The thin veil of cloud ebbed and flowed this morning, but thickened through the afternoon as the wind picked up. The pistes are in great condition; as it was about +4 degrees at 2100m this morning they were not rock hard like yesterday. We explored a lot of the area and some of the high off piste had a chalky surface where it had been chopped up nicely (eg under the Vanoise Chair). Elsewhere there was still a slick crust which did start to give in some places, but we really needed the clouds to depart to really get spring snow going. There were one or two nice turns but the vast areas of untracked shiny snow told the story!
And now to the forecast… I was chatting to a Pisteur yesterday and this season has caused all sorts of headaches for the avalanche risk forecasters in Bourg, as they cannot recall such wild swings in temperatures for many years. As their job really does involve massive amounts of experience they have little to compare it to.
By tomorrow morning the sky will be dark and it should start snowing down to 1300m by breakfast time. there will already be a stiff breeze so it will be at least a layer colder in the morning. The temperatures will drop through the day (the freezing level is at 2500m now; by this time tomorrow it will be at 600m) and the wind speed will pick up dramatically, so by close of play it will be 2 or even 3 layers colder than today! We are expecting somewhere between 10 and 15cm of snow. I expect the high lifts to close during the day, indeed they may not even open them in the first place.
Thursday will be a mixed bag – still cold with sunny periods in the morning and light snow showers in the afternoon. Friday on the other hand will be great – the freezing level shoots up to 2500m and the sun will be out all day. Saturday will see sunny periods and the cloud thickening through the day ahead of snow showers late into the evening, so hopefully avoiding too much travel chaos; there will still be traffic jams though. Sunday will be stormy, with showers of snow down into the valley and strong winds. After that, unsettled.
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