• The Chatel Snow Report

08/11/2018: A Trip To Bassachaux...

Updated: Nov 9, 2018

One of the bonuses of being a mountain and trail running addict is that it means that little trips can be undertaken with relatively little fuss and relatively quickly. So, after waking to the light snowfall that was on the higher ground of the area, a trip was undertaken this afternoon, to have a look at the work on the new lift at Pre La Joux and see whether the snow was hanging around up above Plaine Dranse.

The replacement for the Pierre Longue chairlift which will be a brand new, modern 6 man chair, is well advanced with the main cables now installed on the pylons. The bottom station and some of the associated ground works can be seen in the photos below.

Moving up from the bottom of the Pierre Longue, and up the Rochassons piste and the snow cannon reservoir was looking nicely full, which is good news considering the recent drought and there was some water coming down off the higher ground. The snow factory, or snow farm, as it has been named locally was switched on and dribbling out its icy snow, creating an impressively large mound. This machinery is designed to build up a small reserve of snow that can be transported to patch up areas in times of poor snow, however, as can be seen, it is only capable of covering a relatively small area and in the context of the large Chatel ski area, it is useful, but insignificant.

At Plaine Dranse, there was no snow on the ground, with some patches of snow as you look up the Reine piste and up towards Rochassons and the snow on the ground higher up was thawing in the mild temperatures. Up at Bassachaux, there was a little bit more snow in places, but again a general thaw was taking place.

So, in summary, there is nothing unusual regarding the current situation in relation to amounts of snow on the ground - or rather the lack of it! Late October and early November snow rarely hangs around long enough at our elevations to bring any assistance to the pistes and it is often the second half of November onwards when we start to get much more interested in what is falling out of the sky. It has to be said that the latest models show very little prospect of snow over the next 10 days, so we will be keeping a very close eye on them and updating this report daily. The snow forecast page will start up once we see some snow appearing in the models.

Bye for now and thanks for reading.

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Update: 1.30pm: Overnight snowfall brought up to 6cm to the village - with less on other surfaces and alot of it has now thawed at this elevation. It was interesting to see more snow a few miles away