Snowing today in Chamonix! After a few snowflakes yesterday (Tuesday), this is the first proper snowfall in the Chamonix valley for over 2 weeks. It is not a huge snowfall, but it has softened things up on the mountain, and there is more active weather expected from Sunday (hopefully!).
It had snowed 15 to 20 centimetres at 2000m by this afternoon - it was really light powder, amazing quality, but it was sitting on top of our solid icy base, which made for interesting skiing, especially with the lower visibility (until a clear spell happened at around 3pm!)
The Grands Montets was not too busy this afternoon, and the pistes were in great condition - the new snow had softened them up beautifully, apart from the bottom section of the Pierre-a-ric. It was a pleasure to make some turns on some pretty smooth and soft pistes, especially after the icy conditions that we have had. There wasn't much wind in the mid mountain (but lots higher in the high mountain).
Off-piste was challenging skiing: light fluffy powder on top of the solid ice - and there were some lumps underneath. Generally less-steep areas were really good, meanwhile on steeper slopes I could really feel the ice beneath the fresh snow. Watch out for recently covered rocks and icy lumps! The visibility was better around 3pm, though, and should be better for some of tomorrow and Friday, with a clearing trend.
Hopefully the next active weather hits us with a big snowfall on the weekend, but for now the amounts predicted are uncertain: it could be just a few small snowfalls - we will have to wait and see. If we do get lots of snow into next week, the avalanche danger is going to go up really high, as we have a smooth icy snow surface, and sugary weak layers underneath the raincrust.