Switzerland’s tourism leaders confirmed that access to ski towns and villages near the Alps re-opened overnight, allowing thousands of trapped tourists and locals to leave.

Some 13,000 tourists were stranded for almost two days this week when a rare weather anomaly isolated Switzerland’s popular ski resort town of Zermatt.

According to reports, public transport and ski routes were suspended when avalanche warnings were raised over the ‘once in 30 years’ heavy snowfall, which created a thick blanket of 39-inches of powder over Switzerland’s peak.

Switzerland Tourism assured media in a statement, that tourists were never in harm’s way, and those who required urgent departure on Tuesday and Wednesday were transported out of the town via a helicopter air-bridge.

Overnight, railway tracks were cleared of snow, allowing local leaders to restart train travel between Zermatt and Täsch, and tourists to come and go as they please.

Zermatt was also able to partly reopen ski routes, allowing visitors to take advantage of “excellent snow conditions and up to 3m of snow”, Switzerland Tourism said.

Meanwhile, the train line between Visp and Täsch is still closed, but replacement buses are being used to help transport people in and out of Zermatt.

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