New year, new start and new snow….finally!
Happy new year everyone and we hope you have all had a suitably festive time over the Christmas period. We have finally got a few moments to catch breath after a very busy start to the season, but as you will no doubt have seen - a very dry start again this year. Since that big dump of snow we had back at the end of November there has hardly been a flake fall across the Alps since then. We had some, but limited skiing available in each of our resorts, but given the crowds that head to the mountains for New Year, the slopes that were open were very crowded and lift queues were much lengthier than normal. It hasn’t been all bad though; the weather has been absolutely beautiful for the most part, with sun shining day after day and we still enjoyed a lovely festive atmosphere in town with Christmas markets, carol singing, festive lights and of course, a visit from the big man himself in his red suit.
2016 has begun in a very positive manner though and since the bells rang at midnight on the 31st it has hardly stopped snowing. We are swamped with the stuff! If you scroll through the photos below you will see that the recent snowfall depths in Chamonix are already way off the Jack Russell-ometer (the longer legged model too!) and there has easily been over a metre fall at 1000m. As most of our skiing is above 2000m, higher up, this has led to some pretty epic powder days since the weekend and although the visibility has been a bit sketchy at times, the rocks and bare patches that plagued the early season skiers are rapidly disappearing both on and off piste. It has been face shot central on social media this week! However, there is a serious side to this amount fresh snow falling on a hard and patchy base and the avalanche risk is significant at 3-4/5 across most of the Alps. High winds at altitude have also contributed to forming a very unstable snow pack so now is definitely the time to book the services of a mountain guide to safely make the most of the powder.
Now that it has finally arrived, the snow doesn’t appear to be in any rush to stop in the coming week and you will definitely be better off packing a snorkel rather than your sun cream if you are heading this way in the next few days. If you haven’t got yourself a ski trip sorted for this winter yet then now is the time to do it because January is one of the best times of the season to come out. Although it can be cold, the crowds have gone and you get the mountains almost to yourself at this time of year, plus, we often enjoy some of the best snow conditions. No doubt you are also still feeling the after effects of stuffing your face continuously over the Christmas fortnight and in need of some fresh air and exercise. Well, what better way to work off the excesses of Christmas than a ski trip to the Alps? And don’t worry if your salopettes are feeling a bit on the snug side either – the sales are on so you can bag yourself a new outfit while you are here!