A strange day on the snow………..
The early morning mist soon cleared to give a thoroughly blue sky morning – a thin veil of cloud arrived from Italy around lunchtime. The lifts opened progressively as the pisteurs went through another tonne of explosives. Some runs remained closed so those that were open were busy. Of course this didn’t stop some people dodging barriers and skiing down slopes that were closed for very good reason.
On piste, the snow had been turned to corduroy but it had frozen hard making for interesting manoeuvres early doors – they soon softened in the warmth. As for the off piste, the rain and refreeze has played havoc with the surface – there was a 3 inch crust of skaty unskiable stuff. Higher up it was just wind blown crusty Sastrugi – most people lasted barely a turn before returning to the sanctity of the piste.
The Avalanche Risk 4 lived up to its forecast with both natural and induced avalanches of significant size; the picture above is of the P3 Couloir from the top of Tignes’ Grande Balme; gone from top to bottom!
There was also a lot of evidence of what the locals call “Sillons” or grooves in the snow where the water has run down – demonstrating how ‘humidified’ the snow is and that it should be treated with caution.
Tomorrow will be similar to today – warm with a veil of cloud. The avalanche risk is at level 3 after today’s consolidation – it may be a bit cooler and there will still be a bit of a breeze on high. Much change for Wednesday though as a cold front comes down from the North bringing a marked drop in temperature and light to moderate snow all day, there will be a breeze in the morning which will increase in speed through the afternoon – watch for early lift closures on high. Thursday will be a mix of light snow showers and the odd sunny period before Friday which will be a glorious last day of the week. The weekend looks very unsettled especially from Saturday evening – keep an eye out for future updates, because if the snow forecast for Saturday evening arrives early standby for transfer day chaos.