It Keeps Snowing
The skiing here at the moment is simply magical, over a metre of the white fluffy stuff has fallen in the last week and it keeps falling. We have been out in Les Gets everyday this week and the conditions are fantastic both on and off piste.
Although the snow is in great condition there have been some issues locally and I’m told more generally in the Alps (I have not validated these reports). On Saturday morning it seemed everybody had forgotten that there was a ski resort to open, very few of the lifts were running and those that were open were slow and stopping frequently. We have been told that the reason for this was the tropical rain (amount not temperature) followed by freezing temperatures on Friday (16.12.11) freezing the exposed ski lift machinery, and that some other resorts, like Avoriaz were completely closed. As I said I have not validated these reports but judging by the amount of skiers on the few open lifts and pistes here last weekend there does seem to be at least a ring of truth about them.
As the saying goes “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any bloody good,” we skied off piste in the bowl at Les Gets on Sunday morning with almost no one else because all of the lifts back out of the bowl were closed and you had to know the way back to the village without lifts. As with all these things I have to add the warnings; if you don’t know where you are going don’t go or get a guide, and don’t go away from the pistes alone. The lack visibility and definition has led to a couple of spectacular face plants, one when I missed a gully off the side of a gentle blue right in front of an ESF instructor and his group of near beginners, a round of applause and call of “belle chute” greeted me as I removed my face from the snow and started to retrieve my skis.
The weekend of a lot of skiers on a few open pistes did cause parts of those pistes to be “skied off” but the fresh snow later in the week has pretty much sorted that out. There has also been some snow making and stockpiling, it seems odd to ski through the mist of a snow making machine while its actually snowing. I’m assuming that this additional snow making is for use during the holiday fortnight with a lot of skiers on the pistes and the temperatures forecast to rise. This seems likely but a ski resort forward planning, could it happen?
Going out now to enjoy the quietness before the crowds get here.