30/12/2018: Today's Updates... 4.55pm...
Day 16 Of The 2018/19 Chatel Ski Season:
The overcast skies disappeared this afternoon, as the sunshine returned to the ski area and temperatures have felt really quite mild at times today, especially since the brighter weather returned. Snow conditions continue to be very varied on the ski area and generally disappointing overall in terms of the amount of snow cover, the amount of area open and the quality of snow on the pistes.... but we do have snow!
It was interesting to see that the Ski Club of GB suggest there is 120cm of snow at the top of the ski area (see link). This is not correct as our estimates of average snow depth at the top is about half that figure or less, which agrees with the official figure of 50cm. We suggest they have confused us with another resort as the opening and closing dates are also incorrect for Chatel.
As for the prospects for the significant snowfall that we so badly need to get fully open and to get the local smaller resorts open too, the models continue to frustrate in that there is nothing showing until another 10 days or more. At some point. hopefully in the very near future, we will see convincing signs of a weather pattern change, but until that happens, we are reliant on the current snow cover, which could be helped by some snow making - if the expected colder temperatures return this week...
Update from the ski area - there is more cloud overhead than expected so far this morning, making the light rather flat. We have found some nice snow on the early morning groomed pistes, however there are already some icy stretches, especially on the steeper sections, where the overnight grooming only covers the ice underneath with a thin layer of snow. Flatter pistes tend to retain more of the softer, loose snow making them generally more pleasant. There is also a noticeable wind picking up on the higher areas - eg at the top of Les Combes.
Conditions continue to be OK considering the amounts of snow and there are some fun stretches to be found, but also some really not so pleasant areas. It is hard not to be underwhelmed by the current situation, in what is often one of the snowiest areas of the Alps - but we do at least have a good proportion of the resort open.
Bonjour from Chatel. It is dry and frosty this morning with a thin veil of high cloud obscuring the moon. Another dry and bright day is expected on the ski area. The forecast page is expected to be updated at 7.30am.
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.