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Posts posted by Betleyblizud

  1. Update from Zermatt.

    First snow today for pretty much a month. However it’s been a generally cool period but cold at night with some sharp frosts. This helps to cool the ground down.F8D5147A-A7FA-49C9-949B-31046050A83F.thumb.png.eb0b9eea90995699264b92caeb324e7c.png 

    A few cms expected today which immediately settled and is whitening the village up nicely!

    Local forecast for the next 10 days are indicating a unsettled and sub zero pattern. Let’s hope this is what happens as it will put a nice base down for the winter.

  2. Just back from an early season visit to the ‘in laws’ in Zermatt. Like so many resorts it’s been a strong start to the season. Quite a number, but not all of the runs, are opening and there is some really impressive early season snow depths from about Findeln (around 2000m) upwards. Interestingly whilst there has also been considerable snowfall at village level the temperature (1700m ish) has been borderline for snow. (+2 to minus1 being typical) On several occasions whilst we were there it would take several hours of snowfall before it began to settle. I’m guessing being early season the ground/ tarmac just hasn’t cooled as yet with those temps. Saying that though there was around 25 cms around the village centre when we left with a reported metre plus up on the mountain.

    One thing I do find interesting is how different resorts deal with snow removal in their village centres. Zermatt operate an almost instant removal policy! On one occasion we went for a drink in Elsie’s bar in 2 inches of snow and came out to see it all but gone. I thought we’d had a heatwave but no the universes best snow removers had ghosted in and out! Other resorts I’ve been to recently such as Levi in Finland leave a good covering. I guess from a snowy romantic winter scene I prefer to see some cover but understand from a safety and practical perspective why others remove it. Especially where, early season in particular, freeze thaw conditions can be the norm.

    Interesting season ahead I’m sure. Hope all you heading to the alps have great snow conditions and I look forward to the usual updates from posters. Keep them coming!


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  3. Some pictures of Cortina as promised. The one at the bottom is the main road out of Cortina to the south during the storm that hit on the Friday. It was being ploughed continuously. The coach that picked us up had to carry on for 10 minutes until it could find somewhere to turn around without the worry of getting stuck in the ever deepening snow.





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  4. Just back from an excellent week in Cortina D’Ampezzo. Never been before and a interesting week it was! Arrived on the Saturday and little snow in the village though the slopes were fine. 6-8 inches Sunday afternoon through to Monday and a two/ three inch top up Wednesday made a massive difference. However a massive storm starting late Thursday and in to the weekend deposited 80cms plus in the village and a awful lot more on the mountains. We just about got out of Cortina for what should have been a 3 hour journey to Innsbruck. 14 hours later following a blocked Autobahn/Autostrade and avalanches around Innsbruck we flew out of Verona. Making it home 12 hours late! As for the skiing well I thought it was excellent. Slopes are generally quiet to very quiet. Lifts are pretty close to town. Cortina is very pretty and the mountains stunning. However I did not think it’s your typical ski resort. Just a handful of (excellent) bars in the town- Hacker Pschoor, Sport, LP 26, and Cafe la suite being the main ones. Similarly a few cafes supplement this and yes the rich and famous strut the streets at night in their firs and diamonds. Cortina is worth a visit and if you do go nip up or even stay at the Miramonti Grand to get a feel for the 1950s and 60s Hollywood ski world. It’s also pretty easy to catch a bus to Venice if you fancy a break one day. 

    When home and on my computer I’ll post some pics of the slopes etc

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  5. 20 hours ago, johnholmes said:

    I would imagine this link being useful to some of you ski mad nuts!


    I''l be in my usual place 2 days after the Lauberhorn downhill, but walking only, time to hang up the boots and skis sadly, not bad I did ski up to being 78, very gently latterly mind you. For those who might look in here and wonder about trying, you will either be hooked within 2 or 3 days or never do it again. Give it a try it really is great.

    Well done John! That’s a real credit to you that you were still waxing your skis at 78! I hope you continue to enjoy Wengen and surrounding areas for many, many years to come and who knows you might be tempted to strap on those skis again in a couple of years time!!

    I also fully support your advice. Anyone reading this excellent thread whose thinking of skiing or getting involved in any winter sport then go and do it! Great fun, great scenery, great people and even the apres ski isn’t that bad!

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  6. 17 hours ago, Betleyblizud said:

    Quick update from Zermatt.

    Heavy snow at 2500m, snow now settling at 2000m. Very wet snow falling in the village after a day of rain but not settling as yet.

    Source: Me father in law! 

