The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Let’s start with the ugly.  On Wednesday we skied the home run at Brevent. Don’t do it. The snow cover is so thin that it hasn’t been pisted. An uncomfortable ski down  punctuated with avoiding rocks. A week ago it was in great condition but unfortunately no longer. 

And the bad. On Tuesday we decided to try and catch Flegere off piste in good condition. After a decent fall of new snow on Sunday and a bit more on Monday Index and Floria didn’t open on those two days. With cold weather and sunshine forecast it seemed, and was, a rare opportunity to ski the south facing slopes of Flegere in good conditions. Mindful of the French holidays starting we were in the car park at 0815 and in the lift station for 0820. Probably on time for the second or third bin. A 40 minute wait we had counted on. Then, as usual, Index opening was delayed until 10.00. I appreciate that the fresh snow was accompanied by high winds but as is usual in Chamonix there seems to be no forward planning in these situations. So it was the best part of two hours to reach the top of Index. 

And the Good. In the end it was worth it with two quick laps of Lachenal bowl. The snow at high level was seriously wind affected but the lower down, skiers right , and in the trees, was exceptional. Floria wasn’t open at 1100 and the offpiste off Index wasn’t as great but not at all bad. The snow in the trees was consistent at lower levels. A couple of laps and home.  A very good day. 

On Wednesday we were again up early at Brevent. On the second Cornu chair and skinned to Col de Gliere to be rewarded by some great cold snow on the northern aspect all the way to the Liason. We were the only skiers in the bowl.  Then a quick ski off the top of Brévent towards Aguillete des Houches and a skin back out. The snow was a bit variable due to the wind but lovely to be on our own again. 

An empty bowl from Col de Gliere
Back of Brevent
Variable conditions

The weather is to be fine for a while and the resort is going to be super busy so it might be a lot more difficult to find some fresh snow although the pistes are in exceptional condition. 

Real Snow in Chamonix

It has been a slow start to the season in the Northern Alps but at long last winter storms have arrived. More familiar conditions have returned and as I write we are expecting another 40/60 cms of fresh snow today. I think that at least a metre and a half has fallen in the last 7 days and the Valley looks completely different.

Strong west to north west winds have accompanied the storm cycles and this has led to limited lift opening at times. Also many slopes are badly wind affected.

Monday brought 30 cms of fresh snow and we had great tree skiing in Le Tour. Not many skiers on the hill and pretty much fresh lines all day.

James keeping the freeheel faith
North side Le Tour
More Tim

Tuesday bluebird powder in Les Contamines. In great condition .

Wednesday was stormbound and although we ventured out th wind, snow,strong winds and lack of lift opening drove us home very early.

Thursday brought super deep conditions on the northern slopes and Penny and I enjoyed the deepest snow of the season. Still blowing hard from the Nortwest and very cold.

After today’s fall I think Conditions will be exceptional throughout the Valley. Unfortunately the Italian side seems to have missed out on most of the recent falls.