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Pyrenees 21/22

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Redmaximo, Be warned the road up on Andorra from France does get closed in extreme weather conditions and if the weather is bad you will stopped if you don't have winter tires or chains. You will know before you get there has they display information on the motorway signs, around Toulouse and on you way to Andorra. They are quick to get the road back open for both the shoppers and skiers. You can check autoroutes.fr which will show the warning sign messages.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Out of the top 10 areas open by quantity of skiing available, four of them are currently in Spain. including the largest area open in Europe today, Formigal which has more open runs this morning than Zermatt/Cervinia.
Well done the Spanish/Catalan/Andorans Cool

https://www.skiresort.info/snow-reports/europe/sorted/open-slopes/
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Thanks for the information everyone. We are heading up next Saturday evening, and have snow socks with us. It looks like the weather shouldnt be too bad, Its obviously hard to predict a week in advance.
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So there is another big dump coming this weekend and more cold after, I'm going to Baqueria next weekend , very interested to know how the conditions are!
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Made it to Spain and I am on the bus to Soldeu. Flight was about 2/3 full, big queue at passport control. But got lucky and was pulled out of it to go through the EU lane as there was space. Then an even bigger queue for customs. I think there must of been a flight coming from afar as it was moving very slowly until they opened up another lane and asked to see boarding pass and were then letting my flight through quickly but making another go through something to declare
Seems like a flight from Turkey and one from Tangier landed around the same time
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Forgot to say covid checks were all based around the https://www.spth.gob.es/ form. After passport control someone was checking you had a form. Then you queued to have it scanned and then ushered to baggage reclaim
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What a great start to the season in the Pyrenees. Great snow coverage already and more on the way.
3 days of excellent skiing, a blue sky powder day, a mix vis day on perfect piste, and then a day in the mist skiing fresh tracks in the trees.
About 60% of the resort open, but looked like more is opening as they prepare the pistes.

No issues getting into Spain from France no one at all at the boarder.
We updated our passes online. No free socks or checks on our Vaccination status.

Masks were required in lift queues and in the main bubble lift up.
Also in all restaurants we went to.

IMG-7317

Let's hope the snow continues for a while to build a good base for an uninterrupted season.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Will there be so much to cause avi concern?
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Yes. I won't be going anywhere too adventurous for a while.
3/5 on all aspects.
Plenty of skiing to be had in-between and around the pistes at the moment.
That might change as it gets busier with the upcoming Spanish holidays.
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First turns of the season for me tomorrow. Can’t wait!
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Enjoy lads, looks great

When are the Spanish holidays? Are the bigger resorts open 7 days a week yet or just weekends? May do a smash and grab solo run next week
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@8611, all the Andorran resorts are open 7 days a week now. Spanish holidays are this week. Public holiday on Wednesday so lots will bridge to a weekend.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Ah feck, how did I manage to align with that!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Well not seen a forecast like this for a while.....

Screenshot-2021-12-05-at-07-47-17
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Wow Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The forecast for the next week is insane.

Conditions yesterday were great everywhere except for the run down to Canillo - this is the lowest part of the Grandvalira and the slope is mostly south/west facing. Very thin and scraped, I winced at every unavoidable rock strike. I’m going to give that a miss until this every metre of snow has fallen this week. snowHead
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I don’t do Canillo in February, I wouldn’t dare in early December!

That forecast is mad. Sadly with 8 December holiday the slopes will probably be mad too…
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Orange200, lesson learnt! I’ll be taking a wander to the shop with my skis hoping that they can do a base repair!
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Oof - some deep drifts built up against GV buildings today I see.
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I see that the france border is closed. Is it possible to drive around to the spanish border, when coming from france ?
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Looked windy in Arinsal today, upper sector lifts were closed. La Capa looks like it's been scoured clean by the wind.

Indian amount of snow coming, hopefully that's a trend that keeps on until I get there at crimbo.
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Well gentlemen, what would my prospects of making it up from Toulouse late on Thursday night or Fri lunchtime be given the heavy snow forecast. Anyone know a car rental with Winter tyres in Toulouse?

Redmaximo wrote:
I see that the france border is closed. Is it possible to drive around to the spanish border, when coming from france ?


