It was sad to say goodbye!

05 January 2016

It snowed a good 20cm’s overnight, maybe more, and with little wind to speak of the snow quality today was superb! And to really make for a stunning day was unexpected sunshine that gave us excellent visibility all morning long. (see photos) It was a maximum-turn type of morning with outstanding snow but the risk was 4/5 so thoughtful choices were a must.

It is a dangerous time after so long without snow and at this time of year because of the weak morning sun the east facing slopes are very similar to northern slopes, meaning both exposures have goblet right down to ground level. The eastern slopes have also been loaded up with wind-transported snow of late and on top of the goblet it is a recipe for trouble.

The sun allowed us to have a good look around today and many east facing slopes had plaques popping out naturally, and plaques were dropping into the huge bowls around the Tommeuses sector. Plaques are also being triggered from a distance of 100metres and when slides are happening without the weight of skiers and through distance triggering you know the mountain is unstable. And unfortunately there were a couple of serious avalanches in town today leaving one skier dead and another seriously injured. The fatality was on the east facing traverse into the Kern.

Snow is forecast again for tomorrow with a gusting westerly wind and the avalanche rating has already been dropped to 3/5, but after what a saw today I won’t be paying much attention to that and will treat the mountain as 4/5, especially if we can’t see!

I’ve just returned from taking the girls to the airport. It was a sad occasion and we are all looking forward to their return in February!

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