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    [–] A bit of an avalanche arriving in Zermatt earlier today Mr_anchovy 1 points ago in Switzerland

    I don't know, really, and the clouds were to low to see anything. It was rather loud, but I didn't hear an explosion or anything that sounded like they were setting one off intentionally. There's no skiing on that side, and with the amount of protective barriers/tunnels and debris from previous avalanches, I assume it's just a normal occurrence.

    [–] Bit of an avalanche arriving in Zermatt earlier this evening Mr_anchovy 3 points ago in schweiz

    Yeah, it was pretty loud, and it didn't even seem particularly large. It was over the area just before the train emerges from the tunnel, so no danger as far as I know. It looked rather wet and muddy, and you can easily see the debris from other avalanches around there as well, so everything is well protected.

    [–] Into Switzerland Mr_anchovy 3 points ago in skiing

    *Dents du Midi

    Cool clouds though. Did you do the Mur Suisse?

    [–] Fresh powder above the clouds - yesterday on top of Mont Fort/Verbier, Switzerland Mr_anchovy 1 points ago in skiing

    On piste was still sort of bumpy, just they were hidden under a foot or so of powder, but off piste it was perfect. And it wasn't difficult to get back to the drag lift, at most using your poles or skating for a minute. There were a few snowboarders having a hard time though.

    [–] Reliable snow, first weekend of April 2018 (6th-8th) skiing close to Lausanne? Mr_anchovy 2 points ago in Switzerland

    Considering you're going a week into April, I'd probably suggest Verbier/4Vallees as your best bet, especially if you're looking for apres/nightlife. It is definitely one of the more expensive lift passes around (though pretty cheap compared to anywhere comparable in the US) , but it's an enormous ski area, has a higher average elevation than most anywhere else in the area, and has all sorts of slopes facing different directions, so it'll likely be the most reliable snow outside of places like Zermatt and Saas Fee.

    It's only 1.5h from Lausanne, and you can get a discounted train+ski pass if you want; a quick glance at AirBnB shows quite a few studios/apts available that weekend for <100CHF/night. Just rent in the village wherever you end up; it's not worth the hassle taking rental stuff from Lausanne, and you'll have the shop right there in case there are any issues with equipment.

    [–] Portes du Soleil/Avoriaz advice Mr_anchovy 2 points ago in skiing

    I don't have any personal recommendations, as I've never hired one before. Here's a few options I found. I'm sure there are more as well, but that should be a start. You should have no difficulty finding an English-speaking guide, since PdS is very popular, in particular with people from the UK.

    [–] Portes du Soleil/Avoriaz advice Mr_anchovy 3 points ago in skiing

    I agree with the advice already given, and I'll just add a couple things, as I was just there today. In the Alps, you have to be more cautious venturing off marked trails; in contrast to the US where you usually have a pretty contiguous area which is all in-bounds and safe. If you're not skiing on a marked (and open) piste, then technically it is neither controlled nor avalanche-safe; if you go off the trail, you're responsible for your safety. The mountains here are full of cliffs and crevasses and boulders, etc, and the slopes frequently snake in and around and across areas where if you get off track at best you might not be able to get back to a lift, or worse into serious trouble. A guide wouldn't be a bad idea, though the PdS isn't known for it's freeride terrain like some of the others. That said, pretty much any and all skiable terrain will be found by someone, especially if it's between or around the pistes, and it will be clear where the safe and accessible parts are as they get tracked out.

    Couple of recommendations:

    Definitely take a day or two and do a big lap around the area and over the border. The area covers a bunch of valleys, so the views are always different, and you don't often get the chance to ski in multiple countries in the same day.

    The tree-line elevation is pretty low in the Alps, in relation to the reliable snow, so a lot of the skiing is above the trees; Les Gets/Morzine, along with the Linderets area of Avoriaz (with the previously mentioned Stash which is all in the trees), and Plaine Dranse in Chatel probably have the most tree-level skiing. Again, though, trees are pretty much all off piste, so keep that in mind.

    Avoriaz is in the middle of everything, and is quite popular, so it can get pretty crowded, in which case you'll want to venture farther away. Going through Super Chatel towards Torgon or Morgins is usually less crowded (and there are a couple sectors which are only connected by bus which would probably be less crowded as well, but I've never bothered). Just make sure you pay attention to the time so you can get back by when the lifts close (many of the primary lifts are marked with the latest time you can take it and still get back to Avoriaz/Switzerland/etc).

    [–] Alpenglow on the Dents du Midi last Saturday - Champéry, VS [OC][2048x1280] Mr_anchovy 2 points ago in schweiz

    Thanks, I'm glad you like them. I do have a flickr page and you're welcome to check it out, though it's more of a catch-all of photo albums and I'm no professional, so there's a bunch of photos on there of varying quality.