Off-piste snow report for Northern French Alps

Special early preview video! For 10 – 17 January 2019 Complementary Video Update: Snow in the Northern French Alps! At long last snow is currently falling in the Northern French Alps! There’s likely only going to be 10 cm or so today (Wednesday 9th), but maybe 20 to 40 cm over Sunday and Monday. We badly need this fresh snow, but if it falls in amounts of 20 to 30 cm or so (or piled up into these significant amounts by the […]... Read More


Localised-natural-avalanche-on-W-facing-slope-Chris-Radford-photo
Off-Piste Snow and Weather Report 28th Dec 2018

For Savoie and the Northern French Alps Looks like a sunny start to the new year! Happy new year everyone! After a spate of gloomy mild weather with a rain/snow limit around 2500 m, the sun has made a welcome reappearance over the last few days. We could see some cloud over the weekend, but then it should turn sunny again from Monday. Some pretty nice off-piste conditions up high. Wayne Watson photo High altitude resorts above 1800 m are faring much […]... Read More


Off-Piste Snow & Weather Report
Off-Piste Snow and Weather Report 21st Dec 2018

For Savoie and the Northern French Alps Milder days ahead, sun snow and rain What a great and varied off-piste week we’ve had! Conditions have sometimes been excellent with cold dry light powder skiing in good visibility (often bright sunshine). At other times it’s been much trickier skiing in heavy and humidified snow. We’ve also had some days of flat light and tricky route-finding. We even had to get the compass out once in an area we’ve skied hundre... Read More


NOTHING HAPPENS… most of the time

Off-piste skiing and touring can be surprisingly safe (about the same risk as driving a car for one hour) if we regularly apply the risk reduction measures we learn in avalanche training. If we do not apply these measures, it can be surprisingly dangerous according to renowned avalanche expert, Bruce Tremper. At HAT, more and more, we emphasize that learning and knowing is only half the battle. The applying of our knowledge and experience is what really counts. It’s no... Read More


Avalanche banane
Off-Piste Snow and Weather Report 14th Dec 2018

Savoie and Northern French Alps Watch out for the dangerous weak layer! Henry warned us on Monday that Tuesday 11th December would be risky with a persistent weak layer under the new snowpack from above 2400m. So it proved. We have seen considerable evidence of recent avalanche activity in the past two days. This has been most apparent on NE facing slopes above 2400m. All the signs are there that there is a considerable risk (Rating 3), especially on these slopes. Keep [&hell... Read More


HAT with ORTOVOX at Kendal Mountain Festival 2018
Henry with ORTOVOX at this weekend’s Kendal Mountain...

Henry will be speaking and on the ORTOVOX stand at this weekend’s Kendal Mountain Festival. Henry will be taking some of his well-known ‘Avalanche Talks’ concepts along with the ORTOVOX ‘Safety Academy’ concepts and presenting them to a large audience at the Kendal Mountain Festival that has now become a ‘must visit’ for all mountain and ski enthusiasts from the UK and beyond. Henry says: “I’m honoured to be asked to speak at such a major event and along... Read More


Ellis Brigham Discover Backcountry
Safety is Freedom in London & Manchester coming soon!

I’ll be delivering the ORTOVOX off-piste awareness talks in London and Manchester this coming week as part of Ellis Brigham’s ‘Discover Backcountry’ initiative – anticipating a great couple of evenings!   Complementing my talks next week on how to have fun and be safe off-piste (see below), Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports in Tamworth and Glasgow are running introductory sessions to backcountry skiing over the next two Saturdays.   These ... Read More


Glide cracks mean snowpack stability
Glide Cracks Mean Snowpack Stability….

…. but they need to be treated with care, all the same Over the last few years we’ve been emphasizing that over 9 out of 10 off-piste accidents occur due to victims triggering the avalanche themselves. This usually happens because they weren’t applying basic accident prevention risk reduction measures at the time of the accident. We talk about ‘recent avalanche activity’ as a clue of instability. By this, we are referring to recent cold dry slab avalanc... Read More


Off Piste Snow & Weather: 12 – 18 April, Savoie / N. French Alps
Off Piste Snow & Weather: 12 – 18 April, Savoie...

Unsettled, particularly near the French/Italian border! Off-piste snow report: 12 – 18 April for Savoie & N French Alps Still waiting for Spring conditions to properly arrive! Normally at this time of year we’re enjoying regular melt-freeze cycles, which bring nice smooth ‘spring snow’ skiing. This year, however, we’re still in transition between cold dry winter snow, and humid to wet spring snow*. When we eventually receive these repeated cy... Read More


Off Piste Snow & Weather: 5 - 11 April, Savoie / N. French Alps
Off Piste Snow & Weather: 5 – 11 April, Savoie ...

Spring-like conditions starting to appear! Off-piste snow report: 5 – 11 April for Savoie & N French Alps With milder temperatures and some sunshine forecast, we’re optimistic that ‘spring snow’ conditions will come into place in the next few days. The snow’s already beginning to transform on some sunny slopes. We need regular melt/freeze cycles to help create more widespread smooth spring snow conditions, which are so lovely to ski. These cy... Read More