Mixed weather has provided an unsure start to the winter; a few weeks ago it was as if the ski season was just around the corner with heavy snow and cold temperatures. Recently, warmer temperatures have displaced the cold snap and forced the tenuous snow line to retreat back up the mountain.
Up in Lac de Vaux, which is the main place we care about at this time of the year, there is decent cover on piste but very little else. Warm temperatures have not brought in extra snow and even more importantly they have not allowed the snow canons to get to work.
The resort has still scheduled the weekend 12th and 13th November to open although after the disappointment of last weekend keep an eye on Verbinet.com resort news for confirmation closer to the weekend.
The good weather has delayed the start of the winter but thankfully conditions have stayed sunny and warm in the afternoons. This time of the year it is a great time to get out in the mountains as they are quiet and the autumn colours accentuate the beauty of the mountains.
A few days ago, with clear blue skies and warm autumn temperatures, I took the opportunity to go for a walk through the forest around Col de Forclaz. I spent the day scouting out good spots to go skinning in the winter and biking in the summer. Yesterday I went climbing at an area below Verbier called Troubayet. We climbed an easy but fun seven pitch climb which kept us in the sunshine all afternoon. The rock was super quality and the surroundings were as beautiful as you would expect from this time of the year. It took us almost four hours from leaving the car to arriving back, tired and content.
Pub Mont Fort and Coup d'Etat opened last weekend to great anticipation. Pub Mont Fort will be open in the afternoons and will be serving its usual, although slightly reduced food menu. The Friday night in Pub Mont Fort was really busy as people came from as far away as Geneva and the UK to enjoy one of the highlights of pre-winter. Central T-Bar enjoyed the overspill of refugees seeking brisker bar service, before crowds headed down to Coup d'Etat for some funky music and fine cocktails.
Town is certainly starting to gear up for the ski season and many familiar faces have already started to appear with more due to arrive soon.
The good weather is expected to continue through this next weekend and with high temperatures the freezing level will climb to as high as 3000 metres. This is bad news for skiing but perfect for me as I plan to go mountaineering on Sunday and I am not quite ready to fight my way to the top of a mountain in a blizzard.