One thing to pay particular attention to on the snow report is the avalanche risk level for the day. If there has been high snowfall the avalanche risk can be high. High winds can also add to the risks by blowing snow into snow slabs that can be very unstable.
Who produces the report and when?
The avalanche report for Morzine is produced by Météo France. Morzine is included in the Chablais area of the report. The report is produced daily throughout winter from November onwards.
Avalanche report at the main lifts
There will also be an indication at the main lifts regarding the risk level for the day. The level of risk for the day is put into five different classes. There is no level 0 as the mountain is never considered 100% safe.
1 - Low risk. The snow has generally bonded well and is stable. There is still some risk but it is mostly safe everywhere.
2 - Moderate risk. The snow is not so well bonded on the steeper slopes, although it is still generally well bonded in most places. Avalanches are possible on steeper slopes although they are still quite unlikely.
3 - Considerable risk. The snow is weakly bonded on many of the steeper slopes. It is possible for even a single skier to trigger an avalanche.
4 - High risk. The snow is weakly bonded in a lot of places. It is likely that an avalanche will be triggered on steeper slopes. It is also likely that medium to large avalanches will occur.
5 - Very high risk. The snow is weakly bonded and highly unstable. Natural avalanches occur even on slopes of only moderate steepness.
What precautions can be taken
For levels 4 and 5 off piste skiing is very much discouraged. Even when the risk is low it is important to take precautions. Never go off piste alone, be aware of your surroundings (in particular cliffs and cornices that can collapse) and know exactly where you are going - if you do not then make sure you are with someone who does know where they are going. Take an avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel with you, making sure that the batteries in the transceiver have plenty of life in them. It is also a good idea to practice using your avalanche equipment regularly so that, if the worst happens, you know what to do. It is also a good idea to make sure that you have the phone number for the piste security so that you can phone them in an emergency.