The snow has returned to the Chamonix valley! There was a small storm cycle that came through a few weeks ago but was followed by very warm temps and no more precipitation.
Beginning this past Monday, January 27th, a storm sank into the valley. The snow totals were high Monday night but were followed by high winds on Tuesday so almost every resort in the valley was shut down for the day. All Tuesday it snowed up high and was mixed rain and snow at valley bottom. Come Wednesday most resorts stayed closed until mid-morning so we headed down the valley to Les Houches for some deep storm skiing. By mid-day, we headed to Flégère for an afternoon of no crowds and more deep snow!
Thursday morning greeted us with parting clouds and beautiful blue skies with loads of fresh snow waiting. The mountain operators worked hard and managed to open up the mass majority of terrain on all resorts by mid-morning. We spent the morning at Flégère where copious amounts of fresh turns were waiting to be harvested. This resort offers some incredible open high alpine-style skiing as well as many fun cliff drops.
By noon the sun was putting down intense heat and warming the lower mountain fast so we headed for Aiguille du Midi. Clouds were supposed to move back in by early afternoon so we moved quickly and caught the second tram of the day to the top. Upon arrival we exited the top station and moved to the ridge. Greeted with nearly waist-deep pow we started our way down the Grand Envers, off the east side of Midi. The snow was magical the entire way down and there was only minor crevasse dodging along the way. Upon finishing the Grand Envers we skied a small couloir and finished out by skiing to valley bottom totaling out to over 8000 vertical feet skied!
Today, Friday the 31st, brought more sun but the forecast is looking promising for the coming few days. Freezing levels will be slightly high but the upper part of the mountains should be getting another dump of snow over the weekend and parting to sunny skies for touring next week.