Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ski Altitude or Ski Attitude

Altitude is always a big discussion topic with regards to snow conditions.  Operators use altitude in all their publicity to sell holidays in Tignes, Three Vallies. Val Thorens, Val d'Isère etc    Although they are correct and it is not possible to dispute that altitude resorts generally get more snow. 
The result is most peoples perceptions are that the higher the ski resort, the better the skiing conditions are going to be all the time, but this is not always the case.  Higher resorts do get more snow but they do need more snow to cover the rocky terrain.  Being at altitude you can suffer from high winds and extremely cold conditions, resulting in hard packed wind slab slopes and poor visibility.  Lower resorts like the Espace Diamant which include a combined total of 226 individual pistes in the resorts of Crest Voland Cohennoz Flumet Les Saisies Notre Dame de Bellecombe and Praz sur Arly can suffer when it is warmer but they do need less snow due to the fact that the majority of the pistes are meadow grass. 
In recent years the lower resorts have adapted to climate change by installing snow making machinery which ensures a good base for people to ski all of the season. 

With regards to the Espace Diamant ski area proximity to Mont Blanc plays a vital roll to the amount of snow we have, also we have a resort called Les Saisies which has one of the top snow records in the French Alps.   It enjoys the privilege of being at the foot of Mont-Blanc and has superior snowfalls and maximum sun exposure.   If Les Saisies ski area is suffering with a lack of snow then most of the other resorts in the French Alps will be as well.  The Espace Diamant is currently one of the best kept secrets in the French Alps, and as far as the weather goes, that is unpredictable, unfortunately we cannot do anything about that (we wish we could I would have snow all year!!) 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Espace Diamant Skiing

The chalet is ideally situated to gain access to the Espace Diamant ski area, views of which can be seen from the chalet.  The nearest ski lift is a short 4 minute drive from the chalet.

The Espace Diamant is an area which you are going to be hearing a lot more about in the near future as it continues to expand and develop.  The ski area covers 185 km of slopes and incorporates 5 resorts: Les Saisies, Crest Voland, Notre Dame de Bellecombe, Flumet/St Nicolas la Chapelle and Praz sur Arly and is located just south of Megève.  It caters for all levels of skier, from beautiful tree lined green paths to steep blacks and powder bowls.  The resorts’ enjoy the privilege of being at the foot of Mont-Blanc and Les Saisies in particular has superior snowfalls and maximum sun exposure.  The Espace Diamant is currently one of the best kept secrets in the French Alps.