I hope you’ve all had a fantastic Christmas weekend and Santa was good to you.
My wife and two daughters arrived on the 21st and we’ve had a great time making the most of the quiet conditions before the crowds arrive any day now. The piste skiing has been absolutely first-class and I’ve been very surprised at the snow quality at lower altitudes. On Christmas day we skied down to Tignes Les Boisses and the snow was firm but still grippy, and towards the bottom there were just strips of man-made that were in good condition. It will get tougher next week as crowds of holidaymakers arrive but up until now the piste skiing has been brilliant!
I have had a terrific weekend off-piste and the only way to get to good snow at the moment is to ‘skin’. I’ve had the pleasure of my thirteen-year-old daughter Millie skiing in my group and she is absolutely loving it, and is really enjoying the walking. We’ve skied the Glacier Pers on Friday (I forgot my camera), the Crete du Genepy and Mont Roup on Saturday, followed by the Sachette in Tignes on Christmas Day. Unfortunately we've had a lot of wind over the past three days, which has worked over the snow and 'stiffened' the snow on many slopes and this has cut down our options. It's a shame but we'll have to deal with it as no new snow is in the foreseeable forecast. The avalanche risk is 1/5 but don't let that fool you as there are isolated plaques caused by the high winds that have been blowing over the past few days.
Sunshine is forecast for the next week so don't forget your sun cream and my advice is to get out early and take advantage of the first couple of hours before the crowds come out. Not only is it less busy at this time but the snow quality is the best that it will be all day long.
Freshly groomed pistes are much softer and once the crowds start to slide around on the man-made snow they become polished and hard very quickly. And skiing over the lunch period is another way to avoid the crowds and the softer pistes can be found higher up the mountain, towards the Pissaillas Glacier at the Fornet or the Grande Motte in Tignes.
Have a brilliant week and look out for another update on Friday!
Follow more from Wayne in his Daily Diary.
NB. The areas Wayne has been skiing this week are off piste and not suitable to all skiers. Wayne has 35 years experience in these mountains. If you're considering going off piste you should always take a guide with you.
Location: Val d'Isere Region