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The view from............ Val d'Isere and the Espace Killy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A day of two halves

Ill be quick tonight as I have just got in and it is past midnight and it was a long and tiring day! I have just got in from a lovely meal out with Laura and Mike in their apartment in town - what a feast and a couple of glasses of red!

Anyway the day was certainly a full one before that.

First up I decided that we needed to make the most of the weather as it was due (and has done so) to deteriorate as the day went one.... in fact it has been snowing pretty hard all evening in town so there will be more up top!

So when the team arrived and with a full schedule planned we jumped straight on the Solaise... it was ever so slightly (by 1 degree) warmer than yesterday down in town but with a breeze blowing and the fact that we were heading to the Pissaillas Glacier all I can say is that at 3000m at 10am was probably about -30 or so - it was chilly! We had the place to ourselves and I found some fresh lines near the piste first up and then we got some video.... can you imagine having your hand out in the cold filming for a minute or so - it was freezing! Anyway I got some video although I managed to get one of the team twice and C not at all - sorry C - tomorrow I promise! Then we did a very quick avalanche simulation and I buried a transceiver... they did really well finding it at the first attempt - OK the transceiver strap was sticking out the snow which helped but still not bad for a first attempt!

After a quick hot chocolate to warm up we aimed for the Col Pers. Getting in was pretty busy but pretty straight forward - despite having to clear the snow farming ridges they put in. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the entrance was and then the snow was fabulous and we could have had clean tracks all the way down but we were in a little bit of a rush so we took a pretty well travelled route down. We saw a couple of Ibex in the gorge which was nice too!

I had to dash as I needed to get (in 57 minis - I was clock watching) from the Fornet bus stop into town, drop my off piste kit, jump on the Olympique, eat lunch, have a pee, ski to Tommeuse and take it and then ski down to Le Lac and up to the meeting point at the Maison de Tignes before 1300 to meet my afternoon beginner. I made it with about 5 mins to spare!

Anyway I had B in the afternoon and he had several weeks of snowboarding experience but had decided to switch to skiing for various reasons so we started off and he made really quick progress... by the end of the four hour lesson he was pretty comfortably coming down from the top of the Rosset chair - ready for more work tomorrow.

The weather deteriorated all afternoon and the winds got up a little but more importantly the temperatures rose. There was snow in the air too! I caught the Toviere lift back to Val with 5 mins to spare and got home and had little more than an hour to try and do some father duties, have a shower, cuppa and the rest of it before getting out... I just managed to get my periscope done too on the walk into town!

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1YqxoLbzEzzKv

So thats it folks - bed time - night night...

TTFN



P.s. Look how the temps have been bouncing around of late... taken on my balcony thermometer!

ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The Ibex in the Gorge are just beautiful. We hiked up to the Prariond refuge in October and they were grazing 20-30m away from us. They didn't bat an eyelid at us being there. Amazing that they survive such cold temperatures in the winter.
ski holidays     
 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?
bar shaker - they are serene creatures yes indeed!

That was most unexpected

I was rather surprised this morning to see that not much snow had fallen in town but even more surprised to see that the temps had totally bounced back... in fact later this afternoon the sun made an appearance and it felt like about 10c so that means that when you take into account the wind chill effect yesterday morning up the glacier it felt in effect like a change I reckon of abut 40c in about 30 hours!!!! Incredible change around!

Anyway apart from the temperatures the weather this morning was very similar to what it had been of the last few days - a combination of wind / flat light / snow fall and essentially thick fog at the 'wrong' altitude... I met my team and we headed up the Solaise and with the weather as it was we spent much more time working on technique than we had the last few days.... the two pieces of off piste we did were the bus stop and the fornet trees but the snow was pretty heavy and varied - in some cases it was crusty too - all in all not the easiest morning for off piste teaching!

I had lunch in the office getting ready for the afternoon session and to be honest last night the few glasses of red had more of an effect than I had initially thought - I just dont drink a thing really these days so when I have more than a couple of glasses my body doesn't really like it!

