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Mixed bag of weather in Les 2 Alpes

Changeable weather conditions in resort this week

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Alex Armand - TipTop Ski Coaching | Les 2 Alpes Reporter | Published: 13 Mar 2019

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Mixed bag of weather in Les 2 Alpes

What varied weather we have had! Snow, sun, wind, rain, cold and warm temperatures have all collided in the last few days. 

Yesterday we had a bluebird powder day, the best day of the week, in my opinion. The pistes were perfectly groomed and boasting soft corduroy whilst there was some powder around the off-piste for those with the local knowledge to find it.

The Glacier

This week has been surprisingly very busy so getting to the glacier requires a plan. The best time to go up the second section of the Jandri Express lift is either first thing in the morning or at lunchtime. The French all stop for lunch between 12:30 and 13:30 so the slopes are quieter then, as are the lifts. There has been a reasonable amount of snow up here so the slopes are soft. This is excellent first thing and makes for lovely easy skiing. During the afternoon, the slopes become bumpy where everyone has skied the soft snow – these bumps are still soft and fun. The views from up here were magnificent yesterday with clear blue skies in the morning offering a panoramic all the way to Mont Blanc and over into the Ecrins National Park. Don’t forget the eight-person Glacier chairlift that takes you to 2900m, it is generally very quiet and takes you nearly as high as the Jandri Express.

2600m & La Toura

With the new eight-person chairlift in La Toura, this area has become an excellent choice. It is also north-facing so the snow stays in good conditions. This week, where we have seen and are expecting some more bad weather but the blue runs here are in gullies so offer some extra definition. The snowpark is also great fun with jumps for everyone – the big jumps are enormous and the little ones perfect for beginners or kids. There is always a friendly, fun-filled atmosphere in the park. Don’t forget to challenge each other to a dual slalom, this is videoed and can be watched and shared afterward. 

La Fée

What a fantastic area with great snow La Fée is! The blacks here are steep and/or mogully, so they are not for the faint-hearted. The blues and reds have plenty of snow on them and are great for practicing your turns. I think this is one of the prettiest places on the mountain so don’t forget to look up into the valleys coming down into the runs and over the Oisans Valley ahead. From the top of the La Fée chairlift, you can see back into the main ski area, a nice opportunity to see where you have been or plan your next adventure.

Bellecombes

Blues, reds and blacks, there is something for everyone in this north-facing area. The snow holds really well here as it stays cold while the slopes are in gullies and north-facing so get less sun than most. This is excellent for the snow but requires an extra thermal or two if it's cold. Bellecombes 6, the black run, is steep and bumpy. The entry looks easy but don’t be fooled as you turn the corner the real slope appears. This is under the chair so you can have a little look before setting off down it on your way up. The bumps are bigger than they look from the chair, though.

Les Cretes & bas de piste

Les Cretes is the beginners' area of the mountain. It's situated at 2100m and offers a magic carpet as well as blue and green runs. The chairlift can be busy at ski school meeting times but this soon dies down. The snow is still in very good shape here with full cover and nice grooming. The front face falls away off Les Cretes towards the village and holds all the home runs. The Valentine black is in good condition but can be firm in the mornings due to the warmer temperatures we have been seeing. The blue is in good condition with a mix of man-made and real snow but can become very congested and bumpy at 16:00, going-home time. The Diable and Vallon de Diable face southwest and have seen a little too much sun over the last month so have only thin snow cover. At the bas de piste, the button lifts along the resort are all still in excellent condition and perfect for beginners, five of which can be accessed for free.

The forecast

While it's sunny at the moment, we are expecting more storms to come in as the day goes on. Thursday and Friday are looking very snowy with Saturday, at the moment, being a beautiful day. The weather has been so changeable over the last 10 days I would watch the forecast closely for changes.

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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.