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Alps & Pyrenees Snow Thread 2015/16


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1 hour ago, trevw said:

Heading to La Plagne for the 2nd week of march, slightly worried about the level of warmth at the moment..  Looks like some decent snow currently forecast on Netweather for La Plagne on Sunday? Not sure how reliable that is this far out? (Haven't looked at the charts yet)

Hi Trevw,

Trying to predict the weather for 2nd March would be pure guess work at this time but it does look like a cool down for the La Plange this week:

http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/La-Plagne/6day/mid

La Plange is part of the massive Paradiski resort with plenty of pistes at higher elevation. If you can, get up to Col De La Chal (Stunning) over at les Arcs and take the blue run down to Les Arcs 1950 and continue down to 1600 - the run seems to go on for ever!

Hopefully Europe continues the trend for colder conditions.

 

 

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On 01/02/2016 at 2:33 PM, trevw said:

Heading to La Plagne for the 2nd week of march, slightly worried about the level of warmth at the moment..  Looks like some decent snow currently forecast on Netweather for La Plagne on Sunday? Not sure how reliable that is this far out? (Haven't looked at the charts yet)

Hi trevw. As Norrona2015 says, it's way too far out to make a call on conditions in the 2nd week of March. But if I was to give a view, it's that La Plagne, being a fairly high altitude resort, will be absolutely fine and personally I wouldn't be concerned. In the nearer term, the current model output for the next 10 days suggests several snow events for La Plagne. The first event is this Weds/Thurs as cold air (-5C 850 hPa isotherm) digs south over the Alps with forecasts suggesting around 30cm of snow.

To illustrate, here's today's GFS 850 hPa chart for midday Weds and the NMM snowfall accumulation up to Weds evening:

56b0dacb78f05_GFS06z850on02FebforWed03Fe56b0dadac6d4d_NMMsnowfallaccumtoWed03Feb

2 hours ago, Norrance said:

My daughter is heading out to Pila in the Aosta valley on Saturday and has asked me whether she needs sunscreen, thermals or both. Looking at the forecast it could be both. Any thoughts?

Looking at today's GFS 06z output I'm inclined to suggest thermals might be the order of the day. At the mo it's looking a fairly unsettled week for your daughter's holiday, with outbreaks of snow setting in Saturday evening and continuing on and off through to Weds. On Weds a much heavier fall is possible. Could be breezy at times too. A face mask and good pair of goggles for flat light might well turn out to be more important than suncream!

As we know, models can chop and change at the range we are talking about - so keep checking. But at least Pila is at a very reasonable altitude, with the town at 1,800m and the highest station at 2,750m, so hopefully for much of the time most of Pila's pistes will stay the right side of the 0C isotherm.

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6 hours ago, Blessed Weather said:

Hi trevw. As Norrona2015 says, it's way too far out to make a call on conditions in the 2nd week of March. But if I was to give a view, it's that La Plagne, being a fairly high altitude resort, will be absolutely fine and personally I wouldn't be concerned. In the nearer term, the current model output for the next 10 days suggests several snow events for La Plagne. The first event is this Weds/Thurs as cold air (-5C 850 hPa isotherm) digs south over the Alps with forecasts suggesting around 30cm of snow.

To illustrate, here's today's GFS 850 hPa chart for midday Weds and the NMM snowfall accumulation up to Weds evening:

56b0dacb78f05_GFS06z850on02FebforWed03Fe56b0dadac6d4d_NMMsnowfallaccumtoWed03Feb

Looking at today's GFS 06z output I'm inclined to suggest thermals might be the order of the day. At the mo it's looking a fairly unsettled week for your daughter's holiday, with outbreaks of snow setting in Saturday evening and continuing on and off through to Weds. On Weds a much heavier fall is possible. Could be breezy at times too. A face mask and good pair of goggles for flat light might well turn out to be more important than suncream!

As we know, models can chop and change at the range we are talking about - so keep checking. But at least Pila is at a very reasonable altitude, with the town at 1,800m and the highest station at 2,750m, so hopefully for much of the time most of Pila's pistes will stay the right side of the 0C isotherm.

Indeed things looking much more promising for the Alps in the coming week.

