Fresh Snow and Increased Avalanche Risk in Alps

After a week of blue skies and sun plus perfect skiing the weather took a turn yesterday evening as we were eating Sole Meuniere in the White Ptarmigan in Val d’Isère.  By the way Sole Meuniere is Dover Sole, not fish from nearby Les Menuires!

It dumped around 30cm of fresh overnight and it is still lashing it down with snow as I write this over a Vin Chaud in the Corniche.  It looks set to continue with more of the same over the weekend albeit with high winds forecast for Saturday.

The last week has seen an almost deserted resort, possibly due to the reports of lack of snow.  However the piste services had done splendid work on the runs which were in even better shape than last year.  Not a stone or rock in site on the Solaise or Bellevarde.  The only bad news is the gastro and bronchitis epidemics that are ripping through the resort.  We were advised not to drink the tap water by the local medical services and so far, touch wood, have made it through.  So if you are coming out this way, better bring some Lemsip and Cough Mixture just in case.

Powder in Tignes

The cold dry weather over the last fortnight has created a thick layer of surface hoar crystals (goblets) which are now being buried by the fresh snow.  When the sun finally comes out take extreme care going off piste as this will form a persistent weak layer in the snowpack which will create prime avalanche conditions for some time to come.

Posted by davidof on Friday, 09 January, 2004 at 02:31 PM

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