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Sun & stormy weather in Val d'Isere

The season keeps delivering top quality days!

Featured in:

Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 5 Mar 2018


Sun & stormy weather in Val d'Isere

Stormy weather made for difficult skiing on Friday and Saturday, but when the sun came out on Sunday, it made for one of the best days of the season yet!

The weekend started out with decent visibility on Friday but the weather was forecast to move in around noon with a strengthening wind from the north.

Val d'Isere

There was only one place to find fresh ‘clean’ snow so my colleagues Chris, Andreas and I headed up to the Fornet to ‘skin’ to the Glacier Pers and we were pleasantly surprised at how well we could see. The ambience was fantastic and the snow quality was excellent. Just as we were about to start skiing the wind picked up, it started to snow fairly heavily and the visibility became extremely poor. The first couple of long pitches are easy to ski in a ‘whiteout’ but we then needed to navigate down to the Gorge du Malpasset without dropping into or off of any terrain traps. It became a ‘travelling safely in the mountains’ experience and it was a great adventurous morning out and thoroughly enjoyed by all. We spotted some chamois and bouquetin that had been driven down to lower altitudes by the wind and poor visibility and wildlife sightings are always a bonus, especially on a tough day.

Val d'Isere

Saturday’s visibility was extremely poor as well but we did have the benefit of the fresh snow that fell on Friday and it continued to snow all morning. It wasn’t necessary to travel far to find fresh snow because at least 15cm had fallen and between 30 to 40cm in gullies where the wind had transported the snow so we had some fabulous skiing on certain pistes or just off the edge and it turned out to be a pretty good morning.

Val d'Isere

On Sunday the sun returned and, with fresh snow, it had to be one of the top mornings of the season. There wasn’t a track on the mountain and we enjoyed what I call a ‘maximum-turn’ morning, which means non-stop-top-to-bottom skiing without needing to walk and the snow quality was exquisite. We skied under the Pyramid chair, then we were first into the Grand Vallon, which we skied twice, then a non-stop 110-turn pitch in the Combe du Signal, before heading up to the Pissaillas Glacier where we had three more runs. It really was a fantastic morning and such a reward after skiing in ‘whiteout’ conditions for the two previous days.

Val d'Isere

The piste skiing is always good on the weekends, mostly because the Saturday is the main change-over day and Sunday is generally pretty quiet as well. The pistes are always well prepared and they stay in great shape with limited traffic.

Val d'Isere

A fairly overcast and snowy week lies ahead but, with any luck, we’ll see enough light filtering through the clouds to give us some decent visibility. Have a brilliant holiday, be careful walking about town as the streets are lethal and stay tuned for another update on Friday! 

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!