Another amazing week in Verbier – Empty slopes and great snow.
Another amazing week in Verbier – Empty slopes and great snow.
Today in Verbier – Say no more….
Climate change potentially is very bad for humanity. Extreme weather events. Last year we experienced one of the hottest summers on record. Massive autumnal tropical storms lined up one after another and then followed by one of the biggest winters on record.
This year average global temperatures are set to be the hottest on record. Europe has seen a blisteringly hot summer (hotter than last year) and today the National Hurricane Center is showing tropical storms Gordon and Florence lining up across the Atlantic.
Does this mean we are in for the biggest winter ever? Only time will tell but I think the signs are looking good for some great skiing this winter – Perhaps now is the time to book some skiing in Verbier?
Florence has been building over the weekend and is now looking like a category ‘M’ storm (M denotes major hurricane). Florence will hit the coast of America later this week.
If you are interested in some other snow-forecasting techniques then read my blog on Smart Snow-Forecasting. Or, if you just want the current real weather in Verbier check out the my weather forecast page.
Here at Snowquarters we are discussing a potential snowspiracy. I am still taking my daily security briefings from my very own ‘intelligence agency’. This mornings’ briefing concerned a security breach. The Snow Prediction Services (SPS) computer has been a hacked by unknown external forces.
The security breach mostly concerns the SPS’s snow-forecasting predictions services. Currently the SPS is unable to accurately predict snowfalls, the computer system has defaulted into only predicting ‘Epic Snow’. Which, as you can see from the photo above isn’t actually that accurate!
The SPS has sent their secret agents out to uncover the hackers and the source of the snowspiracy. The Democratic Republic of Clambin (DRC) has denied all knowledge but has indicated that the Peoples Popular Front of Clambin (PPFC) are involved. The DRC has alleged that PPFC have developed the skills to weaponize and control the snow, or the lack of snow, in-an-attempt to stop DRC having access to their headquarters at Chez Dany in Clambin.
This is a very complicated and fast evolving situation, which hopefully will end every soon. We can then go back to the normal service of Epic Snow in Verbier!
Not a day, no, let’s make that an hour has gone by recently without someone predicting the latest snowfall, 1000 year storm, hurricane or heatwave. Yes – it is that time of the year again when everyone is a snow-forecasting expert. In the era of the ‘smart phone’ we all know it is pretty easy to be ‘Smart’ about the weather. But if you want to be a real expert you need to use some more traditional ‘smart’ techniques for your snow prediction.
Here are few ‘Smart’ tips for your own snow prediction from some Verbier Insiders.
‘The thicker the layers of an onion skin the more severe and early the onset of winter.’
Verbier Insider: Squid at No. 1 Ski Rental
‘When the very last of the larch needles fall to the ground the winter will start for real and not before’.
Verbier Insider: Jean Claude Vaudan
‘There is an abundance of the wild berries which is down to a great summer and it is nature’s way of giving birds an extra food source before a harsh winter’.
Verbier Insider: Peter Piper
‘When the various online sites are contradicting each other and all else fails, ‘I Just check out my next-door neighbour and see if he is chopping wood’.
Verbier Insider: Tom Blower
Whatever ‘Smart’ technique you choose we know one thing is for certain – The snow is coming and there will be some ‘Smart’ skiing in Verbier this winter.
It’s been one of the warmest Septembers since records began in 1864, according to MeteoSwiss it’s the third consecutive month with temperatures higher than normal by at least 2.5 degrees – so what does this mean for the winter?
Yes, it is that time of year! And it is time to get the winter juices flowing with a spot of snow-forecasting for the coming winter ski season in Verbier. As ever we’ll see almost anything as a sign this winter will be the biggest winter ever….
So predictably our prediction is: It is going be bigger than last winter and the mega-dump will start on the 7th of December – And the snow in in Verbier will be the driest, coldest and fluffiest ever.
What is our prediction based on! Well… currently there is a deluge of large insects that can be seen in and around Verbier (see above photo). We’ll be posting more evidence in the next few days. Some locals are also saying that the spiders are massive and in abundance and that the trout are swimming in circles in the river Dranse. Weird.
I’d love to hear from you if you have your own theories and methods for predicting this winters’ snowfall. If your theory is good enough I’ll even pop it up online for you!
Otherwise, maybe you just want to book a ski lesson.
Errant Verbier Ski Instructor and Snow Reporter reporting in. The ski addicts out there will love my excuse for being a bit slack on reporting back the good news!
Yes , I have been out there playing in some of the finest snow available. I am now on about ten consecutive days of fantastic powder. Starting last week in Zinal for four days with some great clients and then heading back to Verbier in time for Christmas and yet another dump of snow on Christmas eve.
As of today all the classic Verbier itineraries are skied out. However, with a little walking it was possible to find some great snow. Particularly good today was Rocky Garden where the snow was just perfect.
Please contact me if you think you’d like some help with your powder skiing skills?
The avalanche risk this morning shifted to Level 4. The avalanche bulletin also had warnings for all aspects of the mountain, especially on steep slopes below 2600 meters. What is extra-ordinary is that the increased risk is not from a massive snow-fall but a sequence of extra-ordinary weather.
Three days of very hot sunshine causing wet snow slides in the afternoon on southerly aspects of the mountain. This is not un-common for this time of year. But the mild temperatures over night have stopped the snow pack re-freezing, which has increased the risk of avalanches. This has caused large slides on the Col de Mine, Route Carrefour and Creblet. Also, closing some ski lifts and all the classic itineraries in the afternoon.
Saturday brought heavy cloud cover and the threat of precipitation. As I skied back to Verbier the weather turned for the worse with rain at over 2600 meters. At the same time there were avalanches on all aspects of the mountain. During the course of Saturday night the rain fell like cats and dogs, increasing the risk of avalanche from yesterdays 3 to 4.
This morning the residents of Verbier were awoken with the noise of the mountain security teams blasting, a noise normally associated with a powder dump! Not a rain dump…. This morning as I met my clients at 9am it was still raining. After hanging around drinking coffee till 11 waiting for lifts to open, normally the sign for a great day of powder, the resort decided to close all lifts for the day due to avalanche risk.
In my 22 years in the Alps, resorts have shut because there has been too much snow but not because it has rained! Hopefully the predicted drop in temperature later this week will stop the thaw and maybe bring some fresh snow.
If you want to learn more about the weather and snow then it’s maybe time to book ski lessons with Roddy
Epic Verbier Off-Piste Skiing
Verbier off-piste skiing came alight at the weekend with a fresh snow fall of 30cm and more in places.
The snow started on Friday and s the snow fell all day and into the night. A bluebird day was predicted for Saturday. I knew we were in for a great few days of epic Verbier powder skiing.
I met my skiing partners early Saturday morning. We headed straight for the front side of Savoleyres for two epic powder runs in the sunshine down to the town. We quickly followed this up with an amazing run from Creblet taking the high traverse towards Col de Mines. Fantastic conditions holding out all weekend. Monday we squeezed in a hike to the top of Greppon Blanc and skied in perfect powder to the valley floor. The best tasting hot dog in the Alps was waiting for us at the bottom. We then took the bus back to le Masses and made our way back to Verbier via a number of special side stashes of powder.
Epic powder fun for all the Verbier the crew, Emma TH, Amy, Jack and Babs from Beauty in Motion.
Keep an eye out for my future blogs and maybe book some off piste skiing in Verbier and the four Valleys.
The end of another epic weekend of powder skiing in Verbier.