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Val d'Isere Snow Report

Discover the latest Val d'Isere snow conditions

Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 16 Apr 2018

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    The end of the season in Val d'Isere

    The end of the season in Val d'Isere

    It’s been a long winter and everyone is waiting for spring, and it just isn’t happening. At this time of year we are normally skiing a little powder after a fresh snowfall and skiing fantastic spring snow with brilliant sunshine in-between, but this season winter just won’t let go. We’ve had some wonderful powder of late but after one day of magnificent skiing it starts to get difficult because of the afternoon heat, which is just warm enough to damage the snow except on northern slopes but not hot enough to transform the spring slopes to proper spring snow.

    This past week we’ve had close to a metre of fresh snow at the Fornet and with the lack of freeze during the night and a week’s worth of strong foehn winds the avalanche risk has been 4/5. There was a massive avalanche on the steep bottom slope of the Vallonnet on Friday and a 32-year-old woman was buried 1.5 metres deep. She was wearing an airbag but still went under and thankfully the first person on the scene called the rescue services and located her with his ARVA. She miraculously survived after being under for at least ten-minutes but Thierry (who called for the rescue and found her) and the rescue service did a brilliant job to dig her out alive.

    Val d'Isere

    I avoided all the snow at the Fornet and skied in Tignes instead and had a few wonderful days, especially Friday when we had some great skiing off the Verte, followed by the Campanules, then a stunning run in the Sachette Couloir, followed by another run in the Campanules before finishing off with the Familial. I had my wife and two daughters along and they absolutely loved the deep snow and ambience in the couloir and it’s been so much fun to have them along.

    Val d'Isere

    Normally in the spring we can ski steep slopes safely but so far we haven’t had any proper melt/freeze cycles to stabilise the mountain and the steep spring slopes shouldn’t really be trusted and taken for granted. There are only a couple of weeks left in the season but caution and patience is necessary because the conditions are perhaps their most dangerous of the season as the biggest depth of snow in over thirty years is threatening to slide as the temperatures start to warm up. Do be careful because we have unique conditions and just don’t have the spring stability that we normally do.

    Val d'Isere

    It’s been another fantastic winter although it’s been tough at times with the storms of January and flat-light for much of the winter. We’ve had much less sunshine than normal but we have enjoyed some fabulous powder skiing and I’ll look back on this winter as a terrific season, but then in 37-years here I’ve never had a bad one! Val d’Isere never seems to let you down and always delivers, and for my money it’s the best resort in the world for day-in-and-day-out-seven-days-a-week skiing.

    Val d'Isere

    It’s my last update of the season as Ana, who I liaise with at Valdinet, unfortunately broke her leg last week. I hope you’ve enjoyed this seasons’s updates and I’ll look forward to writing for Valdinet again next season. Have a fantastic end to the season and a great summer, and next winter will roll around again before you know it. Get well soon Ana and I‘ll look forward to working with you again next winter.

    Follow more from Wayne on his Daily Diary.

    Ski safely off-piste

    Exploring beyond the ski resort boundaries is an amazing experience for anyone who's physically fit and has mastered the pistes well enough. There are, however, risks associated with venturing outside the safety of the marked/patrolled ski area, including awareness of your actions on those below you on the slopes. Mountain guides are professionally qualified and have extensive knowledge of the local terrain, to provide you with the safest and most enjoyable possible experience in the mountains; as a visitor here we highly recommend you hiring one. Many ski schools and also mountain guides provide instruction in off-piste skiing, avalanche safety and mountaineering techniques. Make your time in the mountains unforgettable for the right reasons, ski safe!

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