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The live webcams from Les Arcs have been diverting my attention from work all morning; love watching the skiers come down the slopes and then curve straight back onto the ski lift. One day maybe, as long as there is a very patient ski instructor on a very unpopulated slope...

http://en.lesarcs.com/livecam-vagere.html

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4 minutes ago, Reefseeker said:

The live webcams from Les Arcs have been diverting my attention from work all morning; love watching the skiers come down the slopes and then curve straight back onto the ski lift. One day maybe, as long as there is a very patient ski instructor on a very unpopulated slope...

http://en.lesarcs.com/livecam-vagere.html

Hi,

If you decide to head to Les Arcs to learn how to ski then 1800 would be a good choice for learning:

Beginners: Arc 1800 has the best of the area’s limited beginner’s skiing. Novices should take the Carreley and Villards chairs to access the easiest skiing. There is a “ski tranquille” zone here which should normally be free of more experienced mountain users flying through at top speed. You could also try the gentle blue runs from the top of the St Jacques chair in Arc 2000.

As for a ski instructor, check this guy out:

http://www.johnpaulmccarthy.com

JP taught me how to snowboard and is everything you would look for in an instructor. Highly recommended!

Good luck :)

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1 hour ago, Norrona2015 said:

Hi,

If you decide to head to Les Arcs to learn how to ski then 1800 would be a good choice for learning:

Beginners: Arc 1800 has the best of the area’s limited beginner’s skiing. Novices should take the Carreley and Villards chairs to access the easiest skiing. There is a “ski tranquille” zone here which should normally be free of more experienced mountain users flying through at top speed. You could also try the gentle blue runs from the top of the St Jacques chair in Arc 2000.

As for a ski instructor, check this guy out:

http://www.johnpaulmccarthy.com

JP taught me how to snowboard and is everything you would look for in an instructor. Highly recommended!

Good luck :)

Wow, that is hugely helpful, thanks for that, well worth knowing, I've pasted it into a note pad in case I can convince family to go next year:) Elsewhere, Jungfrau and Edelweisspitze looking very foggy today.

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6 hours ago, Norrona2015 said:

Impressive snowfall forecasted for some of the French resorts Sunday/, Monday. Les Arcs, La Plange, Chamonix etc should get a fair dump - possibly 100cm+

Yes, anyone heading off to a high altitude resort this weekend could well experience a memorable day on Sunday. Not only heavy snowfall but (for the Alps) some strong winds, so exposed pistes could see white-out conditions and drifting. Meteo-France forecasting gusts of up to 70 km/h (43 mph) in the French Alps. Oh how I'd love to be back in Arc1950 on Sunday!

It's a shame temperatures won't be colder across the Alps as lower resorts and pistes look like missing out, with rain rather than snow. At best the 850 hPa 0C isotherm covers the Alps during Sunday's precipitation, indicating a freezing level at approx 1,500m.

Looking at today's charts, the whole of next week looks to remain very unsettled for the Alps. Higher slopes in particular should see some extremely large accumulations. I would anticipate the avalanche risk will quickly rise to 'high'.

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Thankfully, a top up of new snow during the past 24 hours. Piste holding up well, particularly at elevation. Picture snow shovelling early this morning next to piste. Forecast temps up and down like a yo yo currently, mostly on the mild side but good snow accumulation above 1500m.

 C

12654208_1025488180822715_5914767041813404058_n.jpg

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Thanks Norona! will look out for that run, have the area passes so that sounds great :-) Thanks for the forecast link too - better than the one I found.. and thanks Blessed Weather too - glad the warmth is calming down a bit!

 

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Just to let everyone know, I am feeling a little tired tonight after a long week at work.. so I am taking a break from the Ski Blog for tonight.

However all things being well, I hope to do a full blog on Sunday.  :)

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I have friends heading out to Tignes tonight for their first snow holiday - looks like they'll be getting some good amounts of fresh snow to play with :) I'm looking forward to lots of great photos from them over the week!

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Fantastic ski-ing today on fresh snowfall and mild sunshine. The picture below is taken on the long descent Red/ Blue run into Katschberg village. The Pollotal Valley to the left in back ground leads to the Great Hafner , a 3000m plus mountain. The Valley to the right is The Muhr valley , leading to the brewery that makes my favourite tipple ! Between the two valleys is Karieck Mountain overlooking Katchsberg nestled below at 1650m asl. Beyond that in the background is the Hohe Tauren peaks, Gross Glockner and national park. I would say today is perfect, sunshine, great views, ski-ing, beer tonight with live music!

