• Caitlin Kennedy

Weather & Ski Report 14/12


It’s a wet and warm morning. The weather was supposed to take a turn towards warmer temperatures and a humid snowfall on Monday but it has arrived earlier than expected. The precipitation falling now is verging on sleet and underfoot, the snow has humidified and become very heavy. The snow-rain limit is between 1700 and 2000m, which leaves Val slap bang in the middle between the two. Temperatures today will reach a maximum of 3°C à 2000 m, -3°C à 3000 m. The wind continues to blow violently with gusts of around 100km/h at 2000m. In fact we measured a gust of 218km/h on the Pisaillas Glacier overnight! It is at its strongest for the day though and we can expect it to start settling down this evening. In terms of snow depths, another 20-30cm or so of fresh snow is likely to fall at altitude, before conditions begin to calm down this afternoon.

The avalanche risk remains at 4 for the moment with a high risk of large natural slides. The road closure up to Le Fornet and back down, remains in place for the moment; It is of course closed to pedestrians, alongside the road to Chatelard up above Joseray. the Santel car park in La Daille is closed for drivers and pedestrians.

Drivers of all cars except 4x4s with snow tyres must use snow chains if driving in town or heading down the hill, where they will be necessary down to the chaining area of La Raie.

A generalised PIDA is being carried out this morning, we will hear the results of that from the Pisteurs when they arrive this morning.

Ski Report

The situation remains very difficult for the Pisteurs in terms of opening lifts. There have been some very big slides, mostly intentional, that have made piste-bashing difficult. And the very strong winds make opening up most lifts impossible for the moment.

At the moment, just the Nursery Slope Lifts are open. If conditions settle down, the first thing to open will be the Funicular, allowing access to the Orange, OK, Diebold and Verte runs. It is possible that the Fornet Cable Car may open much later on, which would open up just the Mangard and Foret runs.

There is nothing open to walkers or cross country skiers today.

Remember the situation is liable to change so stay vigilant and keep yourself updated as to the conditions on the mountain.

The Avalanche risk is 4 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). Also severe wind loading has occurred.

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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