I met my seasonnaires for their afternoon session and we were treated to the most amazing of things... not only in the morning people had stayed in their beds thinking it was going to be a cold stinker of a day but the clouds parted at lunchtime and it was soon evident that the amount of snow off piste was much greater than I had initially thought (at altitude where the clouds of the morning had essentially put them out of reach)... so the boys were eager for a maximum turns type of afternoon.... it was probably the best afternoons skiing off piste that I had had in a LONG time (and beats many of the mornings I've had too). So a few tracks off the Madelaine and then some more off the Glacier Express.... then the main event and dropping into the Cugnai - there were HARDLY any tracks in there and the snow was SOOOOO deep and certainly at the top light... heavier lower down but there was a lot of snow! We finished the afternoon down S Prime and again the snow was really really nice.... seeing some of the creepers in there (see photo below) you would not want to be standing under one of them when they decide to let go with the temperatures starting to rise!

As soon as the ski day was over I was back home and changing to head down to Bourg to do a food shop... then home to unpack it all and put the car back in its garage and suddenly it was 10pm.... oh no I forgot (have done it a few times recently haven't I - whoops) to do my periscope .... me bad must remember tomorrow!

Not to much else to report... must catch up on some sleep as I have an all day off piste lesson booked in for tomorrow so ill leave you with two of my favourite photos from this season and coincidentally both were taken this afternoon!

TTFN


Tracks on the right were mine and clients from this morning and single track on the left is mine and my team of 3 are just at the top ready to rip it up too!


That is a large creeper - not Olly on the right no!!!
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The pictures are making us Sad as our flights tomorrow have been cancelled due to the weather in Edinburgh
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Steve Angus, fascinating posts as always, thanks Steve.
Those new tracks pics fab and making me Going green but only 8 days to wait now.

Pleasantly surprised you said earlier that it seemed not very busy in EK this week. It’s still French school winter Hol this week. Has quietness continued through week? Any thoughts why?

Also I’m thinking of adding a 3rd week of April trip to my CV this season. Realise temps and snow conditions change rapidly. But with deep base, more snow/cold next week, vast stocks to farm, April looking VG prospects. Wondered what Alpine answer to Michael Fish and Thomas Schaffernacker thought of snow prospects?

Should your Periscope fans start sending you a friendly PM reminder around lunchtime? wink
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I was also thinking of coming to EK on the weekend of 21 April - webcams suggest there is good now until the start of May even in years with less cover, so I think it'll probably be OK, but would appreciate a view from the experts!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
muppet wrote:
The pictures are making us Sad as our flights tomorrow have been cancelled due to the weather in Edinburgh

Ah man, that really sucks. Hope you can get something sorted. I'm flying out next weekend, so the UK should have cleared up by then, but might have issues at Chambery
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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!
muppet - sorry!!!!
PeakyB - thanks!!!! Sorry to make you sick! Yea it has been quiet this week - I'm stumped as to why to be honest but the resort is officially as busy as its going to get this week. I think the weather plays a huge role and the cold weather put people off coming out, then some poor vis didnt help either? April trip... seems like a sensible idea to me... just got to get your timings right to get the best snow / conditions but the coverage should remain awesome! Yes I know re Periscope - just been a little hectic recently - getting back on the case soon I promise!
tripowski - there will be plenty of snow and even some off piste options too - go for it!


One of those days that comes around every so often

Today was one of those days when (I'm really trying not to gloat here I promise) all those years of training and one of rare occasions when I actually got paid to ski for myself... by that what I mean is essentially once in a blue moon you ski with someone and all the stars align to you effectively are skiing for yourself at your level. Don't get me wrong I LOVE teaching all levels and all people / lesson types / groups / privates but today was a surprise / once in a few year occurrence. It was a case of 'follow me' guided off piste skiing at the highest level... the guy I was skiing with was from New York, a really nice guy, incredibly experienced and has skied pretty much everywhere in the world I could think of. On top of that he could really ski... if the weather had been good then I dont think there would be anything that we couldnt have taken on.

So being an all day booking and as he didnt know the EK and wanted to ski, ski and ski off piste it was all systems go. The weather was pretty terrible in that there was no vis for the most part, a punchy wind blowing for much of the day and some fresh snow overnight as well as fresh from previous days...

