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Old 03.01.2018, 09:19
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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new snow expected coming days. keep us posted!
Yesterday had great powder skiing above 2000m, it's raining hard today at 2000m today & up to 2400m tomorrow. It's Monday till freezing level goes below 1800m for any length of time.

I suspect the skiing will be poor below 2400m for several weeks as there will be a huge amount of ice in the snow.
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Old 03.01.2018, 19:26
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

Melchsee frutt and Engelberg offpist - perfect conditions up until today - 40cm powder , should be similar tomorrow and after tomorrow .. however avalanche be at 3+ so take airbags with you...
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Old 03.01.2018, 21:38
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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Melchsee frutt and Engelberg offpist - perfect conditions up until today - 40cm powder , should be similar tomorrow and after tomorrow .. however avalanche be at 3+ so take airbags a mountain guide with you...
Fixed that for you. I despair of people who think that safety equipment is a substitute for knowledge, experience, and the caution thereby engendered.

An airbag may help you if you're caught in an avalanche and are able to deploy it in time, but there's still a huge risk of death by trauma if it's big enough to need the airbag.

Back to conditions, was skiing our new home area around Morgins and Châtel yesterday in some superb snow. Nothing's running today due to wind, and it was raining heavily at village level (1350m) all morning, turning to heavy driving snow in the afternoon. This weather has a good chance of building instabilities where wind shifts the snow around, so additional caution may be in order over the next few days, regardless of the quoted avalanche risk.
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Old 03.01.2018, 21:55
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

didn't need any fixing .. this thread is about conditions and statement was to look at avalanche risk .... as snow be pretty perfect most likely - new thread about how to stay safe be better if you fancy .
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  #25  
Old 06.01.2018, 18:18
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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new snow expected coming days. keep us posted!
Skiing above 2400m today in Chamonix was absolutely fantastic, best off piste of the season so far, below 2400m it's total crap on & off piste due to a huge amount of rain in the snow pack.
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Old 07.01.2018, 01:33
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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Skiing above 2400m today in Chamonix was absolutely fantastic, best off piste of the season so far, below 2400m it's total crap on & off piste due to a huge amount of rain in the snow pack.
Quite different over or way. We were skiing the Morgins/Champousin area this afternoon, all of it well below 2400m, and it was actually pretty good. Off-piste was more like spring conditions, with some sun-affected areas quite soft, and some of the shadier pistes were verging on the icy, but all in all not too bad at all.
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Old 09.01.2018, 14:41
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

20cm of snow at 2000 in Chamonix, 5cm at 1000. Snow is very light & powdery with low visibility, good skiing but half a day was enough

Avalanche risk is HIGH in the Chamonix Area 4/5 at 8.00am this morning an avalanche hit 40 chalets in Les Houches, only minor property damage.

Avalanche risk in Tignes is EXTREME 5/5 with almost all the lifts closed for a second day in a row.

Stay safe & enjoy the wonderful conditions that await us.
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Old 09.01.2018, 14:54
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

13 000 tourists currently trapped in Zermatt.
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  #29  
Old 12.01.2018, 16:48
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

Fabulous skiing both on & off piste, everywhere is deserted. Avalanche risk 3/5.

I skied the lightest fluffiest powder that I have experienced in the last 3 seasons on the Valley Blanche this morning. The ropes are not yet in at the top so mountaineering skills required at the start of the run. As always only ski with a UIAGM mountain guide on glaciated terrain.
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  #30  
Old 18.01.2018, 18:27
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

Hi,
the weather forecast is very snowy I know, but I have still some hopes. My friends are coming for a weekend, our original plan was 2 to 3 days of ski touring somewhere around Adermatt, but maybe we can find at least some ski slopes to taste some snow.
So any ideas where is the best to look this weekend for some skiing (off or on piste)? Starting point is Luzern.
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Old 18.01.2018, 19:33
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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Fabulous skiing both on & off piste, everywhere is deserted. Avalanche risk 3/5.

I skied the lightest fluffiest powder that I have experienced in the last 3 seasons on the Valley Blanche this morning. The ropes are not yet in at the top so mountaineering skills required at the start of the run. As always only ski with a UIAGM mountain guide on glaciated terrain.
That must have been fantastic, I bet there was almost no-one there. My worst memory of La vallée blanche is getting onto the slope - staggering down that icy ridge with only a rope to hang on to. Did not look over my shoulder to see Chamonix far below.
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  #32  
Old 18.01.2018, 19:51
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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That must have been fantastic, I bet there was almost no-one there. My worst memory of La vallée blanche is getting onto the slope - staggering down that icy ridge with only a rope to hang on to. Did not look over my shoulder to see Chamonix far below.
The rope is not in place yet, so it's somewhat of a nightmare if your not a climber. Guides were not bringing holiday makers down so it was totally deserted.

Huge snow falls & high winds, many higher lifts are closed, the weekend will be 'interesting' at best. I did not bother to go out today....
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  #33  
Old 18.01.2018, 23:59
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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Huge snow falls & high winds, many higher lifts are closed, the weekend will be 'interesting' at best. I did not bother to go out today....
I've been up in Alsace all this week - only come down tonight 'cos I've got an electrician coming tomorrow. Didn't really much fancy skiing here at the weekend even if it opens, with loads more snow and more generally inclement weather on its way.

