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Sun & fresh snow in Val d'Isere

The sun's been shining and the snow's been falling

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Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 2 Feb 2018

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Sun & fresh snow in Val d'Isere

After sunny days on Saturday and Sunday, the sun continued to shine to start the week. With so much snow during January, it has been wonderful to have a run of unbroken sunshine, everyone has recharged their batteries and the town is smiling again.

I returned to ski up at the Fornet on Monday and we had excellent snow with very little effort. Because the Signal Poma is still buried in snow and closed, we’ve been ‘skinning’ into the Grand Vallon and profited from a huge powder bowl without any other skiers. We’ve also skied variations over the Col Pers and exited through the Gorge du Malpasset, which has been fun and atmospheric, and we’ve had some good wildlife sightings as well with bouquetin and chamois.

Val d'Isere

Having skied up at the Fornet for several days in a row, I decided on a change of scenery on Tuesday and we headed up Tignes’ Grande Motte and skied the Tour du Balme, which was brilliant. I haven’t done it in years because the entrance has become really tricky as the glacial ice has melted away but, with all the snow we’ve had this season, it has become an option again and it was really nice being out there again.

Val d'Isere

With Wednesday being the last day of guaranteed sunshine we headed back to the Fornet and ‘skinned’ up to the Col du Montet, which is right up against the Italian border. We had stunning scenery and lovely snow top-to-bottom and it was a great morning out in total solitude.

Val d'Isere

The weather turned during Wednesday night and we woke to 10 to 15cms of fresh snow on Thursday morning. As the snow continued to fall, we had a day of flat light and very poor visibility. My colleague Chris and I headed up to the Fornet and skied some fantastic snow with no one else around. We skied the Grand Vallon, Combe du Signal and then the Combe du Geant up on the Pissaillas Glacier. The thermometer read -10ºC and, with humidity and a gentle breeze blowing, it felt colder than it was so we went in for a rare hot chocolate and warm-up before heading over the Col Pers and through the Gorge du Malpasset to finish a great morning when expectations weren’t the highest!

Val d'Isere

The piste skiing has been exceptional of late as the slopes have been groomed to perfection with excellent texture to grip on. With the sun beating down and the resort being pretty quiet, it doesn’t get much better than it was Monday through Wednesday. And, with a little fresh snow, on Thursday the piste skiing continued to be brilliant!

Val d'Isere

We have some fantastic live music in Val d’Isere and I would definitely recommend La Baraque, which is my ‘local’. They have an in-house bassist who is brilliant and he organises visiting artists throughout the winter. The music starts at 19:30 every night except Mondays and it’s always excellent. Le Petit Danois has live après-ski music every night, I go watch the Guinea Pigs every Thursday and 17:30. Old favourites Mike and Ritchie, who are fantastic as well, play the Moris Pub every Friday for après-ski. If you enjoy live music get out there because the music scene in Val d’Isere is getting better and better!

The weather for the weekend looks a little mixed with partly sunny skies on Friday and Saturday and an overcast day on Sunday with colder temperatures. Have a fantastic weekend. One thing for sure is that there isn’t a shortage of snow!

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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