So in order of where we went:

*Familial (for a warm up)
*Trifollet trees (testing his ability to deal with really poor snow!)
*Spatule into Super Spatule
*Cairn (now that was an interesting cut in... I was breaking away soft slab on top)
*S Prime Coloir
*Danaides Wall (we randomly came across a single ski in the snow sticking up and looked around for an owner / second ski / avalanche debris but found nothing - total mystery!
*L'Avancher Couloir
*Bus Stop down to Livre Blanc (came across a lady who had fallen - she was German and didnt speak much English so never really found out where her friends / family were?!?!... anyway her ski had come off and slid virtually all the way to the river so we skied down collected her ski and looped around on the Fornet Cable Car to give it back to her)
*Orientation Piste shoulder into Poubelle Couloir into Fornet trees
*Off side of Verte Piste
*Paquerettes 'Couloir'
*Lower Lavachet Wall

Phew what a day.... and a nice lunch out at the Gourmandine to boot! It was a day when we hardly saw (could not have seen anyone anyway in the visibility) anyway out there as we were off piste almost all day... plenty of first (and possible only people) descents.

Tired now though!

I got back home and got my periscope sorted for today:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1mnxeXZvnarJX


Spot the lonely ski!!!


Right at the end of the day the clouds parted and it actually meant one could seee... too late I was already on my way home by now!

It was also my lucky day on another couple of fronts too... I found €5 sitting in the snow in the Fornet trees and later on some sun cream too!!!

I had thought initially this morning that the warm temperatures were going to be a massive problem as the snow was almost falling as rain but the temps dropped a little so now it is several degrees below... this will be good for this extra 30cm or so that has fallen in the past 48 hours or so!

In other news - not sure why, but the resort are reporting that overall visitor numbers so far this season are ever so slightly down - by a fraction of a percentage which is against forecasts so I am sure there will have to be an investigation to see why that is... they are also forecasting that April is going to be much quieter than normal as Easter is relatively early!!!


Broken roof under all the weight of the snow!!!!

I am so tired now and Clare and her friend have gone out for a girls night out so I am home alone and hopefully my takeaway pizza will be here in a moment! Day off tomorrow fingers crossed the kids sleep well and we all get a lie in!!!

TTFN
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Can’t believe that roof I thought the extreme weight of heavy snowfall was taken into account by the builders.

After 3 cancelled flights we’ve abandoned our trip and re-booked to arrive 12 March so at least something to look forward to.
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Could of slept longer

Clares friend left at about 7am and the kids were awake early anyway... Clare got in from her night out quite late therefore no one was really 'in the mood' first thing (apart from the kids of course) therefore it was a slow start... well done England on the cricket front - that was a nice way to spend a couple of hours this am! The morning crawled along and then finally about 11am I took Olivia swimming.

My little boy Ben seems to have a heavy cold therefore he is all snotty at the moment and a little grizzly.

We had lunch together before the kid took an afternoon nap... it was one of those lazy afternoons before we had a nice family meal and then shipped the kids off to bed.

So as you can tell I didnt get up the mountain today but that was no bad thing... the weather moved in first thing and it was really heavy snow all day long and the temps bounced around.

The road up and down was pretty shocking by the sounds of things and the police were checking for snow tyres / chains for everyone leaving to go down the hill and likewise at the bottom to come up!

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1mrGmRDBdBnJy
My Periscope from today!

I didnt manage to get any photos myself today therefore Radio Val's photo will have to do.

TTFN

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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
muppet - yea I know - the roof was probably not maintained properly (rotting wood or something like that) - I'm guessing that was the underlying reason for the failure - who knows. Darn re your trip - yea travel situation out there is rather hit and miss isnt it!!!! Well roll on the next trip!
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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.
@Steve Angus,
Quote:

PeakyB - thanks!!!! Sorry to make you sick!

Laughing , meant to press 'Green with Envy' not Sick. Having a senior emoticon moment! Embarassed Bet that one means sunburnt??
Your posts NEVER make me sick but your pics often make me envious, though not the broken roof.
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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
PeakyB - all good - haha!

That was nice

It was lovely to be up there in the nice weather today... the kids slept well and for a whole 30 mins first thing this morning I had the kitchen and sitting room to myself to eat breakfast and cuppa in peace before the kids woke up which also gave Clare time to have a little lie in too!

