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Pyrenees 21/22

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My colleague in Soldeu thinks there might be cars parked under there somewhere…


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 10-12-21 19:33; edited 3 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
No, just on the road now, will get some chains before Encamp so, thanks as ever!
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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?
8611 wrote:
No, just on the road now, will get some chains before Encamp so, thanks as ever!


I’ll PM you my number in case it gets really bad. I live in Encamp, have a spare room, winter tyres and chains if needed!
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Ah you're very good but there's no need, worse case scenario we'll just stay down the hill until tomorrow
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The road to Cauterets is gone over several hundreds meters due to massive landslide

https://cdn.wintersport.nl/media/forum/2021/12/10/FB_IMG_1639159908742.jpg?width=1024
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Soldeu gondola has issues so slow to start, well tarter is being suggested instead, unfortunately my locker is at the top...
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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 looks like the French border is closed. Do think they'll clear the snow up before this evening ? I really don't fancy driving around to Spain
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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!
Pretty good 2 days in Baqueira. Thursday light fluffy powder all day.

IMG-7359

Then in the evening a dramatic increase in temperature saw the snow falling in Viehla turn to heavy rain.

IMG-7364

Friday morning and the snow covered roads we almost cleared and driving back up to Baqueira it seemed likely to be raining up into the mountain.
The rain turn to snow at 1500m, which it had been all night. 1m of fresh snow and high winds at altitude meant only the chair and bubble lift been 1500-1800 open.

Still with fresh snow falling, admittedly the warmer temperature meant the champagne powder from the previous day had rather turned to porridge, and frequent coffee stops it was an enjoyable days skiing.

Weather forecast for next week looks amazing sun, sun and more sun.

Best start to the season in years.

Oh and mountain restaurants are now asking for vaccination status before allowing entry.
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Gondola still not running, is moving a bit...
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Truly ludicrous quantity of snow in Baqueira, same lift offering as yesterday I think, wonder if more might come online in the afternoon or if they'd need the whole day to bash and control more of the area (understandable). Visibility much better today.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Great for skiers, not so good for those further down Sad
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59608785
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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.
Wow that looks terrible 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
Orange200 wrote:
Great for skiers, not so good for those further down Sad
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-59608785

Terrible news
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Orange200, awful.

I gambled this morning. I woke up and checked the Grandvalira website. Nothing had been updated since yesterday. Didn’t fancy getting to the Funicamp and not able to get the lift up, and didn’t really want to drive to Canillo/El Tarter. I decided to jump in the car and head to Pal instead as I knew the drive would be easy. It meant I had to get my season pass sorted for Vallnord, but I was planning to get one eventually anyway (€225 for the year including mountain bike lift access in the summer Cool ).

When I got up only a couple of lifts were open. Did a few laps including knee deep powder on piste in places. As the morning got on, they opened up a few extra runs and then the Cubil chair. Considering the amount of snow, I was quite surprised when I got to the top and there were quite a few stones poking through. Then the wind started gusting and it was obvious why! So I spent the afternoon going on some runs with knee deep powder and others hard and wind scoured. By about 2pm they’d opened up the whole of the Pal sector (all of Arinsal was closed all day). It didn’t last long - the wind was shocking. I had one ride up the Coll de la Botella and the liftie told me to head back to Pal because they were going to shut that lift down.

Will ski Grandvalira tomorrow. Will be interesting to see what the wind has done there.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sat 11-12-21 18:47; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
This wasn’t even on the top. It was far too cold/blowy to get my phone out!

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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The wind has dried the snow out some so it's not like the porridge it was yesterday and the pirate snow was generally excellent however There was only about 30km open with only low runs around Soldeu and El Tarter open. The wind was brutal at times so even though some time were open you couldn't ski them as the wind just held you on the slope!
Hopefully more will be open tomorrow and the wind will have dropped.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pieman666, the forecast looks good. Fingers crossed!
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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?
Spring has sprung!

Gosh that was a short season

Is the corona thing still on the go?
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Made it to Port Aine on Saturday and then to Baqueria on Sunday.... We hired a guide in Baqueria which turned out to be a great idea as the off piste snow had already transformed on Sunday with the rising temperatures, he took us to some some great spots like here...

Beret and Baqueria were open yesterday, Bonaigua was still closed, there is a mad amount of snow, getting stuck is a bad idea as once you put your foot into the snow it sinks more than a metre down

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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Looks great, is Bonaigua closed as it's early in season and less people or another reason?
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Peter Ross wrote:
Looks great, is Bonaigua closed as it's early in season and less people or another reason?


Making it safe, should be open soon I'd say
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Grandvalira website warns that Funicamp will be closed for the next couple of days due to new cabins.
Weather looks great but up to 14C in Canillo! Cooler up the hill but glad there is a good base down.
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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!
Very mild yesterday in Baqueira with most of the area reopened after lots of work by the pisteurs. Great conditions. We came home today, very jealous of everyone who gets to enjoy the rest of the week, the weekend in particular was top notch skiing. Even bagged some fresh tracks, who would have thought it in early to mid December!

Re Bonaigua I saw some big fracture lines in some of the steeper offpiste under one of the lifts, plus it looked like a lot of avalanche control work had occurred to open the link piste that takes you down into the area.
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Anyone know where I might buy an Edgie Wedgie in Baqueira or Aran Valley? It's for child to keep tips together. Beret ski school use them but won't sell me one.
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Found a small shop after much searching in Vielha selling them.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Thanks to all in this thread for their tips, and @hammerite in particular for offering a bed if I got stuck, hopefully I'll get a cooked breakfast out of him yet!