But I've just volunteered to fill a last minute vacancy leading a Freshtracks trip to la Grave starting Saturday, six days with mountain guides, backmarking. With all this fresh snow. It's a tough life, eh?

Oh, seems that there's still places available if anyone fancies it
https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-h...rave-adventure
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Old 19.01.2018, 16:13
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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Fabulous skiing both on & off piste, everywhere is deserted. Avalanche risk 3/5.

I skied the lightest fluffiest powder that I have experienced in the last 3 seasons on the Valley Blanche this morning. The ropes are not yet in at the top so mountaineering skills required at the start of the run. As always only ski with a UIAGM mountain guide on glaciated terrain.
Not very smart move, around that day +-1 at least one guy fell into crevasse, 30m fall, everybody (guides, rescuers & guy himself) were not surprised it happened and were very surprised that he actually survived the fall.

Reason is stupid simple - nobody should be doing Vallee blanche now, worst possible setup and everybody knows this. By worst possible I mean plenty of weak snow bridges so all looks OK.

You can get fantastic skiing (also on glacier) ie in Grand montets for 5% of the risk, 1/2 the price and can have a blast whole day. Vallee blanche really makes sense & shines in early spring conditions, that's why they put the rope there only during that time.

The guide can't do much for you (apart from calling rescue which they prefer to dragging you out themselves) unless you are both roped during whole ski run all the way to flat parts, which ruins the experience completely and ain't actually 100% safe (if second falls, first might be dragged in too). I understand that they know the place and crevasses location and go by memory, but ice moves constantly and you can't avoid crossing some of them.

Be safe and patient, we have fantastic winter all over the place, especially compared to last one
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  #35  
Old 22.01.2018, 10:34
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

Loads of snow has fallen & 1-2meters more expected.

Yesterday I did some great powder skiing through the trees at low level, Avalanche risk has gone up to 5/5 today & most lifts are closed many of which have been shut for 3 days now.

It's going to get very warm so the extreme risk will continue for several days.
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Old 22.01.2018, 12:33
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

It's rained heavily up to 2000m so the only accessible skiing is trashed.

Many roads & walking paths are closed due to Avalanche risk, do not walk or try to drive down them it's way too dangerous
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Old 22.01.2018, 13:09
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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Loads of snow has fallen & 1-2meters more expected.... Avalanche risk has gone up to 5/5 today & most lifts are closed many of which have been shut for 3 days now.
I'm in Zermatt and it is more or less the same here. There are worse places to be trapped .
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Old 23.01.2018, 19:40
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

Huge quantities of snow & Avalanche risk down to 4/5, the lifts have started to re-open.
Unfortunately there was a huge quantity of rain below 2200m so lower pistes are very hard & lower off piste has a rain crust.
Hopefully it will be possible to get higher tomorrow
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  #39  
Old 24.01.2018, 16:47
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

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Not very smart move, around that day +-1 at least one guy fell into crevasse, 30m fall, everybody (guides, rescuers & guy himself) were not surprised it happened and were very surprised that he actually survived the fall.

Reason is stupid simple - nobody should be doing Vallee blanche now, worst possible setup and everybody knows this. By worst possible I mean plenty of weak snow bridges so all looks OK.

You can get fantastic skiing (also on glacier) ie in Grand montets for 5% of the risk, 1/2 the price and can have a blast whole day. Vallee blanche really makes sense & shines in early spring conditions, that's why they put the rope there only during that time.

The guide can't do much for you (apart from calling rescue which they prefer to dragging you out themselves) unless you are both roped during whole ski run all the way to flat parts, which ruins the experience completely and ain't actually 100% safe (if second falls, first might be dragged in too). I understand that they know the place and crevasses location and go by memory, but ice moves constantly and you can't avoid crossing some of them.

Be safe and patient, we have fantastic winter all over the place, especially compared to last one
Sorry I just saw your post & will respond.

The rope is put in by the guides so that they can make money taking holiday makers down the run, amusingly the guide will take all day when you can easily do it 3 to 4 tomes in a day if your fit. Early season it's more ski mountaineers & extreme skiers who ski the ridge so don't miss the rope.

Your clearly unaware that the Top lift at the Grand Montets got damaged in huricane Eleanor & will not be open till mid February. I have been up to the Top this year however the snow on the VB was way better.

The cost is identical, both included on my annual lift pass. Both being high mountain glaciated terrain. I have participated in glacier rescue in both places it's a daily occurrence & nobody is ever particularly surprised. There are on average 100 deaths each year in Mont Blanc massif mountain range, the highest fatality rate of any mountain in Europe.
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Old 30.01.2018, 21:06
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Re: How good is the skiing right now!?

Snow is absolutely fantastic above 2100m, a couple of Brits died over the weekend heading onto a south facing couloir, due to the high rain level they had more Ice than anything else & both fell to their deaths independently falling from about 1700m. Very sad & happens far too often in the Chamonix Valley.

There have been no responses to this thread for a week, so unless anyone responds I will stop updating.
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