the bags but not sure if they also rent the cylinders? Out in about a week and trying to save a trip to snell sports if possible
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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.
hollando wrote:
Anyone know if Grands Montets sports sell ABS cylinders? I see they rent the bags but not sure if they also rent the cylinders? Out in about a week and trying to save a trip to snell sports if possible


Think the place on the main street (sorry don't know it's current name) 50m or so uphill of Savoy Bar
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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
@hollando, there's a mammut shop on the high st if it’s one of theirs they are very helpful.


Last edited by 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 on Fri 31-01-20 22:28; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Where is the best place to head for apres? Heading to chamonix mid February on a solo trip looking to find best bars to hit after a day boarding
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
From avalanche academy.

“. 3/5-4/5. Risk increasing during the day with high temps and heavy rain. Snowpack will become very humid and spontaneous avalanches will occur on steep ground <2700m. At high altitude windslab will be prevalent and easily triggered. #CAUTION”

Its been raining hard all afternoon and forecast to rain all tomorrow. It will be snow high up, very high up.
4/5
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Note from CdMB.

“ Following strong gusts of wind today at the Grands Montets area, the multi-pair cable from the Bochard gondola (line allowing communication between the two stations upstream and downstream of the gondola ) was badly damaged, requiring a long repair procedure as well as the repatriation of customers on board the lift.


We are currently carrying out the analysis with the manufacturer and launching the necessary repairs which will cause the closure of the facility to the public at least for the day of tomorrow, Thursday 6th of February”

Whoops!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yep, I know someone who was stuck in it for 1hr45min today. Not ideal!
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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?
@fixx, how did they get them out?
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He said they just eventually started moving the cable round very slowly. He was annoyed as they were only just a few cars out of the bottom station, so hoped they would be reversed out - but they eventually got brought the whole way to the top!
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Absolutely perfect cruisy day at Brevent today. I had lunch at Altitude 2000 for the first time. I’d been warned off it (including on here I think), so had avoided it for years, but couldn’t resist the lure of their terrace today.

Not what I expected at all. I was thinking it would just be average with the odd good option on the menu if you got lucky, but instead I think it might actually be a contender for the worst restaurant in the Alps. It’s really left quite an impression on me.
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Quote:

but instead I think it might actually be a contender for the worst restaurant in the Alps.


It's improved then. Worst eatery in continental Europe a friend of mine branded it a few years ago. Great view though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
“ Chamonix le 07/02/2020

Bochard gondola

Reopening Saturday 8th February 2020



Dear Clients & partners,

We are delighted to announce the re-opening of

the Bochard gondola on “Grands Montets” ski area as of tomorrow

Saturday 8th February 2020, at the normal opening times.”

Great news.

I was once (only once) in altitude 2000 and witnessed some Russian children clicking their fingers to attract the waiter who wasn't best pleased. A stand off ensued where the waiter refused to serve them. Eventually one of their dads came over who looked like a gangster, they got their ice cream.
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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!
Altitude 2000 is hard to bear....could be one of the best restaurants in the Alps.
Staff have stand-offs with all customers - Russian kids or not!
Such a waste of a great location.
Plus, last time I went, my friend from US had his hire skis stolen from outside.
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Alti 2000 is truly appalling.

Le Cab', however, at Brevent base is a gem.

Managed a 40 minute hike before my hangover stopped me and got in a dozen nice powedery turns just above Index. Very pleasant and followed by proper Scottish sausages on the Flég BBQs. Generally dust on crust however and saw 3 collisions on the liaison access blue as I went home. I shall not be much on piste for the next few weeks!
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Always wondered how the bbq’s work. Do you just stick a load of meat in your ruck sack and rock up and use them.
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