South French Alps Snow Conditions

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Stuart J Woodward
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:56 am

At present lots of snow in the South French Alps (Ecrin Massif). So much different than last year. Lets hope this could be the return to more normal seasonal conditions. In the Queyras a little further south no lifts are open at the moment.

However this could be a great sign for the summer.

Nearly all the ski resorts in the French Alps are already open.

Serre Chevalier.

Mont Genevre.

Puy St Vincent

Les Orres

Risoul.

Vars.

A great friend of mine Bruno Hugo who owns a Bleu de Blanc at Embrun is just off sking at Vars.

All the best.

Stuart
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Post by Simon Westgarth » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:34 pm

Great news Stuart. The Northern Alps looks excellent too. Its to early to tell, yet we may be in for a bumper season on the snow and on the river.

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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:57 pm

simon d westgarth wrote:Great news Stuart. The Northern Alps looks excellent too. Its to early to tell, yet we may be in for a bumper season on the snow and on the river.
What we need is a couple of big snow dumps and a cold winter.

But by the looks of things its not just the snow thats going to make 2008 a bumper season for the FM.

All the best.

Stuart.
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:28 am

A great start to the Alps snow season.

But also there has been early snow further south in Haute Provence.

The mountains that feed the Verdon and Var Rivers have received good amounts of early snow.

If this keeps going lots of fun paddling in Provence in April.

More fun paddling in the sun.

Stuart.
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:10 pm

Lots and lots of snow in the Southern French Alps.

Since November there has been very significant snow falls over the whole of this area. The Ecrin Massif, this is the range of Mountains that feed the main rivers systems of this area. Including the Durance, Veneon, Romanche, Bonne, Gyr and Drac. Has received the higher percentage of snow.

The Mountains of the Queyras that feed the Guil, Ubaye, Cerveyrette, Crevoux. As yet have not received so much however: plenty of time yet. Last year in March this areas Mountains had 4 meters of snow in 2 days. At present however it really looks as if it could be the best white water season since 2002.

Unlike last years winter this winter, through December until mid January, day and night time tempetures have remained low. This means that a good solid base of ice has been formed. This is so important to hold and slow the melt. We have not seen these conditions for a number of years.

Mountains further south that feed the Ubayette, Bachlade, Var and Verdon are looking good with heavy loads of snow. So early spring (April) paddling in Provence should be a good one.

All the best for a great season.

Stuart
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Post by Ralph Wilson » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:21 pm

Luvverly jubbly, Stuart; great to hear
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Post by bankes » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:30 am

In the last week at Put St Vincent there has been over 1m of snow with 2 seperate dumps of 50cm.

Snow conditions are fantastic and superb off piste skiing.
Mark Bankes

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www.hautes-alpes.biz or www.alpineplayground.com

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French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:09 pm

According to friends/local UK and French that live/work boat, ski, climb in the area around Briancon/Valouise. This has been the best snow season for at least 10 years. Some local guides are saying its the best since records began in 1993.

Catch up with local conditions by going on the site below.

http://www.montagne-virtuel.com/meteo/index.php

Puy-St-Vincent which is the ski resort just up the Gyronde vallee from our campsite. Has over the winter at times had the most snow recorded in all of the French Alps.

Since the first snow fall in early December 07. The Ecrin Mountains have had some 6 major falls of snow. The last one just two weeks ago was one of the biggest of the winter.

All the winter because of prolonged cooler weather a deep base has been layed down. Also at the moment the snow conditions are very stable, so there have been fewer Avalanches. This is looking very good for the summers white water season. A solid base will prolong the melt well into July and August.

However if the weather is hot at the end of May early June expect very high flow levels. The last real high melt levels were 2001-2002 this created problems amongst many UK groups. Over the last few years many people have paddled here, but have never experienced a high level full on spring melt.

In the Queyras, the Mountains of the Guil have had less snow. However snow levels are vastly improved upon the the last few years. Expect the Guil and Ubaye to be very high early season.

The Col de Montgenevre is heavy with snow. This means you can expect high flows on rives over that Col in Italy, such as the Dora-Riparia and Germanasca.

We are certainly looking forward to the best season for some years. With lots of Fun in the Sun.

All the best.

Stuart.
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French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:27 pm

This last weekend gone has seen yet more heavy falls of snow in the South French Alps.

Also further south in Haute Provence there has been fresh snow fall.

It really is looking like a very big water start to boating all over the South of France.

Expect rivers like the Guil, Ubaye, Romanche to be exceptionally high.

Early season high Alpine rivers like the Biasse, Fournel, Drac Noire and Verneon could be unrunanable.

Heres to more boating in the sun.

