Xmas gamble in the Alps

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Europe and Asia, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jasoncapecod » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:08 am

Well, I gambled and kind of lost...I planed on going to Portes-du-Soleil over the Xmas break. The weather had other plans. NO SNOW...
Fortunately I was able to divert to Zermatt. Still not the best of conditions but at least there is skiing..
The hotel in Morzine will hold by deposit for the season. Hopefully my daughter can use it in March..
User avatar
jasoncapecod
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:30 am
Location: NEW YORK

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:36 am

jasoncapecod wrote:The hotel in Morzine will hold by deposit for the season. Hopefully my daughter can use it in March..

No way for you to rebook the plane ticket, pay the penalty, and schedule the trip during the March break?
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:17 am

Check out the recent coverage at Ischgl: no glacier, no problem
http://www.zoneski.com/forum/index.php/ ... ntry150034

After spending $50 million on their new Pardatschgrat tram, it would be a major buzzkill for them not to have sufficient snow. Crisis avoided apparently.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jasoncapecod » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:34 am

No way for you to rebook the plane ticket, pay the penalty, and schedule the trip during the March break?


Nope.. My daughter has different a different week in March off..


Zermatt has 247km of slopes open..that's more than the entire state of VT and NY combined..
User avatar
jasoncapecod
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:30 am
Location: NEW YORK

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:18 am

User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:44 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:Admin takes his pound of flesh:
http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2014/1 ... christmas/

It's a noteworthy news item whether admin knew anyone headed in that direction or not.

Fraser says these same suffering northern Alps areas are going to get rain to 2200 meters over the next couple of days.

Fraser's data shows snow volatility in the Alps greater than most areas in the Rockies but less than in the Sierra. Combined with typical averages in the 250 inch range, Christmas is far from a slam dunk in these places.

I'm guessing jason is constrained to school holiday weeks, which is a big PITA. My sympathies.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9801
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jasoncapecod » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:22 am

'm guessing jason is constrained to school holiday weeks, which is a big PITA. My sympathies.

Yep , This is the last year, next I have a little more flexibility..

Fraser says these same suffering northern Alps areas are going to get rain to 2200 meters over the next couple of days.


At least most of Zermatt's terrain is above 2000 meters.
User avatar
jasoncapecod
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:30 am
Location: NEW YORK

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:36 am

I've been providing Jason with lots of (too many?) links to news/TRs from the German-language Alpinforum. Even comparatively well-off places like Ischgl are looking at a Xmas of mobbed trails compacted into concrete surrounded by off-piste rock gardens with virtually no cover.
http://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewtop ... 46&t=52406

Amazingly enough, Wilkins says that Avoriaz will be 90% open this weekend, but once again, that means 90% of its on-piste equipped with snowguns. I'd be packing a full suitcase of body armor for that.

This pic pretty much says it all -- the bus service between Zurich airport and St. Anton/Lech sitting in an Ischgl parking lot. Every lower-elevation resort is going to be shipping its holiday crowds to the higher places.

Image


Jason has certainly redirected to one of the regions with the best conditions right now. The variable is whether he can avoid the hordes.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:18 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:The variable is whether he can avoid the hordes.

On the plus side, Zermatt is expensive and not close to gateway airports. I thought this might make it analogous to Aspen, which is almost liftline-proof.

However:
1) Fraser says Zermatt is mobbed at Christmas, even in normal years. I don't know entirely what that means, but if you want to have lunch at those amazing places we did (Zum See below Furi, Chez Vrony in Findeln, Chalet Etoile just above Plan Maison in Cervinia), you might want to make reservations.
2) There are just 2 trails down into town, and I strongly suspect they will be of the concrete/body armor variety at the end of the day. There are downloadable lifts to avoid these (funicular from Sunnega, train from Rifflealp/Riffleberg, gondola from Schwarzsee), but I would expect some serious liftlines in mid/late afternoon.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9801
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jasoncapecod » Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:47 pm

I'm am responding on a iPhone so this will be brief.
Yes they are two open trails to the base. Only groomers are open. But there is100miles of them and they are like velvet. No need for fancy lunches. I ate in cevina for 15 bucks for two pp.

It was easier to down load on the matterhorn glacier gondola. My hotel is 50yrd from the gondola
User avatar
jasoncapecod
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:30 am
Location: NEW YORK

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:13 pm

jasoncapecod wrote:No need for fancy lunches. I ate in cervinia for 15 bucks for two pp.

Trust me, Chalet Etoile is well worth the experience, and it was somewhat less expensive than the gourmet places on the Zermatt side.

jasoncapecod wrote:It was easier to down load on the matterhorn glacier gondola. My hotel is 50yrd from the gondola

At Furi you can switch to another gondola going up to Riffleberg, then a chair toward Gornergrat. Hopefully the #29 piste is open to go from there to the Sunnega/Rothorn sector. 29 is a long and winding scenic run with easy off-piste options if you cut its switchbacks.

I doubt Stockhorn is open but what about the Hohtalli tram and the #30 and #31 "skiroutes?" That was our favorite sector in Zermatt.

If weather is good you might want to spend a lot of time on the Cervinia side. It probably has more snow and it's more moderately pitched so should fill in faster and have more widespread coverage. And its sunnier exposure is irrelevant (or maybe even a plus for visibility) at this time of year.

It's actually good that Jason is there now before the thundering hordes arrive.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9801
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jasoncapecod » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:29 pm

I will look into that restaurant and those trails. It was windy on the Italian side this afternoon so we went back to zermatt.
My last day of sking is on the 26th.
User avatar
jasoncapecod
 
Posts: 1125
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:30 am
Location: NEW YORK

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:43 pm

Per Weather To Ski:

Monday 22 December 2014 - Game-changing dumps next weekend?

The Alpine forecast is starting to look very interesting indeed, with the prospect of some big snowfalls by the weekend. Before we get there, however, we have a few days of mostly dry and very mild weather to get through in the run up to Christmas.

For Sunday 28 December 2014 Potential for massive snowfalls across the northern Alps in particular next weekend

As for the prospects of the big storm later in the week, there is still uncertainty in the detail of course.

The American GFS model is an absolute peach and would comfortably deliver between 50 and 80cm of new snow over a large part of the northern Alps between Saturday and Monday, especially in the north. Even before then we are expecting some lighter falls over the northern and eastern Alps (especially Austria) as early as Thursday.

By contrast, the European model has the storm further west which would be great for the western and southern Alps, but not quite so amazing for the east (Austria). We should get a clearer picture in the next 24 to 48 hours.
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby SKI-3PO » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:36 pm

Thanks for the report. I will be helping to create the thundering hordes next week.
SKI-3PO
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2004 4:44 pm
Location: PA

Re: Xmas gamble in the Alps

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:57 am

SKI-3PO wrote:Thanks for the report. I will be helping to create the thundering hordes next week.

The enigmatic SKI-3PO reappears. Where will you be, uh, thundering?
User avatar
jamesdeluxe
 
Posts: 3319
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: South Orange, NJ

Next

Return to Europe & Asia

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use