Off-Piste Snow and Weather

Savoie and northern French Alps The big news is that it is going to get colder and we are expecting significant snowfall over the weekend especially on Sunday. The drop in temperature starts on Friday night and next week we will see freezing levels down at 300 to 800m whereas during this last week the freezing level was much higher between 2000m and 3000m. The weather looks brighter on Tuesday and Wednesday, after that we will enter a prolonged period of unsettled […]... Read More


HAT Off-Piste Snow and Weather Report
Off-Piste Snow and Weather Report

Great off-piste conditions up high! Wait till 8th December for more snow HAT off piste snow and weather report 30 Nov – 8 Dec for Savoie and northern French Alps Expecting some light snow this weekend. This will mainly be above 2200m. Then we expect very mild and warm weather in the middle of next week, with the 0C isotherm moving up to 3000m. Any snow will only fall above 2400m. Then from Friday 7th December, we are optimistic (fingers crossed) for a […]... 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


Henry Schniewind Off pIste
The ski helmet debate: Prevention should precede Protectio...

As skiers, more and more of us are wearing helmets nowadays, particularly for use on the piste. But how about when we venture off-piste?  After discussion with Henry, here’s where he and the HAT team stand on the subject…. There are certain situations when we would definitely wear a ski helmet, such as when we’re spending the day on the piste (groomed, patrolled runs). In recent years we’ve all noticed people skiing faster and faster, often bordering on ... Read More


Off Piste Snow & Weather: 7 – 13 Dec Savoie / N...

A snowy week ahead! Off-piste snow report: 7 – 13 Dec for Savoie & Northern French Alps We are due for fresh snow in the week ahead, which we need. Indeed, our friends at WeatherToSki are predicting the following (text in italics quoted directly from their website): The greatest accumulations, at least in the first instance, are likely to be in the northern French Alps, roughly from Alpe d’Huez northwards through the Tarentaise (e.g. 3 Valleys, La Plagne, Les Arcs... Read More


ORTOVOX ASCENT AVABAG backpack
Ultra-light ORTOVOX ASCENT backpack. Great for ski touring

Ultra-light! The ORTOVOX ASCENT backpack was originally designed for ski mountaineering. Here at HAT we reckon it’s a great option for ski touring and riding off-piste. We’re particularly impressed by how comfortable and light it is. Weight is always a prime concern when out ski touring or going off-piste. The ORTOVOX ASCENT backpack is made of tough abrasion-free material but has a ‘no-gimmicks’ design to keep its weight down. The 3D foam back-... Read More


Spring skiing off-piste
Spring skiing tips, Ski the Smooth

Spring snow conditions are here now! Here are some ideas about how to have fun and be safe on spring snow! Understand ‘melt-freeze cycles’ and have fun with spring snow!   Off-piste spring snow is one of the best things that the Northern French Alps has to offer. With lift access to all slope orientations: east, south, west and then north, you can find it and have fun with little effort. Melt-freeze Cycles Once new snow melts in the sun/heat during the […]... Read More


Snowy March 6th Val d'Isere
High avalanche risk Tuesday 7th March – practical ti...

Risk of avalanche is high or very high on Tuesday There have been two avalanche accidents in Italy in the past 3 days.  See reports here and here.  Meteo France have just issued the bulletin click here and warning for Tuesday 7th March.  The danger rating is forecast to be level 4.         Judging by the continuing snowfall and wind in the resort this evening, the resort could choose to increase the rating to level 5.  they will decide […]... Read More


Fatal accident in Tignes
Fatal Avalanche in Tignes 13 February 2017

Nine people caught, four dead, two safe, three more missing. Story by: Kenny Jesus, writing for the Mountain Echo (Val d’Isere/Tignes):  13 February 2017 (2 pm) Rescue services and helicopters quickly arrived on the scene this morning after a 400m wide avalanche was released on the Lavachet wall in the Toviere sector of Tignes this morning around 10:30am.  So far six people have been removed from the debris but, sadly, only two of the six have survived.  The death-to... Read More