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The view from............ Val d'Isere and the Espace Killy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A mate's out in Tignes. Apparently some of the free baby lifts are running. Nothing else.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
WOW, some great photos. The one from the top of Tignes with snow 5ft high is amazing!!! Really skint at the minute, but im off work from the 23rd December - 3rd January. So so gutted i cant afford to get out anywhere with conditions looking like this. I really hope i can afford to get away in January/Febuary somewhere!!! Sad
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Blimey - what a day. Today reminded me of a scene from a war film when everyone is being evacuated from somewhere - today it was the students clambering aboard their buses home... the buses were stacked up on the main road queuing to get anywhere near the main bus station for their designated collection point.

After much discussion I did not end up going to the airport... taxi sorted instead to bourg. The plan had been for them to get the train and change in Paris to get back to London tomorrow as planned (there were big delays at Geneva apparently - not sure on that)... however there were train / weather problems (of course there were) from Bourg.... so public bus got the clients back to Geneva and they managed to get put on a late flight tonight.

Anyway amongst other fun things today (and it has been one hell of a day) I managed to get the following photo.... prizes for guessing exactly what it is buried here.



As the day went on the winds picked up more and more. 100mph winds are being recorded on the mountain tops and gusts topping that as I speak. A neighbours satellite dish has been blown off the side of her flat. The winds here in town.... well Frozen Planet may as well come here and pretend this is the North Pole I tell you.

These winds are pushing so much snow around the pisteurs are having major problems in protecting the village. There was about half a dozen blasts about an hour or two ago within a few minutes of each other - my whole apartment and the building I live in shuddered a little... I would be lying if I said I was not &^*% scarred... but it turns out they were blasting Le Face and they will continue to do so every couple of hours - potentially through the night.

Fornet has been blocked off until Sunday the radio is reporting so that will be nearly 48 hours cut off from the main part of town. The road to Tignes was closed for a few hours (open again now but not sure if it will stay that way) and they were doing some clearance so the road into Val was closed momentarily too.

The mairee are going to decide at 10pm local time whether to shut the road down to Bourg overnight or not. Being a black flag day everyone including myself pretty much locked the door and have been glued to the TV / Radio.

The forecast is for the winds to ease off over night and the snow to scale back a little but tomorrow will be much of the same... SUNDAY could be very different and its possible that that round thing in the sky that gives us life may make an appearance.

For those of you on the road out here shortly or en-route at the moment then id consider staying the night in Bourg St Maurice or further afield. The main reason I say that is because the temperatures have dropped immensely - about minus 10 and lowering all the time.... with this snow and wind it is only going to make matters worse... if you get half way up the hill and they close the road then getting back down again will be real tough. The security personnel are increasingly finding it harder and harder to predict where the snow is ending up as it gets moved from one loaded slope to another....... so for those reasons take your time getting here..... ill put money on the fact that nothing opens until mid / late mornings tomorrow so you are not missing much! JUST AN OPINION BEFORE ANYONE SHOUTS AT ME!
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Steve Angus, I guessing a Defender 110. Sounds dangerous out there, be safe everyone.
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Thats a Ford Transit van, isn't it?
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DAMN IT Ricklovesthepowder - I had a bet with myself that it would take at least 20 guesses for anyone got it... anything to pass the time here now the satellite signal on the tv has been knocked out.

I spy something begining with 's'................. sod that there is only one thing I can see.... SNOW.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Steve Angus, surely i win a holiday or something?
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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!
if you can get yourself out here this evening we have an empty chalet for the night and at this rate our new guests arriving tomorrow will be delayed so that is your prize.... you have just got to get yourself here. Haa haa.
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Steve Angus, when do you expect them to arrive? hmmmm, i have a helicopter pilot who owws me a favour Very Happy
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HELICOPTER - I have GOT to see this... a mighty impressive pilot / no i'll re-phrase that an insane pilot more like to fly in these conditions - will make great real life disaster movie action though - sod getting the sky tv reconnected ill just wait for James Bond to fly in in these conditions - haa haa
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Steve Angus, Whats the problem?

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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.
I'm coming out on New Years Eve with the Family. Can't wait. After last years snow, it's just amazing how conditions have changed. Hope all are safe 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
Markoncarp wrote:
I'm coming out on New Years Eve with the Family. Can't wait. After last years snow, it's just amazing how conditions have changed. Hope all are safe though.


Me too Mark with a friend. Compared to last year, this is going to be epic - however, compared to two weeks ago at the PSB..... immense!!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.

