Off Piste Snow Report : 6th - 10th February 2016

Tricky visibility but not half bad! Wayne Watson photo

 Extended Weather Forecast (as reported by Météo-France Savoie) for Savoie and the N French Alps: 

Changing off-piste conditions with unsettled, stormy weather. Some snowfall, but not especially low temperatures.

 
Saturday 6th: Winds turning south/south westerly.

UPDATE to Off Piste Snow Report : 30th January - 3rd February 2016 N. French Alps

Snow! Morning 30 Jan 2016

Much more snow forecast for today (Sunday) and more midweek will keep the danger rating at 4 (for Savoie and H Savoie.. Isère will increase if increased snow) for the beginning of this week and maybe through mid week.

30 cm or more has fallen over night in many places around 2000 see photo outside my window this morning and it is forecast to continue all day.

Off Piste Snow Report : 30th January - 3rd February 2016

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Current Off-piste conditions 27 January Wayne Watson photo

Extended Weather Forecast (as reported by Météo-France Savoie) for Savoie and the N French Alps: 

Mild temperatures and some light precipitation, hopefully falling as snow above 2000 m. The snowpack has been stabilising quicker than we expected, but watch out for increased avalanche danger ratings as soon as we get any significant amount of precipitation!

 
Saturday 30th: Warm and sunny.

Off Piste Snow Report : 23rd - 27th January 2016

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Current avalanche danger rating is 3 above 2200 m. Explanation from ORTOVOX Safety Academy.

 

Extended Weather Forecast (as reported by Météo-France Savoie) for Savoie and the N French Alps: 

Brighter days and milder temperatures ahead. Have fun off-piste, but remember that the weak layer in the snowpack is still there....

Saturday 23rd: Some sunshine and milder temperatures, 0° at 2500 m.

What do danger ratings of 4 and 3 mean?! Good visual answers from ORTOVOX Safety Academy

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ORTOVOX Safety Acad danger rating 4

 

Check out the 3 images above to get an idea of what danger ratings of 4 and 3 mean

Remember, if you ski on a steep unstable slope, you probably will not trigger an avalanche even when it's 'dangerous'. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you're good, it probably means that you were lucky (stats say that you'll probably only trigger an avalanche on an unstable slope 2-3% of the time - that's why so many 'dangerous' slopes get skied and nothing happens.. but then one or two do release..).

Off Piste Snow Report : 16th - 20th January 2016

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Avalanche in Tignes triggered by a skier on a slope above 30°, very close to the piste. Fortunately not fatal. Photo @Guidemimi

 (For N. French Alps)
Sunny 'bluebird' days and very cold temperatures ahead. Beware of a 'powder frenzy' as soon as the visibility improves, and don't get caught out. Off-piste conditions are still mega-unstable out there!

 

Saturday 16th: A very cold northerly weather system coming in. Snow showers until mid/late morning, brightening up later.

Avalanche accident in les Deux Alpes

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The setting

You will probably have heard about this tragic accident where schoolchildren from Lyon have been caught in an avalanche and at least three have died today.  There is only sketchy information so far but we thought it is worth recording a few obserations and lessons

Hangout with Henry - finding the best routes, navigating safely

FATMAP map indicator
The people who have the most fun off piste find the best routes.  This is about where the best snow is, away from the crowds, where the safe snow is and knowing the best way out and back home.  Some of this is navigation, some is avalanche awareness, it always involves understanding the conditions, sometimes you need a map.  You always need to know where you are.
 

Join Henry on SUNDAY 1800GMT to discuss how to do this

Henry will tell us how he finds is way around, especially when he goes into less familiar terrain.
See video
See video

Hangout with Henry - How to find the best off-piste guides

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The recording of our live broadcast discussion tonight.

 
The Hangout kicks off with Henry's introduction on the current conditions and where to find the best snow. Henry also discusses the recent avalanche accidents in Val d'Isere and what we can learn from them.
 
The second half (from 26.17) of the hangout looks at how to find the best off piste guide. So one who will meet your needs and give you a perfect day out.
See video

Questions people are asking

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Avalanche above closed piste Santons (Radio Val d Isere)
People are asking about the current conditions.  This picture from Jean Christophe Souillac shows how easily an avalanche can be triggered next to piste.  There was no-one in this avalanche, but if they had been it would have been bad as all the snow piles up in the bottom of the bowl.
 
We just got these questions from a journalist and thought you would like to see our answers
 

What may have been the triggers of the avalanche in the Savoie region this week?

Dry slab avalanches are triggered by extra weight.
See video
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