Yes, the double whammy of a snow storm hitting and the new Performance outfits arriving back from the printers can only be an omen. Winter is here and it means business.
So here are the first glimpses of the new outfits, leaving behind the old green and yellow Kermit style and bringing in a whole new era of brightness that means when we sit on lifts together it looks like a packet of refreshers going up a mountain. Rather disconcerting.
But we hope you like it. We’re rather pleased with the combination…
And the even better news is that the sun popped it’s head out once or twice today but the cloud has kept all that nice fresh snow exactly where it is (on the trees and on the pistes) and it’s snowed on and off all day.
And – even better than that (if you feel you can cope) is that all the forecasts have upped their predicted snow fall for the coming days. Could be epic.
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.
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…).
Yes, the sun’s out and i am the proud owner of a new clever phone that will enable us to get lots more pictures up here on the site.
Er, lucky you…
Mike’s up at Ruinettes and whilst is a bit foggy and rubbish in town, it’s stunning up top… (You can see more on our webcam page).
The pendulum-like weather in resort has swung back to grotty and cold, having already passed through boiling, sunny, rainy and cloudy. It’s a bit disappointing given we’re still in August but on the flip side I’m waiting for one of the guys in Saas Fee to tell us (via the magic of Facebook) that they’ve got even more snow.
So it’s not a bad thing. Not completely.
And as Billy Connolly once said, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes…” So the Performance down jackets might be trotted out any day soon.