An especially poor photo - but that is the whole point it is blowing and swirling so much snow out there that this is what I could see when I opened the front door... and I tell you I was not keeping it open much longer.

In the foreground is about a 6 foot deep snowdrift.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Scampi Dellahanti, that's cruel Twisted Evil
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red 27 wrote:
Scampi Dellahanti, that's cruel Twisted Evil


OK, I grant you, it was a little naughty but I am so totally amazed at the difference just two weeks makes! To be fair, in the space of a month I will have the great fortune to experience the most mediocre and most amazing conditions that the Tarantaise has to throw at us. I had a great time at the PSB and I am now totally looking forward to the first runs of 2012 Smile
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Scampi Dellahanti, Nature never ceases to amaze with her whims
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
They have just made the decision regarding the road to Bourg St Maurice overnight.

They are NOT going to close the road tonight - they have decided to keep it open but with the PIDA in full force - this means lots of extra work for the pisteurs and security personnel like Gendarmes and Police Municipale to ensure the safety enroute... it continues to blow a real blizzard out there so good luck to those boys and girls working round the clock to keep everything safe.... THANK YOU.
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Epic
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Good morning. Still in one piece.

Immense wind and snow overnight... not sure how much fell but of course what fell will have whipped around in piles and scoured other areas.

Update:
a) Laisenant / Fornet / Chatelard parts of town still cut off to all traffic and pedestrians
b) avalanche risk still 5/5 so there is unlikely to be anything going on ski (or other activity wise). Maybe later in the morning perhaps.
c) road to Bourg St Maurice is still open but 4x4 with chains / snow tyres still highly preferable.
d) temperature plummeted overnight so ice now problem on the roads as well as snow.
e) still cannot get to my car as the road is cut off
f) as you saw in the my photo above it can be hard to tell what is snow and what is car / pile of rubbish or whatever so everyone is being urged to dig their cars out so the snowclearers don't take a nice wedge out the side of them!

Town security panel are discussing what level of the PIDA they are gonna set today momentarily.

Ill keep everyone updated as the day goes on.

Forecast is for lessening winds and lighter snow continuously for next 36 hours or so.
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Well im knackered. Not only did I have to dig out path out then I had to did the front door to our chalet out... now that may not sound too much of a big deal until I tell you that the front door is actually semi-enclosed INDOORS. The storm had been so fierce that it had pushed snow through the corridors in the apartment block etc.... the main coded door at the front would not open... and then would not close as so much snow had been forced against the hinges........... ANYWAY all sorted now.

They have just managed to get one of the beginner lifts at the very bottom of the mountain open but that is it. The pisteurs have been blasting as if it were World War 3 out there and you can hear natural slides rumbling around town all the time... the PIDA has been called to focus on protecting the actual village before any consideration to opening any slopes is concerned. As far as I am aware Fornet etc is all still cut off and all the restrictions that have been in place the last 24 hours still remain in place

Our guests that left about lunchtime yesterday finally got back to UK soil in the very early hours of this am and the road is open so our new guests arrive in half an hour... its all go.

I am working on last weeks video from teaching at the moment and will post that in due course. Back to teaching full time tomorrow after lockdown for what has seemed like ages BUT as you can see from the weather forecast at the bottom more snow is forecast this week - oh boy!


Those icicles are about 12 foot long and that car in the foreground - the guy has spent about an hour digging it already and it looks like he has hardly started!


Now that is what you call a snow clearer.... OK it has been piled up at the side of the road (right of photo) but that cab hardly gets over the top of it!


I have already dug the path out to the front door about 10 times this season but it is like a torrent - it keeps on coming at ya... it took a further 20 mins to get the narrow path (it is like trenches from the first world war) useable.


And just when you think it is over - another foot or so is forecast in a few days time.

The UK are always taking bets FOR a white Christmas - would anyone like to takes bet AGAINST a white Christmas out here - don't suppose you would get very good odds!
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Those temperatures on the 22nd have DISASTER written all over them. Masses of unstable, wind-blown snow becoming damp and heavy!
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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!
Steve Angus, Fantastic to hav such on-the-spot reporting. Many thanks for taking the time and trouble on what must be a pretty stressful changeover day.
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+1, really great reports, I think you guests are in good hands!
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Steve Angus, I feel for you - I have given up digging for the moment, with much less to do.

