Today started fine and cold – the mercury was well down this morning. As we gained altitude it was just possible to see the first of the clouds off to the North-East. These gradually bore down on us through the morning but the sun was not properly obscured until about 3 o’clock. We had a charge round hard pistes initially including the Palet sector in Tignes, then up to the Grand Motte where the queue for the cable car was the biggest I have seen – it was onto the steps of the Panoramique restaurant. It also appears that they are no longer pisting Leisse, so not such an easy black now. After lunch we cruised round the Bellvarde sector in Val d’Isere, again quite hard pistes out of the sun. Off piste was mostly a crusty selection of teeth-chattering frozen crud.
There was a first today – the first butterfly of the season was flying up the side of the Tichot Chair. It is also quite busy in Val Claret with European Gay Pride Week – the big parade is on Thursday evening. There is also the chance to see how fast you are actually skiing/riding with a laser measured speed trap on a specially prepared bit of the Lognan Racing stade.
We are expecting it to start snowing lightly sometime after dark. There are many and varied forecasts for the amount of snow due over the next 36 hours – some quite promising, some quite disappointing so my guess (and it’s not much more than that) is 10-15cm in Tignes, another 5cm or so in Val d’Isere and maybe 20-35cm in Le Fornet. For those folks in Paradiski, the news is not so good – 5-10cm at best. So the intensity of the snow will vary throughout tomorrow, but it will remain cloudy all day and be quite windy, especially in the afternoon. It will be colder than today and in the wind I suggest a full winter outfit if you plan to go higher than 2200m or so. The wind will blow through the night into early Thursday, and the sky will be partially obscured by cloud as you tuck in to Pain Cholcolat. But the sky will clear to leave a sunny day – out of the breeze it will be a warm day; as will a sunny Friday when there will be less wind.
Saturday and Sunday will be magnificent in the mountains, as high pressure begins to dominate and temperatures rise by day. The downside will be the potential for fog down the valley for those coming to and fro. It’s not the end of the snow though as early next week looks like being an ‘April Showers’ week with sun, snow and bubbly cloud in the mix and a little cooler than the weekend.
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