    Welcome to the new season!

    Edit to above:

    Heavy snow overnight down to village level where it did settle. Slow thaw at village level now but snow still falling above 2500m

    Local weather indicating freeze- thaw for the next few days but it appears considerable snow expected throughout the next few days above the 2000-2500m mark

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  7. Hello all

    Recently back from Levi in Finland. Trying to upload some pics but not having much success. Will keep trying.

    Large amounts of snow and temps ranging from -5 to -27. Nice compact place. Overall would recommend if you like a variety of winter activities. Skiing is fine, if not extensive, on the fell but if you add the magnificent cross country tracks, snowmobiling, reindeer sledging, a night in a glass igloo watching the Northern lights, a visit to the snow hotel/village, snowshoeing and some fantastic walking across frozen lakes and through thick forests it is a great all round winter holiday experience.

    Nice village, alpine style, with a range of bars- Kota with its sofas, 80s music, along with some modern rock and metal, plus warming, help yourself, soups, salad and coffee for 10 euros being a typical example. A number of classy Finnish restaurants are complimented by steak houses and the popular Colorado which is cool for a beer by the slopes and burgers, ribs etc later.

    A 3 hour flight from the Uk and just 20 minute transfer from the airport.

    Worth a visit for any winter enthusiast but the downhill slopes won’t be extensive enough if you love black runs or go just for the skiing!

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    1 hour ago, Betleyblizud said:

    An interesting development

    I’ve just read on Sky News that scientists in Idaho USA are claiming that they have produced, via cloud seeding, heavy snow that falls and lies on the ground. This is the first time this has been achieved outside the laboratory. Although there are some claims that the Chinese are also able to do this.

    Sorry I can not post a link but obviously this could have huge implications for winter sports resorts around the world.

    Oh in case anyone asks I did check the date after reading it and no it’s not April1st!

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  9. Well some improvements but still plenty of concerns in Zermatt. Road and rail still blocked as of last night. Family feedback is that there is actually a great atmosphere in the village. Free food and drink being served up near to the station and around the centre. Bars are full and great, friendly times are being had by all apparently. Many people, unsurprisingly, are happy they can stay longer!

    Those that want to leave or come to the village are being flown in or out by helicopter, at a cost, but covered by insurance. Although fresh avalanches on the road between Täsch and St Nicklaus are meaning journeys are taking longer and as such fewer people are getting in or out. However more heavy snow expected this weekend.

    Some good news Avalanche danger has gone down to 3 and some slopes are reopening. The Gornergrat rail system is also reopening but as yet is not going all the way to the top .

    We normally have a visit this time of year but by chance we are off to Levi this Saturday instead and then Zermatt late Feb......... if we can get in that is

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    • Thanks 1
  10. 1 hour ago, johnholmes said:

    Amazing, Zermatt railway station is shut and no tourists are able to leave, I suppose no new ones are able to arrive. The Lauberhorn is to go ahead although high winds are causing problems on the top apparently.

    Yes John the tourists are trapped!

    I mentioned the other day that my wife’s family (my wife is from Zermatt) were concerned that conditions could deteriorate over the weekend and early this week.

    i now understand that there is no skiing taking place as well with the avalanche danger set at 5. More snow is expected and temperatures look set to fall. So no immediate thaw to help conditions.

    Edit: I’ve just noticed the the BBC are running the story now

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  11. 11 hours ago, J10 said:

    Latest 3 day snow forecast


    Heavy snow still forecast in the Zermatt area from tomorrow at lower slopes, with snow throughout for higher slopes.


    Thanks for this J10. Made a phone call and it appears that there’s been a fair bit of rain yesterday in the village but it is now snowing heavily. I was told there is very significant snow above 2000m as it’s beenall snow there. So I’ve had a quick look at the webcam for Findeln which sits just above Zermatt at 2055m and yip there’s some really deep snow there. You can check it out on Zermatt.ch.

    Looks like the forecast above had been spot on. Locally they are expecting a lot of snow over the next 24 hours

  12. 30 minutes ago, jonboy said:

    I understand there have been a number of avalanches over the last few days around Zermatt

    Yes things are not good. The Avalanche danger level is set at 3 for this weekend (3=considerable) which I guess is what is causing the worry especially with the potential for another heavy snowfall in the next couple of days. As many of you will know there is only one very winding main road up to Täsch from Visp and then it's the train in to Zermatt. There is a small road from Täsch to Zermatt but this is not a public highway. This, the rail line and the main road to Visp have in the past succumbed to avalanches blocking the village off. Although luckily this is a very occasional rather than regular occurrence.

