Chamonix.net snow report, February 15th 2017

 
 

Not much wind & plenty of sunshine today at Le Tour...

Le Tour
Le Tour
Le Tour
Le Tour
Le Tour
Le Tour
Le Tour
Le Tour
Les Grands Montets today
Les Grands Montets on Monday
Ski tour to Col D'Argentiere on Monday
Ski tour to Col D'Argentiere on Monday
Ski tour to Col D'Argentiere on Monday

It was pretty warm by the end of the morning at Le Tour, especially in the sun, and without any clouds in the sky, it was a really nice day, though busy with holiday crowds. There was some really good soft spring corn snow at around noon in the direct sunshine, especially on the smooth groomed pistes. The atmosphere was definitely a holiday mood all round, and once you got above the mid station the crowds thinned out. The snowpark looks good, with several features including some kickers and rails. The sky was an amazingly deep blue, especially in contrast to the white snow-covered peaks.

Earlier this week we have had a lot of southerly foehn winds and sunshine keeping the temperature mild. There is generally still lots of snow, though, except for a few places in the mid mountain, and there are good nordic ski conditions in the Chamonix valley too right now.

Outside of the controlled ski areas there is a complex snowpack, with lots of wind-loading, some buried weak layers and an avalanche risk of level 3 out of 5 (there was just a big avalanche accident at Tignes ski resort this week, which has a similar snowpack to us). We went for a tentative ski tour up the glacier d'Argentière on Monday, and found some variable soft and hard wind-affected snow (see photos above). It was nice to get up high into the wild mountains, but the wind made it a bit of a slog.

Le Tour today:

 

Chamonix.net snow reports created by Steve Baldwin, skier, monoskier and author: check out my ski adventures book on my website:  snowtalesandpowdertrails.weebly.com

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