Neve, neve, neve ... neige, neige, neige!
Finally the long-awaited snows arrived like a big, white, blanketing Christmas present.
On Christmas Eve the southern French Alps and western Italian Alps got a nice dump of 20-40cms.
Elsewhere the temperature dropped and the snow arrived for the rest on Christmas Day. Nice pressie!
At Chamonix, we received around 30-50cms in the ski areas and 10-15cms in the valley towns. While this only partially covered all the rocks, it did make the pistes a lot better.
During the storm, we skied at Saint-Gervais and Megeve where the visibility was better because of the forests. There was some good, soft powder early on, but it was too early for the resorts to open new runs so things were a bit limited.
At Chamonix after it cleared we had a great morning at Balme, which is right up near the border with Switzerland. Stunning views, including back down the Chamonix valley. There were lots of great freshies to be had from the Tete de Balme.
Further east the snow continued, with places like Monte Rosa and Madonna Di Campiglio scoring around one metre from the dump over two days. Madesimo got a whopping two metres!
A follow-up front on the 28th December brought another 10-30cms across the region. Nice to be getting regular falls again after that crazy December drought.
The powder was lots of fun as the clouds began to clear and the sun peeped out again. We were at little Piano Di Bobbio near Lecco in Italy and had some great skiing in the new snow off the peak.
A run of beautiful, clear and sunny days has followed. Don't think that means another warm spell though: temperatures have been seasonally cold - we arrived at Corvatsch on the 30th December where it was -13c in the car park!
The weather is changing again, which promises to refresh the tracked out powder and make the pistes nice and chalky again.
Showers are forecast for the 2nd January, and then a bigger storm may arrive in the Alps on the weekend which could bring another half a metre or more.
A selection of much healthier looking snow depths from around the French and Italian Alps today:
Val D'Isere: 62cms@1850m; 103cms@2500m; and 66/79 pistes now open
Val Thorens: 90cms@2300m; 135cms@3200m
Megeve: 20cms@1151m; 90cms@2014m
Chamonix: 10cms in town; 120cms midway up the Grand Montets; but still only 48cms@2000-2500m in sunny Brevent and Balme.
Monte Rosa: 90/200cms
Piani Di Bobbio: 130/160cms
Madonna Di Campoglio: 120/170cms
Val Gardena: 45/140cms
As you can see, the Italian Alps have certainly done incredibly well over the past week, but nice to see everywhere fully open for January.
Happy New Year! Buon Anno! Bonne Annee!