OFF-PISTE SNOW REPORT FOR 3 March Northern French Alps

 

WEATHER FORECAST

Getting much colder late Sunday night  - light snow starting then too.. we hope cause we need it. Light precipitation down to 600 m on Monday then snowfalls intensifying Monday evening; snow down to 500 m. Back to light snowfalls on Tuesday. Note: it doesn't sound like the wind will be picking up until Wednesday when the sun comes back (strong winds out of the North are forecast).

 
OFF PISTE SNOW CONDITIONS
If you walk and sniff around there’s some good stuff to be found mainly high and North, but we need new snow pretty bad to improve the conditions off piste. There's some spring snow around too, but again you gotta sniff for that and walk for smooth..
 
SNOW STABILITY
The avalanche danger ratings have gone down significantly since Météo France put the rating to 4 in much of Savoie and Haute Savoie for Friday (see links to forecasts below)
 
The weak, unconsolidated old snow layer (which is the best quality snow to ski in now) remains a definite source of instability if we get more than 15 cm next week - especially on North’ish facing slopes in areas that have had a thin snow layer earlier in the season: like ridges, passes, peaks and slopes that have avalanched earlier this season.
 
This weak layer will make the snowpack unstable once new snow comes down on top of it – EXCEPT on South’ish facing slopes and slopes up to 2300 m (approx) where the snowpack is much more stable thanks to the warming this past week and subsequent firming/freezing due to the temperatures that are forecast to go down some tomorrow (Sunday) and a lot on Monday.
 
I'm not ignoring the glide cracks, but I'm not spending time under them either!
 
I 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
 
TIP OF THE WEEK
Check the avalanche forecast bulletin the day before (see links below), but then use your own best judgment as to whether or not to venture on to steeper slopes – look around for recent avalanche activity on slopes that are similar to the one your looking to ski next.
 
Click on the following to see the latest bulletins in the new format for the départments of the Northern French Alps.
 
The new format for these bulletins is a big advancement thanks to the visuals, but it is difficult to do an auto translation due to the new format that Météo France publishes them in; this is why we no longer have a translation of the bulletin for you. To comment on the difficulty of doing an automatic translation on these new formats or anything else related  - please click here

Ride Hard ! Ride Safe

Henry