Funny old day in Tignes and Val D’Isere! The weather was a little late clearing but we set off anyway. The first run was down Lognan but by then freezing rain had started, bad light is bad enough but bad light and goggles with a layer of ice is nigh on impossible. So we stopped for coffee to wait for the weather to sharpen up and follow the forecast. 40 minutes later it did (but left some spooky cloud on Double M as you can see above). After a trip up the Col de Ves chair which was busier than I have ever seen it we decided to do Grande Balme. However, we encountered an act of mass stupidity by a group of 15 ahead of us who traversed across about a metre apart and then had a WI meeting in the middle of the exposed slope – well over a ton of loading. We stopped on some rocks and tried in a number of languages to stop any more people going onto the slope, but heh ho they skied round us. A quick traverse left and down allowed us to escape. The snow was great but the blood pressure higher! There seemed to be a power failure in Val Claret for a few minutes so we eventually got to Tufs via a passenger lift and onto the North Face of Borsat, excellent snow and freshtracks.
As frantic Friday was now in full flow it was time for an early finish………
The weather is a bit unpredictable at the moment but it is going to get quite a bit cooler. The cloud will thicken tonight and it will start snowing in the early hours. It will be light initially but intensify mid morning and it will be snowing to Bourg by then, so snow tyres or chains will be needed. The earlier you leave the better. Sunday morning will see breaks in the cloud and a bit of sun before snow showers in the afternoon. Monday looks like starting cloudy with a few sunny periods later but cold in the easterly breeze. As for Tuesday its a lottery, I’ll see if its worth saying anything tomorrow! However the end of the week does look better.
The good news about the travel is the airports over here should see no problems apart from Geneva where the Motor Show is still going on so delays on the roads will be inevitable. In the UK, unusually, there will be intermittent snow/sleet showers all over the country on a strong and therefore bumpy easterly wind. Bing Bong: Fasten those safety belts. So it is difficult to tell where the delays will be as the odd degree temperature rise could turn it to rain or go the other way necessitating runway clearance and aircraft de-icing. Again it depends how lucky you are feeling! On the roads we are expecting 31000 vehicles arriving and 27000 leaving so queues are inevitable without the weather. It could be a long day for those arriving later.
In other news both Tignes and Val D’Isere have crossed the million skier day threshold this week. That’s about 5.4% down on the same time last year, mainly due to the shocking weather earlier in the year.