Winter has arrived early in the Pyrenees and it’s been snowing for most of November in the mountains, right down to village level.
Formigal and Astun ski stations both opened last Saturday (16th Nov) – I’ve never known them to open that early before. From today Panticosa and Candanchu are also open. The snow is fantastic! Probably better than at any stage last season and there’s a good covering on and off-piste with plenty of powder. Great news for all those signed up to our snowshoeing holiday in Feb/March as this snowfall has set up a great base that should last all season.
We’ve taken advantage of the snow and headed out both on the ski’s with the family to Formigal and on snowshoes to the peak of Errata.
With the holidays over, the tourists gone and the pistes empty once again I headed up to Formigal yesterday for my first days skiing of the season.
We’ve had a lot of snow over the Christmas period – a couple of really big dumps but mixed in with a few days of rain and some high winds so I’ve heard varying reports of the snow conditions so was keen to check it out for myself.
Anayet ski area with Pico Anayet in the background
I’m happy to say there’s loads of snow and conditions are fantastic for the time of year. In both Formigal and Panticosa virtually every piste and lift is open. This is a vast improvement on the last cuple of seasons when during January the snow was very thin on the ground. I’m not saying it’s the best snow I’ve ever skied on but for this time of year it’s great and there’s lots more snow on teh forecast and I think we’re in for a great ski season.
I recently did an ascent of Bisaurin on ski’s – a superb peak with brilliant views. It might sound a bit strange, but most of the local skiers will tell you that the ski touring season actually starts in March in the Pyrenees.
Skiing on the main pass to Bisaurin
Formigal in the Valle de Tena is a great ski resort that doesn’t get enough British skiers. I ski there most weeks and there’s some superb on and off-piste skiing to be found there.
There’s not much information in English on the resort so I’ve written this insiders guide to the resort.
Read the full article here.
Up at Formigal on Wednesday – great conditions with plenty of fresh snow. The Sextas area was as good as I’ve seen it this season and the fabulous Bosque run is open.
Plenty of powder on some pistes particularly at Tres Hombres. A lot of wind slab particularly on northern slopes and plenty of fresh avalanches around so take extreme care if venturing off piste.
Skied at Panticosa today – snow was superb. Best I’ve seen this season with loads of light powder off piste.
Portalet station at Formigal
Went skiing up at Formigal yesterday and snow conditions were better than expected after last weeks warm weather and rain. It was clear and sunny and I actually felt quite warm as I took the first lift up. I did have a lot of layers on (‘like an onion’ as they say here in Spain) and I was glad for them as the temperature was -13 at the top of the lift! Continue reading
Kerry and Anna with Pic du Midi d'Ossau in the background
Thursday saw us out on the slopes of Formigal. Fabulous day for it – clear blue skies once again, great snow conditions and being a weekday the slopes were empty. Continue reading