• Caitlin Kennedy

Weather & Ski Report 13/12

*ACCURATE AT 9.50 (time of writing)*


We are within the clutches of a blizzard here in the mountains, with extremely violent winds and heavy snowfall. A gust of 171 km/h of wind was measured at around 9.30am on the Pisaillas Glacier. At 7am there was 30cm of fresh snow underfoot in town a figure which is constantly increasing but that will become difficult to assess now given the wind. We are expecting 30 to 40cm more snow by the end of the day. There is a high risk of natural avalanches. Temperatures are cool, but not desperately cold like yesterday morning with maximum temperatures of -4°C at 2000m and -10°C at 3000m. The Westerly wind will continue to blow with gusts of up to 150km/h at 3000m. Tonight the snow continues unrelentingly and we are unlikely to see a pause until sometime tomorrow afternoon.

There was a generalised PIDA or avalanche blasting this morning, with many slides released.

The road between Laisinant and Le Fornet is closed to pedestrians. It is possible that the road to Chatelard may close to walkers later. We recommend that you don’t drive unless absolutely necessary today- several side roads have already had blockages this morning. If you do have to use the roads, snow chains are imperative for all cars as the roads are snow covered all the way down to the valley. In fact it’s even snowing in Albertville so give yourself plenty of time to make longer journeys. There are blockages on the road to Bourg, where cars have had to stop to put snow chains on.

For both vehicles and pedestrians, the roads and walkways are deceptively slippery still. Underneath the snow, it is like an ice rink so do take care and walkers, wear crampons if you have them.

Ski Report

99cm of snow on the snow front, 1m70 at altitude. Very high winds and a lot of snow has meant that the entire ski is closed for the moment. If anything changes, remember the situation is liable to alter so stay vigilant and keep yourself updated as to the conditions on the mountain.

The Avalanche risk is 4 today but this could go up later in the day. Please stay off all closed pistes. They will almost certainly be closed due to avalanche risk. It is very dangerous to ski off-piste today. The risk of natural slides is considerable. The fresh snow

is falling on a snowpack that has not had time to stabilise (due to several snowy periods since Sunday).

Spontaneous departures: Many avalanches will occur during the day whilst it snows, these avalanches will generally be large with 50 to 80 cm of mobilizable snow. Very large avalanches are possible in the accumulation zones (East slopes) with high altitude release points.

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