Another, mostly wet, week in the Chamonix valley

We seem to be stuck in a long spell of overcast wet weather here. There is rain in the valley and cloud and snow high up. If there was slightly better visibility, the skiing would be brilliant. As it is, it is pretty challenging and wet. I suspect really high up it would be dryer but probably, judging by the webcams, still quite challenging with poor visibility.

Yesterday, after a morning of looking at the rain and cloud I decided to go and ski anyway, and went to Flegere. It was raining steadily in Servoz but as I emerged from the Les Houches tunnel it was snowing but not laying. In the fairly-empty Flegere car park, the snow was accumulating but it was very wet. At the top of L’Index it was blowing a gale, snowing hard, and definition was very poor but the new snow was at least a foot deep. Further down, the gale abated but everything else remained just about the same. The pistes were not really any different to the off-piste; both equally difficult because of the visibility and an icy hard layer under the soft surface snow. I met and skied for a while with a couple. We shared a few harmless tumbles as we tackled the region between the black and red pistes. I was thoroughly wet at the end of it, but pleased that I had gone out. While getting very wet on an agonisingly slow ride up the Trappe chair, sitting on about an inch of snow already on the seat, I noticed that the snow depth is now 2.3 meters (7ft 6 inches).

Yesterday, could not have contrasted more with Wednesday when there was a day-long sunny window in the cloudy weather.

Wide open spacesMrs D and I went to Les Houches and had a glorious day skiing around a very quiet resort, in continuous sun. The snow was becoming quite wet by around 2.30 so we did not ski back down to Prarion but took the lift instead.

The previous day I was again at Flegere, in the cloud. Most of the resort was essentially fog-bound. I was skiing from marker post to marker post, although sometimes, even the next marker post was not visible from the previous one, which is a bit unsettling. However, I discovered that the top of Index was in a clear patch between cloud levels, and over at Floria the clear patch extended about 2/3rds down the run. That made the excursion worthwhile.

Today, I gave up on the idea of skiing having seen the weather forecast, which so far has been pretty accurate; it has been raining all day. Instead we drove to La Roche sur Foron, for the first time, to have a look around.

Français : Château de La Roche-sur-Foron en Ha...

Français : Château de La Roche-sur-Foron en Haute-Savoie – France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems a bustling little town with quite a history. Apart from some historic buildings and quaint side streets it was the first place in France to have electric lights.

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