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Serre Chevalier 2021/2022

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Weathercam, @Hells Bells, thanks for the ideas.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi all, I'm supposed to be going out to SC on Saturday for a week at UCPA. I've been checking the interactive piste map most days and it seem like the amount of lifts and runs open has been on the decline for a while now. I'm guessing this is due to conditions rather than covid related staff shortages? Can anyone on the ground there advise? I may be able to change the trip to a different town but I've liked the look of SC for a while now so I'm hoping it's still worth it... Thanks
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@kitrmac, change if you can as conditions are pretty dire here compared to Northern French Alps, especially if you're on an off-piste course.

Reason for so much closed currently is strong winds which are forecast to last all today and tomorrow.

We only had a couple of cm last night whereas Northern French resorts faired much better, though should imagine they too have these strong winds.
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@Weathercam, Thank you, I really appreciate the insight.

It seems I’m going to have to stick it out cos of flights and nearby centre lack of availability so it’s encouraging to hear that hopefully if the wind dies down a few more bits will reopen.

I’m not doing off piste so that’s something at least - fingers crossed for some more flakes soon. Thanks again
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I’m out here at the moment and pistes are better than anything I’ve seen in the last 2 years (not hard to beat Castleford mind). Pistes are holding up really well but a large dump wouldn’t go amiss.
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@Fishman, well unless you're skiing in Monetier the resort is circa 90% closed currently, very rare that they close the Casse de Boeuf chair, and word going around is that resort will be closed tomorrow due to the continued high winds, maybe the best option would be to go to Monetier as Bachas is still running.



We hiked up the hill behind us and could see just how windy it was on the pistes.

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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
In Villeneuve so had a curtailed day - made it onto Oree du Bois just before to it shut so avoided bus home. I’ve been to SC 4 times before but not since 2012. Still my personal fave resort and the changes since our last visit haven’t spoiled it like at some resorts.
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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!
@Fishman, great stuff to hear, just hope for you that they manage to open some more lifts today.

The wind did ease overnight but seems to have come back, though gusts are currently not as strong as yesterday.

Looking at the forecast up to Feb 13th still nothing Crying or Very sad
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Well I know I'm being selfish, but I had a most memorable day!

I did go to bed semi concocting a plan but on waking up it was not that windy, however I could see that the lifts here in Villeneuve were closed, and there was a good chance then that people would not be able to ski over from Chantmerle.,

So left Pointless car-park with the mutt and skinned up, I was only going to to the Cote Chevalier chair as I'm on Day 8 of Covid but I felt good, and in the end we went all the way to the top of Vallons.

Above the treeline, the corduroy was frozen hard, but lower down it had softened up really well, and had sweet untracked piste all to myself with Ullr chasing me down at speed, not something he's able to do off-piste.

Some of the gusts were very strong, as you can see from the pic Laughing

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Looks pretty great there Weathercam. We are coming down this Saturday. After missing out last year I don't care how hardpacked it is, just get me on some of the white stuff!
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@Weathercam, I recognise that Tractive tracker. Got one for my pheasant obsessed spaniel-they're a fantastic little piece of kit.
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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.
With the obligatory zip-tie mod!
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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
Are they doing much checking of the Pass Sanitaire? (asking for a friend!)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Only got checked once all week - on the gondola out of Briancon. But that was the only gondola trip we needed to take.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
They were checking at Casse du Boeuf chair yesterday at first lifts for around 45mins, and they've been checking there other times when we've done first lifts, presume if one wanted to avoid the check, you could always then take the Frejus bubble as I doubt they'd be checking both lifts?

Yesterday was the last very pleasant piste ski for a while as was very empty, but now the hordes have arrived en masse.

I dropped OH and daughter off at 08:55 at Frejus lift and everywhere was stupidly rammed, so I'll get a report back later of what it was like up the hill as I opted for a quick XC up to Monetier and back and up there did not seem too crazy.

Pistes yesterday were still in very good condition as we've not been up for 10 or so days due to covid, but the off-piste is seriously fecked.

