What a (cold) day! It was well below minus 10 degrees on the balcony this morning and it was still minus 15 at the top of Tignes’ Grande Motte at 2 o’clock. So the first task was to find the winter mitts and an extra layer or 2. It was bluebird through the morning but after lunch we could see the clouds massing down towards the 3 Vallees – the sky is now obscured by a milky layer. After a couple of warm up runs on Grattalu, it was off piste in the Palet and Col De Ves all morning. Great snow! In some places it was soft, some a bit windblown, but there were still fresh tracks to be had. It was like a great off piste day in January. The breeze also built up during the afternoon. After lunch we headed up to the Grande Motte where the fresh snow was more windblown and, therefore, harder work! The pistes that we crossed are all in excellent condition.
I have been looking at historical snow records (courtesy of the Ski Club of Great Britain) as the second/third week in March sees the highest snow depths at village level, though on average it can still accumulate higher into April. We are now showing 171cm in Tignes Le Lac (and 310cm on top) – you have to go back to the 1994/5 season to see depths as high as that. Because of the recent bad weather and the raging hordes of holiday makers I have not been up the Grande Motte much. You can physically see the difference these large amounts of snow have had. Descente has filled in with snow and is much less steep – in early February it was a steep ice field. Also the approach to the Leisses chair is now wide and easy, unlike earlier in the year. Its also nice to have no steps to negotiate at the top station of the Toviere Cable Car in Tignes.
And the weather… We will have light snow through the night – this should stop by breakfast time leaving a cloudy and cold day. The marginal increase in temperature will be offset by the stiff breeze at height and the lack of sun – wrap up warm. There will be more light snow in the afternoon. Wednesday should be a bit calmer with a milky sky in the morning and light snow in the afternoon. Thursday will be nicer with sunny periods and a couple of degrees warmer again. Friday looks cloudy and again a stiff breeze blowing on top and then spring arrives with sun all day Saturday.
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