To keep Ian happy I will open this thread for business. On Sunday we were on the Dome de Pravouta a few minutes from my house. We made the mistake of going up 20 minutes before the snow plough had cleared the road which meant I did the last 1km in reverse gear (the Toy-Yoda is not the best winter vehicle and I couldn’t be @rsed to get the chains out). Here is some footage:-
We’d settled on Pravouta after looking at the weather - strong southerly “foehn” wind blowing since Friday and poor weather on the Belledonne (cloud on the summits). Climbing up we had to keep close to the forest to keep out of the wind and this was the best route down although there were patches of crusty snow on the way down.
On Monday I was finally tempted by a trip to Chamechaude, a classic for the Grenbobblois. There was snow cover from le Sappey. I took the “long” climb from the Chamechaude drag at 1250 where there was a compact 30cm base with 5cm fresh on top covering the tracks. It looked like it was going to be good. This was the first time I’ve not seen another person on this mountain. I had to make tracks to near the summit. I stopped short as the viz was poor and the fresh snow was getting quite deep, 20-30cm and I was alone.
Skiing down wasn’t great. Heavy snow with tracks making themselves felt below. From 1700-1500 meters there were a lot of rocks not far from the surface. Skiing back down the pistes of the col de Porte was fun though despite the best efforts of walkers and snowshoers to ruin the base .
I didn’t get out again this week despite Wednesday and Thursday morning being good. We’ve had another 10cm of fresh this afternoon with estimates of 30-40cm between now and Sunday in the French Alps. That should go a long way to cover the last of the rocks bringing a good start to December. Enjoy while you can. The current snow in the Alps doesn’t deserve all the hype but I guess ski resorts have to clutch at straws. One insider said that the main reason we are seeing so many early openings is not the “exceptional conditions” but the fact that many resorts are getting much better prepared to open their runs when the have snow. I was at les 7 laux on Sunday afternoon piste skiing and the conditions on piste were pretty good with excellent preparation by the resort.