Snow continues to fall in Verbier with another 10cm a couple days ago and 10cm a few days before that.
This recent front has brought in some rough weather with flat light and challenging conditions arriving with the snow. The freezing level has stayed quite high and so, too, have the temperatures. This has provided some very humid conditions at times. Although the new snow has topped up the snow cover a bit, it has been so mild on the whole that lower pistes are still getting quite brown. The run down to Medran is especially brown but is still passable. The rest of the low level areas, such as the nursery slopes and Le Rouge and Planard, are all closed now due to their low elevations and the warm weather that we had before the snow arrived. Bruson is now closed until next year and Mont Gele and Vallon d’Arbi have been closed for a while too. The rest of the area, including the links to the 4 Vallees, is open but navigation is quite difficult while this current weather system is in.
Thankfully the mild temperatures have softened up the icy bumps that were under the fresh snow a few days ago and although the pistes are a little sticky or slushy in places, due to those temperatures, they are still great fun.
The clouds and snow keep drifting in and out, with some days having better spots of visibility than others but it has been enjoyable to go up the mountain and search out the clear spells and good powder.
Off piste the risk of avalanche is 2 out of 5 and although I found a heavy top layer of 10cm of compact and quite wet snow on top of an icy base it was surprisingly stable. The rate of snowfall has been very light over the last week, the previous layer was quite stable and the new snow arrived with very little wind and has transformed and settled quickly. The only problem is that the temperature has been fluctuating quite a bit over the last couple of days. On Saturday in Lac de Vaux it was so humid that it actually felt as if I was in a steam room. As we came down at the end of the day it started to snow again. Thick snowflakes tumbled out of the sky proving that winter is not done yet. The rate of melting on lower slopes will not be checked, however, as the high freezing level means that any snow that does fall below 2000m starts to melt straight away and it is often raining or sleeting instead of the cold snow that is landing higher up the mountain.
The great news is that this weather will continue to bring in snow over the weekend and into next week, although it looks as if there may be more of an opportunity for the sun to break through than it has been the last couple of days.
Avalanche Risk: Level 2