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HAT Off-Piste Snow Report for 27 February to 6 March
Snowing in La Daille Val d Isere / Italian border areas
WEATHER FORECAST (as reported by Météo-France on 27th February).
Wednesday 27th: Sunny with high cloud. Cloud becoming denser at the French/Italian border areas of Haute Tarentaise, Haute Maurienne and other border areas, with Lombard and Foehn winds in these areas too. It is snowing near the border now (see photo). Temperatures -1 at 2000 m and -3 at 3000 m. Tonight: cloudy at areas bordering the frontier, clear elsewhere. -9 at 2000 m and -11 at 3000 m. Winds E to SE 20-30 km/hr at 2500 m, E 50-70 km/hr at 4000 m.
Thursday 28th: Sunny at altitude, except cloudy in frontier/border areas - possible snow. Warmer temperatures with 0 at 2000 m and -6 at 3000 m. Clear night.
Friday 1st: Cloud slow to clear below 1200 m in the Pre-Alps (in and around Chambery, Annecy and just west of Grenoble). Everywhere else a sunny day. Lessening wind E with warmer temperatures.
Saturday 2nd: Sunny, warmer temperatures;
Sunday 3rd & Monday 4th: Sunny and warm, 0 at 2000, with gentle winds.
Tuesday 5th & Wednesday 6th: Winds S, strengthening. Fairly overcast on Tuesday and snow at altitude on Wednesday (rain/snow limit above 1500 m).
OFF-PISTE SNOW CONDITIONS
We are finding a bit of everything at the moment, varying from heavy snow below 2000 m and on S facing slopes (up to 2750 m or more) which is often crusty in the mornings; on North'ish facing slopes the snow is cold and light in some places and windblown (but still fairly light) in other places to hard windblown snow in exposed areas near mountain tops.
It has now been about 3 weeks since we had any significant fresh snowfall, so we are continuing to have to ski-tour to find untracked snow. However, all is not lost: Wayne's Daily Diary, from today (27th Feb) and yesterday reports that you can still find some amazing powder snow if you persevere, as the recent cold temperatures and minimal snowfall led to the snow he found becoming regenerated, allowing some beautiful skiing.
BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THERE IS A GOOD AMOUNT OF SNOW COMING DOWN - UNEXEPECTEDLY - UP AND DOWN THE BORDER AREAS AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING ... so tomorrow might be nice for those areas of the N. French Alps around the Italian border!
The snow pack is stable, especially the deeper layers. There may be a few areas of shallow non-cohesive windslab (10 to 20 cm deep) at areas above 2000 m along the French/Italian border due to the southerly Foehn wind mentioned above (see also the avalanche that Henry triggered on yestereday's blog on this link). Pay attention on steep slopes and on slopes facing N to W. There may be a few areas of older thicker windslab persisting on N/NW slopes above 2700 m. Elsewhere, particularly on warmer S facing slopes, the risk of glide cracks releasing remains a possibility.
For the N. French Alps avalanche bulletins by Météo France see:
TIP OF THE WEEK - snowpack is pretty stable, but continue to stay alert!
Just because snowpack conditions are relatively stable doesn't mean that the glide crack you are skiing under won't release; or the steep fresh snow that you're skiing in won't release either. Chances are much less when things are more stable, but we're always looking around and expecting the unexpected even when the snowpack is relatively stable as it is now. See the story about the slab that Henry triggered yesterday on this link)
We will be updating our blog as much as possible especially if conditions start to look unstable (or if I have some nice photos from a great ski!) on www.henrysavalanchetalk.com/blog also on twitter.com/HenryOff_Piste
Ride Hard !! Ride Safe
Henry & the HAT Team