The Grands Montets was good this afternoon. It is a busy week, of course, so pistes are getting icy, especially lower down below 2100m where the rain has refrozen (the Pierre-a-ric was nicely covered and skiable, but quite a challenge with lots of people and icy patches!)
Off-piste, especially high up, is nice and chalky, and mostly smooth around the Bochard and Herse. The retour Pendant chairlift is now open, as is the piste in the Pendant (Lavancher) bowl. The snowpack is firm, and supportive, with good coverage. Over on the sunny side of the valley (Brevent/Flegere and Le Tour), the snow should be a bit more softer in the sunshine during the day.
The sunny weather is set to continue well into next week, and it is beautiful with the mountains mostly white, shining in the sun. The air has been pretty mild around 2000m this week, but there is forecast to be a bit more wind towards the weekend, so that might cool things off a bit. Hopefully we get some more fresh snow next week, but for the moment, we can enjoy what we have, and with great visibility!
There were lots of people skinning up to the top of Grands Montets: it is the only way up right now, until they rebuild the cable car. Without the lift access, though, it has become an entirely backcountry, uncontrolled and unmarked area, outside of the ski area. There was a secured ski touring route being planned for this winter, but this has had to be scrapped, and would not be practical to set up and control, so all access up there is under your own responsibility.
Chamonix.net snow reports created by Steve Baldwin, skier, monoskier and author: check out my ski adventures book on my website: snowtalesandpowdertrails.weebly.com