Couple of days ago I did an e-bike ski-tour exploring an area (pic below), hoping to score Spring snow and it was really quite depressing, as the strong winds we had for a couple of days this week that closed the lifts have wreaked more havoc on what was already a dire snow-pack. For sure there's still some stuff around but you're going to have to boot pack to get to it and then you might only get ten or so turns.

I might well head back to the UK as well as the forecast is still dry though there is some snow on the 17th so will see how that develops, but it's still only showing single figs.

Was chatting to some people last night and the concern is now that the ground where there is no snow, on South facing slopes will not hold any future accumulations that we might get as the ground is warming up.

Just take a look at the Col du Lautaret webcam !

https://www.serre-chevalier.com/en/webcam-serre-chevalier-briancon

Pic Lombard (left of picture) in the background and Le Col de Péas (centre right) taken from below Crête de Dormillouse at circa 2,700m



Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Sun 6-02-22 10:07; edited 3 times in total
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Poster: A snowHead
Looks like April Shocked
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
PBJ wrote:
Looks like April Shocked


Up at the Lautaret I'd say May !!!

And behind us up near the Col-de-Buffère more like June I kid thee not!

But that is the South side of the valley where there are no lifts.

OH just back and said it was actually not too bad, with all those people going to/taking kids to ski-school etc and by the time they came back down to the Casse chair everyone had gone their separate ways.
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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?
Hello we are staying in the Grand Aigle next week (first time in the area). Does anyone have any recommendations for ski hire please?
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@Jakebarton, try Ski Connections run by Davina, a Brit it's about the closest to the Aigle as well.
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@weathercam thanks will try
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Nigh on all the resort closed again, due to strong winds, only the lower nursery slopes/drags open from what I can see.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Weathercam, did I see a few cm of wind blown on the cams?
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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 went out this morning 9am, almost ended up being stuck in the wrong town but made it back over in time thankfully - all the links closed now and most other lifts. The piste was actually very nice in places but pushing yourself downhill looses it’s novelty quite quickly I found!
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leggyblonde wrote:
@Weathercam, did I see a few cm of wind blown on the cams?


You might have, as this morning there was a puddle on the sun lounger from early hours rain?

But that 2cms is long gone with these winds, stronger than last week, can't see how there's anything left to be blown off!

Road-bike pedals are being charged as I type as temps are into double figs middle of the week but no wind, hopefully.

And still nothing on the horizon up to February 18th.

@leggyblonde OH has just booked Canos de Meca 6th May for four weeks, so watch it be a great end of season ski-touring fest here Laughing

Mind you I thought buying an E-Mtb would get the snow-gods going rolling eyes

Also, saw the Turin Serre Che Link Bus operating last evening.
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@Weathercam, will you be joining her? Hopefully there will be some good wind then at least....
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leggyblonde wrote:
@Weathercam, will you be joining her? Hopefully there will be some good wind then at least....


Of course, I just go with the flow, as well as a fair amount of input.

Just back from an amusing skijoring session, photos to follow Very Happy
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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.
What to do when the lifts are closed Very Happy



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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
@weathercam I think I saw you being pulled along yesterday in veillnerve.

It's my first time to serre chevalier, I can see the resort has so much potential but damn, the conditions are pretty dire for mid season.

Yesterday having the morning written off due to wind but then having no follow up storms with snow is also particularly cruel.

Saying that I'm still enjoying the pistes Smile
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Weathercam wrote:
@kitrmac, change if you can as conditions are pretty dire here compared to Northern French Alps, especially if you're on an off-piste course.


Wondering if you think this will apply to ski touring (especially near end of march) given I am thinking it is time to give up on GUFF and book alternative touring course, but wondering if I should try to get out of Serre Chevalier (Though I suspect it may be harder given plenty of groups to book onto in Queyras national park, unless I go all the way to Chamonix (or can find a couple of other people to base out of somewhere more reachable...)
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@qwerty360, as you can from the image below that snow has now disappeared which I feared it might.

There is now some forecast for Sunday, circa 10cm.

If I were you I'd go Northern French Alps, or better still Switzerland or Austria as if this keeps up there will be no ski-touring to be had which is pretty well the case now, unless you like skiing shite snow.