So yes I met A at Snowberry and he had never skied (at all before). His girlfriend and her parents own an apartment here so come out regularly therefore he was under some pressure to learn!!! So the job of teaching him to ski fell to me. We worked our way through the progression on the Savonnettes and despite a stop for some water - it was pretty warm out there today in the sunshine, we made good progress... by the end we were about 2/3 the way up the Savonnettes and he was making small changes in direction. I hope he took my advice and stayed on that slope this afternoon and got a couple of hours (no more, no less) of practice in - we shall see in the morning!

Lunch was taken sitting in the sun which is a first for this season and I even managed to get my Periscope in.

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1zqKVronYmwKB

The afternoon was a different affair. A lady of about my age who had skied a reasonable amount as a kid, then last year after a long gap in her skiing career had had a bad time of it and was back this year determined to put things right and get her mojo, technique and confidence all back in order!

So we headed up to ski the green triangle and set off. Whilst her technique improved and her confidence level built it was the lumps caused by the fresh snow coupled with a slight lack of ski fitness that meant that after a drinks break at the Bellevarde Restaurant she decided that she had had enough and called it quits - about 30 mins early. However it was a nice afternoon and I am glad she has improved. Lets hope for nice weather tomorrow and we can keep on improving!




When Mont Blanc and then...

...other local peaks in the area (Grand Motte in the centre of the photo) get cloud coverage at their peaks.... you know the weather is moving in - usually about 4-6 hours 'warning' when the Motte is just on the verge of clouds like this!

When I got home I had some time with the kids and then Clare had to head out to meet our new chalet guests staying in the (our) apartment we let so I was in charge of getting both kids into bed from bath time onwards - eeeeeeek - that was a crazy hour or two!

As I talked about in my periscope today the local prefecture (see photo of their letter below) are warning people to be aware of serious avalanche risk as a combination of weather, temps and new snowfall and that all on top of some pretty complicated layers that are starting to form of late with the weather of late we have had, all come together. When the temperatures start going up later this week even runs that are well frequented off piste will start to move... be careful!



Just look at how the temps have been bouncing around the last week or so just down here in town on my weather station - gives you an idea of how complicated the snow pack is likely to be getting!

TTFN
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'm in valdisere right now, where can we buy a 3 pin to 2 pin plug adapter please.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Try the supermarket or pharmacies.
Or if you are in a hotel ask at reception - guests forget them and the hotel may have some you could borrow.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sherpa on the main drag definitely had them when I was there in January furthest aisle
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There’s an electrical shop near the tourist information place- in between TO and the Morris Pub @compostcorner,
ski holidays     
 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?
compostcorner - yea as others have said above and the electrical shop is the Philipps shop tucked away in the corner!

Dejavu

Apart from the fact that A in the morning made it onto the magic carpet up top it was 'same as, same as' today. The weather was somewhat similar to late yesterday afternoon - trying to do nothing - one minute you think the sun is gonna take over, the next minute you think heavy snow is about to arrive!

I met A at the savonnettes lift and we had the whole place to ourselves for a couple of runs before the masses of lessons arrived! He had done some good practice in the afternoon yesterday so we were able to carry on where we left off yesterday and within half an hour he was ready to move up the mountain to the magic carpet. A dozen or so laps on there working on technique and things really started to link together - tomorrow afternoon I am hoping that we will be able to get him up the Madelaine... fingers crossed!

After lunch I met up with L again up the Bellevarde... I think she had over done it in the morning as she was shattered when she arrived for the lesson but we carried on anyway... even though she was very late. A few more elements of her technique we ticked off but it wasnt long before she was too tired and we called it a day!

Thats about it for today - not the most exciting of updates I'm afraid. I am feeling a little under the weather and I am hoping that an early night will sort me out perfectly. Tomorrow will be a day of two ver distinctive halves - 'off piste adventure' group in the morning and 'beginner' in the afternoon (well he'll be a little more than a mere beginner in the afternoon but not far off it!)

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1BRKjrMyNpvKw
Todays Periscope from today


The piste basher finishing off the work on the Savonettes


Rather murky out there!!!!


People often ask how the pisteurs could find you on the mountain if there was an accident and what to do in case of accident... well quite simply give the pisteurs a call (number on the back of your lift passes / on the piste map) and tell them what you see in your nearest disk located on the sides of the runs... inside these disks is a number (approximate number of metres until the run ends), name of piste and resort you are currently in. With this info the patrol will be able to come and find you and help you out! Simples!

