After some fabulous celebrations last night in Tignes and Val D’Isere, it was a relatively early night for me given it was New Year’s Eve. As I climbed onto the Palafour at 9 o’clock I was thinking of Delia Smith “Where are you?”. The place was just about deserted, there was 10 cm of fresh on the piste and not long afterwards the sun made an appearance so a good morning on piste and just by the side; although off piste was variable in the extreme. The light was quite variable through the morning and the pistes did bump up, so we did seem to spend quite a lot of time picking up the little ‘uns. The wind did pick up quickly around 11, closing some of the higher lifts, which was probably just as well. We were on the Aiguille Percée chair around that time, glad I wasn’t feeling – err – queasy. After a restorative Jam Bar lunch it was pretty much the same in the afternoon. It started snowing quite hard at 1600 hrs and is now snowing moderately.
The moderate snow will continue till around midnight when it will become light, but the wind will remain. About 10-15cm would be my guess by mid morning when the sun may make an appearance. It will still be windy so it will be the usual story of blasting and delayed lift openings. The snow and the wind will return with a vengeance after afternoon tea and continue all night. Tomorrows snowline will be low enough to ensure we all get a decent top up. However on Wednesday it will warm up and the moderate to heavy snow will turn to slush and rain at lower levels. The snowline will rise from 1500m at breakfast time to 1900m by the afternoon but sinking quite quickly to 1300m after dark. The issue will be the wind – at the moment it will a howling gale. The wind will abate on Thursday from a gale to a very windy day and again it will be a day of snow and rain. The snowline will rise from 1500m up to 2000m. As ever the snow forecast apps are getting very excitable, up high we are expecting a lot of snow, down low we will probably come out even or better, but these things are notoriously difficult to predict, especially when the snow is hurled at the hillside at 60 miles per hour.
Happy New Year – its going to be a roller coaster for the first week.