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Fantastic season comes to an end in Morzine

Winter wraps up across the Portes du Soleil

Featured in: | Giles Towler, Morzine Reporter | Published
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It is now the very last week of lifts in the Portes du Soleil ski area, and some of he individual resorts have already closed for winter.

Super Morzine closed a couple of days earlier than scheduled. The pistes had really begun to suffer from the recent warm weather and, except to access Avoriaz via the Proclou lift, there was little point keeping the area open by the end. Elsewhere in Morzine, the Pleney and Nyon areas stayed open right through to Sunday the 14th. The snow cover on the pistes remain mostly very good, although at the very bottom of the Pleney pistes and the piste coming back from Nyon to Morzine the snow cover was completely isolated to the pistes themselves with the rest of the mountain looking very green.

Similarly Les Gets has also now closed for the season. Conditions on the lower pistes on that side were generally better, except on Mt Chery where the bottom half of the mountain below the main lift station had been closed for a number of weeks by the end due to the lack of snow. Skiers still wishing to make the most of the snow that is still here now have to head up to Prodains or Ardent, either via the buses or by driving. The snow in these areas is still good. There is still snow cover on the lower pistes coming down to the bottom of Prodains, and the snow cover is even better at the bottom of Ardent, perhaps because it gets more shade during the day. In previous years the run down to Ardent has had to close early due to a lack of snow, so this is a good indication of how much snow has fallen this season.

The weather has stayed warm for the majority of the past week, making conditions increasingly slushy even on the higher pistes. Anyone wishing to avoid the slush should aim to head up as early as possible. The slushy conditions worsen throughout the day, meaning that things are at their best before about 13:00. As would be expected at this time of year, the pistes are largely empty. This was especially the case with the Pleney over the closing weekend, as people have realised that the best idea is to head as high as possible.

There had been some snow forecast for the closing weekend. However, the forecast continues to change and at the moment it looks as though the temperature will remain quite high for the coming week, around 10C on average before peaking at around 18C for the last weekend. It currently looks as though there will be a mixture of cloud and sunshine during the first half of the week, with the sunniest day currently looking like it will be on Wednesday. With the temperature continuing to rise coming into the closing weekend it looks as though more cloud will form and there might not be much sunshine for the closing parties on the 20th and 21st. 

The final lift closing is scheduled for the 22nd. Considering what a good season it has been up until now it should still be possible to head up the mountain on a touring setup into May, and there is always the chance of further snowfall after the lifts close. The quiet slopes should make up for any of the pistes being overly slushy, or any brown patches coming through lower down. The avalanche risk is currently at 1/5 and is unlikely to get any higher unless the forecast changes drastically over the next couple of days.

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