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No snow!

For the past 3 years, the sounds of ‘No snow!’ ring out through the media. Whilst there is an element of truth in this general claim, it is not entirely accurate and should be contested. Particularly inaccurate has been the reporting of Chatel which has done superbly well to keep their pistes open.

What does ‘No snow!’ actually mean – not enough to ski on, not enough to make a snowball, as from where I sit in the Alps, there is snow around at altitude, on lower altitude north facing mountains, in those low to mid high resorts which do an outstanding job managing the snow fall they have had with the added assistance of artificial snow which has been heavily invested in over the past years.

Our first clients arrived on the 13th December 2016. Other clients due to come cancelled their ski holiday based on media reports. Poor them. Those who did have faith in people like myself, who live, breath and are actually on the ground in the alps are able to give a more positive over view.

Now Chatel and the Portes du Soleil is deemed as possibly the largest ski area in the world. It incorporates many resorts of varying altitudes, north facing and south facing and of different gradient slopes and mountains. Other factors include the ground itself and as a majority of it, is pasture land, then less snow is required before the snow can be pisted for bashing, perhaps only 5-10cm deep in contrast with greater depths required at altitude due the rocky nature. We can even boast micro climates allegedly. In the main, when the 650kms of pistes are covered, there is no better or more varied skiing place to visit in the world.

So then I revert to ‘No snow’ – so lets say the Portes du Soliel has perhaps 10-20% of their slopes open……hold on, that is still 65-130kms of pistes….possibly more than most small resorts. The two recorded areas of the Portes du Soleil namely Avoriaz and Chatel must therefore be applauded for their foresight and vision in implementing snow making facilities, for their continued mechanical and logistical efforts along with of course their geographic fortune. I take great umbrage for Chatel to be languished with the same ‘No snow’ reports or  a likened to Morzine and Les Gets, when clearly we are defined in our own right. Out sourced media reports of Chatel demean the excellent work done by local British tour operators to report the actual situation without bias and clearly and rightly so report that Chatel has had snow, when others have not. We as a British culture are exceptionally negative and the media is the driving force of this negativity. So I challenge any media source to actually spin their stories into a positive. But then perhaps, this interrupts the next story when the exodus of British businesses fold due to the lack of tourism as a result of the negative feed ‘No snow!’

We have had blue skis and cold temperatures during this El Nina period. The snow now is getting thin admittedly and due to volume of people at this holiday time of year, the slopes crowded. These two resorts are now chastised for being over crowded, a victim of their own success one might say. But hold on, would you prefer to be at Milton Keynes, Tamworth etc. What about those other places who really do not have snow??? Why are we not praising Chatel and Avoriaz – surely this is a great thing to have some snow??? Our clients have been amazed by both the quality and quantity of snow available to them to ski on,

I like many others look forward to a good dump of snow. I am as passionate about the mountains and its offerings. I am realistic also and am noticing changes, but lets not accelerate those changes in minds and enjoy what we have and what we have now.