Anyway TTFN!
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That was fun

Firstly you might have noticed that I once again failed to do my Periscope today... one thing led to another today and ultimately I never got around to doing it... its just how things have worked out again today!

Anyway the weather was similar today as it has been day in day out for the last week or so - a bit of snow here, wind here, sun here etc! But overall just 'yucky' weather all-round!

Anyway after getting Olivia off on the school bus I was straight into town myself to get gear ready for the first of my 3 Day Off Piste Adventure. 4 members of my team were due to meet me at the bottom of the Olympic and after giving out the gear and learning a little about their history of off piste and their knowledge about Val / Tignes in particular we were off... well should have been anyway! It wasnt quite that way as there were technical issues with the Olympic lift and as one person in the group was coming over from Tignes we had to meet up there as it had been pre-planned by our office - arghhh! So we ended up taking the two chair up the Bellevarde option!

We eventually got going and I was keeping a very close eye on the clouds - if you ended up in the clouds then they were VERY thick and it was not going to be nice! A tester off the verte was good so a couple of variations off the Jardins de Borsat to test the group out and see what the snow was like followed... we got some nice tracks in... the snow good so it was thumbs up all round! We circled around and then dived into the Cairn... we had to traverse a long way out to get some fresh lines but boy was the snow good.... lower down on the extended version of the Cairn it got a little heavy and crunchy but still nice! Next up was the Spatule... I had hoped to try for a Super Spatule but the thickest of thick clouds arrived at just the wrong moment... anyway we kept right and got some nice snow in non the less!

Lunch was a rushed affair as I overran in the morning...

So the afternoon session was back with A and the plan / goal was to hopefully get him down the Madelaine - this would include a first chairlift ride too for him. After about an hour of development on the magic carpet up there we were ready for the trip up... he did very well although had a couple of brain fart moments half way down... but all in all he was ecstatic.. lets hope he keeps on practicing and working on the things he learn back on the same slope before heading anywhere else!!!

I think there was some cabin fever back at the ranch as I needed to get home and take over some of the child care duties and then get Olivia from the school bus.... the usual bath and bedtime routine after that! However the ESF were doing their annual La Daille snow show this evening so we had to wait until after the fire works were finished before Olivia would settle down for the night!

That brings you up to date...

I feel as if I am slightly run down at the moment therefore I am going to have a real early night tonight and hopefully that will sort me out. Cant belief there is another 5 weeks left of this season - on one hand it seems to have flown by but in other ways it is the season that keeps on giving!

TTFN



Some fresh tracks to start the day off in the Jardins de Borsat!

The ESF torchlit descent - from Olivia bedroom!

...and then some fireworks!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Steve Angus, You are a hard working man with the patience of a saint

Reading and enjoying your blog every day snowHead
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You'll need to Register first of course.
red 27 wrote:
@Steve Angus, You are a hard working man with the patience of a saint

Reading and enjoying your blog every day snowHead

+1 !! snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
And how lucky is Olivia with that view!
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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!
Steve Angus wrote:



People often ask how the pisteurs could find you on the mountain if there was an accident and what to do in case of accident... well quite simply give the pisteurs a call (number on the back of your lift passes / on the piste map) and tell them what you see in your nearest disk located on the sides of the runs... inside these disks is a number (approximate number of metres until the run ends), name of piste and resort you are currently in. With this info the patrol will be able to come and find you and help you out! Simples!

Anyway TTFN!


i promise i'm not being pedantic; but presume it's not meters? 2.6km? Genuinely interested.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@snow_mac, spot on, it's how many hundred metres there are left.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ended up booking a private off-piste lesson with TDC for Sunday afternoon with a few of my group. Really looking forward to it! The plan is to see how the lesson goes, then weather dependent maybe get another session later in the week
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Steve Angus,
Quote:

I feel as if I am slightly run down at the moment therefore I am going to have a real early night tonight and hopefully that will sort me out. Cant belief there is another 5 weeks left of this season - on one hand it seems to have flown by but in other ways it is the season that keeps on giving!


