The ski season is soon to open and some of the Chamonix valley lifts are already in action; Flegere is now open to hikers and ski tourers, so we went up to check out the snow levels.
The past week brought quite a lot of snow to Chamonix and temperatures have remained low ever since; the Les Praz piste (Flegere home run) is covered all the way to the bottom, albeit with a few rocks poking through. Plenty of folks have been skinning up there already and there are lots of fresh tracks to be seen from the top of the lift station.
We went up on foot, thinking that we’d probably have a nice little stroll with the dog, take a few scenic photos and then relax with a dignified cup of tea. How very British of us. But then we saw SNOW… and we got EXCITED!!! Cue bum-slides, roly-polys, snow angels and all that malarkey.
We skidded, rolled and shrieked our way down the Trappe piste and then hiked back up the border cross, past the semi-frozen lake. The snow cover seemed to be pretty good - no bare patches or rocky bits to be seen on the pistes and I can confirm that it is at least thigh deep off-piste.
Most of the ski area is now pisted and the bashers were in action whilst we were up there. Please note that the pistes are not yet open for use and none of the chairlifts are running - but if you’re willing to put the effort in and ski tour up then there is plenty of good terrain to be had!
We just went up in normal winter boots and managed fine but if you want to explore further you can hire snowshoes and have a good tramp around on the snow. You can find a map of snowshoe trails on this page and the kit can be hired inexpensively from most sports shops in Chamonix.
The snow markers beneath the Trappe chairlift are showing a depth of 70cm, which is a great base for this time of year. If temperatures stay cold and we get a bit more precipitation, as is forecast for this weekend, then I would say it’s looking like an excellent start to the season.
If you simply cannot wait to hit the slopes then Compagnie du Mont Blanc have announced the early opening of Les Grands Montets this weekend - Bochard and Marmottons pistes only, so it might be a bit of a bun fight but it’ll be exciting to see how it’s looking up there all the same.
Verbier is also now open (weekends only for the moment) and is included in your Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass. Now that ski season is upon us, don’t forget to tune in to our regular Chamonix Snow Reports and Chamonix Video Snow Reports, due to recommence very soon.
- Hiking / Walking