Without fail, when I wake to snow it feels as magical as it was when I was a child. This morning when the alarm went off, even without opening my eyes, I knew something was different. It is the quality of pale light that shines through curtains and eye lids alike. The silent hush that shouts I’m snow, I’m here!
Everything is different. The mild autumnal days with the startling firey colours that had given way to the heavy grey ski-ed gloomy Zermatt of yesterday evening has woken up to what it is all about. The first snow is here, bring on the winter!
Snow piles up in the cobbled streets that the Gemeinde, unprepared so early, try to sweep away. People clad in shorts and snowboots, bearing umbrellas and sunglasses can’t help but smile in anticipation of the Zermatt ski season 2012-13. Though Zermatt is uncharacteristically quiet, as many people as possible having fled for a last minute holiday before the start of season rush, the first words on everyone’s lips were “it’s snowing”. Before my first cup of tea I’d had text messages talking about building snowmen and office snow ball fights. The social media airways were zinging as soon as the computer was switched on. Snow makes people smile, feel silly, it lifts the spirit.
So get your skis waxed and get prepared. It is not unusual to have snow in October (we even had some on September 1st), but this morning we awoke to 20cm of the stuff. A further 10cm fell throughout the day and it is still coming down, and it is staying. Outside we have temperatures low enough to promise icy streets and snowy footprints for a while yet. Of course it will melt at some point in the town, but the ski pistes are higher up.
For two weeks now the piste tending teams have been ready for just this moment. Snow making machines are in place ready for the low temperatures. Piste bashers are serviced and ready to groom the first snowfall to secure the first snow layer on the pistes. So a promising start, and a pleasant slap in the face for all those skeptics that said we couldn’t possibly have another snow season to equal last year’s incredible amount. I say this year is going to be better than ever!