For benefit of anyone else in same boat, here are some useful tips:-

- remember that winter tyres very unlikely to be available ex Toulouse or Barcelona
- in heavy snow the French access route is likely to close
- The Andorran access route is relatively gentle ascent, a few more bends on the French one
- you can buy chains and snow socks in petrol stations en route HOWEVER, remember that these are tyre size specific and you may find it difficult to get one that fits your tyres
- remember also that chains are tricky to fit at the best of times and even more tricky at the side of the road, in the dark, with cold hands after half a days travelling. If you're likely to need to fit them bring a head torch and handy gloves (some sets of chains / socks come with gloves)
- we bought socks and they were very easy to fit, you just pop the sock over the top of the tyre then roll car one half revolution forward and fit the other side. They gave acceptable purchase but it was very heavily snowing and we still needed pushes at times if the car had to stop in traffic and on snow (inevitable)
- there were resort staff out with tow trucks helping people out of the snow

Re testing, as advised by @hammerite you can get an antigen test in the medical centre in Soldeu which is located in the main lift station. You can get this on a walk in basis, I'm not sure will that change if the resort gets busier. They want you to wait for the results rather than email them and they give you a paper cert, so maybe best to head in just before they close at 5 rather than chomping at the bit at 9 am on a powder day

Enjoyed Andorra and will probably be back, great value
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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.
Actually one thing I was a bit disappointed with was the standard of pisting. Even first thing in the morning pistes were rutted and surprising bumps and drops and accumulations of little snow balls. I was surprised at this. Staff shortage, conditions or am I just getting a bit old and useless?
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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
Funnily enough we the instructor on my course remarked on this yesterday particularly where there was a large ridge between cat tracks. The pistes are not in as good a condition as I remember pre Covid it could be staff shortages it just less money being spent on them or something else. Hopefully they will improve as the season goes on.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Perfect pistes in Baqueira. Very Happy

IMG-7389
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Heading to Grandvalira next week so can see the comparison.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Super!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@8611, glad you enjoyed it. Unfortunately, work was a PITA this week, I was out by 7am, so not much chance of breakfast from me!

Re: pisting. We had a minor incident with Jnr (now 20) in Canillo about 12 years ago when on a rock hard piste he hit a small ridge between where the bashers had been. He went down and slid on his backside for the best part of a km! So I’m always looking out for these.
I’ve found it to be hit and miss, I’m wondering if this will change when the season gets into full swing next week.
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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?
It’s forecast to get very warm over the next few days. T-shirt skiing over New Year!
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A good Christmas trip to Grandvalira. Piste conditions are still excellent.
The snow there has definitely been effected by the high winds after the last major dump.
With a few runs not open as the snow had literally been blown off the slopes.

Off the pistes around the resort is pretty much skied out, but I got a few good turns after heading up to the Pic Dels Pedrons.

IMG-7440

IMG-7441a

Vaccination passes being asked for in restaurants in town and up the mountain.

The OH was very happy with the new location of the Veuve Clicquot bar
IMG-7422
A much sunnier spot apparently.

Masked are requested on the lifts, but it didn’t seem to be being enforced.

Heading back down to Toulouse the traffic heading up was heavy.
I expect the new year period will be quite busy.

Weather looking like a warm spell coming with not much new snow in the forecast.

Happy Christmas and New Year. Hopefully, bump into a few of you on the slopes in 2022.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Excuse my ignorance, but is there anywhere in the Pyrenees we are likely to be able to ski at Easter, even just a bit? Obviously dependent on conditions, but does any of you do it regularly? Easter school hols are late this year so looking at 9-16th April.

We are a die hard, ski at Easter in the Alps, kind of family, so we've never looked at the pyrenees, but circumstances mean that we could be in that neck of the woods at that time.

Trying to weigh up if there's any hope if us skiing or if I should just scratch that and focus on mountain biking. We'll be driving, so quite flexible and able to move to where the snow is (or isn't!).

Thanks, Jo
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@jolo, the lifts are open until 18th April. They’ll try to keep as much of the area open as possible as that is also Andorran/Spanish Easter holidays too.

I’ve skied in Andorra until around the 12th April. Conditions weren’t too dissimilar to anywhere else I’ve been at Easter. Personally, if you are able to, I’d probably leave it until a few weeks before to decide and pick an area based on the conditions then and the weather forecast leading into a trip. However, given a lot of people’s disappointing Christmas/New Year, they might be banking on an Easter trip and holidays might get booked much earlier.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Skiing Pal/Arinsal today. Having a great day. Reasonably quiet on the slopes which is good. It is very warm (one thermometer was showing 21c) and some of the pistes are starting to suffer. There are a couple of closures due to lack of snow cover. Where cover is fine though the skiing is good.
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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!
It seems there is snow on the way !
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Oh yes - I've been avoiding the busy New Year period, but plan to be back to Baqueira next week. Very Happy

Screenshot-2022-01-04-at-11-52-01
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Just about to press the 'go button' on a week commencing 16th Jan in El Tarter. Never skied Andorra before. What are conditions like at the min? both confident intermediates . Me and a mate going last minute with Nielson to Hotel Del Clos.
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