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Chamonix Valley 2019-2020

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yep, they are free to use though I'd take some disinfectant and a cloth for the utensils if I were you. Also, some oil.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Chamboy, yep and in our 5 or so experiences people are very accommodating and sharing.

With the notable exception of one UCPA instructor. Who was just rude.
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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?
Has anyone skied the face from Cresta d’Arp to Arp Vielle since all the weather? Bit concerned the final gully would just be sheet ice atm
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Or failing that one of the cols from les contamines? Found some nice snow on GM and around lac blanc over the past couple of days and wondering if we should stick in those high areas or if there are any other options
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Had a very nice morning up La Tour, hiked up almost to Charamillon then the attraction of ~25 cms fresh got too much for one of the party so we de-skinned and had some very nice turns.

Headed up and over and the Vallorcine side was just not nice at all. Back to front side and more nice turns under the bubble.

So maybe 25-30 cms in places, bizarre ice where windblown. Pistes all tip-top.
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@under a new name, we were in exactly same area, Vallorcine on the skiers right was so iced! So we avoided our favourite route back to Tete De Balm. Found a lovely route through the trees back to tete de balm from the top of LAiguillette though . Did it several times beautiful fresh snow.
Any idea if les Houches is worth a trip down the valley or just to low?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@bigtoe, Nice. Weird though huh on Vallorcine side, patches that looked like fluffy powder that were in fact solid ice. I don’t recall seeing that ever.

LHs? No idea, suspect too low. Lower slopes had no cover at all a couple of weeks ago.
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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!
@under a new name, yes I thought the same with the Vallorcine side! Quite a shock when we went right after the lift !
I thought les Houches would prob be to low, wont venture there then.
Had a great day in Grand. Monet today , great snow, tracked out of course but damn fine
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We’re in Italy, Mrs U’s brother is over for the week and of course his flight was cancelled this morning ...

Anyway we made a 06:45 start to get thru the tunnel to beat the crowds. What crowds? Good question.

Anyway we did a couple of hours in Courmayeur which was fine then headed via a nice lunch in Challand (Le Soleil, the brunette had her favourite octopus salad, I had fine lamb chops) to Champoluc. Which is quite busy.
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Le Tour was looking a bit sorry for itself today, lots of brown on esserts and some of the runs towards TdB chair. Anyone heading skiers right from TdB wants their head checked. It looked vile and I left it well alone.

I was sticking to the pistes anyway, testing out my new SL skis! I only got there at 12.30 ish having had a lazy morning and they were ok. Chopped but soft (aside from the aforementioned lower runs on the vallorcine side)

There's a new drag lift next to the top of the vallorcine bubble which I swear wasn't there 2 weeks ago. Also,has there always been a "bechat esserts" black run at Le Tour? Have I gone mad?
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@Meltus, drag lift is new (apparently!) ...
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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.
Drag - Yep, new, but been there all season. Quite smart when you think about it - means people coming up from Vallorcine aren't forced straight round to the TdB chair, gives them more options.

Black/bechats esserts - think it was previously a blue, but with a couple of steep sections, and now they just don't groom it and call it a black...?

I was skinning at Le Tour today - purely for exercise and to stay away from the crowds. Not that it was horribly busy. Pistes were decent but starting to get a little sticker low down when we left around 2pm.

And yes, it's looking thin and sorry at the minute 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
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
Drag was new at the start of the season.

Black is a new line, different to the old blue. A lot steeper, we witnessed someone fall at the top and stop at the bottom a couple of weeks back!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We went with a ski guide for off piste at Le Tour today , skiers right at TLB was good if not some of the best snow we had today, follow the lower area ( before the up rise) you go into the gorge and it was great to ski back to TLB
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We went with a ski guide for off piste at Le Tour today , skiers right at TLB was good if not some of the best snow we had today, follow the lower area ( before the up rise) you go into the gorge and it was great to ski back to TLB
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Saw some people skining up by the couliers on the right around 3.00 maybe that was you ?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Well, new or not I skied the new black today. Was quite good! Bit surprised by the bloody big gorge that comes out of nowhere!

