Ski Resort Round-up

A number of resorts were scheduled to open this weekend for the 2003-2004 season but the lack of snow earlier in the week has caused them to delay their plans.  This will be our last round-up as the season begins to get into gear.

The Southern Alps have been getting the best of the snow recently with Montgenèvre and Pra Loup already open and Serre Chevalier joining them tomorrow (29/11/2003).

It is the weekend Premiere Traces in the Espace Killy with both Tignes and Val d’Isère open.  The pistes were looking pretty ropey earlier in the week with only snow making keeping the runs to resort open but a big dump of snow on Thursday has freshened everything up and all looks set fair for the weekend.

Courchevel was scheduled to open on the 29th but this has been put back a week, no doubt due to the recent warm weather.  Val Thorens is already open as are l’Alpe d’Huez, les Deux Alpes and Avoriaz.

The Les Sept Laux will open its six seater chair and a drag in the Prapoutel zone to give a bit of fun to the people of Grenoble.  The resort was posting 1 meter of snow at 2000 meters altitude on its website.

Les Gets is opening the Croix chair and a blue cross country piste.  There’s no lift pass but skiers are asked to donate some money to the Téléthon 2003 in the box provided at the bottom of the lift.  There is 50cm of powder in the resort.

Down in the Pyrénées, Piau has 80cm at the bottom of the pistes but will not open until next weekend.  A number of other stations in the region had scheduled to open this weekend but due to the snow conditions earlier in the week have delayed until the 5th of December.

Posted by davidof on Friday, 28 November, 2003 at 11:10 AM

With the fresh snow over the last couple of days there is an increased risk of avalanche.  In the Haute Savoie the snow fell without too much wind but it is heavy.  Below 2200 meters on all north facing slopes the base is not very good and avalanches could be triggered by a single skier.  In the Savoie there is a high risk (4) of avalanches in the Bauges and Maurienne areas, risk 3 in other sectors.

Towards the Southern Alps the risk is lower due to the good snow conditions in November but all off-piste skiers and snowboarders should remember basic backcountry safety.

In the Pyrénées and Isère skiers should be careful on north facing slopes.  In Corsica the east slopes and corniches are unstable.

More information about weather and the avalanche risk can be found here

Posted by davidof on  Saturday, 29 November, 2003  at 03:09 PM

The friends who were with me in Le Lioran over the weekend decided to check out the 3Vs.  I had a free ticket to La Rosiere but decided not to waste my diesel going there.

They said the snow at 3200 meters at Val Thorens was worse than at Le Lioran, not a good sign.  Over in Méribel you could ski back to resort, with some care, thanks to the snow canons.  The snow over in Courchevel was good above 2200 meters and there was some off-piste skiing to be had, if you were on rock skis.  There was good snow in a number of sectors that were not open (lifts not running), apparently the resort is saving the slopes for Christmas.

Val d’Isère claimed to have 80% of its domain open on the French version of the site with 1000 meters of vertical.  They are probably including the Glacier de la Grande Motte in that figure.

There was a bit of fresh snow fell over the weekend in the Savoie… nothing like the quantities forecast by :-(.

The Monetier sector at Serre Che, opened and the trip reports and photos I’ve seen said there was plenty of fresh.

Posted by davidof on  Monday, 15 December, 2003  at 03:28 PM
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