Tuesday 24 January 2012

All or nothing

Storms hit Switzerland and much of Europe at the beginning of the month.

We went over to St Bernard area to explore some of the little know resorts of La Fouly, Vicheres and Champex Lac, and found some interesting stuff, both resorts and snow. Over there the wind had reached speeds of 270km/per hour. Too strong to form any cornices, it left the tops of the mountains scoured back to rock in places, the snow having been shifted and dropped several meters along where it lay up to 4m deep.

Skiing through the trees was interesting too with the ground littered with large branches and whole trees. Still we found some wonderful stuff - a beautiful and quiet area away from the crowds of Verbier.
Back in Zinal, the tops of the mountains are also back to the rock in places, the first coulour on the Chamois is a boulder field and the top 20m down to the dam is exposed rock and grass. The snow has gone somewhere, the trick is to find out where and access how loaded it is...

Saturday 7 January 2012

Snow shoeing by moon light

After all the snow storms, last night was still and clear - perfect for a snowshoe trip by the light of the full moon. We just went up into the forest behind Mottec, and saw fresh snow hare and fox tracks, everything was beautifully quiet and the snow sparkled just like the stars.

Coming back into the village everything looked magical and certainly worthy of a picture or two.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Snow has fallen snow on snow....

After one of the driest autumn in the Alps for (some say) 150 years, the weather finally turned and from the 14th December we've had more snow than we could at times cope with. So much fell on the 16th that they closed the road for 1.5 days as a precaution against avalanche. Things have settled down now and since Christmas we've had more snow but some good skiing too in deep deep powder.

Once dug out, our new outdoor fireplace has made a great venue for some pre dinner vin chaud.

You can get an idea of the depth of snow from the garden room's roof.