The best way of describing the difference between yesterday and this afternoon in Tignes and Val D’Isere would be to transpose the title of Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s iconic novel: The Beast and Beauty! This afternoon was fabulously sunny (and very warm) after a very slow start after much avalanche blasting. Until late afternoon Tignes Le Lac in particular was not busy, the same cannot be said of the Bellevarde and Val Claret. The snow is moist – we couldn’t get high to see if it was any better and it did bump up – but what a treat. For the off piste it looked awful as well as being very dangerous. I didn’t see anybody I knew off piste but I did see a lot of the ‘no idea and none of the gear’ brigade. Madness – enough said. Overnight we had 10cm in the village and 20cm on high. So in the last few days the piste poles that have not been moved by the fabulous pisteurs have shrunk by a metre!! Also in the picture behind the male model, sorry, ski bud, you can see the ‘sillon’ the grooves in the snow caused by meltwater and rain – a sure sign of a wet heavy and unpredictable snowpack.
The sky will gradually cloud over tonight, leaving a milky sun tomorrow. Temperatures will be similar to today but there will be a wind at altitude so the top lifts will be closed. The cloud will thicken into Sunday which will be windy, cloudy with light snow most of the day, the snowline will be around 1700m so a bit miserable below the Dam. On Monday and Tuesday we are in a retour d’est regime. The winds will be from the East, the snowline will be at 1800m. Some of the apps are getting into a real froth about amounts of snow, Meteo France currently isn’t. It will depend how far the system comes over the hill from Italy. But I could see Le Fornet getting a lot more snow, Val Centre and Tignes getting progressively less – more later.
For the traveller tomorrow we have 26,000 cars going down the hill and 18,000 coming up. As the roads should be clear of snow this means two things: there will be a few traffic jams at the lights at Saix for those on the way down, but nothing horrendous I hope; for those of us remaining – it will be quiet on the pistes! For those going via airports it should be OK over here, if a little damp and dreary in the morning. In the UK it is an improving picture a bit damp in the morning, clearing mid morning, but the only weather issues are a slim chance of fog at Birmingham, Luton and Stansted and the odd sleet shower at Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh.