GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Visitors to the Geneva area for the car show get a real bonus this year, with excellent skiing lined up for this weekend in the Jura, with ski lifts 3 minutes from the centre of the city.
The snow is superb, reports our Jura correspondent, with fresh powder.
Tip for iPhone, iPad owners: the new My Switzerland national tourism office app, released 28 February, as well as the GVA Geneva airport app, released 6 March, were both selected by the iPhone store as featured “noteworthy” apps this week.
Weather forecast, snow conditions
Highs of 8C in Geneva, 10C in Sion, and 7-8C in Verbier and Crans-Montana. Mostly sunny, with overnight lows falling below freezing, keeping the still-deep snow in good condition. Expect strong winds today on the west side of Lake Geneva, gusting heavily in the mountains, but winds should die down by Saturday. Temperatures will rise Monday and Tuesday with highs of 14C, so get your skiing in this weekend.
Some fresh snow fell in many areas, in relatively small amounts, 5-20cm. Snow is hard at 1,500m in the Alps, but powder at 2,200-2,400m. Temperature Friday morning at 2,400m near Crans-Montana: -8C.
From the Swiss Institute for Avalanche Rsearch, WSL (full bulletin, all areas):
“On the northern flank of the Alps not including the northern Alpine Ridge from Chablais to the Wildstrubel, as well as in the regions of northern Tavetsch and Flims, the danger zones are found above approximately 2200 m. On the northern Alpine Ridge from Chablais to the Wildstrubel, the hazardous zones are found above approximately 2600 m. The size and spread of the freshly formed snowdrift accumulations tend to increase with ascending altitude and during the course of the day. They can be triggered as avalanches even by a single backcountry skier or freerider. Experience in evaluating avalanche danger is imperative.”
What’s on in Alpine resorts
This is one of the busiest weekends of the year, on and around the slopes. Great weather and excellent snow make this a very special year for several of these key events:
Crans-Montana: note that the Snowgames, earlier scheduled for 10-11 March, have been moved to 7-8 April. This weekend the Kiwanis are organizing a charity drive moonlight snowshoe trek and party for 300 at Violettes.
Davos, the Parsenn Derby, 9-11 March, open to all, is one of the world’s oldest ski races, first run in 1924. It’s a wonderfully lively three-day event in one of the country’s most beautiful ski regions, canton Graubuenden. The resort also holds its Snow Jam Party 10 March.
Engadin ski marathon, St Moritz in canton Graubuenden, is a huge and beautiful event where thousands of cross-country skiers take part, 11 March. The marathon has been held since 1969 and is one of the main winter outdoor events in Switzerland.
Grindelwald, in canton Bern, 10 March is hosting a Skicross World Cup event, giving spectators a chance to see this new Olympic winter sport in action.
Les Mosses, canton Vaud, 10-11 March, 1,000 people participate in the Mara cross-country dog sled race, one of the most important ones in the winter competition circuit. Full moon guided cross-country skiing followed by hot wine is also on offer this weekend.
Muerren, near Grindelwald in Bern, 10-11 is holding its White Style Open, for freeskiers and snowboarders, with open competitions and lessons from a pro.
Verbier: time to put a reminder on your calendar that 23 March one of the world’s top Xtreme sports events, the final leg of the Freeride World Tour, is held in Verbier. Words cannot capture this breathtaking event.
Villars, canton Vaud, Saturday night 10 March, full moon skiing on the Bretaye slopes , disco and party time, CHF10 for a pass for the event that starts at 17:00 and goes until the wee hours.
Zermatt, one of the best of the many moonlight ski run offers that take advantage of this weekend’s combination of good weather, great snow and a full moon.
Jura ski report
We thought the season was reaching an end but this week’s snowfalls have been a delight and we were skiing in powder snow again with temperatures well below zero.
The Crozet installations will run only at weekends and on Wednesdays from now till the end of season but Lélex is still operating fully and the Faucille/Mijoux installations, with tip top snow coverage. The French holiday period is over so you can have runs almost to yourself now!
Ed. note: snow depth remains 50-150cm in the higher resorts. Daily snow and weather bulletins, plus opening hours are aonthe Monts-Jura site, “infos neige”.