Where is the snow? 16th Jan 2018
The weekend just gone saw my first ski days of the season. We flew out to Geneva and spent 4 days in Chamonix to test out our newest ski packages in the Prieure and Aiglons hotels. The forecast gave us a day that just about looked sunny and the rest were to be wrapped in heavy cloud - the forecasts, thankfully, could not have been more wrong. We had four days of beautiful sunshine and bright blue skies after some of the heaviest snowfall in years. It's safe to say that conditions were unbelievable and we were incredibly lucky.
The first morning (Thursday 11th of January) was among the best ski days I've ever had. Le Tour quickly became one of my favourite places to ski/board. It's an area I'd highly recommend to anyone travelling to Chamonix. A little further out than the more local slopes but it's a perfect blend with friendly mellow pistes that give enough gradient to get some serious speed, plenty of trees and little risk of ice. Oh and there's bags of lift-served powder just off the sides of the runs with little avalanche risk and as people don't tend to head here for powder it stays un-tracked for much longer - we had a guide show us the best places he knew.
How's Europe looking?
After the brief spell of fabulous weather, the snow is returning in the shape of Storm Evi. Now that name may conjure images of the cute thrice evolving Pokemon but she is bringing the muscle. The avalanche risks may have dropped down to 3 in many places but they'll be ramping up soon with large amounts of snow falling across Europe by the end of today.
It's currently belting it down in St Anton, take a look at the webcams to track its progress but with 144cm due in the next 3 days, it doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon. Much of France and Switzerland is also expecting the storm to roll over and leave snowfall ranging from 70cm to 250cm in the next six days. Not only that, but the freezing levels are dropping to below 1,000m from tomorrow onwards, so whilst there may be rain in some resorts today (below 1,600m-ish), it will be heavy snow for the rest of the week.
A peek at the resorts through pictures:
Video snippets to make Tuesday afternoon cruise by
- Getting back on your feet eventually
- If you're a fan of strange camera work you may like this
- Still one of my favourite snow dives to date
- Not exactly a video but you'll probably agree this dog is pretty awesome
- This one is me in Chamonix at the weekend attempting so spray some powder whilst doing my best Mr Tickle impression
The blue skies have drawn their curtains with white and grey tones taking over. Storm Evi is blanketing Europe in snow and could bring winds of up to 100kmph to resorts upper reaches. This could close some of the higher resort links (in the Three Valleys or Zermatt and Cervinia for example) but the resorts themselves should remain open, the storm is nowhere near the intensity of Eleanor. We shouldn't see the disruption witnessed in the weeks just gone.
It looks like Sunday could be the best day of the immediate future with the skies clearing up over France and Switzerland as the storm moves past. This could change so watch the forecasts closely if you're heading to the mountains this week - take some low visibility goggles and stick to the tree runs for an optimal experience when it's snowing.