Thanks to recent days of good snowfall, Switzerland's ski season has officially begun. The first winter sport stations have opened in canton Valais, where conditions are best on south-facing slopes.
Fifty to 80 centimetres of snow have fallen on the Alps in the Valais, according to the Federal Institute for the Study of Avalanches and Snow.
Top ski resorts including Zermatt and Saas Fee are fully operational, while Champéry, Verbier and Crans-Montana are due to inaugurate the season this weekend.
Les Diablerets, where a lot of the skiing is on a glacier, is also open, but the resorts in the Bernese Oberland have yet to start up their ski lifts.
The blanket of snow is thinner in the Oberland than in canton Ticino, Engadine and the Gotthard region, where up to 120 centimetres has been measured above 2,000 metres.
The pistes at Davos, Savognin and the Great St Bernard are due to open this weekend.
According to the institute, more snow is on its way to eastern parts of the country and Graubünden.
However it is also warning of the accompanying danger of avalanches. It cautions against skiing off-piste, and warns that the changeable weather means hiking also carries an element of danger.
swissinfo with agencies