Today marked the official opening of the Refuge du Col du Palet. As it was another bluebird day, there was only one thing to do- Get out the skins and head off into the backcountry with the promise of lunch at the end!! We rode up to the top of Grattalu and traversed round to the Col du Palet, for the first ski down. Then skins on, and off up to the top of Col de La Grassaz. There were still plenty of fresh tracks to be had, and light snow. Not bad since it is 3 weeks since it last snowed! In some places it was very sugary, which may make it dangerous when the new snow comes. After a run down in sublime conditions it was back to the refuge and the culinary delights served by Nicolas at the Refuge. There were only 7 diners today, 3 Brits, one Frenchman and 3 Danes. A quick skin back to the resort brought us back to reality but we were back home in time for tea and medals.
Now the weather, it has become complicated. The weather elves are disagreeing, so from Tuesday it would now appear that anything could happen! There are distinct differences between the 2 global forecasting models, so no promises. Tomorrow is easy – same as today. The big change comes on Monday when it will be mostly cloudy with clouds on the peaks and a strong wind which may close the higher lifts especially in the afternoon. Wrap up warm, winter has arrived. Tuesday is going to be windy, cloudy and potentially snowy. How much is anyone’s guess as it is coming from the east. Regular readers will know that this makes forecasting depths of snow difficult. Hopefully the forecast will firm up a bit more tomorrow. Wednesday and Thursday will be mainly cloudy with the odd sunny spell and a breeze. Beyond that it is unsettled. I know this is a big change from yesterday’s musings, but that is the chaotic nature of the atmosphere for you!
For some of those traveling by air today it will have been a fractious one with a lot of delays because of the fog and some cancellations out of Heathrow (where the fog was much worse than forecast by their Met officer). However, over here the traffic did not seem to cause too much bother. For those flying tomorrow, fog in the UK could happen almost anywhere south of Newcastle, it will be breezy and damp up north! For landing it will be fine at Geneva, but there is a reasonable likelihood of fog at Grenoble and Lyon. This could cause some problems at Grenoble where the landing system is not as capable as Lyon. There is a thin chance of fog at Chambery in the morning. If it does happen, it is likely you will be delayed on the ground in the UK.