The Châtel Climate:



Chatel sits at the head of the Abondance Valley in the Chablais area of the northern French Alps. It is a short distance away from Avoriaz (only 6 miles as the crow flies), which often receives the most annual recorded snowfall out of all the French Alpine resorts, with a hefty 8m annual average. During the winter of 2012/13 Avoriaz itself at 1800m received over 11.5m of snow and well over 13m was recorded at 2200m. Whilst Chatel would have recorded lower amounts at village level due to its altitude, it is reasonable to suggest that the higher slopes in the Chatel area would have received similar amounts to those in the Avoriaz area.


The resort is also only about 30km from Lac Leman (the huge lake by Geneva), but the lake only has a very limited influence on the weather in the Chatel area during winter. Chatel's weather has both continental and Atlantic influences. High pressure systems can bring prolonged spells of fine weather, just as is the case in the rest of the Alps however the Atlantic low pressure systems that generally bring the snow often pile into this area of the Alps from the west or northwest and bring more snow than the interior areas such as the 3 Valleys and those areas bordering Italy. So, even though the village itself is around the 1200m altitude and much of the skiing goes up to the 2000m, the snowcover is often excellent, considering the relatively modest altitudes involved.


Snow cover in the Chatel area is often best on the north facing areas of the Linga and Pre La Joux areas, especially later in the season when it is warming up in the increasingly strong spring sunshine.


Snow disappears from most of the local mountains during the summer months, however, the spectacular 3000m high peaks of the Dents du Midi are visible as you drive from Chapelle d'Abondance to Chatel, where there are glaciers sparkling in the summer sunshine.


This website will be keeping a record of the snowfall in the Chatel area each season, especially at the resort level of 1200m.


A good article on the very snowy 2012/13 snow season can be found at the website by clicking here and they also have some useful snow reliability guides here.


For a description of the Abondance valley climate written in French, there is some useful information at the website here and the website also has live temperature information from Chapelle d'Abondance at about 1000m in altitude.


Chatel January 2013

Chatel January 2013



Dents Du Midi Viewed from Col Du Saix, September 2013.







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