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Skiers welcome snow to Swiss slopes

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Skiers welcome snow to Swiss slopes
Adi Judas
14:53 CET+01:00

Swiss ski enthusiasts are breathing a sigh of relief after heavy snow finally hit the slopes, kicking off the winter season in earnest.

Forecasters MeteoSuisse said on Wednesday that runs above 800 metres were covered with at least a 20 centimetre-layer after long-awaited snowstorms this week.

The mountains could see up to 70cm by the weekend, they said.

It is good news for the country's ski resorts, many of which have delayed opening their pistes due to the lack of snow.

Among them is Chateau d'Oex in the western canton of Vaud which put back its official opening date from December 17th to 24th as a precaution.

Some, like Davos in the east, have been employing snow machines to keep skiers happy during the drought.

Until last weekend Switzerland had not received any significant rainfall for more than six weeks, with 2011 likely to be one of the driest years on record since 1864, according to MeteoSuisse.

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