Stuart.
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French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:13 pm

Last Monday 14 April on my way to Haute Provence I took a detour into the Haute Alps around Briancon.

There are huge amount of snow in the South French Alps. More than I could have wished for, with the coming white water season soon upon us.

Snow is right to the waters edge on the Romanche near La-Crave.
Inplaces the very upper Guisane is having to cut under the snow lying thick in the valley.

Many of the ski runs are still open in the Guisane valley.

Its still cold at night so very little water was flowing down the Romanche, Guisane or Durance. Though the slalom course at L´Agentiere was being used by slalom boaters. The Guil was runable but mostly down to storms as the Ubaye was duable but very black.

I am looking forward to some good water levels in Haute Provence over the next couple of weeks. Plus to get some first hand info on the Gorge Du Verdon.

All the best.

Stuart.
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:00 am

For up to date water levels in Haute Provence and the South French Alps. keep an eye on the information panel on our website.
www.canoecontrol.com

At present I am in Haute Provence/Alps Maratime, where there are many rivers such as the Var, Verdon, Versubie, Tinnee and Esteron.

All the best and stay safe.

Stuart
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:33 am

Provence and South French Alps water level update.

www.canoecontrol.com

All the best.

Stuart
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Fri May 02, 2008 8:59 am

02 May Latest report for Haute Provence and the South French Alps.

www.canoecontrol.com

All the best.

Stuart.
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Fri May 02, 2008 9:18 am

02 May Latest report for Haute Provence and the South French Alps.

Very cold nights with hard morning frost are holding back a early spring melt.

It certainly looks like the best French Alps paddling season for many years.

Paddles in Haute Provence are also having a great spring with good levels here. Once again the best for many years.

Dont forget to check out our daily report window on our website front page at.
www.canoecontrol.com

All the best.

Stuart
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Mon May 05, 2008 7:38 pm

Haute Provence spring has arrived, much warmer with good levels.

F/Alps warmer with the general day time temps rising like the rivers.

Night times cold/freezing on the Mountains (thats good).

www.canoecontrol.com

Haute Provence best season since 2001/02. Also the F/Alps is going to be as well.

All the best.

Stuart
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Post by buck197 » Wed May 07, 2008 5:29 pm

http://hautes-alpes.net/webcam/dedie/index.php

I see the water is rising nicely just four weeks to go, hmmmm.
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed May 07, 2008 6:45 pm

buck197 wrote:http://hautes-alpes.net/webcam/dedie/index.php

I see the water is rising nicely just four weeks to go, hmmmm.
http://hautes-alpes.net/webcam/dedie/index.php

To have an idea where the levels may be at the end of May, In early June 2001 all the rocks, you can see on the l´Agenterie Slalom course were completly covered.

Its going to be a lot of fun. But you may have to pick your river runs with some care?

Much warmer in Haute Provence at present with all rivers running well, the best for many years. After mid-day very pleasent, at last paddling under a hot Sun.

We move into the Alps in late May for more fun and video boating.

All the best.

Stuart
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Post by Westy » Thu May 08, 2008 10:57 am

Hi Stuart,
As ever, thanks for your levels reports. Our club will be staying in the Briancon area w/c 21st June. A few of the guys are a little nervy, so planning on starting off on the Durance and see how we go from there. Thinking of Lower Claree, Upper Guil, Upper Guisane, if levels aren't too mental! If the levels do get high, what effect does this have on the Durance (St Clements to Embrun). Does Rabioux get washed out, or chunkier?
Thanks, Steve.

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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Thu May 08, 2008 7:49 pm

Westy wrote:Hi Stuart,
As ever, thanks for your levels reports. Our club will be staying in the Briancon area w/c 21st June. A few of the guys are a little nervy, so planning on starting off on the Durance and see how we go from there. Thinking of Lower Claree, Upper Guil, Upper Guisane, if levels aren't too mental! If the levels do get high, what effect does this have on the Durance (St Clements to Embrun). Does Rabioux get washed out, or chunkier?
Thanks, Steve.
Hi Steve.

At the end of June the top end melt will have gone, leaving fantastic clean runs on all river sections. However the gradings for each of these sections of the rivers, will still be holding.

However sections of rivers like the lower Romanche or Upper and Gorge sections of the Veneon will be a bit of a no no. Afternoon runs on the Gyr could be somewhat mental?

However with care and thought your group will have a great time. After some years of dissapointing levels, I am looking forward to many UK paddlers seeing the South French Alps at their best.

