The Winter Season Starts Here!

After the autumn half term opening of l’Alpe d’Huez a number of stations are taking advantage of the excellent new snow conditions to open for the Winter season.  In total 3 stations, just maybe 4 with Chamonix, may open for the long French holiday weekend on the 8th of November.

Tignes has skiing down to resort level on the Double M piste giving 1300 meters of vertical, a bit less than the 2000 meters we managed at les Deux Alpes last weekend but excellent for the start of the winter season..  Val Thorens, situated at 2100 meters is scheduled to open on the 8th of November with 40cm at resort level.

In the Southern Alps Montgenèvre has already opened a small part of its domain, although it was described as ‘busy’ last weekend.  The 25km of pistes are open over the long French holiday weekend with 60cm of snow at resort level.

At the start of the week Chamonix had around 40 cm of snow at 2000 m and 70 cm to 100 cm at 2500 m.  You can ski to around 1800 meters at the moment.  The glaciers of the Mont Blanc range are still in a bad way after the long heatwave and the snow has not repaired all the damage.

It is still too early to talk about downhill skiing at Argentiere.  If the conditions are good enough the Lognan, Bochard and Marmottons will open for the 8th of November, this will be confirmed on Friday.  The opening of Grands Montets is scheduled for the 20th of December 2003.
- Office de Haute Montagne, Chamonix
Tél. +33 (0)450532208
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Posted by davidof on Thursday, 06 November, 2003 at 03:46 PM

The Southern Alps are still getting the best of the snow.  The recent high temperatures should cool over the weekend giving some snow in the south at altitude.  Another southern resort joins Montgenèvre.  Pra-Loup will open 5 drag lifts and a chair in the Costebelle sector.

Elsewhere snow cover remains patchy.  In Pyrenées it is possible to ski to 1800 meters on north faces.  In the Haute Savoie the snow cover is average for the time of the year with skiing possible between 1800 and 2500 meters depending on the orientation and gradient of the slope.  Conditions in the Savoie are not good with 20cm at Tignes, 30cm at Val Thorens and practically no cover in the village at Val d’Isère a week before the opening.  Both Courchevel and Val d’Isère will use snow canons if the temperatures are low enough to ensure a return to station for the Premiere Neige weekend.

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 21 November, 2003  at 12:27 PM
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