Some periods of settled conditions have allowed us to escape the driving snow and wind which has dominated this week and brought large amounts of snowfall to all areas of the Espace Killy.
I’ve been limited my skiing to the great tree runs around Les Boisses and Fornet during the past week, due to the time it has taken to open the upper lifts, strong winds and heavy snowfalls creating potential hazards higher up in the ski area.
The tree runs have held some dry blower fresh powder in many areas, with constant filling in due to heavy snowfall. These runs have become super playful with all this fresh snow with many natural features providing great airtime.
There have been brief periods of settled conditions that has given some great visibility even on the upper slopes, these have allowed many skiers to get into many of the larger face routes around the Espace Killy, but please be aware that the avalanche danger is still extremely high with all the fresh snow and wind transported snow.
Where there has been good visibility, we’ve had some chances to get in and slash the untouched, dry and fresh powder higher up in the resort which has been brilliant! I managed to find some great untracked snow around the Laisinant Chairlift area today (Saturday 13th) in a brief pause from the stormy weather, with an absolutely empty mountain – thank you transfer day!
With the heavy snowfalls that we are currently receiving (~30cm fell today) and with it being transfer day, there has been huge tailbacks on the road up to Tignes / Val d’Isere all the way back from Bourg. Please bear this in mind when thinking about driving to resort – snow chains are mandatory whilst travelling up the road.
The Tignes / Val d’Isere link has also been shut frequently throughout the week, due to high winds. The link may be open early in the morning / afternoon, but please be aware that it may suddenly shut due to a change in the weather conditions not permitting the upper lifts to run.
We are currently seeing lots of snow being shifted by the wind – particularly on higher elevations, be aware that this will create large amounts of wind slab on N – NE facing slopes, especially above 2500m. When the weather does clear in the week, remind yourself that there will be instabilities of this windslab sitting around the resort and will not take much weight to release this instability.
There is also quite obviously lots of fresh snow falling, this will create large amounts of soft slabs to form in more sheltered locations (such as trees and couloirs) – consider the danger of releasing small surface avalanches in these locations where the top layer of snow is not well bonded and will ‘sluff’ off as a skier/boarder passes over it – enough to take you knock you off your feet & over a nasty cliff!