A tragic avalanche in Les Deux Alpes!!!!

13 January 2016

The wind was clocked at 126km/h on Solaise around 3AM and the temperatures have dropped significantly. It was jolly chilly this morning waiting for the Funival to open and when it finally did around 10:15 it was -18C and blowing a hoolie at the top! Unfortunately the wonderful snow we’ve enjoyed over the past four-days at mid-altitude took a hammering last night and made for much tougher skiing, but it was still very good lower down in the trees. Fortunately they opened Tommeuses just about when we were getting ready to call it a day and I was very surprised at how good the snow was at altitude, and in fact it was excellent. That’s good news for the next few days as the wind is forecast to drop and with the sun peaking through we should have much improved visibility to work with.

There have been some huge slides, some natural and others controlled by the Pisteurs, and the most impressive one I’ve seen was on the summit of Tommeuses where the fracture-line was a good two metres. You can see why it took so long to secure the pistes this morning because 126km/h of wind transports a vast amount of snow and in places the accumulation will be even deeper. Hopefully people will behave when the sun comes out because it will be seriously dangerous out there. As Henry would say, “It’s time to go for low-hanging fruit!” Too right Henry!

I’ve posted a few photos but my camera froze-up mid-morning and I missed some shots of Pisteurs throwing dynamite and the fracture line under the Tommeuses chair, along with some good powder shots. C’est la vie!

It was a great win for the Hammers last night moving us up to fifth in the table and Dave had a bounce in his step this morning after Villa’s win. Stay tuned for more news tomorrow.

PS- On my way to the gym this afternoon in the sunshine I had a good look around and was very disappointed with where people have been skiing. We’ve had ten-straight days of heavy snow and wind, a weak unstable base, an extremely high avalanche, and people are traversing and attacking steep slopes all over the place. Disappointing and sad, but sadly not surprising!

PSS LATE BREAKING NEWS

There was a tragic avalanche around 4 o’clock this afternoon in Les Deux Alpes. Twelve students from Lyon were skiing with an accompanying adult on a ‘closed’ piste. Three are reported dead, several are seriously injured and five students are still missing. It doesn’t get much sadder than that! Details are still coming in.

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