Well, what can I say? It hasn’t snowed for over two weeks and the sun has been shining non-stop, the snow cover off-piste on the lower part of the mountain is thin, but the past few days have been extraordinarily good.
The mountain for the most part has stabilised nicely since the last snowfall and the 2/5 avalanche rating reflects that, and we’ve been able to ski places that I haven’t skied in years in winter conditions. The snow quality has been excellent and consistent, there is absolutely no one else around, the sun has been shining and it all adds up to wonderful skiing. Wow!
The piste skiing is also fantastic at the moment with beautifully groomed slopes right to the bottom of the resort, both in Val d’Isere and Tignes. The snow texture for the most part is very good for man-made snow but there are a few firm to icy patches about. Beware around snow cannons as they are often surrounded by icy snow and on steeper pistes. Some sectors are still closed and will open either this weekend or the following weekend. It’s all because of cost-cutting and employing fewer people at this stage of the season because it is very quiet and the Espace Killy costs a fortune to run full-tilt on a daily basis.
There are two Men’s World Cup races in Val d'Isere this weekend. First up is a Giant Slalom on Saturday followed by a Slalom race on Sunday. The resort has worked hard with volunteers helping to prepare the Face du Bellevarde and with the sunny weather the conditions should be perfect. [Read our roundup and fact file on ski racing].
Unfortunately there is no snow forecast until at least December 27th, which is still quite some time off. I’ll need to use my imagination to keep finding quality off-piste skiing for my clients but fingers crossed that the forecast is wrong because that would be well over a month of clear blue skies and no snow. Fortunately Val d’Isere and Tignes have world-class snow making systems but still, man-made snow gets firmer and icier the more people ski on it and if it doesn’t snow before the Christmas crowds arrive we’ll be in for some pretty hard pistes.
Anyway, I’m taking one day at a time and the skiing is great at the moment so if you’re here next week you should have a fantastic time. And don’t forget your sun cream!
If you follow my Daily Diary that has a link below, I’m having trouble with my daily photos. Picasa is now redundant and depending on your computer the ‘Photos of the Day’ may be mixed up with Canada, Spain, India, Out of Season Photos and more. They can be quite tricky to find so I apologise for the mess but I’m trying to find a new server to manage my photos. Stay tuned for another update on Monday.
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 - Centre