Late-season snowfall in Morzine
Loads of fresh snow throughout the Portes du Soleil
After a few warm and sunny weeks, people in Morzine could have been forgiven for thinking that winter was done with us.
The temperatures started to drop as the clouds closed in at the start of the week and, by Wednesday, the town was looking significantly darker. The rain began to fall in Morzine, with the freezing level at around 1300-1500m. This meant that the top slopes of Morzine and Les Gets received fresh snow, as well as Avoriaz. By Wednesday evening, however, the freezing level had dropped further, with snow reported all the way down to Geneva.
The snow continued to fall throughout the day on Thursday. Visibility may have been poor but there can’t have been many complaints with all the fresh snow falling. The best conditions were to be found in the trees where visibility was slightly better.
Things are looking far better today, however, with sunny skies and only a few clouds to be seen in the sky. The temperature on the mountain is between -3ºC and -5ºC, meaning that the snow should hold well for now.
There has been approximately 10cm of fresh snow in Morzine itself but, higher up, there has been a far more significant snowfall. At the top of the Pleney and the Pointe de Nyon, there has been around 30cm, and the highest points of Avoriaz have received about the same.
Conditions on piste are packed powder, with some of the best pisted conditions the resort has seen for a few weeks now. Whilst the off-piste might look tempting, it is worth noting that. on the lower slopes at least. there has been no real snow cover for a couple of weeks now except on the pistes themselves, meaning that the snow might not be as deep as it appears. The higher areas of Nyon and Avoriaz have held onto their snow cover better and will have better conditions off-piste. It is worth noting that, whilst the avalanche risk had dropped to 1/5 over the preceding weeks, it has now risen again to 4/5 due to the sudden heavy snowfall. It is therefore advisable not to get too carried away and to take all due precautions.
At the moment it looks as though the current weather – sunny with some cloud – is set to continue into Saturday. After that, it looks as though it could be another week of unsettled weather. At the moment, the forecast is showing rainfall throughout the week in Morzine but snowfall in Avoriaz. Hopefully, the freezing level will remain low enough that most of Avoriaz will be able to benefit from snowfall.
Some of the lower areas of the resort, such as Super Morzine and the Pleney, are due to close in just over a week. The snow should remain good on these slopes right up till their closing date. The higher slopes of Avoriaz still have another week to go after that, with the official closing scheduled for the 22nd.
This has been one of the best seasons in recent memory in the Portes du Soleil, after a slightly slow start. A good judge of how well a season is ending is whether the run down to Ardent is still open. In some recent years, it has been closed by now with large grassy patches on the piste making some areas unskiable. This is not the case this year, with excellent snow cover all the way down to the bottom of the mountain. Anyone looking for a late season ski will find incredible conditions in the Portes du Soleil at the moment to finish off the season.