Hardly surprising, given the excellent but challenging conditions you've enjoyed and faced this season. Oh and the minor extra workload of 2 kids, albeit lovely ones.
Should be an interesting chapter in your autobiography eventually...'Confessions of Mr Neige'...or 'Carry On Neiging' or the mumsnet/dadsnet bestseller 'Neiger's Guide to Alpine Lifestyle Juggling'.

Will there still be lots of snow left beyond 5 weeks from now? Guess you'd prefer a sunny seat by a cricket pavilion by then, and not a lot of those in France snowHead
ski holidays     
 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.
red 27 and moosepig - thanks - I'm blushing now!
franga - not half - when we renovate this place (have big plans for the next few years after countless barriers (planning permissions, money, time etc)) we want this room (where photo was taken) to become the living room so we can enjoy the view!
snow_mac - woops I missed a word out - yes as moosepig says it is number of hundred of metres approx until the end of the run!
Bennisboy - cool - looks like it is going to be with Terry... later in the week I have some availability too - we might end up skiing together you never know!
PeakyB - he he yes! One day ill scribble my memoirs! There will be loads of snow left well into May / June I should think especially high up! Yes bring on the cricket!
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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
snow_mac wrote:
Steve Angus wrote:



People often ask how the pisteurs could find you on the mountain if there was an accident and what to do in case of accident... well quite simply give the pisteurs a call (number on the back of your lift passes / on the piste map) and tell them what you see in your nearest disk located on the sides of the runs... inside these disks is a number (approximate number of metres until the run ends), name of piste and resort you are currently in. With this info the patrol will be able to come and find you and help you out! Simples!

Anyway TTFN!


i promise i'm not being pedantic; but presume it's not meters? 2.6km? Genuinely interested.


Something I've always thought the French do well, marking pistes. I find the names easier to remember than numbers and the distance markers are really handy. Much better than what I experienced in Livigno, where you're lucky if the disc is even the right colour Very Happy
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
And in Italy the pistes never end, the poles have the same number on all the way down Twisted Evil wink
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Another clean canvas

Another early start this morning (thanks kids) but I was not meeting my team until 0915 this morning. One of the team is a hot shot young Norwegian and he is staying in Tignes... so he gets the first Toviere lift up, first Marmottes lift up and then skis to our meeting point... however this morning he tells me he took the wrong turn and ended up coming down the Santons - but nevertheless he was still there at 0916!!!! Good work!

The weather was still 'interesting' as you can see on my periscope I filmed before my am lesson:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1gqxvpDkgnjGB

So when everyone was ready we headed up and the visibility was somewhat 'variable' shall we say - a few times during the day we all got excited as the clouds seemed to be parting and then the next it was back to thick cloud.... at times the snow was falling very thickly and the next even harder!

Anyway we dived into my secret route through the glades near the Cugnai and Glacier lifts and got some lovely fresh tracks in surprisingly light and deep snow... even though I had to put a track in it was worth it!

Next up we dropped off the back of the Cugnai and one of the good things with weather as it is you dont get the crowds heading off piste! So as far as I could tell it was just 3 guided groups out there including ourselves and boy it was good... lots of fresh turns and the lower we got the better the vis got. It was a very pleasant trip down the Cugnai.

Next up was a trip down the Danaides Wall and into the L'Avancher... the wall was well skied in but the flats were awesome... the couloir itself not so perfect but worth a trip!

Lunch was taken at the office and I changed into my snowboarding gear before taking my first boarding lesson in what seems like a VERY long time - its been weeks and weeks since I last had the board on! Anyway a good few hours with Glenn building his confidence and toe turns up.

After work we popped out en famille to the Rosee Blanche for some drinks with M, M and M... Olivia was not exactly the best behaved she has ever been and rather spoilt with her hot chocs etc... anyway we had a few lovely drinks and a catch up but the snow (and wind) got harder and harder. So after an hour or so we called it a day... but it was nice to have a drink and a catch up - thanks folks!

The usual bath and bedtime for the kids and here I am once again!

In local news the 'Train Bleu' bus was not working today - yesterday someone managed to drop their skis and it smashed the front door window of the bus.... whoops! Being fixed today!

The resort has published an interesting stat today saying that the "cumulative number of skier days by the end of last week is down 7.1% from last year at the same time." So this year so far the resort is over 7% down on number of skier days... surprised to hear that?

