Winter report from Terry & Graham

Winter is upon us here in the Alps, plenty of snow and the ice starting to build nicely! For some time in Leysin it has been -7*C at night and below freezing all day.

There have been really good early falls of snow and Leysin locals are getting out to ski most days. The picture here was taken last week on a ski ascent of Pic Chaussy, 6km from Leysin. Many Swiss ski resorts are now fully operational – Verbier for example has half a metre of snow cover on its lower pistes and high up the cover is up to 1.5m. With a further 60cm of snow forecast over the weekend things are boding well for our off-piste and ski touring weeks.

The icefalls are forming well too, helped by a wet autumn. It is looking like it could be a bumper season for alpine icefall climbing. The pictures shown here were taken last week in the Arolla valley, one of our regular destinations for both classic and technical alpine icefall courses.

So, a great start to the winter and a nice contrast to a couple of years ago when we were still waiting for low temperatures and snowfall at the end of January! It seems that despite climate change the Alps still offers the most reliable conditions for ice climbing and ski touring/off-piste skiing. We hope you can join us at some point for an adventurous winter break.

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