The ski resort of Verbier in the Swiss canton of Valais has declared itself the first to launch the winter ski season by opening a two-kilometre piste.
With a combination of freshly-fallen and artificial snow, the Lac des Vaux area is open to skiers on weekends only until November 28th when the season proper will begin.
In upper Valais, it is already possible to ski in Zermatt and Saas-Fee, which have year-round skiing. The other slopes in these resorts will also open at the end of the month.
The ski season in the Swiss Alps opens in stages, depending on altitude and snowfall, with most resorts up and running by mid-December.
swissinfo.ch and agencies