Mixed weather on both north & south sides of Mont Blanc this week has given a mixture of warm wet snow lower down, and wind lashed snow higher up….but there has been a band of good skiing in between in both Chamonix, Courmayeur and further down Val d’Aosta in La Thuile and Pila.
Our attempts to do a mountaineering ascent on Mont Valaisan between La Thuile and Le Rosiere were brought to a rapid conclusion in very strong winds and thick yet highly localised cloud. We found calmer conditions and some good touring and decent snow in the base of the sheltered North / East facing valleys on the La Thuile side of Mont Valaisan. On the North facing Pt St. Bernard flank of the mountain there was still some good snow near the top of the tree line.
Likewise at Courmayeur there was a band of nice powder snow with some good fresh tracks to be had and a very quiet resort, but the band tracked rapidly up the mountain during the day leaving only a sliver between it and the wind crust at the close of play.
The snow cover is excellent at all these resorts in Val d’Aosta with pretty much all lifts and pistes open and it feels like the season could go on a while from a snow volume point of view.
Teams were skiing off both the Youla and Arp but the snow was wind affected on the north facing Val Veny side and better slightly lower down.
There has been less fresh snow further down the Val d’Aosta at Pila, but also less wind! The cover is excellent and we enjoyed more good touring from the lifts including on the fine north and NW facing slopes leading up to the Punta Valleta (3090m) with great views down to Cogne and across to the Grivola and Gran Paradiso although the latter was shrouded in cloud today and reports were of some very windy nights at the Paradiso Huts recently!
Looks like some more mixed weather ahead with winter and spring tussling for dominance. We have chosen to ski the winter snow mostly this week but look forward to some early starts for south facing spring magic carpet rides soon….Bon Ski!