Words by Matt Carr | Photos by Kene E-O
December 2015 was a write-off in all but a few resorts in the Alps. Warm, sunny and with a distinct lack of neige. But that was then and January brought a massive and welcome change. In just seven days white goods were deposited, up to two and a half metres deep in some spots. And it seemed that another metre and a half was on the way.
Numbers like this whip mountain resort social media marketing teams into a frenzy, and cause office-bound inhabitants of the British flatlands like myself a great deal of distraction through what ought to be a working week. Should I be getting on with my end of year reports, or would I be better served refreshing the eight-or-so weather forecast tabs I have open at the top of my screen every 12 minutes, and compiling a spreadsheet of all plausible flight combos to Valhalla? The answer was B – the second one – of course!
Should I be getting on with my end of year reports, or would I be better served refreshing the eight-or-so weather forecast tabs I have open at the top of my screen every 12 minutes?
There are a variety of different weather modelling systems, and various popular and lesser-known snow forecast sites are based on different ones, or combinations of two or more. The serial optimist might shop around until he finds a forecast that tells him what he wants to see. The thinking man does the same, but to build a consensus and try to get a general picture of what’s likely to happen.
Mountains are a notoriously mercurial milieu, meteorologically speaking. But if every website you pore over is telling you that a boatload of snow has just fallen and that the next few days will make the closing scene in Scarface look like child’s play, then it’s time to come to terms with the fact that you will be taking either Friday or Monday off and you won’t be available for your Sunday league side this weekend.