Fun Smile
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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?
Snowing quite heavily and settling at 1,050m ... snowHead
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Went up GM this morning on my own. First lap of lavacher bowl was nice snow and I think I got fresh tracks (couldn't tell in the awful vis) had a couple of nav panics in the cloud and decided that being unable to see the snow properly or where I was going wasn't great fun.

Went over to herse where the vis was better but snow not as good. A foot or so of powder on top of the crud meant it wasn't as fun as I was hoping.

Blowing a hoolie and crap vis meant I binned it off for tea and cake at home! Snow should be decent on piste tomorrow though, assuming they bother moving it/doing any pisteing. Any fresh had been scraped off today on piste.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Meltus,

Same here - on my own 8:40 was going up, very empty and had some fresh tracks but many times could not figure out where I was heading to so stayed very near pistes if offpiste and one go in most of the pistes before calling it a day about 11:30, snow all chopped up and a little busier/messier. Definitely worth heading first lift.
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Day off tomorrow so thinking of heading over to Megeve or At Gervais. The bumph that came with our MBU season passes says you have to go to the main ticket office for first use in that ski area - do you just tip up with the pass and they validate it? Or do you need all the proof of purchase stuff as well?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@RobinS,

They did not ask me anything - I handed my pass and They enabled it. While it’s a lovely skiing area I faced terrible queues this week! About 11:00 I had enough and came back to GM. At least Snow should be better after today’s fall but it was crap.
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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!
@Gustavobs, Thanks for the info - maybe will give it miss this if the queues are bad - someone had suggested that it is better at peak time than the Chamonix valley - but from your experience maybe not!
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@RobinS, Last season we went to the lift office at Les Contamines. We did need our proof of purchase (email as it happened) at Courmayeur last weekend, (but they do say that that's required) - don't know about EMB.
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@RobinS,

Maybe the areas of Le Ports du Mont Blanc aren’t too busy, or Les Contamines. I’ve been so much to the Chamonix areas that I’m too inclined to go somewhere most of the days really
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If you have activated your pass in Courmayeur you do not need to reactivate your pass in st. Gervais or megeve. You can just go straight through. Don’t make the same mistake of queuing like I did!
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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.
@Chamboy, I didn't realise there was a data connection between the IT and FR sides? I.e. whatever you have to do for EMB it doesn't matter whether you've activated Courmayeur or not?
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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
Yep there is. Once I activated Courmayeur this year my pass worked at Contamines fine. When I've gone to other areas, they've also said the pass is "full" ie if I want to add Espace Diamant for an away day I need to delete Courmayeur/Evasion (obviously I don't and I just pay 2 euros for a new card). So it seems like you can have 2 separate areas on a single card (in my case Cham valley and Courms/EVB)

If you don't want to pay 2 euros for a new card then carry any old one from anywhere. My friend got her La Clusaz day added to a random old Les Arcs card she had in her jacket.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Despite the viz and powder-on-ice I had a great day doing laps of magic forest and trees/ gullies off the tabe chair on GM. One run off Bochard was enough to convince us to stay lower where you could see.

I did however make the mistake of thinking that the magic forest exit all the way down at the pendant chair would be skiable. It was until 50m before the lift when it became very rocky and turned into a scramble rather than a ski. Top tip - despite the short uphill walk, take the “road” exit that brings you out onto the piste just where the black and blue separate, rather than trying to squeeze the last 50-100m vertical from the trees!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
On my own tomorrow, if anyone around fancy a ski buddy for let me know - can ski any piste and probably would say intermediate off piste, mainly staying in wide open off piste areas avoiding what was just mentioned above by snowdave). I’m working towards L1 in June so happily take my carver out or if off piste is preference can go wider
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Meltus, but ... last year iirc I went to EMB first, didn't have to produce anything, but had to have my receipt for Courmayeur a few weeks later ...

