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Over the past week about 1 meter of fresh snow has fallen in Châtel, and conditions on all slopes and off piste is excellent. In fact Avoriaz has more snow than all other French resorts.
So why does the Portes du Soleil and Châtel have so much snow?
Basically Châtel is situated between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc right on the French – Swiss border.
The skiing in Châtel is relatively high, reaching over 2000 meters and neighboring Avoriaz almost 2500 meters, and the area boasts a fantastic snow record, often more than high altitude resorts such as Val d’Isere and Zermatt.
Avoriaz had the deepest snow in the alps at the end of the 2012-13 season, and it looks set to do the same this year. This is largely due to a unique micro-climate created by Lake Geneva and the high mountains. Basically cold winds pick up moisture as they travel over the relatively warm lake, they are then forced upwards as they hit the mountains and into the higher colder atmosphere. This can cause intense and specific regional snow fall directly over Châtel and the Portes du Soleil.
The snow depth on upper slopes is 210cm
The snow depth on lower slopes is 100cm
All lifts and runs in Châtel are open
The weather in Châtel this week is pretty unsettled. There is 20cm of snow expected on tonight and there is another disturbance expected on Thursday and Friday. Tuesday and Wednesday will be the best days on the slopes with 70 – 80% sunshine expected.