28 Dec 2012

The morning of December 27, 2012 started out fairly dark with some menacing looking clouds.

Eventually the sun did come out for a while but yesterday was not to be a blue bird day all day!

For a short while it did get blue , but not for a very long time.

Still an amazing day on the hill, the grooming was wall to wall corduroy, firm and fast.

At 2260 meters as of 06:00 this morning the temperature was -8, winds were 10-20 KPH from the E.
At 1650 meters the temperature was -6.5, there was 1 cm of new snow recorded over night. In the valley it was -4.

For the forecast we can expect a mostly cloudy day with some flurries during the day and into Saturday morning. There is still a bit of a battle between the series of troughs and the ridging.  Should see sunny skies by Saturday with some clouds for Sunday. All models are inconsistent at this time so the ridging that was expected could have some clouds mixed in as well. Looking like a sunny New Years Day but only time will tell. For the Quesstimates  1-2 cm today, 4-6 cm late Friday night into early Saturday morning. After tomorrow we are in a draught.

For the definition of a trough: Wikipedia

Most aspects at tree line had a great mixture of stellars and surface hoar.
A quick video on the Chemistry of Snowflakes: Bytesize Science

In shaded areas at tree line I found some surface hoar that was already 10 Mils combined with some 4-6 mil stellars.

For the updated local avalanche advisory : Blackcomb Advisory

Skier OK after Christmas Avalanche: Montana

Snowing hard in Quebec: Montreal

Avalanche aux 7 Laux, quick video on body bombing: Pistehors

Sierra Resorts take Avalanche Precautions: More Snow

Its been hard to find official news on avalanches in Europe, not sure why, perhaps avoiding the publicity, the chat groups are still reporting though:

A 37 year old snow boarder has been killed yesterday afternoon by an avalanche at St Veran in the Queyras massive. The alert was given in the late afternoon when the man failed to return to resort. The victim was found partially buried at 20h00 by rescue workers. He was skiing on an off piste on the Pic de Chateaurenard. December 27, 2012

A resort worker had a narrow escape at 10pm yesterday when his piste basher was hit by an avalanche on the Robert Blanc piste at Arcs 2000. The driver was able to jump from his machine before it was swetp over cliffs on the Aiguille Rouge. The driver was rescued by the CRS helicopter, without injury but in shock.
December 24, 2012

The press are reporting a ski touring group hit by an avalanche with one person perishing.
The posted avalanche risk was 4 and this was a north aspect slope. I believe it’s rather steeper than the press photo suggests.December 23, 2012

According to Radio Val d’Isere a German couple with a professional from Val d’Isere were caught by an avalanche in the Grands Vallons sector to the north of teh Aiguille. 2 British skiers came to their aid and they were joined by 6 piste patrollers who started searching from the top and bottom of the debris. A 71 year old skier was found in a state of cardio-vascular arrest by one of the patrollers under a meter of snow. The attempted resuscitation for an hour to no avail. The slab was 150 to 180cm deep, 150 meters wide and 300 meters long. There were a number of skiers off piste in the sector at the time.
Val d’Isere were posting risk 3/5 this morning. December 21, 2012

At times there was some awesome light yesterday despite the flurries and low cloud layers.

Near the end of the day we did have a spectacular sunset.