So what’s the skiing in France really like right now? The answer is pretty good, if you go high – as this video in Val d’Isere yesterday deliciously illustrates. Val is enjoying some of the best conditions in Europe at the moment, with 37 lifts running and more opening every day – the link to Tignes should be operating from this weekend. There’s a hard-packed base of 63cm with up to another 20cm expected on Sunday. However, at the moment you still have to download to the village which is covered in a white sheet (not yet a blanket) of 11cm.
As our latest snow report indicates, temperatures are yo-yo-ing like fury. You can’t make snow if it is not freezing, and that the problem for all French resorts at village level right now. Still, the Men’s World Cup Races on the notorious La Face are likely to go ahead as scheduled next weekend.
Meanwhile the rest of us can enjoy kilometre upon kilometre of beautifully prepared pistes above 2100m, as well as some satisfying powder, as these guys demonstrated this morning up on the Pays Desert off the Pissaillas glacier.
At the top of the ski area there are huge accumulations of snow, thanks to the local weather phenomenon known as the Retour d’Est. Whereas nearly all other resorts in France rely on snow sweeping in from the Atlantic, the Retour quite often brings snow up from the Mediterranean. It’s a narrow band that tends to hit Sestriere in Italy before dropping on the Col de l’Iseran above Le Fornet.
If you fancy joining us here for a three-day technical tune-up with ski guru Pat Zimmer next weekend (Saturday, December 8 to Tuesday, December 11) contact Le Ski. There are still a few spaces available.