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Sun and brilliant pistes in Val d'Isere

Lovely piste conditions in Val d'Isere this week

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Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 8th December 2017


Check out this Sun and brilliant pistes in Val d'Isere

It has been a beautifully sunny week in Val d'Isere. The pistes have been absolutely brilliant as the snow cannons have been blowing out snow constantly and the piste machines have done a first-class job with their grooming.

We are very fortunate to have such a good snowmaking system along with extremely skilled piste-basher operators who can guarantee excellent piste skiing this early in the season every year. If you worry about early-season piste conditions, don’t because the pre-Christmas piste skiing is often the best of the season with excellent conditions and very few skiers sharing your space.

The off-piste conditions are a different matter as the snowpack is incredibly thin. I have skied off-piste every day of the season so far and, even though it’s limited, we've still had some great skiing. However, the Fornet Glacier looks quite unrecognisable, I've never seen it so rocky! We will need a serious amount of snow for the t-bar to open because, in the hollows, the cable is so high above the ground that the cords attached to the t-bars won’t come close to reaching the ground. In any case, people who come out early-season are never disappointed as there is always something to ski somewhere in this magnificent resort.

On Monday I headed up to the Fornet Glacier (the Pissaillas) for the first this season and was shocked at what lay in front of me. At first, it looked as if there was nothing to ski but we ‘sniffed’ around and found some nice skiing in the gullies before ‘skinning’ out for twenty minutes. Normally, at this time of year, we ski the Fornet constantly because it usually has the most snow but this season’s lack of snow in the Fornet sector is very rare.

On Tuesday I returned to Tignes and we skied off-piste in the Chardonnet, the Tourne, the Campanules and the Familial. When we weren’t off-piste, the piste skiing in-between was superb.

The sun continued to shine on Wednesday and I wanted my client Derek and colleague Chris to see the landscape on the Fornet Glacier before the snow falls and begins to soften the rugged moonscape. We skied the Combe du 3300 before heading to the Manchet sector where we skied the Marmottons to the valley floor.

On Thursday I headed to the Grande Motte for the fantastic views and we ended up with a short ‘skin’ to access some lovely powder snow. It has been another great week and we’ve enjoyed stunning weather with wall-to-wall sunshine.

Thursday should be our last sunny day for a while as 10 to 20 centimetres of snow are expected on Thursday night. It is forecast to snow all day on Friday and will continue to snow off-and-on for the next seven to nine days. Even though we’ve enjoyed some great skiing so far, we are in desperate need of a serious snowfall to kick-start the season. Hopefully, the snow will arrive during the next week to ten days!

There is a Men’s World Cup GS race on Saturday followed by a Slalom race on Sunday, so don’t forget to watch if you get the chance. It’s a shame the races didn’t take place during the stretch of sunny weather and, hopefully, they won’t be cancelled due to too much snow! It seems to be the way that when Val d’Isere is desperate for snow all they need to do is organise some World Cup Races at great expense to the town as well as an incredible amount of man-hours spent on the preparation and presto, it snows and the races get cancelled. It seems to happen often here!

Have a fantastic weekend and, with any luck, this update will be followed shortly by a ‘Dump Alert’.

Follow more from Wayne in his Daily Diary.

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