11/12/2018: Today's Updates... 5.50pm...
Before the trip report - another thanks to those who are supporting the site by sending tips using the PayPal button on the "About Us " page. A whopping 12 individuals have done this today, which is all a bit overwhelming. Each person will be contacted during the evening - but huge, huge thanks to all.
So, the trip to PLJ...
The first thing that quickly became apparent was the fact that there was more snow in the PLJ car park area than at an equivalent elevation in the village. The car parks have not been cleared fully yet and in the undisturbed snow, there was 30cm to 32cm of fresh. All of that snow will be used to fill in the stream that runs towards the Perdrix Blanche. The bottom of PLJ was busy, with pisteurs, lift staff and also a surprising number of vehicles, which were mainly from people skinning up the mountain (there were loads of people on rando kit today).
The route this afternoon was up the Belette to the snow factory / farm (where the mounds are giants), onto the Rochassons piste to Plaine Dranse, then following Rochassons piste to the top of the Rochassons chair, then back down via Reine and down from Plaine Dranse via the Rochasson home run to the bottom.
Fresh snow measurements near the snow farm found 45cm of snow, so it comes as no surprise that there was plenty of snow on the Belette green path / road piste. Climbing up from the snow farm to Plaine Dranse, involved crossing areas being blasted by the snow cannon and it has to be said, the investment in these machines such as the TecnoAlpin T40's was really paying off today, as they were blasting out snow on the lower Rochassons and will make a significant contribution at times this week.
At Plaine Dranse, from where we posted a photo earlier, the snow cover was excellent and although there was quite a variety of depths due to the strong winds on Sunday / Monday, our measurements found an average max depth of 50cm. This was more than expected. Carrying on up the Rochassons piste above Plaine Dranse, the snow cover was again excellent and although wind had played a part, snow depths kept coming up around the 70cm mark at about 1800m, with deeper pockets here and there, again due to the wind distribution. In these deeper pockets, hiking poles set to 125cm in length completely disappeared in places!
Just below the top of Rochassons, depths of perhaps 80cm were more prevalent. At the very top, there was less than this, again due to the wind on previous days. The views from the top were spectacular and a photo, looking towards the Chesery was posted earlier (see below).
Due to the effects of the very strong winds during the snowfall, it does make it difficult to be precise regarding fresh snow depths but it could be argued that more snow has fallen at these higher elevations on this sector, than the figures we have mentioned. The snow depths meant that there were lots of tracks in some of the off piste sections and several people had sessioned the Chesery, though we saw no tracks down the main face.
In summary, conditions for opening weekend look really, very, very good in this sector. There was certainly more snow than expected. The least good conditions were at the very bottom of the Rochassons, however the cover is still not bad at all and with snow cannon blasting away, the pistes could be near perfect on Saturday.
Only 4 more sleeps...
Great news this afternoon as the resort has confirmed a partial opening of the ski and snowboard area on Saturday.
Daily opening for the week from the 15th to 21st December will be for the Linga telecabine and L'Echo Alpin chair (only top half of Linga open to start with - ie the piste from the top to the L'Echo Alpin chair).
Also opening will be the Combes chair, PLJ chair, Rochassons chair, Chaux des Rosees chair and of course, the new 6 man Pierre Longue chair, plus the Keyset drag as well as the link to Avoriaz.
The opening comes as no surprise after what we found up in the PLJ ski area this afternoon, where conditions looked far, far better than expected... report on this trip and the results of some snow depth investigations online at about 6pm this evening...
Posting from top of Rochassons - plenty of good news to report when back down.
Plenty of good news on this trip so far... 32cm of snow measured in PLJ car park. New lift moving. Skies blue... heading up...
The arrival of clearer skies and subsequent change in atmopsheric conditions has allowed snowmaking to commence - good news!
Photo looking up to Super Chatel a few minutes ago. Heading to the ski area shortly...
Couldn't resist a couple of shots looking up Morclan...
Last couple of photos from this morning - snow cannon maintenance crew out and about on Linga. Another trip to the ski area is planned during the day... photos and report to follow, with a "live" update likely from up there somewhere - not sure exactly where yet...
Also - huge thanks to the 5 individuals who have sent PayPal tips this morning!!! We'll be contacting and thanking each one individually during the day. The more tips we receive, the more updates we can do through the season and develop the site. Thanks also for the encouraging and positive comments - much appreciated. Details on how you can help at the bottom of the page...
The snow shower brought a little bonus of just about 1cm of fluffy snow to our location - very localised - but very welcome and unexpected. Skies clearing and temperature dropping noticeably.
Snow shower affecting the village area - bringing a welcome, but unexpected extra dusting!
A light snow flurry has just been affecting the area.
The early morning light has brought the following views...
Bonjour. A bonus 4cm of snow has fallen at 1200m since our last update yesterday evening, bringing yesterday's total up to 7am this morning to 10cm and the total since Sunday night to 18cm. Current temperature close to 0C, with plenty of cloud.
Forecast page should be updated at approx. 7.45am and further updates will be posted on this page during the day.
Many, many thanks to the people who sent tips via the PayPal button yesterday and last night...
How you can help this season... you will notice on some pages that there is a PayPal tip/donation box, eg on the "About Us" page, where you can send us a tip, if you like what we are doing. There is no obligation to do so, but any donations will help the running costs of this site during the winter season. The more people who help, the better we can make this site.