A lot of fresh snow today in the Chamonix mountains, since Thursday afternoon, and snowfall in town, despite a spike in the rainline overnight. Today was a storm day with high avalanche danger, and a thick, deep covering of heavy compact powder to ski!
There has been quite a bit of fresh snow much of this week: some great fluffy powder, especially on Tuesday morning, and more fluffy snow up until Thursday, and then it got warmer:
Much of the Chamonix valley was closed for skiing today, due to high wind and high avalanche danger. Les Houches was open, and a small part of Le Tour, and at Grands Montets we were lucky to have access to the Herse chairlift after avalanche control: it was the only high lift operating today around the Chamonix area.
The skiing/riding conditions were challenging today, due to flat light and the very heavy and compact new snow, which ranged from 40 or 50cm of fresh, to nearly a metre in places, where the wind had filled in some higher bowls. We were also lucky that the visibility wasn't too bad: the thickest cloud and fog kept away from the Herse area, so we could see a bit, but it was hard to see the subtleties of the terrain and snowdrifts.
It was fun riding, though. Despite being heavy, the new snow was pretty creamy under my skis. There was quite a bit of wind, but it was a lot warmer than last Monday (hence the tightly packed new snow). There were a lot of people showing up by mid morning, as they had trickled over from Brevent and Flegere, which were closed for the day.
Tomorrow should be clear and sunny, but warm, with rising temperatures and high avalanche danger (avalanche level 4/5). It is bound to be quite busy, being a sunny Saturday in March with fresh snow, but hopefully some of the other ski areas can re-open to spread people out (on a side note, the Grands Montets have just announced that the Bochard gondola will be closed for the next 7 days or so, as they need to do a study of the terrain that it is standing on: something to do with climate change and permafrost! - maybe appropriate on this day of global climate awareness...)
There should be some more snow coming to us on Sunday night... Today's conditions were not very good for taking video, but here you go: