Cold hardpack snow and hazy sunshine at Le Tour this afternoon.
Le Tour was the best place to ski this afternoon, with the last of the sunshine blasting through the high cloud coming off the Mont Blanc from the south. It was quite a spectacular afternoon to ski above Chamonix, with beautiful light, and good cruisy blue pistes. The air was cold, so the snow stayed mostly hard.
This week has been mostly sunny, and quite mild yesterday, but cooler today with more clouds. Conditions are still pretty solid on the snow, as last weekend's fresh snow has been compacted by wind, roasted by sun, or thoroughly skied. Steeper pistes were quite icy in places, but the blues were excellent. Off-piste is very variable at the moment, especially due to recent wind, but today the wind was very light.
Despite it not snowing so much since Christmas, there is still a lot of snow in general in the Chamonix mountains, above 1600m. Hopefully we will get some more big snowfalls again soon...
The snowpark "Summit Park" at Le Tour is looking good right now, and there is a new drag lift, connecting the Vallorcine gondola with the Le Tour village side (photo above). This improves the accessibility of the back-side a lot, especially when there is wind on the Tete de Balme chairlift.
Nordic skiing conditions in the Chamonix valley are very good right now too (see photo above).
There are some clouds setting up for the weekend, ahead of some more unsettled weather into next week, probably with some moderate snowfall soon in the mountains (probably Monday or Tuesday; maybe some flurries over the weekend, snow/rain line between 1400m and 1000m).