Yesterday we drove over to Itlay and skied Clavierre at €28 some lovely deserted pistes in fabulous condition, so good we're going back tomorrow as it's my daughters last day, so we'll buy the Clavierre / Montgenevre pass at €40.

Today after a heavy evening with friends we hiked up on skis 4km up the Izoard road with all the dogs, which was surprisingly empty, though there were some serious shite-hot XC skiers who had climbed up and were skiing down like they were on Alpine skis, most impressive skills and fitness!
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The synoptic chart below shows how weak that area of low pressure is, L 1011, which is currently forecast to deliver some snow Monday into Tuesday, and unfortunately, it could fizzle away (being glass half empty) which has been the norm this season so far Mad

Hope I'm wrong, and OH has returned to the UK and she quite often misses out on fresh snow, so that sacrifice is appreciated Laughing

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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?
Good news is that we ended up with about 20-25cm in the valley, and that's welcome for the pistes and the cross country trails, but we still need a lot more for off-piste, that said we'll be going up shortly to no doubt put some scratches in our bases Laughing



I now see that there is another system emanating from the South again (that's what we need) for next Monday, which sort of figures as that will be when I go to Turin to collect the OH.

I can hear blasting going on as I type this.
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Aww man. Glad you got some snow in the end. A little jealous we didn't get it last week. Fingers crossed for more to follow.
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And since I posted that image this morning this is now Sad



Though we had a cracking morning making the most of the 25cms though was later accompanied by stupidly high winds.

More in the blog.

And I've just seen this on a French friends Strava, he does a lot of ski touring further South towards Embrun.

It's his last line that has the same depressing outlook as me Sad

20cm de fraîche en bas, 40 à 60cm plus haut… mais pas de sous couche.
Du coup repli sur les pistes pour la descente.
La poursuite de la saison s’annonce difficile


And rough translation

20cm fresh at the bottom, 40 to 60cm higher… but no undercoat.
So fall back on the slopes for the descent.
The continuation of the season promises to be difficult.
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@Weathercam, Incredible how quick the snow disappeared. That video up top looked ace though Smile Very much looking forwards to visiting the resort again in the future.
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@Weathercam, I'm staying near Embrun for a few weeks, went up to Crevoux today, 30cm - 40cm up top but still managed to find some rocks. Might pop up to Serre Che next week if anyone is around.
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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!
@jzBun, you might as well bring your pushbike with you the way it's looking for next week Crying or Very sad

There was snow for Monday, in fact, the OH moved her flight to Sunday, but soon as she did that the snow nigh on disappeared from the forecast.

Yesterday I did a big tour up a mountain that you can see from most of the valley making the most of the recent snowfall, though lower down it was very sketchy.



Today went to do it again with @KenX, and another guy, and we bailed at the bottom as we parked up as conditions were so dire with minging drizzle and +10 temps, and the snow that was on the XC track, about 1.5km up from Le Casset had melted.

That was a first as I can't ever recall aborting a ski-tour at the start!

On the way back we dropped @Irbis, off in Monetier and he should have a good piste ski back, and as I type this it's still overcast up towards the Lautaret and yet not a cloud in the sky in front of me.

I'm out tonight with a couple of families here on half term at the excellent Rotisserie la Vieille Ferme and no doubt they'll be enthusing at what a great day they've had, especially two of the park kids who are pulling 360's and the like.

Temps are due to be even higher tomorrow, and the outlook for the next 12 days shows no sign of anything substantial.

The XC trails are closing and even the walking piste is officially closed with a sign announcing that you do so at your own risk due to icy conditions, though now it will just be a series of big puddles.

In fact I may well return to the UK for a few days as I have to get back at some point for stuff.

Sorry for the dismal outlook.
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Quote:

There was snow for Monday, in fact, the OH moved her flight to Sunday, but soon as she did that the snow nigh on disappeared from the forecast.


The Op run for precipitation is a low outlier so I'm really hoping that it increases towards the mean in the next few runs!
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@leggyblonde, that might well happen, as she's now moved it back to Monday Laughing

And just heard that poor @Irbis, got stuck in Monetier as links closed due to high winds!
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