All the best and call in for a beer,

Stuart.
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Post by Gavin Shedden » Fri May 09, 2008 4:06 pm

Hi Stuart thanks for all the info a few members from Stirling Canoe Club will be out in briancion on the last two weeks in June.I have not been paddling for a few months now so I hope the river gods will spare my fat ass from getting beating on the river bed LOL .
You can do it water boy

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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Mon May 12, 2008 8:15 pm

No Haute Provence/Alps report, as for the last few days I returned to the UK for a close friends Wedding.

Be back in Provence on Tuesday.

All the best.

Stuart.
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Wed May 14, 2008 1:34 pm

14/05/08.

Back in Haute Provence.

I have put some info on www.canoecontrol.com

There has been a tragic rafting accident on the Haute Verdon. Sadly it has resulted in the death of one of the clients on a French Professional trip. The river is on a high flow. I have no other infomation as yet.

Stuart.
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Post by boater rich » Thu May 15, 2008 3:01 pm

We're off out there last week in May - I see the temperature is forecast to start rising to the low 20's, does this mean we are potentially in for mega levels as the first melt starts or a more gradual filling at these medium temps?

Rich

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Post by Westy » Thu May 15, 2008 4:33 pm

I'm saddened to hear of a fatality on the water in the region. A reminder of how we must be safe whilst enjoying ourselves, especially if the levels are higher than perhaps some of us have experienced before.

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Post by waverley610 » Thu May 15, 2008 8:27 pm

[quote="boater rich"]We're off out there last week in May /quote]

you have p.m.

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French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Tue May 20, 2008 9:57 am

20/05 Location Haute Provence.
H/Provence Storms,lower temps than normal.But all rivers Var Verdon Vesubie Esteron etc.Are all on really good levels.

F/Alps lots of storms and cool weather. Cool weather continuing for this week.

Lots of great boating to do in Provence (warmer than the Alps at the moment) with the Canoe Control team.
H/Provence-F/Alps Courses.07710462232/e-mail off our contact page.
Stuart.
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South French Alps Snow Conditions

Post by Stuart J Woodward » Thu May 22, 2008 6:55 am

Rivers levels in the French Alps have crept up this week.

Guisane is a really good runable level.

Claree very good.

Briancon Gorge very good.

Durance Gorge at the moment perfect level lots of water but not to high.

The Guil also is a great paddling level being a green blue colour.

The Ubaye is high almost to the cut off level for rafting on the Race Course section.

Barchlard good level.

Onde runnable.

Gyr low.

Gyronde Low. Not enough water off the barrage at Valouise to put water into it.

Fournel. Medium to high, the steps above the barrage are becoming unrunable. With warmer weather and rising water these steps will become very dangerous. These steps are upstream of the EDF barrage if there is a bad incident, EDF will shut this river. Please do not go up there in high flows.

Romanche and Veneon at present no report, but with warmer weather these two rivers will go very high and become very dangerous.

No Report on the Drac or Bonne, but would say they are good?

Rivers are rising and we have not had any really warm/hot weather yet.

When the sun does come out and the temp rises. You can expect that all gradings will be well on and on some rivers well over what is written in many guide books. However even on rivers where the grading will be the same (easy sections of the Durance, Upper Guisane, Upper Ubaye etc.) the speed of water will be much faster.

Alps Haute Provence.

Good paddling levels on all rivers here.

Gorge du Verdon. EDF are pumping some 40 cumecs into the gorge. This is great for the Pre-Canyon but very dangerous for the main gorge.

Gorge Daluis (River Var) There has been a huge rock fall in the Gorge Daluis blocking the river. After the water fall river left you come to a big pool. The portage is on the right over very big boulders, the rives goes left over boulders but the route has lots of tree debri.

We are in the Alps Haute Provence for a few more days before again heading back into the Haute Alps for the season.

All the best besafe and have fun.

Stuart.
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Post by Gupster » Thu May 22, 2008 7:30 am

Thanks for all the info Stuart.

We're off to Briancon at the weekend so it's a relief to hear there is some water about. We we're fearing the worst what with the weather there at the moment.

I'm sure we'll drop in to say hi at some point.

Cheers

James

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Post by Tom_Laws » Thu May 22, 2008 9:45 am

Fournel. Medium to high, the steps above the barrage are becoming unrunable. With warmer weather and rising water these steps will become very dangerous. These steps are upstream of the EDF barrage if there is a bad incident, EDF will shut this river. Please do not go up there in high flows.
Obviously a judgement will be made on the day about SlopeJam. I'm hoping for good levels, but not toooo high.

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Post by storm » Thu May 22, 2008 11:47 pm

Hi got back from Briancon last night loads of water nice to see the claree running well,onde disapointingly choacked up and not worth the effort otherwise all as stuart says,ps new speed camera GOING OUT OF bRIANCON NR SAN CHEFREY on Guisanne rd.
Steve.

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