Well the wind died down a bit overnight and it basically stopped snowing whilst we were asleep – those capricious isobars opened up and the main band of snow missed us. So all in all we did not get much snow overnight but now (1700hrs) it is absolutely honking down with snow. All in all this was quite good as I was off piste with Evolution 2 today, so actually conditions were not too bad this morning. We started with the ‘back’ of Tignes’ Campanules as a warm up before heading up Lanches, where there was a stiff to strong breeze. There was a vague glimpse of the sun which was nice, as we could then see what we were doing down one of the couloirs on the north face of the Petite Balme. There was plenty of mid-weight snow, which was particularly welcome when I ended up upside down. As we got down into Tignes Val Claret the expected bad weather started to arrive. By the time we had hiked up to the classic entrance of the Chardonnet Bowl the light was not great but the snow was better. After lunch the weather deteriorated and we headed towards Tignes Les Brevieres via the Cheminée du Gurran, and then one last run through the trees which seemed to keep jumping in front of me. The little of the pistes that I saw were in good condition, if a little bumpy by the end of the day.
The weather, hmmmmmmm, still highly unpredictable but here’s the best attempt… It will snow through the night, heavily until after dark and then more lightly after midnight. The winds will pick up, but not as much as expected yesterday. The freezing level will drive down the hill faster than a local taxi (!) so tomorrow will definitely be a layer or 2 colder than today. Although the wind will drop through the morning – watch out for frost nipped faces. There may be a glimpse of the sun around lunchtime between light snow showers. BUT the Avalanche Risk is a solid 4 – be careful. Tonight’s heavy snow and wind will mean a lot of work for the pisteurs in the morning (a progressive opening of the lifts is on the cards) and when the sun comes out just think twice or 3 times before diving into that powder field.
Thursday still looks a bit more benign with less wind and sunny periods through the day – it will still be cold though with a chance of a flocon or 2 in the afternoon. Friday looks quite wild with the winds increasing and snow down to 1600m for most of the day. Saturday is still a long way off in weather terms, a bit warmer but a mix of snow and sunny periods. The snow line will rise to the dam mid-morning and then fall in the afternoon. If you are leaving, Friday night would be the best time or as soon after 5am that you can manage. Snow tyres or chains will be the order of the day!
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