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Chatel beats mega-resort Zermatt’s annual average snowfall!

It’s official: Pretty Chatel beats mega-resort Zermatt’s annual average snowfall

‘This is not philosophy. This is physics’ said Albert Einstein, when explaining that everything in the universe is made of energy. And so it is with the snow-sure ski resort of Chatel. It’s not good luck, a weather lottery, or a case of crossing fingers. It’s physics that ensures this relatively low-altitude resort can claim one of the best snow records in Europe … physics and also a touch of geography.

The science bit
Evaporation then precipitation, that’s what this is all about, the process of water evaporating from seas, rivers and lakes, rising up into the earth’s atmosphere where it gets cold, turns back into water, falling as rain or snow. Now imagine this process on Lake Geneva, cold winds blowing across the surface of the lake, picking up moisture and speed as they cross; then suddenly this wet air hits mountains and is forced high up into the freezing cold atmosphere. The result is snow, lots of it, falling on Chatel.

Chatel sits between Lake Geneva the giant Mont Blanc and it’s these two natural wonders that create a very specific weather system – a snow-making one – that gives Chatel an average annual snowfall more impressive than Zermatt*. And this lake-mountain weather system creates consistent snowfall as the wind is constantly crossing the lake. So rather than receiving short periods of heavy snow followed by warmer weather, where snow conditions deteriorate and pistes turn slushy-by-day, icy-by-night, Chatel’s snow depth grows steadily throughout the season with cold nights and fresh powder creating optimum ski conditions. And 80% of Chatel’s mountains are pasture or vegetation needing only 20cm of snow to make the terrain skiable.

Nature vs Nurture
Chatel might have nature on its side but it has also nurtured itself to become one of the last resorts of the Portes du Soleil to close each year. It’s season runs from November into May matched only by high-altitude purpose-built Avoriaz

• Chatel has invested heavily in snowmaking facilities – seven million euros to be precise – allowing them to cover slopes in 20cm of snow in less than 48 hours.
• They also don’t use chemicals – just air and water – ensuring safe snow for us and for the environment.
• The piste maintenance team is incredibly advanced. They scan the depth of the snow on piste and relay this information to the piste-bashers who then use it to ensure even coverage across the piste.

And having great snow has, excuse the pun, a snowball effect. The resort is so well maintained and so snow sure that it attracts Olympic and professional skiers who choose to train in Chatel. Expert skiers are consistently choosing Chatel so ski guiding and instruction is now world class – it has to be, to accommodate its talented guests! Chatel is also well-located close to Geneva Airport, Lake Geneva and linked to the Portes du Soleil, so you can enjoy Switzerland and France in just one day, on one ski pass, coming back to end your day on Chatel’s perfect pistes.

Chatel brings much to the table as a resort, but now it offers something else, a level of snow certainly that few European resorts can compete with. Whoever said that Chatel was just a pretty face?

Below are a selection of wonderful chalets and apartments available to buy in the Chatel area, just click on the pictures for more information about each property.

* Zermatt’s – Highest Point: 3 820 metres. Average Annual Snowfall: 300cm
Chatel – Highest Point: 2 200 metres. Average Annual Snowfall: 400cm

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