  13. Excellent ski blog again. Thanks for producing it.

    One bit took my notice. The mention of snow for Zermatt. So I rang the local weather station (my sister in law!) ended up speaking to her and the worlds most senior and knowledgable winter weather forecaster ( my father in law) as well!?!

    Seems it’s been a very interesting week. Several days of heavy snow (20cm ish each time) down to village level (1620m) followed by heavy rain in the village and then back to snow.

    Yes as in the blog they reckon some more heavy snow is possible over the latter part of the weekend and in to the beginning of next week. Very significant snow possible above 2500m. However temps at village level are expected to remain around freezing as a max next week so there are some concerns as to the amounts that may fall on top of the existing 50cm in and around the village rising to 200cm above 2500m and potential avalanche danger. Something I guess we don’t all like to hear. 

    If there is any extreme snowy weather I’ve asked my sister in law to let me have some pics and I’ll post them on here.

    i should add based on previous experience of their forecasting skills expect a dry sunny weekend in Zermatt with temps up to +12?

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  14.  Just a quickie to support Johns comments above. Spoke to my sister in law tonight. She says it has been snowing steadily in Zermatt all day and has recently become quite heavy. The village centre is “a little slushy” but around the village it’s “white over” and “quite a bit of snow has fallen in the mountains”. Local forecasts are indicating a coldish week with further snowfall predicted down to village level (1600m).

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  15. Well another winter ski season is almost at an end for most resorts. I to would like to add my thanks to J10 for the excellent blogs- they really are an upgrade on the old Ceefax days! When seeing it reporting snow in Innsbruck was your only indication of any snow in the Alps!!!

    Thanks also to Blessed for his insights and reports, C for the 'Austrian angle', John Holmes for his annual Wengen adventures, Paul, Seaside60, Reefseeker for their regular contributions and all the others who've posted pictures and updates from various locations.

    Enjoy the summer and see you all back here in the autumn when the webcams are watched and the search for the first flakes begins again.

    Roll on season 2017/2018!

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  16. Another great post by Blessed Weather. It's days like those that make up for the plus 10 degrees and not a snow flake weeks we all have encountered from time to time on our trips to the Alps over the years ( decades). Of course the downside can be the terrible news coming through from Tignes again. It appears this avalanche may have hit ' on piste'. Truely dreadful.

    it looks like a number of areas have had a lot of snow thus increasing the avalanche danger.

    Latest from Zermatt is that there has been some 30-40 cms of new snow in the village in the last few days and around 60-70cms plus further up the mountain. I had a look on the webcams this morning and it does look very snowy. One thing I find impressive in Zermatt is how quickly they clear up after a heavy snowfall in the town. I've been there when the main centre has been totally cleared but 100m out of the town centre it's knee deep!

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  17. 12 hours ago, gareth moo said:

    Mid station forecast. Yes very high altitude at 2700m. Top of  Glacier Express gondola probably. Top of Klein Matt lift is 3820m though and showing even more!

    Interesting debate around which Alps snow forecast is the most accurate. I think someone asked this question a few weeks ago ( it may have been Paul)

    As I have previously mentioned my wife is from Zermatt and I've spent a lot of time there. My experience has been that snow forecast.com can be a bit 'optimistic',should we say,with its predicted snow depths. I have found it very good as a guide to the type of weather that may be around but when I have been in Zermatt it is very rarely accurate regarding the amount of snow that will lie on the ground. The locals believe Meto Central, I think it is, is a much more accurate guide.

    I just wonder with it being based on the GFS if the numbers quoted are potential amounts of snow that could fall rather than what might lay? Perhaps some of the model experts could inform us on that one. Also as Blessed as mentioned in his post the amounts can vary greatly after each model run.

    As regards the 2700m station. It's pretty high up ( you can find the excellent Igloo village at that height) but the Gornergraut railway goes up to just over 3,000m ( you will have seen clips of the hotel, shopping mall, yes shopping mall, and observatory there on the BBC drama the Night Manager).

    Those that have been will know it's great skiing from there where you can almost ' touch the Matterhorn'!

    As regards the forecast. Well according to my father in law ( so it must be right?!?!) they are expecting significant snow " up the mountain". At village level (1600m) again some decent snow expected but during the day temps are expected to be above freezing so a wintry mix is likely but by late afternoon/ early evening this will be of snow. Likely outcome is snowy nights, some very alpine scenes in a morning before a bit mushy early afternoon and then rinse and repeat!

    • Like 5
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