Snow continues to fall throughout the resort giving us a really good start to the season and fantastic snow for the coming Christmas holidays. It has actually snowed so much recently that I've lost count and I guess around one and a half metres fell over the last week.
It has been a long time since I have seen this much snow in town with big walls of snow in many places. The local commune has struggled to keep the main arteries open but they have succeeded with the exception of yesterday when areas in red zones were partially evacuated and some chalets were cut off and residents were told to stay indoors. Thankfully the level 4 avalanche conditions of yesterday have slackened off and have now dropped back down to 3 out of 5, which is still considerable. Half way up the mountain the police were stopping cars to make sure they all had snow chains on and not letting cars up that did not. They were letting 4 wheel drive cars with snow tyres up the road and I have driven extensively around town over the last couple of days and had no problems. This evening the roads were still snowy as it had started to snow again.
Up the mountain the early birds were rewarded with a couple of hours of light breaking through the clouds and for a while it looked as if Verbier was going to produce a blue bird powder day. Sadly it did cloud over again by mid afternoon. For those few hours the view was magnificent and as the Funispace to Attelas was closed all day I was able to see the virgin powder covered Attelas face, untouched for the first time in years. La Chaux, La Rouge, and the lifts from Le Châble to Verbier and Verbier to Ruinettes were all open. Over on the Tzoumaz side there are a couple of lifts open but the links to Verbier were closed. The small chairlift below Ruinettes is now open but the new Mayentzet lift has still not opened up yet. It had been rumoured to open last weekend but there is still scaffolding around the lift building. The cover throughout the area is excellent after this last weekend and I am sure the links to the 4 Vallees and the Mont Fort sector will open soon, weather permitting. According to Verbier tourism the Bruson sector opens tomorrow (Monday) which is great news.
Temperatures were mild today and skiing was comfortable as the wind has slackened off after the high winds that battered upper slopes recently.
The weather is mixed over the next few days but it looks as if there may be some sunshine tomorrow followed by lots more snow (around half a metre more!) The freezing level is expected to rise but some of the coming snow is forecast to fall as low as Bruson.
Update at 11.15am on Monday 19th: Funispace, Lac de Vaux, Attelas express and the Savoleyres links just opened!
Avalanche Risk: Level 3