Well it was a mixed bag in Tignes and Val D’Isere today. There was a cold wind at altitude and variable amounts of cloud coming from Italy on the south-easterly breeze. Essentially Gary Soto summed it up:
Love is like the weather;
Sometimes partly cloudy.
I suspect there was more cloud over to the east of the resorts in Le Fornet, certainly the valley to the south of Mont Blanc was full of cloud, the picture was taken from the top of the Etroits Chair.
We went high initially where the fohn winds had redistributed the snow but had left it very packed and difficult to ski below Piste Cairn. Lower down there were some gullies with freshtracks but not many. But off piste the snow is holding up well as it has been so cold, so you are not making pretty pictures but there’s still lots of fun to be had. On piste today was also very good, some areas (notably Triffolet) are quite hard thanks to wind scouring.
To give you an idea of the monumental task that the pisteurs and council staff have had to make the resorts accessible and safe Val D’Isere have published a few figures to demonstrate the scale of the work over the last 2 months. The pisteurs in Val have already used 600kg more explosives than the whole of last season. In December of 2107 they had to use 10 times the number of charges than in December 16, for January it was 7 times more. In terms of overtime to clear the roads and footpaths they paid for an extra 200 hours in Dec 16, 2000 in Dec 17 and for January 17 and 18 it was 800 and 3000 hours respectively. To date the commune has used 42000 litres of fuel on the task, to the same date last year it was 1800o litres. Quite a job!
And to the weather, there will still be variances but the forecasting systems are more in harmony today. Tomorrow will be as cold as today, but the breeze will be less. I think we will wake to cloudy skies but sunny periods will develop through the day, as we all head off to the bars the clouds will again dominate. Thursday again looks cold but the sun will shine, but there will be variable amounts of fluffy clouds hanging round the peaks. Friday looks like it is going to be sunny, with a few clouds bubbling up in the afternoon. It should be a couple of degrees warmer too. Confidence in the forecast for Saturday is not good but I think it’s safe to say the roads will be hell!