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Wonderful skiing in Val d'Isere this weekend

Superb conditions in resort

Featured in:

Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 4th December 2017

This weekend, Val d'Isere saw cold temperatures an great snow. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we enjoyed really good skiing conditions in resort overall.

It has turned cold and, on Friday, we had -18ºC at the summit of Tommeuses. With a brisk breeze blowing, it was pretty cold. The skies were overcast but enough light filtered through to make for some very enjoyable skiing. The snow cannons continue to blow out snow and the quality of the piste skiing is remarkably better than last week as there is enough snow to widen the pistes, the rocks in exposed areas are gradually being covered, and the texture of the snow is much softer.

On Saturday, the piste skiing was even better than Friday and I’d rate it as ‘superb'. It will only continue to improve as more and more runs start to open up. Besides excellent snow quality on the pistes, there are absolutely no skiers and boarders about and having the slopes to yourself makes a world of difference.

On Saturday we were praying for a 'retour de l’est', which is a climatic system that occurs up towards the Italian border and benefits the Fornet sector massively. At times during a retour de l’est, we can see 1 metre or more of snow up on the Fornet Glacier and maybe ten centimetres in Tignes. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and on Sunday we had stunning blue skies and after several days of flat-light it made for wonderful skiing, both on and off-piste.

The snow-cover off-piste remains very thin and, with rocks lurking under the surface, I would recommend that you stay on piste. There are pockets of snow here and there, little gullies that work and grassy meadows that ski nicely but you really need to pick your slopes carefully, ski under control and as lightly as possible, and have good visibility to read what is in front of you. And, definitely, leave your new skis at home as you’ll scrape whatever you have underfoot.

The forecast for the next four days calls for brilliant sunshine, which isn’t too hard to take but the only snow we’ll see, until at least Frida,y is that of the man-made variety. We are so fortunate in Val d’Isere/Tignes to have such an abundant water supply that they can run the snow cannons 24/7 if it’s cold enough. Plus the snowmaking system is world class and, in a very short time, they can lay down an incredible amount of snow. So, I don’t know what the British press is saying about the skiing because it is often negative, but we have fantastic skiing here at the moment and it is only going to get better, so don’t hesitate to come out if you get the opportunity!

Have a great week and look out for another update on Friday.


Follow more from Wayne in his Daily Diary.


NB. Some of the areas Wayne has been skiing this week are off piste and not suitable for 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.

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