After eight glorious days of sunshine the weather has started to changed over the past few days. And the change forecast for the next few days is even more drastic!
We are expecting between 60 and 80 cm’s of snow over the next couple of days. But, the rain/snow limit will rise to about 2700 metres, which is a long way up the mountain. It will ruin some potentially great skiing short term but it will help stabilise the mountain. In the long run the stabilising of the snow pack will be critical because we have a period of serious instability coming up.
During this prolonged high-pressure period the shady slopes (northern and eastern) have developed some serious goblet. Goblet is big grains without cohesion which become very unstable when snowed upon. This weak layer won’t support a big load of new snow and when the new snow comes it will be very unstable.
The avalanche risk has been 2/5 and 1/5 below about 2400 meters. The main risk off-piste lately has been the rocks lying just below the surface. But, as soon as a big load arrives the risk will jump to a serious 4/5 by Wednesday or Thursday. The rain will definitely help to purge the mountain naturally. And the rain will further stabilise the snow pack when the temperatures drop and we get a solid re-freeze.
Chris, Andreas and Thomas were all out this morning and had really good mornings. The vis wasn’t brilliant but good enough to navigate, which is always a relief. Andreas had a young Australian couple who could really ski. The lady used to race and ski bumps competitively and her partner wasn’t too bad either. They hadn’t ‘skinned’ before so they skied the Little Lavachet and walked out before skiing the Sachette Couloir. (Andreas had another good skier Victor along as well).
Thomas had a strong group who have been here for a couple of weeks so he decided on a total change of scenery. After skiing the Borsat Nord he ‘skinned’ to the Col des Ves. The Col des Ves is steep and pretty impressive and always great ambiance. It was a little rockier than expected but they all dealt with it admirably before ‘skinning’ out. Bravo tea Thomas!
I’ve no idea what Chris and Michael skied. Chris may post some photos later. (I put up a couple) Meanwhile, after his exploits yesterday Henry gave himself a well deserved rest this morning!
I had a lovely Covid Coffee with Nicki this morning complete with mince pies! Then I met up with Stocky for a 1h45 minute walk up the Manchet Valley. I felt much stronger today compared to yesterday and am hoping for the best test-wise. My plan was to ski again on Wednesday but Thursday may be a more realistic target.
Stay tuned for more news tomorrow!
PS Margaret has now tested positive but thankfully isn’t feeling severe symptoms.