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Super skiing in Val d'Isere

Excellent conditions on and off the piste

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Wayne Watson | Val d'Isere Reporter | Published: 22 Dec 2017

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Super skiing in Val d'Isere

Great skiing over the weekend and then more snow on Monday made for several fantastic ski days. Even if they were tempered slightly by high avalanche risk.

After a sensational weekend of powder skiing, it was a little tougher on Monday. The resort was hit hard track-wise on Sunday with the good visibility. With the extremely flat-light Monday morning, it was difficult to see enough to travel far enough to access fresh tracks and the old tracks underneath made for fairly rough skiing at times.

Val d'Isere

The visibility improved drastically in the afternoon and was one of those rare occasions when the afternoon skiers had the best of it. The pistes, however, were excellent, especially in the morning when they were perfectly groomed with a few centimetres on top, and before they started to become bumpy.

Val d'Isere

Now that the World Cup races are over, the holiday makers have reclaimed the La Daille sector that boasts some of the best pistes in the resort, and very important pistes for those skiing down at the end of the day. The extra available pistes mean fewer crowds and less ice, which makes for a much more pleasant end to the day.

Val d'Isere

On Tuesday, the sun was back out and it was another stunning day of high-quality powder skiing. I skied the scenically beautiful Tour du Charvet before heading up to the Fornet to Combe du 3300 followed by a ‘skin’ out. We then went over the Col Pers for the first time this season. The Col Pers is at the far end of the resort and is up against the Italian border and boasts great snow and fantastic scenery.

Val d'Isere

On Wednesday, Meteo France bumped up the avalanche risk to 4/5, which totally altered my plans. My colleagues and I didn’t think a 4 rating was warranted but, as a professional, if you ever had an accident on a day with a 4/5 rating you’d be in serious trouble with the authorities so we all toned down our mornings and did much less than we might have. (There was also a strong north-easterly wind at altitude that played a factor in our decision making.) I ended up skiing some lovely gentle slopes in Tignes and the snow quality was really quite superb!

Val d'Isere

Thursday was another sunny day with Meteo France lowering the avalanche risk to 3/5 above 2700 metres and 2/5 below 2700 but I decided to leave the steeps slopes alone and headed back up to the Fornet for some fantastic but gentle skiing in the Pays Desert. We had three short ‘skins’ of between 10 and 20 minutes each and accessed untracked snow top-to-bottom. I picked up my family in Geneva last night and we didn’t arrive home until  03:00 so a gentle day was exactly what I needed.

Val d'Isere

The piste skiing has also been absolutely brilliant with perfectly groomed runs with excellent snow texture and stunning blue skies to go with it. Next week will be much busier so I recommend that you get out on the first lift to avoid the crowds and to get the best of the snow as all the main slopes with man-made snow will become hard and icy as the day wears on.

The forecast for the weekend looks pretty good with a partly sunny day on Friday followed by sunshine on both Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy the weather and the snow and have a fantastic weekend, and look out for another update on Monday.


Follow more from Wayne in his Daily Diary.

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