It’s a lot better

Snow started to fall late on Saturday evening and continued well into Monday. Unfortunately it was accompanied by extremely high winds.

I think that the upper end of the valley has had about a metre of fresh snow at 2000 metres with maybe 50/70 cms in Les Houches, Megeve and Contamines.

With few lifts likely to open early on Sunday Penny managed to catch first lift and enjoyed perfect conditions for the first hour and and a half. By the time I managed to join her at 1030 things weren’t as good with the majority of the fresh snow skied out. You have to be quick these days to catch the best conditions.

On Monday we headed for Grand Montets and found ourselves quite near the front of the lift line. In normal GM fashion we the waited for 75 minutes for the lift to open. As Bouchard wasn’t running I have no idea of the reason for the delay and again in true GM fashion no information was forthcoming. When the lift finally opened it was the usual rush/crush even though a queue had formed.

The snow was good, deep but compacted by the wind so a bit heavy. Impossible to stop to take any photos as limited lifts were open and it was pretty obvious that it would ski out quickly. We lapped the new Plan Joran chair in pretty good conditions and had a final run on Herse. It was pretty good but windblown. A final run through the trees gave up some exceptional powder.

The sky cleared on Tuesday for a freezing cold bluebird day at Les Contamines. The frontside was wind effected but Hauteluce side was exceptional- the best skiing of the season so far. The snow depth is limited with a number of areas not skiable and some bushwhacking necessary to escape others. Too much fun to take any photos.

We returned the next day hopefully to skin on the Hautluce side but found the snow to have been badly sun affected( it must have warmed considerably the previous afternoon) Nothing worse than a 2 inch crust ice crust over powder to show up my technique.

Penny then suggested the long traverse from the top of Aig Croche towards Mont Joly and then a descent towards the valley. The traverse was pretty horrible but the ski to the valley floor was good. Creamy boot top snow and pretty consistent. A good call. A brief boot pack took us back to the Grevattaz Poma.

Piste Conditions are great and the slopes are empty.


A GOOD FINISH

GRAND MONTETS 30th April 2018

CHALKY WINDBLOWN POWDER 15/25 cms

BECOMING CLOUDY

When will the Chamonix lifts open on time!

For the last few years Grand Montets has offered up a day or two of winter snow at the end of April. Cham Meteo told me last night that 30 to 50cms of fresh snow, heavily windblown, was expected with clear skies first thing today.   I wasn’t the only one to read the forecast and wasn’t quite at the front of the queue despite arriving at 08.10

There was a rush for the top bin so I headed for Bochard to be rewarded by 15cms of powder on piste and first tracks bar 2  pisteurs. Pendant Chair is closed for the season and the access to the bowl  was roped off. It must have put some skiers off as I had first tracks in Pendant Bowl on the next lap. The snow was windblown so the gullies provided great conditions and justified another lap.

First Tracks in Pendant Bowl

The high winds had scoured Herse and the Canadian Bowl. Clouds moved in. Time to go home.