It started dumping in Verbier in the wee small hours and it’s looking promising up there. How much? Well we’ll let you know later…
The clouds are starting to break and winter is back in resort. It’s freezing today.
And last night we had a few inches of fresh on the pistes so conditions are nicely topped up. Ok it’s Baltic. But it should be in January – that’s part of the fun.
So we’re tucked up in Dahu waiting for just a bit more sun before we head up mont fort. Which should be, as we say in Verbier, EPIC.
I know, it’s still August – well, until tomorrow. But I’ve just looked at the webcams and it’s been snowing up top. Which seems good with Autumn about to take over for a bit. Perhaps we’re in for a big winter though – could it be a sign…? (I know. Probably not. But it’s still cool).
What’s happening? Is it bad? Is it terrible? Is it OK? Is it normal? Should we start to panic? These (and many other) questions have been flying about the internet as well as the resort. But there’s also been a mildly panicy and negative tone to it all. So we thought, “how about we try to give a pragmatic view?”
And it’s certainly not the best ever start to a season in Verbier. It’s my seventh and I can only remember one that was close to this light on snow.
But every other season I can remember we were open to Ruinettes by now. And currently there’s only a little of the real stuff in the shade (but not a lot). The rest is artificial.
Certainly not ideal.
It’s also certainly a lot less than normal but – and it’s a big one – it’s cold. Not baltic but consistently below freezing so the cannons are firing.
I remember about four season’s ago when we were short of snow at the start of the season, and it was warm. So the snow came, and didn’t settle well.
Today you really get the feeling that if we get some snow now it’ll settle on very cold ground and we’ll get the benefit of it all – not lose the first few days’ fall on wet ground.
So why haven’t we got any yet? Well, there’s been a big and unyielding area of high pressure over us. And all that swirling, unpleasant and wet weather that’s been lashing the west of Europe simply can’t push the high pressure away.
Which is why we have the same cold, clear weather over us. Have a look at the charts here – they give you a pretty clear idea of the front trying to smash through to the Alps and getting bounced away and off to the north and east by the high pressure.
Thing is, it might snow two feet next Friday and we’ll all forget about the stress and panic. So cross your fingers, keep an eye on the webcams and the weather forecasts (although don’t take them as gospel) and remember that massive fall back in October. Can happen again. And it always does.
Yes, as predicted the sun is back out and revealing the extent of the snow.
Now RHS will get all cynical and tell you it’ll never last. He’s probably right. But whether or not it stays in Verbier doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a decent amount at lac des Vaux… Ready for November 5th…
Er, yes. It’s been snowing again just above Ruinettes. So I went up and had a wander around – it’s rather nice, if chilly. And the higher you go the more snow there is, until you get to Col des Gentianes where there are a good few inches.
But whilst it’s a bit of a weird concept to get snow in the summer, it’s not that odd here. Although not exactly welcome.
Oh, and they’re clearly busy blowing things up on the track from Cabane Mont Fort to LA Chaux, as there are lots of warning signs as well as diagrams of what explosions look like (for walkers with poor imaginations I suppose…).