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A stunning week with incredibly good spring snow

Warm weather but the snow's holding up well

Featured in:

Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 17 Mar 2017


A stunning week with incredibly good spring snow

We have had a stunning week of weather and with unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve had some incredibly good spring snow. With each passing day of warm temperatures and good re-freezes at night the transformation of the snow into spring snow has been getting better and better. 

On Monday some slopes were ‘just’ supporting but by Tuesday it was game-on as we had an outstanding morning of top quality spring snow on impressive slopes. I skied the lower half of the Face du Charvet twice in perfect spring snow before skiing a stunning run in the Tour du Charvet. We then went over the Col Pers to ski winter snow and exited through the Gorge du Malpasset, and the exit was very interesting and getting trickier. 

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On Wednesday my colleague Chris and I took our teams down to the neighbouring resort of Ste Foy to ski the south-side of the Foglietta. We had about a one- hour-and-twenty-minute ‘skin’ and from the top we had great views of the Italian-side of Mont Blanc, the Monte Rosa in the distance, and directly across the valley views of the Glacier de la Savinaz, and the north and south Glaciers de la Gurraz.

Normally we ski the north–side of the Foglietta in powder but because of the heat the snow is trying to transform to spring snow but is now at that ‘in-between’ stage where it isn’t soft powder and it doesn’t support either, making for tricky skiing. For less skilled skiers it’s the type of snow that will grab your ski and rip your leg off if you’re not careful and should be avoided. (I call it wish-bone snow!) So, you can see why we chose the sunny-side, which was wonderful with perfect spring snow top-to-bottom without a mark on the mountain. 

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On Thursday I skied the Face du Charvet from the top, which was fantastic and is always very atmospheric as it’s one of the biggest slopes in the resort, followed by a wonderful run in the Tour du Charvet above the Couloir du Mont Blanc.

The piste skiing has also been first-class this week with perfectly groomed pistes and clear blue skies, and that is a tough combination to beat if you’re a piste skier or snowboarder!


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I had another session with the Killer Beez at the Petit Danois bar on Tuesday evening. They are absolutely superb and had the place rocking, and if you’re in town next week and like ‘rock’ don’t miss them. They start at 5:30 and play until 7:30, which turns into 7:45 as the crowd won’t let me stop. Two-for-one pints are before five o’clock and after five they give you a toffee vodka shot with each drink (I don’t drink mine!) And every Friday night Mike and Ritchie play at the Moris Pub starting at 5:30, and they are a lot of fun with Mike on acoustic guitar and lead vocals and Ritchie on sax, trumpet and flute, and he sings some great rap numbers as well. So if you like live music don’t miss the Killer Beez or Mike and Ritchie!

It looks like a mixed bag weather-wise for the weekend with a sunny day on Friday, the possibility of some snow and Saturday, and then a partially sunny day on Sunday. We’ve had some wonderful, and I mean seriously wonderful spring skiing this week but some fresh snow would clean up the tracks quite nicely and give us the opportunity of some more powder skiing, so any fresh snow would be greatly appreciated.

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Whatever the weather the sun is seriously strong now and you see some pretty nasty sun-burns around town. Make sure you use high-factor and high quality sun-cream, even on the overcast days as you’ll get burnt just as badly on a cloudy day.

Have a brilliant weekend and stay tuned for another update with photos on Monday!

Follow more from Wayne in his Daily Diary.

NB. Some of the areas Wayne has been skiing this week are off piste and not suitable to all skiers. Wayne has 35 years experience in these mountains. If you're considering going off piste you should always take a guide with you.