Val d'Isere Snow Report: 17th February 2012
Avalanche Risk: Level 3
Alt. Last Snow1850
Alt. High Temp.1850
Latest ConditionsSUNNY WEATHER CONDITIONS
I can think of nothing better than blasting down perfectly groomed pistes on a sunny bluebird day (when the off-piste is battered) with a group of friends in Espace Killy.
Today was one of those days, the skies were clear and the pistes were immaculate as the ski lifts opened for the day. I was up the mountain with some rather good skiers today, and started the morning at a rather quick pace, racing down from the Top of Bellevarde to the Borsat chair lift in Val d’Isere, happily finding that there seemed to be an absence of ski school groups at this early time. We skied (and boarded) a quick loop round Borsat, to Grande Pre and then up Fontain Froid to arrive back at the top of Bellevarde in Val d’Isere. The fairly easy green runs were a good warm up for racing down to Tommeuses and heading over to Tignes. The snow was almost sticky in feeling today, and it was hard work on a board to keep enough speed to get over some of the flatter sections we encountered, but that said, with the beautiful weather I wasn’t too bothered. It was almost too hot for my gloves at one point and I was riding in just my liners, with my gloves dangling on their elastic strings!
Up Tommeuses and on to Tignes Val Claret where we took the Lanches chair lift half way up the Grande Motte to blast down the red back into town. The cable car to the top of the Motte is still unfortunately out of action, but the views are fantastic even from the top of the train, and you can enjoy them with a drink or bite to eat from the comfort of the restaurant there.
From Val Claret we headed up the notoriously cold Bolin lift back to Val d’Isere and headed down to La Daille to meet up with some friends. It was almost midday and the pistes were still amazingly smooth. A quick bite to eat was in order and I ran home to swap my lenses as I had left the house this morning with flat light lenses which weren’t really up to the sunshine. It was very bright!
The afternoon consisted of exploring more of the Tignes side with a skier who knew little of it, we did the loop from Le Lac to Val Claret starting with the Palafour chair lift. It’s a little flat for a snowboarder doing it this way round but I made it with minimal tows from my skiing companions. It took 'til we reached Lanches in Val Claret for him to realise and recognise where he was though (a little worrying for someone who has lived here for four weeks!). The snow held out for the rest of the day, we didn’t really experience any moguls on piste, nor did we experience many icy patches. It was a good day to be on the mountain.
The weather forecast is predicting more of the same tomorrow, but then a little snow on Sunday, which we would all really like! Monday should see some light snow showers tailing off and then more sunshine! Be careful if you want to take advantage of any fresh snow, as there is now a nasty weak layer in the snowpack just under any fresh stuff, so there may be some movement out there. Make sure you have all the right gear and know how to use it. Henry’s Avalanche Talks do beeper training every Wednesday which you can book through their website, and it is well worth attending if you are thinking of skiing off piste!
Remember your sunscreen and still wrap up warm, we are at the top of a mountain!