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Les 2 Alpes is back in full swing

We have now recovered from the storm and are fully operational here in Les Deux Alpes

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Alex Chapman - TipTop Ski Coaching | Les 2 Alpes Reporter | Published: 8 Jan 2018

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Les 2 Alpes is back in full swing

Recovery took a few days with the cables having been blown off the second Jandri Express line. All resemblances of pistes markers either disappeared under snow or were blown over/away. Even the pylon protectors had to be dug out of the snow drifts and moved up the pylons! And all the cables were completely iced over so had to be de-iced before the lifts could run again.

The Glacier was opened on Sunday afternoon for the first time after the storm, and what fantastic conditions we now have up there! There is heaps of snow and the pistes have been beautifully prepared... another fantastic example of hero snow. 

The effects of Storm Eleanor on the snowpack

Les 2 Alpes

Storm Eleanor has had obvious effects on the skiing and village. We have seen such heavy rain in the village that there is little snow left on the roads and footpaths. We have also had loads of snow at altitude so the pistes are in excellent condition higher up. The pistes at the bottom have suffered a little from the heavy rain and have been a little firm, or some might say icy, in the mornings but this should be solved with today's expected snowfall!

The rain fell right up into the mountains above 2600m. which is very rare at this time of year. The rain and wind have left very pretty patterns in the snow and have also had huge effects on the snowpack.

Les 2 Alpes

As you can see in the photo above, there are lines running down the snow. This is where the water has run over snow which has also been packed down by the wind. If you arrived in Les Deux Alpes this weekend, or anywhere in the Alps for that matter, you might ask what all these snow resorts have been saying. You could easily have been expecting lots of fresh powder and a deep snowpack and had you have been here before Storm Eleanor that is exactly what you would have found. However, the wind and rain of storm Eleanor have packed down the snowpack to become very dense. This is very dangerous to begin with and we have seen avalanche risks of 4 and, in some areas of the Alps, of 5/5. But, as time goes on and the melt/freeze pattern continues, the pack stabilises and becomes all dense and ready for the next layer to land on it. However, beware, the next layer could well land and not bind so keep your eyes on the risks advertised locally and speak to the ski patrollers before venturing off-piste!

The Bas de Piste / Valley Blanche

Les 2 Alpes

The pistes here tend to be fairly firm in the mornings and, with the warm weather we are having at the moment, soften fairly quickly when the sun hits them. By the afternoon, the snow is a little like spring snow here so nice to ski.

La Toura/Bellecombe

Les 2 Alpes

This area is a good bet for today as the snow is good here, the pistes well prepared and it will be relatively sheltered from the wind.

3200m / The Glacier

Les 2 Alpes

Piste conditions are fantastic up here! However, it is exposed so is likely to be affected by today's forecast gale force winds.

The forecast

Les 2 Alpes

This week, we are seeing the wind returning to the east bringing some snow with it. The temperatures are still relatively high for this time of year so we may see a little rain in the village but, from Le Cret up, it should fall as lovely fluffy white flakes! Today's winds are still high but we hope to see these decrease as the week goes on.

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Les 2 Alpes dump alerts and snow reports are brought to you by Alex, from TipTop Ski Coaching. Read more from her on her website.

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