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Many French resorts are delaying opening due to lack of snow. - Page 2

post #31 of 45


Well it appears that the French Alps have received some snow over the past couple of weeks. My friends have been skiing in Tignes and all seems quite good. There is a large weather front coming in today, bringing more snow. Let it snow!

post #32 of 45
I know they are getting hammered right now. My buddy was giving ski lessons to guests out the front door on the road. I was in Tignes 8 days ago. It was not good. Pretty grim actually. I did one run, quit, and went to the bar. This new snow should help, but they are still way behind on snow for a base.
post #33 of 45
Thread Starter 

1/2 + metre of new snow in the Northern alps is the good news.

 

The bad news is that the French authorities do not seem to be dealing with it well in terms of keeping the roads open and ploughed. Many cars have been abandoned and the reports say over 15,000 vehicles are stuck in the Savoie region. The abandoned cars mean the ploughs can only work very slowly.

 

Just had a message from a saisonaire saying that he is stuck on a coach in Moutiers and has not moved for 5 hours. He has departing guests stuck back in the resort as the access road has been closed, stuck on transfer coaches and stuck at the airport.

 

Quote:

At 9.30pm the local prefecture asked everyone to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary – given that the conditions were expected to deteriorate overnight.

"We have spoken to local police – all roads in to ski stations in the Tarentaise Valley are closed," wrote Adventures in the Alps.

"There are emergency places to stay in Moutiers, Bourg and Albertville. Stop where you are now and find a hotel as there are no rooms available locally. Do not attempt to travel in to the valley if you are not already in it. Hopefully everything will reopen tomorrow!"


Edited by TQA - 12/27/14 at 5:39pm
post #34 of 45

I sat next to a family from Germany at lunchtime today in Breckenridge. They booked 2 weeks at Breck when their son saw the Dew Tour on TV two weeks ago.  They asked if we always have such wonderful conditions this time of year, as the Alps are pretty much never this good so early anymore.  Bergheil!

post #35 of 45
Thread Starter 

Snowmageddon in the Alps on the busiest transfer day of the year.

 

Lots of very disgruntled travelers hitting social media sites now about the chaos in Savoie. All hotel beds at the airports are full, 2000 + sleeping at Chambry airport. Emergency accommodation in Moutiers full and local people are taking tired travelers into their homes.

 

Although reading between the lines the authorities seem to be getting a handle on things. They are closing the access roads to the resorts to remove abandoned cars then getting the ploughs to do their stuff. A couple of convoys of TO buses have made it down from La Foy.

 

However conditions are very dicey and there are reports of at least two buses that have slid off fortunately with no injuries.

post #36 of 45
Quote:
They asked if we always have such wonderful conditions this time of year, as the Alps are pretty much never this good so early anymore.

Resorts that average ~250 inches a year are never a safe bet for full operation at Christmas.  Just modest deviation on the downside will result in an inadequate base on anything steep or rocky.  That applies to Colorado as much as the Alps.  Front Range/I-70 Colorado has had a distinctly above average start this season. Maybe qualitatively better than that considering the dump of dense base-building snow a week ago, topped off by some light powder at Christmas. 

 

Christmas and other school holidays also have crowd issues.  But we should be jealous of the Euros with their February/early March holidays right in the sweet spot for ski conditions at most areas.  The latter holidays should always be preferred to Christmas if you have to choose just one. 

 

As for the "anymore" part of the above quote, I do not have as much data from the Alps to refute that as I do here.  The rain/snow line may have risen some over the past 30 years, and there are some places in the Alps that could be vulnerable to that.  But above ~1,700 meters I would say almost certainly no change in snowfall trend or incidence within the season.

 

Weather is volatile and busted Christmases will occur occasionally in most places.  What's happened in the Alps this season is no different from what happened in Colorado 3 years ago.

post #37 of 45
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

 

As for the "anymore" part of the above quote, I do not have as much data from the Alps to refute that as I do here.  The rain/snow line may have risen some over the past 30 years, and there are some places in the Alps that could be vulnerable to that.  But above ~1,700 meters I would say almost certainly no change in snowfall trend or incidence within the season.

 

Weather is volatile and busted Christmases will occur occasionally in most places.  What's happened in the Alps this season is no different from what happened in Colorado 3 years ago.

 

I agree. I've had some mid-December trips in the last few years with loads of snow, but I've also seen below-average years like this one. It's a gamble that can go either way.

post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
 

I sat next to a family from Germany at lunchtime today in Breckenridge. They booked 2 weeks at Breck when their son saw the Dew Tour on TV two weeks ago.  They asked if we always have such wonderful conditions this time of year, as the Alps are pretty much never this good so early anymore.  Bergheil!

I was in Breck/Vail same time frame. Was pretty sweet getting that fresh cold smoke CO powder in mid December. Normally my fresh snow fortune is not so good when booking a ski trip. But booked the CO trip right after Thanksgiving, and was really happy with how things turned out.

post #39 of 45

Breck and Vail are beautiful places to ski but imho the French als win me over every time when I need to book a trip. I will take Tignes, Val d'Isere or Val Thorens over anything in CO.

post #40 of 45
True if the French resorts have snow, there really is no reason to ski in CO.
post #41 of 45

I´m getting worried as I´ve already booked my flight to Geneva with plans for Chamonix Feb. 8-15. I have eight days left for a free hotel cancellation and I am now considering of going to Cervinia as that seems to be the best snow in the area. It´s 3hrs from Geneva instead of one.  I guess I´ll wait until the last minute and see how the weather develops in the region.

post #42 of 45

Keep an eye on the snow reports in Cham for a week. From next Saturday, another storm is due. Cervinia isn't great right now. All the recent snow has gone to the areas north of the Main Chain of the Alps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_chain_of_the_Alps). 4 Vallées (Verbiier) has a good base, as has St. Moritz, Davos, St. Anton (not great if you're flying on Geneva), but you could have a look at Chatel. great ski area (Portes du Soleil) and is has a good base. 

 

Lots of snow to hit the Alps in the coming days, weeks. 

post #43 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spokes58 View Post
 

I´m getting worried as I´ve already booked my flight to Geneva with plans for Chamonix Feb. 8-15. I have eight days left for a free hotel cancellation and I am now considering of going to Cervinia as that seems to be the best snow in the area. It´s 3hrs from Geneva instead of one.  I guess I´ll wait until the last minute and see how the weather develops in the region.

 

I  would not be worried about snow at that time of year. The odd low resort like Les Gets might be sloppy but you are at the snow sure time of the year.

 

Might be crowded in Cham though as it is French school holiday time.

post #44 of 45

Thanks for the tips. I´ll keep my eye on the snow reports and make a final decision at the end of the week. 

 

I live in Spain which has it´s Feb. school vacation (Carnival) the week after my trip. In any case I´m planning three of those days with an off piste guide, unless I end up somewhere else.

post #45 of 45

Hey All, It´s snowing in Chamomix and more to come. Anyone else going there?  I´ll be there from Feb. 8-15. I´ll be booking an off piste guide for 3 days or more. Send a PM if you´re interested in hooking up. I´m an x-patriot New Yorker living in Spain.

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