Having just had 10cm of new snow a couple of days ago, a new front came whizzing in over Tuesday night and dropped another 10-15 cm above Ruinettes. The temperatures have risen and fallen dramatically over the last week but over Wednesday it was quite mild. In resort the 5cm that did fall did not lie on the roads and started to settle and melt quite quickly. Up the mountain the new snow is very welcome as it disguises the many brown areas that have been showing through the snow over the past week.
The runs below Ruinettes are really starting to go brown but it is still possible to ski down to resort although the Bruson sector, Le Rouge, Les Esserts and Moulins beginner slopes and the Planard to Carrefour track are all now closed. This new snow will not open them but higher up the mountain the snow, although a little heavy, has certainly reversed some of the spring like conditions.
On Sunday I went up to Mont Gele and found that the new snow had not yet bonded with the icy layer below and skiing powder covered ice bumps was not much fun but there was some great powder to be found, especially at the back of Mont Fort, Stairway to Heaven and Catwalk. The risk of avalanche has stayed at 2 out of 5 due to the low rate of snowfall, low winds and generally mild temperatures.
The weather has been quite mixed over the last couple of days and it has brought in rapid temperature changes, poor visibility and some strong, cold winds at times. These conditions have generally kept the piste and off piste conditions quite slushy but somewhere along the way they froze solid and have yet to soften up. Best conditions are to be found in the morning when the pistes are freshly groomed but afternoons appear to offer better visibility.
This weekend there is a lot going on. The Snowstar Tour Finales come to town. The snowstar races are a combination of slalom/giant slalom, ski cross and freestyle elements and will be held by the Carlsberg chalet on Saturday. Depending on the weather the Combat des Reines will take place in Le Châble over the weekend. This is the first leg on the route to the National Cow Fighting competition. Yes, I said cow fighting but do not fear! There are no knife wielding karate kicking cows here! Instead the competition is basically a pushing contest with the occasional bout of head butting to decide the top cow. Also the XSpeed ski competition will be starting this weekend up on the glacier. This competition sees some very impressively fast and steep straight line skiing by some of the fastest humans on earth and is a must to go and watch. If you have a set of long skis and a helmet you can go and give it a go this weekend before the main competition starts on Monday. It runs all the way through until the 21st April.
The weather over the next few days looks very cloudy with more snow on the way. Temperatures will remain mild although the humidity will mean it is chilly at times. The freezing level is set to stay around 2000m and winds should stay light. It looks as if we are getting a healthy dose of spring showers. Let’s hope the sun returns soon so we can enjoy the new snow.
Avalanche Risk: Level 2