• The Chatel Snow Report

12/12/2018: Today's Updates... 6.35pm...


6.35pm:

A little bit of snow is still possible during the period from tomorrow evening to Friday morning, however, there is a chance of more in the way of precipitation arriving on Sunday. There still looks like being some rain for a time for parts of the ski area during the day on Sunday, with just a chance now that something more useful may fall later on in the day and overnight into Monday.


After a cold few days, a wedge of milder air looks like arriving on Saturday night, raising the 0C isotherm to 2000m or above for a time on Sunday morning before it potentially falls during the afternoon or evening and overnight periods. It is all a bit knife edge at the moment regarding the duration of the milder period, but there is some potential there for some useful snowfall for the ski area on Sunday night.


Thereafter, it is all down to the battle between Atlantic low pressure and a block of high pressure that is gradually being squeezed away to the east - a situation which the models have been struggling with. Various scenarios are possible for this area, with perhaps a day or two of milder weather, before something wintrier returns towards the back end of next week. Both rather cold and rather mild air will never be too far away from the area next week, so things could very easily swing in either direction.


More on all of this on tomorrow morning's forecast.


4.45pm:

Before today's trip report, Pat B, who is based across the border has been up above Les Crosets today and reports that snow cover is looking good. The photo below shows the new snow cannon reservoir above the resort and the encouraging looking snow cover. There is some really lovely terrain over in that neck of the woods. Thanks for the great photo Pat!



Back over in Chatel and the trail running shoes were back out this morning, with the destination being Super Chatel. A couple of photos were posted to this page on the way up, which gives a flavour of the rather stunning day it has been. Being able to update this report whilst on the mountain will be a very, very useful feature over the coming weeks.


Snow cover was generally good on the piste tracks up to Super Chatel and very large quantities of man made snow continue to be pumped out. The heavy rain which fell before the recent snowfall, which came after a long drought, has meant that hopefully there will now be plenty of water for snowmaking during the early season, which is essential to help create a resilient base for the season. This base is now on the way to being formed, with cold temperatures combining with the recent natural snowfall and a couple of days of intensive snowmaking.


The natural snow cover in this sector was not as deep as what was found in the PLJ sector yesterday, but was still not bad at all. There may have been some minor reduction in the natural snow cover, however, between 1500m and 1650m in this sector, 25cm to 30cm of natural snow was measured. Again there were slightly thinner areas and thicker areas, due to the effects of the wind during the snowfall, but cover was generally fairly impressive on the pistes, as were the growing mounds of man made.


This sector is due to open on the 22nd December.


Temperatures are falling again as this update is being typed and is already below -7c a short distance down the valley. With a bit of luck, the period of snow making will be able to continue up until the weekend, especially if the skies remain clear. If that is the case, a very resilient base should be in place in the many areas with snow cannon cover, which can only be good news for the Christmas and New Year holidays.


A further update is planned this evening (approx 7pm local time), with a quick look at Sunday / Monday and whether we will see rain or snow.


Photos below from the trip...




12.45pm:

Looking good up here ... report when back in village...




12.25pm:

Posting from jog up to Super Chatel...




8.05am:

Bonjour from a clear and cold Chatel. The forecast page was updated at 7.45am.


Temperatures are as low as -11c a short distance down the valley. Photo from a few minutes ago and the mist is likely to be due to the operation of snow cannon.


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Not sure what the plan is today - however, there is likely to be a trip at some stage, perhaps to check on the Super Chatel area. Updates to follow...





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