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Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors

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Early Winter Snow Conditions - First Hand Experience

Posted on
November 30, 2018
Looking across to Val Thorens on the Fond piste

Hi everybody, and welcome to the first blog post of the 2018/19 winter, direct from Méribel. All went well with the big drive down from the UK to the Alps. Since then I've been gradually settling in, and have so far managed five days of skiing in Tignes, Val Thorens and Val d'Isere. So what are the all important snow conditions?

The Moraine piste in Val Thorens

Before I answer this question, I'd like to point out that my thoughts are totally independent. I'm not paid or employed by any tourist office, chalet company wanting to sell beds, or online advertising. I'm just a ski instructor who loves his skiing, who quite often carries his camera. All of these photos have been taken over the last few days.

So back to the snow conditions and the skiing - I've had a blast. The pistes that I've skied on have been superb in these three resorts. Granted, none of the resorts are 100 % fully open, but it would be rare for that to be the case in November.

Below the Cime de Caron peak in Val Thorens

The big snow storms - that can appear when the snow sticks -haven't arrived yet at low levels. However the natural snow cover above about 2,400 metres is evident. And just after I returned at the beginning of last week, the mild temperatures have disappeared. This has meant that, from my personal observations, resorts have been able to switch on the snow cannons.

The Grand Pre piste in Val d'Isere

And this is the important part of the season for turning on the snow making. The sooner the ski areas can lay down a base on the pistes, the better. It's an effective insurance policy just in case Mother Nature decides to be a little grumpy.

Mountain art in Val d'Isere
As seen during lunch in the Marmotte restaurant in Val d'Isere

Here in Méribel the authorities have committed to a 50% increase in snow making capacity, which is a considerable investment. This process has already started with the expansion of the Altiport reservoir, and also the recent huge expansion of the reservoir above Méribel-Mottaret next to the Roc de Tougne chairlift. Having this water storage means that the cannons can run for longer with the cold temperatures.

It's very easy to get carried away with, or be concerned about, snow conditions. I'm certainly not going to state whether I think it is a good or a bad start to the winter because we are only about to enter into the month of December. What I can tell you is that my first five days of skiing have been epic. I haven't skied over a single stone, the snow has felt amazing, and my goodness those views. Those views Ladies and Gents..... It's all part of the skiing experience. Hopefully I'll see you soon up in the mountains. Live With Passion. Martin.

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

Ski lessons & guiding>

Early Winter Snow Conditions - First Hand Experience

Hi everybody, and welcome to the first blog post of the 2018/19 winter, direct from Méribel. All went well with the big drive down from the UK to the Alps. Since then I've been gradually settling in, and have so far managed five days of skiing in Tignes, Val Thorens and Val d'Isere. So what are the all important snow conditions?

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With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

Ski lessons & guiding>