05 / 12 / 2014

Delayed start to the season.

This winter will be the first time in 10 years that the Via Lattea will not open for the Italian holiday weekend, which normally falls on the first weekend of December.

Many of you will no doubt have been following weather updates from across the Alps and will not be surprise to learn this. Autumn, this year, seems reluctant to leave us with unseasonable high temperatures dominating all over the alpine region.

There are some resorts that are fairing OK and are already open but these tend to be the high altitude resorts like Val Thorens and Cervinia. Certain resorts in Austria too seem to operating as usual but for the majority of us it’s been a nervy start to the 2014/15 season.

We’ve had extremely encouraging snow falls above 2500metres so it’s not a complete disaster. There does seem to be a shift in the weather too that’s starting to kick in now. Freezing levels are dropping to a more reasonable level. We should see this around 700 metres at the beginning of next week. Compare this to its high recently of around 2800 metres and you get an idea of what we’ve been up against.

There is some snow forecast for tomorrow (Saturday 6th December). Whilst this will be a modest amount it will be a most welcome sight if it finally snows in the village, which from all the reports I’m seeing it should do.

The really important thing at the moment is the drop in temperature. This has 2 important repercussions, firstly it will mean that finally they will be able to fire the snow cannons and secondly it means that the ground will start to freeze and give us that all important frozen base.

The latter really needs to happen before the cannons start firing. Via Lattea are saying that we need 4 days of prolonged cold temperatures in order for the cannons to make a difference.

The medium term outlook is hard to predict as it seems to change every 2 minutes. I think that all we can do at the moment is to take each day as it comes and be thankful that at last autumn seems to be relinquishing it’s grip on us.