How come its closed?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Actually looks like it'll actually be Barcelona, and a little earlier in the evening
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This morning I got to walk uphill (snow) out of the Soldeu gondola which is always nice. There were patches of untouched powder which was good and at one point I must of sunk 70cm into a drift.
It is pretty windswept at the top still and the gondola ride down had to be allowed several times due to gusts. But the snow conditions overall are very good on the slopes that are open.
When I get some WiFi I'll post a video clip of my walk to the gondola this morning which shows how much snow had fallen overnight.
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Seems the kms of pistes went down on the skiresort website, maybe they close a few midweek?

Webcams I saw looked busy enough
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Could of been wind closing lifts and therefore pistes.
Having skied here at Christmas and early December in 2019 the slope conditions are way better than they were then.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@8611, today was one of the busiest days of the year - 2 Spanish bank holidays this week. The traffic was queueing from Canillo all the way to the Spanish border this evening. And yes some runs/lifts were shut looking at the live piste map. It seemed that you couldn’t ski from Soldeu side over to Grau Roig. The link lift was closed - quite probably due to high winds. The queues this morning for the lifts at Pas looked ridiculous on the webcams.

@Redmaximo, yes it is possible to drive round to the Spanish border from France. My sat nav tried sending me that way a few weeks ago when I was leaving Soldeu to get to Barcelona airport. I didn’t go that way though!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Good timing for a ski starved population so!

Will it be quieter later in week? I know you said some would make a week of it but presumably it's the day trippers who put the pressure on? Hoping to go to soldeu, not sure what that means for lift queues - prob not good!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Which border crossing is closed? The one from Puigcerda into France is open anyway.....

The final Spanish holiday of the period is tomorrow, so should be quiet after that...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Blue sky powder day in Andorra yesterday! What a way to start the season!

It dumped with snow on Sunday and early into Monday morning. The French access road was closed all day, and chains required the other way above Canillo, fortunately I packed mine.

The only downside was some strong north-westerly gusts which had blasted exposed faces (and pistes) quite bare. They also took their time to open the higher lifts as they needed more time to bash the pistes. Even so, it wasn’t a great day for piste skiing as the amount of unbashed powder turned even blue runs into mogul fields.

Fortunately it was easy enough to find some shelter from the wind and the usual suspects (either side of the Solanella ridge, El tarter freeride zone) provided limitless thigh/waist high powder runs. Early risers today will get some more as there was plenty of untracked stuff when I left at 4pm, and cold temps will keep it in condition. And more snow is forecast!

I paid for the fun though - with the French border closed, it took 4 hours (yes, four!) to crawl bumper to bumper from Canillo to the Spanish border… Sad

I’ll see if I can post some photos later.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@AlunAlun, my mate lives near the main road through ALV. He sent a video about a minute long of everyone just beeping their horns Eh oh!

@mrvinegar, it’s was the road up to the border at Pas. I think it’s reopened now. The website to keep an eye on is www.mobilitat.ad.
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@8611, it should be quieter on Thursday. The webcams already look much quieter today. Next week will be pretty quiet for a couple of week.
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Anyone in Arinsal at the moment?
Winds looked savage yesterday. Pal definitely looked a better option for some nicer weather
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Looks amazing!

@hammerite, is there often traffic up from / back to Barcelona that I should bear in mind in my travel plans?
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@8611, this is my first winter living here, so I don’t know for sure. Lots of people were saying this week of the winter season is often the worst of the year.

You definitely do need to build in a bit of room for traffic delays if you are travelling at peak times. Unfortunately, Andorra has one road in and one road out, so it becomes a bit of a bottle neck. Especially as everyone has to slow to get through border control (who pretty much just wave everyone through!).

When are you planning to travel?


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 7-12-21 12:48; edited 1 time in total
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8611 wrote:
Looks amazing!

@hammerite, is there often traffic up from / back to Barcelona that I should bear in mind in my travel plans?


There is heavier traffic when you would imagine: Friday night going up, Sunday night (or end of bank holiday) coming back. Other than that it’s usually fine. If the road through France is open (99% of the time it is) that’s the quicker route, you can get to Pas de la Casa in just over two hours. You pay a lot in tolls though (at last 20 euros each way). The toll free route going west first then north takes a solid 3 hours to El Tarter.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Super advice, thanks
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@hammerite,

either Thurs night to Sun night, or Fri night to Mon night. Weather looks better Sunday and Monday but traffic worse fri. Decisions, decisions!
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I would do Friday to Monday. Going up the traffic on a Friday the traffic is usually more manageable. Coming back on a Sunday it’s usually very bad. Coming back on a Monday should be plain sailing.
Edit: the best option would be Saturday 6am start, and come back on Monday.
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