They’re calling these storms ‘once in a generation’, and oh boy is the Espace Killy ski area seeing some killer snowfall right now. In the last 24 hours, over a metre of snow fell. To almost nobody’s surprise, today the resort is closed while they try to make it safe to ski.
It always surprises me when resorts close due to too much snowfall. Until I watched (with a not insignificant amount of envy) the west coast of the US getting hammered by storms last year, I thought any snowfall was good. The more powder, the better.
Don’t get me wrong here; it mostly is. After all, a shed load of snow is much better than last year’s sparse effort. At least they can set off controlled avalanche blasts and wait for the new snow dump to settle. You can’t even make snow if the temperatures are over 2 degrees, and nothing is more depressing than brown mountains in February.
So, it’s hardly a world-ending problem to be having.
It is pretty dangerous though, so anyone with full force powder blinders on should definitely make sure they take a buddy, avalanche gear and their prayer rosary. Take precautions if you’re going out of bounds in any resort, but especially if your chosen mountain has seen metres of snow in the last two days. Avalanche risk is no joke, and the French and Swiss Alps have been getting some massive snowfall over the last week or two.
Just as an aside; if you don’t feel like you know enough about avoiding avalanches, there are a whole bunch of awareness seminars being put on across the Alps at the moment. Find one in your resort, stay safe, and enjoy the powder! We’re probably not going to see another season like this for a while.