Those temperatures this week, with the windchill, look exceptionally unpleasant, but I guess you won't have to go so high to find good snow!
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"people are being encouraged to dig out their cars" etc. etc. Where do you get your information from, Steve? Chinese whispers? Val radio?
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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.
Steve Angus, PIDA is an acronym for ?
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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
Ibex wrote:
Steve Angus, PIDA is an acronym for ?


PIDA (Plan d'Intervention pour le D├ęclenchement des Avalanches)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks everyone.... guests arrived safely - they can hardly contain their excitement... it only they had spent the last few days here ehhh!

Anyway I agree Frosty the Snowman the temperature coupled with the wind and snow has DANGER written all over it for sure... fingers crossed everyone plays it safe.

I get a large amount of my info from Radio Val (Which you can hear on the internet too), as well as friends, pisteur contacts - you name it really - the same way people get the goss in villages anywhere I suppose.


James the Last wrote:
"people are being encouraged to dig out their cars" etc. etc. Where do you get your information from, Steve? Chinese whispers? Val radio?


... they were worried that piles of snow to be cleared would get confused with cars buried and the damage.... well I don't need to explain.

All resorts have a PIDA - if you wanna read more about it then this is a good source:

http://pistehors.com/backcountry/wiki/Avalanches/Ski-Resort-Security


...ohh and yes you will not have to go far at all pam w to find good snow.... the whole Espace Killy is in top form.
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thefatcontroller, Ta Very Happy
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Quote:

... they were worried that piles of snow to be cleared would get confused with cars buried and the damage.... well I don't need to explain.
I have seen a car that was mistaken as such. Ironically it was in Le Lavchet, a very well battered BMW.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

yes you will not have to go far at all pam w to find good snow....

Indeed not - there's over a metre (more in drifts) 8 foot from where I'm sitting and typing this.....and 1.9m at the top of my local chairlift. wink
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Getting to Val D'Iere on Monday night. Been there before in this kind of circumtance. Patience and caution are two real virtues. Should be open tomorrow. Have a great day - you will not need to go off piste. Webcams suggest some pistes open already. Can produce a daily report if you wish
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
Those temperatures on the 22nd have DISASTER written all over them. Masses of unstable, wind-blown snow becoming damp and heavy!


Mounta1nGoat and I are in Tignes from the 24th so I'm keeping an eye on the Tignes and Val d'Isere reports. I'm confused though: on the night of the 22nd it shows the freeze line to be at 3350m even thought the temperature at 1800m is -9, how does that work? Confused
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Don't believe any forecast more than 3-4 days from today.

2-3 days is as far as you can rely on and even that will only right some of the time.
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I surprised White Dot owners are not walking up Face to enable.
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bobojim wrote:
Steve Angus, I guessing a Defender 110.


Nah! If it was a Defender it'd be driving around having fun towing BMW's.
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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!
It has certainly got cold out there... most of the town is getting back to normal and I think they will reopen the road to Fornet later on... there was a 100m wide avalanche that had closed the road off and the snow was over 3 metres deep across the road - no wonder they were worried about clearing it in case anything else came down!

Some lifts did finally open this afternoon like the Funi and I did see them pisting the Solaise Plan M red run down the front when I was walking around earlier so I think they will open a lot more tomorrow. The avalanche risk has been reduced back down to 4.

The weather cleared up later on and we could all finally see how much snow was clinging on the mountains around town (or not as the case may be in some places). Very light wind and snow now is the go and to be honest I think everyone is happy there is some respite.

Up until this evening (it could still be the case I am not sure) the gendarmes at the bottom of the mountain were forcing everyone to put chains on - no matter whether you had a 4*4 or snow tyres - yes the road is still pretty bad but they are working to clear it.


Love this photo - a real wonderland here at the moment.


What a cool photo courtesy of www.themountainecho.co.uk. I know they do this every year (or try to anyway) but for me a real sign that the season is in full force now.

and finally....
I always try and produce a weekly video - either a summary of the whole week or a fun video from the first days lesson or whatever... for people who stay in the chalet. Just for fun for this thread - thought i'd include it here. Don't expect comments as such about it here - the feedback is intended to be for the people involved at the position they are in with their skiing during the week therefore I expect lots of people will agree / disagree about what I have put in the video - but hey im the one teaching them. Anyway it shows what the weather was like as the week went along and before the really big one hit in the last 48 hours. Happy viewing.

http://youtube.com/v/P2YfWi-mbPc
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Spyderman, BMW No need providing have Continental Winter Contact, but if British owned probably yes
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