Friday was a wonderful surprise as at least 30cm’s of fresh snow fell on Thursday night, and the brutal winds died down to leave us with a stunning day of powder skiing. The sun made a brief appearance and with the added visibility it was without a doubt the best day of the season so far!
The avalanche risk remained 4/5 locally on Friday even though Meteo France had a rating of 3/5. My colleague Thomas dug a snow pit to show his Ski Club of Great Britain clients the various layers in the snowpack. He found 60cms of gobelets at around 2700 metres, which is a serious problem for the moment. Gobelets crystals are the big grains that resemble sugar and have no cohesion and very little strength to support future snowfalls. The rain at lower altitudes help to stabilise the slopes below 2300 metres but above that altitude there is a very unstable layer which is perhaps the reason the local avalanche risk has been kept at 4/5. We need the upper slopes to purge themselves in the next snowfall or two so that we can start again to build a stable base.