After a sunny weekend, we have another big storm this week, since Sunday night, with lots of wind, and lots of new snow, especially up high. There was a high rain-line again to start it off on Sunday evening (above 2000m again!), but the snowline dropped on Monday night and today, with snowflakes just above Chamonix town level.
UPDATE: Wednesday, 12th February: The sun is now out, and it did snow a bit more during the night, but not much. Some great powder to be found where it has been blown in, but lots of ice patches, especially at Grands Montets (Sunday night's rain seems to have been up to 2700m, above the Herse): solid raincrust that is hard to grip with skis (pretty dangerous, especially on steeper terrain with any exposure)! ... Video and photos below...
This has been another roller-coaster weather system, very wild and windy. Yesterday, everything was closed in the Chamonix valley, except Les Houches, which is less exposed to wind, but by this afternoon the wind had dropped a bit, so more lifts were open (some at Le Tour, Brevent, including Cornu, and Flegere, as well as Les Houches, while Grands Montets stayed closed all day).
Today the temperature was colder, too, and the snow-line is lower, with some nice snow showers driven by the westerly wind. Conditions on the mountain (at 2000m) were soft, where the new snow was able to settle, but a lot of places are quite icy, where the wind has exposed the (new) frozen rain-crust. It is not too bad, though, and blue pistes especially have great skiing, being mostly soft with the fresh snow sitting on top.
It is hard to tell how much new snow there is since yesterday, because of the wind, but in some places there was 30cm of nicely compacted powder on top of the raincrust, and other places 0cm! Also, it is hard to tell how high the raincrust is, but it is still snowing this evening, with less wind, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue tomorrow, except on steeper wind-exposed terrain (like last week).
Tomorrow should be drying up, with some sunshine (hopefully), and less wind, so we should have more lifts open for skiing above Chamonix. Thursday is setting up to be a sunny morning before a colder weather system heads in with some more fresh snow (and hopefully less wind!) on Thursday night.
There is still snow in the valley bottom, so the beginner ski areas are able to be open, but otherwise there is not much snow below 1600m. Above 1800m, though, we still have plenty, so the only damage that the rain has done is to give us an annoying crust (except for on the Mer de Glace, which is still looking complicated...)
If there is some blue sky tomorrow (Wednesday), I will try to add a bluebird powder video and some photos to this snow report...