The other thing to let people know about / warn them of is that with the new speed limits not only in town but towards the dam is that the gendarmes are doing lots of speed checks on motorists... lots of fines are being given out on the spot so be careful out there. In fact apparently they have caught people doing 129km/h in the tunnels out of town - ouch that is fast!



TTFN
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Has anyone done the vallee perdue this week and is it skiable all the way through......thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Pisteurs in the Alex bar Val d’Isère confirmed it open today Thursday..
Tomorrow Friday may be AM only.
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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:

The resort has published an interesting stat today saying that the "cumulative number of skier days by the end of last week is down 7.1% from last year at the same time." So this year so far the resort is over 7% down on number of skier days... surprised to hear that?


Surprised to hear but then again it's been such a cracking season that everyone has spread out a bit more ... I'm sure the lower resorts have benefited massively this year. We were at the 3Vs at HT - we didn't have to queue for more than 5 mins (and that was at the usual pressure spots).
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
compostcorner - not done it for a long while... but I've heard you just need to take your skis off and crawl through a hole but apart from that it is pleasant and passable!

I swear I burnt 10,000 calories today

What a day that was.... it was clear, sunny and fresh snow. What more could you want - a real bluebird day!

My team were all on time and raring to go and expecting a powder frenzy today it was a case of thinking smart not only to stay safe but get the best snow! Starting with a warm up off the Madelaine the snow was obviously going to be epic...... it was deep light and plentiful! I heard on the rumour mill that the up and over was going to be a delayed opening (avalanche clearance) so to get the Fornet way where I was heading we needed to go via the Laisenant which was going to work perfectly. Bus stop then the 'field' as I call it provided wonderful snow and it was nice putting fresh tracks in all over the place! Yippee!

I was surprised that the orientation piste was so tracked out on its side but that didnt matter as the first of two main events was next up... Sunny bowl... and I have to say it rarely disappoints in there and today was most definitely NOT the exception to that... face shots galore! There was a lot of grinning going on!

A tiny bit of technique on piste was next up before we joined the 'queue' to walk into the Col..... people just seem to follow inanely on these things... no kit nothing.... and there were a couple of guided groups whereby the guides showed scant regards for anyone else... allowing the group to sit and block the path (amongst other things.... and that was even before they started skiing / boarding!) Anyway we got into the Col and had a WONDERFUL time - the snow was awesome right to the bottom and we got freshies almost the whole way down.

In the gorge we even spotted and ibex too!

It was a lovely lovely morning!

I was pretty pooped I must say breaking trails and making turns etc... but hey it was mighty worth it!

I treated myself to lunch at the Sun Bar before gearing up again for the afternoon - my last session with my seasonnaires.

A lap through my secret spot on the Solaise yielded plenty of fresh turns and then we did another Bus Stop and 'field' before looping around for a Tete du Arolay which was AWESOME again and then finally I geared my guys up for their first couloir (L'Avancher) via Danaides wall... the couloir was OK (not the best but OK) but the wall was in excellent shape!

We enjoyed a beer in Blue Note to celebrate a successful program and then I came home.

Clare was handing out hot chocs in town for her community service this evening so I was I.C. giving the kids their tea, then getting them into bed - arghhhh - crazy couple of hours!!!! Part of the celebrations in town tonight focused around the two local boys Victor Muffat Jeandet and Clement Noel from the Club des Sports here... Victor picked up a bronze in the combined ski event at the Olympics and Clement was crowned World Junior Champ just the week before the Olympics!!!

In other news the pisteurs have just finished some avalanche dog training annual refresher training - see video.

The traffic forecast for this weekend shows similar traffic levels to last weekend so it will be busy'ish on the roads both ways - be warned!


Not bad in the Col eh!

https://www.facebook.com/steve.angus/videos/10160131722120416/
I hope that video link works showing S smashing out some turns in Sunny Bowl


I smashing them next


Victor and his bronze medal - thanks to Lynne for this photo!

https://www.facebook.com/pisteurval/videos/1797237793684059/

TTFN
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Steve Angus,
WOW! Contender for Day of the Season by the sound and look of that?
I may rent a sniffer dog to track down these ‘secret stashes’ you occasionally tantalise us with 😉

My next trip out delayed by a week now so will be in touch to recheck your availability w/c 19th.

