Espace Killy Backcountry Report 13th December 2015

After another week of calm, settled conditions and amazing sunshine all day has continued to consolidate the snowpack further. The pistes around the Espace Killy are still in great condition thanks to the snowmaking facilities, however the off-piste conditions have been hit hard by the recent mild conditions with many hazards continuing to poke through the snowpack with the increasingly warm conditions affecting the snowpack.

ChardonnetConditions
Petit Chadonnet Couloir (North Facing)

I have been sticking to many of the north – east facing slopes which are still holding fantastic snow, whilst the southerly facing slopes are being hit hard by high south westerly winds and the recent mild conditions. Chardonnet bowl, Mickey’s Ears and the east facing slopes from the Col de Fresse have given some fantastic off piste riding on un-tracked fresh snow.

Today (Sunday 13th December) saw many new lifts opening in the Espace Killy with the Aguille Pércée section of the hill now being open which opens up the pistes Cyclamen and Corniche, not only this but the whole freeride south face of Aguille Pércée is open to those who are willing to hike for their turns – be aware though, as this is a south facing slope much of the snowpack has now thawed away leaving many rocky sections, think about heading down this face when we get another large snowfall to avoid hitting a rock on the way down.

Skiers are also now able to ski down to La Boisses (great lunch spot) to then get the Boisses lift back up and around to Le Lac, opening up the whole Sache side of the resort – if you’re looking for quiet pistes then head this way, or if you’re an avid off-piste skier, the Vallon De La Sache will give a very rewarding journey all the way down to Le Brevieres. The opening of these lifts also saves you a bus journey all the way back up the valley to Le Lac from both La Boisses (via Boisses gondola) and from Le Brevieres (via order propecia usa Sache gondola).

The start of this week’s weather looks to continue with the settled theme through to Monday and Tuesday, with Tuesday night bringing a little snow over night. The settled theme then looks to continue through the rest of the week with clear and calm conditions expected which will give some fantastic visibility and firm piste riding – keep doing those snow dances!

SouthFacing Conditions
Aguille Pércée Conditions (South Facing)

Avalanche conditions remain at category 1 at both 1500m and 3000m elevations but please keep in mind that at higher elevations (above 2000m), windslab could still be present, particularly within the north – north easterly aspects. As the snowpack continues to consolidate, be aware that rocks will continue to be an ever present danger to off-piste skiers. Snow depths are currently 30m at 1500m and 50m at 3000m.

Heliski operations are starting on the 20th December. With the current off-piste conditions the way they are right now, it’s becoming increasingly more evident that the best way to find fresh snow is to either hire a guide and ski-tour to some of the fresh snow or save all the effort and book onto a heliski trip – we’re always able to find some fantastic conditions in any one of our 32 drop zones!

Chardonnet Conditions
Petit Chadonnet Couloir (North Facing)

Top tip: Head for some of the more sheltered north facing couloirs that have managed to stay out of the sun and have not been stripped by the high winds that we’ve recently had. These couloirs are still holding some cold & dry fresh in them – however you will have to hike slightly to find them as all the couloirs in a close proximity to the lift system are heavily tracked out. If you’re of a suitable ability level, consider hiring a pair of touring skis or a Splitboard and a guide to venture out of the resort slightly to find some of the untracked fresh – it’s still out there, you just have to work for it!

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