Very, very cold here in Courchevel ....but fabulous skiing!
2nd February 2012
A bright and relatively sunny ‘Groundhog Day’ greeted us this morning. So, with shadows everywhere, according to folklore, winter should continue and spring is not ‘just around the corner’. It was minus 12°c on my balcony and around minus 14°c when I got to the top of the mountain at around 9:35am. Now I’m normally a ‘one set of thermals, ski-top & jacket’ sort of bloke but this morning I really got the impression that it was a ‘2 sets of thermals, a ski top, a Musto fleece and a jacket plus balaclava, neck warmer and ski helmet' sort of a day!
Good call! It was colder than a cold, cold thing but it was pretty difficult to retreat indoors as the snow was just so perfect. We’ve had almost 6 metres of snowfall during December and January (around 19 feet). To put that in perspective; we had less than 2 metres in the whole of last season and none of the previous 3 seasons exceeded 4 metres total.
Even with all this snow, the snow cannons are being run at night, as it’s so cold, in order to create a stockpile. There were huge mounds in the Pralong, Biollay and Loze Est areas this morning. These mounds of snow can then be smeared across the piste when needed (about August, I reckon, at this rate).
Piste ‘M’, the black run down the front of the mountain below the Vizelle telecabine was the Piste du Jour. This is approached by a pathway between the Suisses chair and the telecabine which gives access to Combe Pylones or Piste’M’ (no I don’t know why it’s called that!). ‘M’ is a pretty steep black run and grows very large moguls when left alone but about three times a season it gets pisted and today was one of those days. Beautiful corduroy from top to bottom with about four other tracks down it when I skied it at 9:40.
Before I went out this morning I had a look on the S3V website (the lift company who own the Courchevel lifts and Meribel Mottaret lifts). There’s an excellent map on their site which shows where piste grooming has taken place the previous night, so I could see that the wonderful black run called Jockeys had been pisted. As this is the natural route back home from my favourite restaurant (the Bouc Blanc) it seemed a no-brainer to book a table there then ski home afterwards. Plat du jour at €14 was Blanquette de Veau (veal in a creamy sauce) with the usual choice of gratin potatoes, frites, pasta or vegetables. Always excellent but even in low season you must book. It was packed today by 1pm, mainly because everyone wanted a seat indoors to avoid freezing to death on the terrace.
The weather forecast is for temperatures around -18°c through the weekend (!) then warming to a balmy -10°c by next Wednesday. No snow is forecast in the foreseeable future, thank goodness as we now have quite enough, thank you! A bit of sun and a little cloud seems to be the outlook but if you’re coming out this weekend bring every layer of thermals you own. Then go and buy some more!
Conditions at time of reporting:
- Depth of snow on lower slopes
179 cms.at 1850m.
- Date of last snowfall
1st February 2012
- Depth of last snowfall
14 cms at 2700m.
- Highest temperature
-12°c at 2700m.
- Depth of snow on upper slopes
230 cms at 2700m.
- Number of pistes open
109 of 109
- Avalanche risk