This week I am back a home base in the 3 Valleys coaching a couple of IFMGA Mountain Guides and their friends.
Conditions are OK, but not spectacular - temperatures feel more like March than January!
There is still some soft snow to be found on shady aspects - we have been sticking to 'lift-served' areas so a bit of skinning will definitely still find some nice turns. The snowpack seems to be settling down (though sunny aspects are starting to kick off in the afternoon heat), but a lot of areas have some big crown walls left which need a careful approach and tend to have some pretty thin, scratchy ground below (nearly all the Saulire couloirs, under the cables of Plattieres etc etc).
Couloir Curé was in good condition yesterday (Monday), and the Croix de Verdons Y looked good too. Mt Vallon couloirs were a mix of chalky and soft, and Cairn from the top of Plattieres had very few tracks up top, and the normally scratchy mid-section was acutally well filled in! Today we were mostly up around the Cime de Caron, with some soft snow followed by a firmer exit under the cables, and soft snow on the East facing 'shoulder' slopes - care needed in here at the moment though as a fall would most likely result in a 'gravity-assisted' trip over the rocks at the bottom (which seem to grow every year!).
A couple of pics from Andy P:
The mild weather looks set to continue for some time - head for the shade for colder snow or start looking for spring snow on the South faces...