Making me think that you don't need anything to add EMB but that the Italians do want evidence. Especially as our cards haven't had the dates updated in 3 years.

I am under the impression that what's being done these days is that the cards are being registered with the lift system. Not that the card is having anything changed. This is just my suspicion, based on being able to update validity on line.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Meltus, The 2 euros for an Espace Diamant card is just a deposit, they will return it if you give them back the card. Megeve won't refund the cost of a card.
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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?
Went over the Col du Passon today with my chum. Very glad we did. The climb up is fine with well established booting up the moraine and top gully, and a nice skin track.

The ski down was almost sublime. Certainly the first 1000m of the descent was lovely powder. From there you start to encounter scratchiness under 6/9 inches of fresh snow. We took the skiers far left exit which is a little exposed but preferable to the usual bushwhacking of the normal exit.

Anyone with a bit of oomph and waning to ski powder could do much worse in the next couple of days
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@HammondR, nice.

I had a nice few runs off Herse - good bumps - and we even found some untracked turns en route down to the Cremerie for lunch.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
bigtoe wrote:
Saw some people skining up by the couliers on the right around 3.00 maybe that was you ?


Not me - we went up in the morning. That whole bit is pretty popular at the minute though! First time I'd been along that ridge - a bit un-nerving at first, but I liked it once I got used to it Smile

Day off for me today - but was at Le Tour yesterday. Huuuuuge slow queue to get up at the base in the morning, but queues were reasonably fast and manageable once up the mountain. The snow was a pleasant surprise too! First run offpiste was the big area alongside Autannes chair - odd mixed snow, but alright. After a bit more playing about a couple of us went over to Vallorcine side and had a couple of nice runs under TdB - few tracks (yay for tourists who don't go there!) and even some niiiiiiiice powder in some shady sheltered pockets. Back over the other side around lunchtime was starting to get heavy and sticky offpiste (resulting in a comedy fall for me when one ski stuck, and one didn't...) but pistes remained very nice.

Btw the evening skiing at Planards on Wednesdays this month is fun (organised by North Face/Never stop Chamonix). It was cancelled this week due to the rain early week, but if it's back next week I'd recommend it. Only a small climb, and very friendly so fine for inexperienced tourers too.
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Anyone on here any good at ready the longer range forecast. I know they are expecting some snow at the end of next week (Wednesday/Thursday at least). Any ideas if they are expecting much? Looks like snow line should be below 1,000m, which sounds like it will be welcome.
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Looking good. Anything beyond 5 days a large pinch of salt required.
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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!
@fixx, Yesterday, yes, enormous queue. I avoided and skinned up and learned a valuable lesson about not going into territory where a transition might risk ski loss... it was a bit scratchy on the last pitch and I thought, discretion vs. valour, then realised I was going to have to de-skin in a really not ideal place. Tense. (I mean, totally safe, but tense).

Useful practice.

@Chamboy, it is solidly suggesting 30-40 cms in the valley, https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/week/chamonix_france_3027301 favourite local forecaster here http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-mont-blanc/weather/forecast/morning/5_days_weather_forecast.php
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Oh, and had a splendid spring day up Brev-Fleg today. Black off back of Cornu was a delight. Pic Janvier a delight. Spring snow and slushy bumps abounding.

Huge queue for beer at Flegere meant beer in the sunshine at the Cab. Which is, anyway, always waaayyy nicer.
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Quote:


@Chamboy, it is solidly suggesting 30-40 cms in the valley, https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/week/chamonix_france_3027301 favourite local forecaster here http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-mont-blanc/weather/forecast/mornin


Thanks. Yes normally follow Cham meteo. All will become clear next few days. Out on Thursday. Hopefully good timing!
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