Winter 2012/2013 – the story so far…

We are almost mid season, and it feels like it hasn’t stopped snowing for weeks! Snow depths in the Portes du Soleil are impressive – nearly 4 m at the top of the domain. And temperatures are low so the snow is staying good.

This season is certainly becoming one to remember. It started off great and has got better ever since. Take a look at Chatel skier Nicolas Cruz Mermy on the Super Chatel opening day – the day after the world was meant to end…

Great end of season conditions in the Portes du Soleil

After a mild and sunny March, I was just about ready to hang up my skis and get my bike out for the summer. However, winter has returned with a vengeance – heavy snow  on the mountain (even a light covering in the village of Chatel) and cold temperatures and more snow forecast for the rest of the weekend.

With the lifts staying open until the 22nd April, and the pistes (and off piste) empty, the next 8 days promise to offer fantastic skiing and boarding in the area. The Chatel tourist board are still reporting over 1 m 50 at top station and there is still 2 m at the top of the Portes du Soleil.

For those of us who live here – this is a little reward for all the hard work during the winter season. And once the lifts close, if it remains snowy I’ll just have to get my touring skis back out!

Stunning spring conditions in the Portes du Soleil

As the Easter holidays approach, it really doesn’t get any better than this for spring skiing. It is warm, but not too warm, the pistes are in great condition (still well over 2m at the top of the Portes du Soleil, and everyone is happy skiing on great spring snow under clear blue skies. To cap it all off, we may get another dump of snow at the end of the week. Happy days…

Snow update – the season so far…

Snow in Avoriaz
Snow in Avoriaz

Wow, what a season it has been so far. We had huge dumps of snow at the end of December and throughout January, followed by a couple of weeks of Siberian temperatures. The snow is fantastic, over 3 m at the top of the Portes du Soleil. And once again this area has benefited most from the snowfall. Pretty much all areas in France have good coverage (including areas not in the mountains) but as per usual the Portes du Soleil has more snow at 2-2500 m than Val Thorens has at 3200 m. Still goes to show – you don’t need to go high to get the best snow, you just need to come to the Portes du Soleil!

The White-Peak team have been busy not only selling ski holidays in the Portes du Soleil, but also with music festivals in Avoriaz, and Alpine interior design projects. However, this all comes to an end at the weekend and we hope to be able to get some skiing done (just in time for the kids breaking up from school)!

We hope to see you in Chatel soon…

Chatel Snow Report

Snow in Chatel
Losing my garden to the snow

If you are interested in skiing, and you have an internet connection, I am sure it won’t have escaped your notice that it has been snowing in the Alps.

Here in Chatel and the Portes du Soleil, it has been dumping it down for days. The freezing level is low and the snow depths are very impressive for this early in the season.  The top of the Portes du Soleil has over 2 m, and even at the bottom of the runs we have nearly a metre.

Snow conditions have settled since the weekend, and the avalanche danger has been reduced to 3 (which is still pretty high, but a lot better than the 4/5 we had at the end of last week). So the off piste is open for business as long as you keep your sensible head on.

Snow in Chatel
Peering into the snow storm

And it is still snowing, with up to 50 cm forecast for the next 24-36 hours.

This snow gives us a fantastic base to build on for the rest of the season. It also ensures great conditions for the Christmas and New Year guests. For now though, all the locals are just walking around with big smiles on their faces. With hardly anyone on the mountain, there is more than enough powder to go around.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be up to my waist in the white fluffy stuff…

Snow, snow and more snow…

Finally we have woken up to white mountains and the high pressure which we have been enjoying all Autumn has finally dispersed. The forecast for the the next week is looking great – cold temperatures and snow!

Take a look at this prediction for next weekend – over a metre of snow predicted to fall in 24 hours.

Time to wax my skis and get my snow tyres on.

Snow Forecast

Excellent snow conditions in the Portes du Soleil

Fighting the crowds during half term weekIt’s been a bit of a lean winter, snow-wise, until recently. That being said, the conditions on piste have been excellent and a real testament to the talents of the snow makers and piste preparation staff.

Now, however, it looks as though winter has finally decided to arrive. We have had a lot of snow over the last week or so, and conditions on and off piste are superb. Chatel has 1m30, and Avoriaz has 1m70 so after a slow start we have quickly caught up to where the snow conditions should be at this time of year, and things are looking good for skiing throughout March and April.

And despite it being half term week, we managed to find empty open areas to ski this morning well away from the crowds.

Winter has arrived – Nov 2010

Cold temperatures and plenty of snow has heralded the start of winter. The lifts are opening in a few day’s time, and I am definitely getting my touring skis out for a bit of an uphill push this weekend.

The mountains have a good base down which is always a good sign for the season.

I’ll post some pics when I am back from my tour.

Winter season update – March 12th 2010

Chatel Waterslide
Chatel 3 style days

As we near the half way point in March, it is clear that this is turning into an epic season. We have had consistent snowfall and cold temperatures now pretty much since the end of December, snow conditions are still fantastic, the sun is shining and the pistes are pretty empty. I knew there was a reason why I love March skiing so much.

There are some great events lined up over the next couple of weeks, including the Chatel 3 style days which includes downhill mountainbiking on snow, freestyle ski & board competition and waterslide (20-24th March).

Full details of the event can be found on the Chatel Tourism Website.