Good to see you still using Sun Bar occasionally, a fave when my son was young. Always loved terrace with views of Face. Never thought food special, to be honest, but good enough and nice feel to place. Sense of achievement once tray with soup safely on table after tricky walk in ski boots. As satisfying as a run down Face and good for improving balance!

Hoping for a few bluebird days soon snowHead
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Steve Angus, That latest write up has got me really excited for my off-piste lesson with your colleague on Sunday! Who needs advertising when you have posts like that NehNeh
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
PeakyB - yea for me the Day of the Season so far snow wise off piste. Happy faces all round! You can rent a sniffer dog all you like but if you study my pics from 1st March above - you might just be able to work out where they were taken and go find... in fact I was back there this afternoon a full 24 hours later and the only tracks were my groups from yesterday pm... and then todays lot!! WC 19th March.... unless Sunday 18th???? then it looks like afternoons or a morning Thursday 22nd is my only availability! The Sun Bar is under new management now and much friendly and better and I think the food is a little better now too! I think you will get sun but bluebird too - fingers crossed!
Bennisboy - all good!!!!!! You'll have fun but the snow took a 'dent' today with the heat.... but hopefully will 'dry out' for Sunday! We shall see!

Well that was a turn around

After yesterdays amazing conditions today was a complete change in fortunes. Warm temps and overcast skies and the odd glimpse of the sun was all we got but the temps were about 6 degrees at coldest in the middle of the afternoon and when the sun made an appearance it was even hotter than that!

It was a slightly different start to the day as I was meeting B and L from here on Snowheads at the bottom of the funi at 0845 so we could get ahead of the traffic and that we did. We spent countless laps on the Fontaine Froide working on short turns and working on versatility but we needed to iron out a few fundamentals that had slipped since last time and regain that focus... it was a fun session and I think a lot of clarification was gained. It is nice to have people on the same wavelength and also being able to understand some of my analogies and references to ski racing etc. It was jolly pleasant morning but since i haven't been on piste and up the Bellevarde side for a few days I was surprised at how busy the pistes were up there! Thanks guys - you are very kind - see you tomorrow.

I caught up with a friend at lunchtime in the end and then I went to the office to sort out off piste gear for the afternoon and do a little admin that needed doing regarding my seasonnaires group... it never ends!

So the afternoon session was with a group of 20 something year old friends and the 4 of them (6 had booked but only 4 turned up and they were all on a snowboard - but its fine they didnt want a lesson as such!) wanted to head off piste and utilise me as a guide as opposed to teaching them as such - fine by me.... cutting a long story short we found a whole host of snow types but you had to be really high and north facing to get wintery powder as stuff below about 2500m had been baked - thank goodness the sun was not beating down otherwise it would have been worse. We will need a few days of melt freeze OR a few days of colder temps to reverse this but I guess for the next few days those heading off piste will have to work harder to earn their turns etc! Anyway as far as the group were concerned taking them down the poubelle couloir was their highlight as well as hard left Grand Vallon variation! Haven't been in Poubelle for a few seasons and it was pretty good if not the usual tight middle section when side slipping was almost mandatory!


The Poubelle Couloir in the middle of the pic!

So this evening I have done the usual parent duty and now I am so looking forward to bed and an early night as I am knackered and tomorrows day off is so welcome - we are going to celebrate Mothers Day tomorrow and have a family day.

2 pieces of local news... the harsh Winter has taken its toll on the roads with potholes! The Council have already started patching things up but they have ordered 12 tonnes of bitumen for the Spring!

Secondly the dates for the World Cup races for next season have been released for here in Val... 8th and 9th of December 2018 for the men's events and the 15th and 16th of December for the women's events.

And finally my periscope.

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1rmxPmBBzdZKN

So not only TTFN but night night!
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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!
Thanks for a really helpful (and fun!)session this morning @Steve Angus, we had a great time and we were able to do a bit of practicing when the light came out this afternoon. The crowds all disappeared as well....where did everyone go? Very Happy
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
This is the last day of my week in valdisere and I have really enjoyed it, but piste l is never a blue, I"ve been down easier blacks.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Where's piste i? Is it new?
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