Funny old day in the Alps……..
It started snowing just before daybreak and it has basically snowed all day. The temperature on the balcony has dropped 5 degrees since breakfast. The light was flat this morning and turned into a whiteout this afternoon. The stiff breeze has turned into a howling gale – this closed most of the lifts mid-afternoon. So a challenging day for an off piste instructor – luckily Evolution 2 were more than up to the task. We headed up Tignes’ Chaudanne lift where we soon realised the wind was quite strong, so our first major run was down to the Paravalanche du Glattier (the tunnel about 2km short of Tignes). The light was flat, the snow was moist and there was quite a crust to break through in places – but a quick shot of expert tips and we were down. A quick trip down on the bus into Tignes Les Boisses and we embarked on the major run of the morning – La Cheminée du Gurran accessed from the Marais plateau.
After lunch it was basically a game of beat the closing lifts, so a go on both pomas – Chardonnet and Almes – and then a last run up Toviere where it was strong enough to blow you off your feet. So we decided discretion was better than valour and came home for a cuppa! As the temperatures cooled through the day the snow was much drier; I suspect tomorrow might be quite a good day once the pisteurs have rearranged all this wind blown snow into good order (don’t tell everyone!). The avalanche risk will be 3 but there will be quite a few cornices around……..
The snow will continue until tomorrow morning and the wind will howl all night. Although it will drop a bit tomorrow expect the top lifts to be closed all day. There will be a brief interlude of sunny periods in the middle of the day but snow will return by mid-late afternoon. It will feel cold in the wind with a freezing level down the valley. Friday will see sunny periods in the morning and sun all afternoon – the freezing level will rise above the villages, so a really nice day hopefully. Saturday will see the clouds thicken through the day and the winds will pick up in the afternoon with a freezing level around 1900m. Then all hell breaks loose! Sunday will see snow most of the day and strong winds aloft. It’s a bit too early and unpredictable to say how much – but it could be quite a lot (it’s a lively weather system). Monday is a bit difficult to call but it will be windy and there is a chance of snow and sunny periods. Tuesday looks like a wild one currently with snow down to 1500m and high winds.
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