C

12657856_1097325373635260_5711189333032031026_o.jpg

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Yes the blue skies are over much of the Alps, I watched some the the women's downhill from Garmisch on the web. Great views from my area also. Fabulous snow conditions again for many and ? perhaps a decent 7-10 days coming up for many resorts?

Lovely phot there Paul-where is everyone?

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2 minutes ago, johnholmes said:

Yes the blue skies are over much of the Alps, I watched some the the women's downhill from Garmisch on the web. Great views from my area also. Fabulous snow conditions again for many and ? perhaps a decent 7-10 days coming up for many resorts?

Lovely phot there Paul-where is everyone?

Yep John, super conditions and as you say could be top ups at elevation over the coming days. Next weeks sees the start of the high season but quiet at the moment, especially today as its change over day. Usually this is the best day for ski-ing if you are local and today I get special senior discount rates, just like your bus pass! Get yourself out here !

 c

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if only I could mate.

Still it was not bad in the Jungfrau area in spite of the 'heat', 10C at 4500ft-never seen that before nor 7C at 8000ft. The snow stayed good on piste down to around 5000ft.

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This one taken on the other side to Katschberg. Run from the Aineck Summit to St Margaretten in the Lungau. A long 7 km mostly easy run glide with wide pistes  through trees for the bottom 2/3rds of the run. Both resorts linked by two fast gondalas. One time the only way back up was via 4 long drag lifts ! We are spoilt these days. Again, runs nice and empty today. Several nice Mountain Huttes on the is side providing mighty fine ski fodder.

 C

12669573_10153303664672536_88902449535237316_n.jpg

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22 minutes ago, johnholmes said:

Sad indeed, but people will not heed avalanche warnings which have been in abundance. This crazy winter makes for unstable snow conditions yet people still go out or are brought out. I know it's so variable by location, and some places are still very safe, but people need to use local knowledge and understand the conditions.

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The latest copy and paste from me in relation to the Ski Club GB update.

http://www.snow-forecast.com/overviews/tips_full

http://www.skiclub.co.uk/skiclub/snowreports/overview/default.aspx#.Vm9A1l4vAsU

SNOW NEWS UPDATED 4 FEBRUARY 2016

INTRODUCTION Following a bit of a rollercoaster week of weather, some fantastic skiing was to be had on Thursday 4th February across the northern Alps. Heavy snow fell during Wednesday and another heavy pulse of snow was predicted to give a further covering overnight into Friday. Fresh snow was even recorded in parts of the southern Alps which was great news following a very lean winter so far. Switzerland was the place to be however, with almost every resort seeing at least 30cm of new snow. With the half-term holidays fast approaching the great news is that a significant amount of snowfall is predicted for the Alps between Sunday and Tuesday, with well in excess of a metre possible in the northern Alps.

EUROPEAN WEATHER OUTLOOK Lots more snow is the forecast for the Alps which is great news with half-term fast approaching. The forecasts have been changing significantly in recent days due to the instability of the Atlantic storms that are set to move across the mountains in the coming days, so keep an eye on the very latest forecasts. On Thursday however the models were becoming more set for further spells of heavy snow from Sunday onwards. Before this however a further 40cm of fresh snow is possible in parts of the northern Alps overnight into Friday. Friday and Saturday are set to be mostly sunny before the return of the heavy snow on Sunday. Well in excess of a metre of new snow is possible in the northern Alps but the best news is that the southern Alps are set to see their first major snowfall in months. Up to a metre is possible in parts of the Italian Dolomites and the French southern Alps which is excellent news. Snow is likely to fall to low levels at times too, with freezing levels set to shift between 800-1400m. Some snow is also forecast from Sunday onwards for the Pyrenees, however the totals are likely to be much lower than in the Alps.

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The latest blog will be posted at noon today.

 

A very snowy week in prospect for higher parts of the Alps, with over 1m of snow forecast over the next 6 days over any higher resorts in Western and Central parts of the Alps.

Frustrating again for lower resorts with rain more likely here.

 

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