From sand to snow and everything in between

We’ve certainly had a month of contrast – after our sun-drenched Moroccan holiday, we came back to find Verbier still behaving like it was mid-Autumn: sunny days, mild nights and absolutely no snow in sight.  Worrying stuff for a ski resort, especially after last season’s no-snow…

Sunset over Lac Leman as we took the train home from Geneva

But we needn’t have worried – ours prayers and snow dances were soon answered in a truly fantastic way with the most epic snow dump imaginable.  The snow started falling in early December… and it’s just kept on going, giving us about 2 metres of the white stuff in time for Christmas.  In just a matter of a days, more snow fell over Verbier than in the whole of last season.  
Le Cradzet (the little chalet in our garden) in the first of the snow, 5th December

The view from our apartment after the first couple of days of snow…

Serious snowfall by 16th December – by this stage, some of the chalets on Savoleyres were being evacuated due to the avalanche risk
Although the season officially starts on 1st December, we seasonaires had the place more or less to ourselves for the first couple of weeks, meaning that we were free to play on the mountain in the more-than-decent early snow before the Christmas crowds arrived…
Lac de Vaux before it froze over, 8th December

Me and the Big Swede enjoying our first ski of the season
Christmas has now been and gone – Father Christmas outdid himself this year with some stunning “bluebird” days (when a night of snowfall is followed by a blue-skied, sunny day) – and things are now hotting up in the resort as we approach the New Year, one of the busiest weeks of the entire season.  Accommodation prices go sky-high and the parade of high fashion and luxury cars gets very serious – you will never see as much fur, diamonds, shiny chrome and immaculate make-up at any other time of the year in the Alps.  Tickets are on sale for New Year’s Eve parties in the clubs and bars around town for up to 500CHF per person – for that amount, it has got to be one hell of a party and I’m pretty sure that it’ll only be the tourists paying (the strong Swiss franc means that 500CHF is about £340, €410 or the same amount in US$).  Perhaps they don’t realise quite what they could be doing instead… the smart money is on the locals’ plan: armed with a few bottles of booze, some warm clothes and a group of friends, you can head up to a good vantage point to watch the fireworks over Verbier as 2012 arrives in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Gentianes

Cabin Montfort

Heading down to Verbier at the end of a day’s skiing
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