We got a good kicking from the storm called "Lolita" this week. She left us a beautiful white coat of fluffy fresh snow on Tuesday and Wednesday. By Wednesday morning there was maybe 60 centimetres or so of new snow at 2000m, and it kept snowing all day. Then on Thursday it cleared up, and was an awesome powder day in the Chamonix ski areas (see my last photo below, from Flegere yesterday). It got warm quickly, though, especially on sunny slopes.
Today has been really warm after some high altitude rain on Thursday night (rain up to maybe 2200m or higher). The light was awesome, especially at the Grands Montets. It was quite a sunny morning, and then clouds built up in the mid mountain, creating a beautiful sea of cloud effect up high.
This afternoon, I was trying to get as high as I could above the rain line, searching for some fresh snow from last night, so I headed for Bochard and Herse at the Grands Montets. Even there, though, it wasn't powder. There was only 3 or 4 centimetres of new snow today at 2700m, and even above Bochard it was crusty from the warm temperatures during the night.
Despite the rain, the skiing and riding was quite nice at the Grands Montets today, and all that new snow from earlier in the week has increased the snowpack base on the mountain. It was a lovely afternoon above the clouds: mild air, and no wind. Some parts of some pistes were icy, but it wasn't too bad. Lower down, the snow was quite slushy and spring-like. That will re-freeze tonight, but tomorrow is supposed to be warm again, so it will soften up during the day. The best word for off-piste today, as is often the case, is "variable", while yesterday it was all powder.
There is more unsettled weather predicted for the weekend, but this time really warm, with a high rainline again, up to 2400m! We shall see what that does to the snow, but it should be cooling off during next week again. Avalanche danger will be staying pretty high for quite a while now.