We’ve been here before – the newspapers jumping onto a story and reporting a lack of snow backed up by a picture of a sketchy piste and the ski tour operators saying it is actually fine. So what are snow conditions really like? Here is our unvarnished report from our resorts.
The late November fall was a brilliant start to the season and we looked well set for vintage early season conditions. However it has not snowed significantly since. Despite this conditions have been mostly cold and clear so pistes have held up surprisingly well not least because the resorts have become so good at looking after the snow they have, creating strategic piste-side reserves to supplement the impressive snow making made possible by cold conditions. This has kept pistes in surprisingly good condition despite the lack of significant snowfall since November.
So if you look at the mountain in our resorts now you will see a lot of brown at lower levels but they do have significant white bands of snowy piste and you can ski all the way down to the village in all our resorts. The photo shows the current conditions above Les Coches being enjoyed by some of our younger skiers. We are going to take some credit here as we picked only resorts where this is almost always the case even in poor snow years. We are pleased say that all our guests are to ski as normal from their chalets.
Many other skiers in the Alps are not so lucky as they are facing bus trips. For example skiers staying in Morzine 7km down the valley from Ardent are having to take a trip to Chamonix one and a half hours away to get any skiing. This is because the lift company restricts the sale of lift passes to guests resident in resort to prevent overcrowding on the pistes. We are certainly in the right place in Ardent – all our chalets are within 200m of the Ardent telecabine and lift passes are fully available to us. You can still ski back to the village in Ardent though some of the pistes are showing signs of wear and have icy patches and some runs in the Portes du Soleil are closed. That said the snow cannons are on every night in the cold conditions.
Our Resort Manager in Les Coches reports: “I was in Les Arcs today and the snow conditions were good especially around the Aiguille Rouge which had great snow at the top. La Plagne has snowy pistes from the canons but is quite icy in parts.”
Looking ahead we could certainly use some more snow. The forecast is cold and sunny up to New Year’s Day which will help keep snow in good condition and offer some enjoyable skiing in fine weather. Then it does look like significant snow is coming from the 4th or 5th January to the Portes du Soleil http://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-montagne/avoriaz/74110. The forecast for Les Coches and Reberty is similar.