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2017 Alps Trips

Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:59 am

With the Alps having their best early season in many moons, it's time to revive the Euro forum! \:D/

Here's the forecast for my upcoming trip (Thursday through Monday within two-ish hours of Zurich) from Fraser Wilkin of Weather to Ski, which is required reading for any Alps visit:

Forecast is pretty clear now. There will be showers or longer spells of snow Thursday to Saturday with the rain/snow limit perhaps around 1200m on Thursday lowering to 500m later on Friday then lower still Sat. You are going to need some trees, I would think. Sunday may be sunny.
Last edited by jamesdeluxe on Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Early-Season 2017 Alps Trip

Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:25 am

Whats the snowpack at 1000m now? Have fun in those euro trees!

Re: Early-Season 2017 Alps Trip

Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:20 pm

Yes it would be ironic to be skunked by too much snow. This trip is way too short IMHO. From what I'm reading from Fraser any clear days are going to be amazing. :drool:

Anyone living on the East Coast should be looking east not west for destination ski trips over the next month at least.

Re: Early-Season 2017 Alps Trip

Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:45 am

Looking great for Day 1 tomorrow. Today's report from Weather to Ski:

Updated: 9.45am Wednesday 13 December 2017 –- The Alps just keep on giving!

It’s a cold and sunny morning with superb snow conditions across much of the Alps, even if some of the top lifts remain closed due to wind and the huge amount of snow that has fallen in the last few days.

As the day progresses the next storm will begin to make its presence felt across the western Alps, with snow reaching much of the French Alps (away from the far south) and the western Swiss Alps (e.g. Verbier) by this evening, and continuing to move further east overnight. The rain/snow limit will start low but rise to between 900m and 1400m overnight.

Over the next few days it will remain unsettled with further precipitation at times, always heaviest in the north-western Alps – that is to say roughly north of an imaginary line drawn between Grenoble in France and Innsbruck in Austria. Generally speaking, the southern Alps will see less snow, except perhaps for the Dolomites and the far south of Austria where a more significant fall is likely on Friday. The rain/snow limit will start around 900-1400m this week, but will fall to very low levels again towards the weekend.

Between now and Sunday we can expect another 30-60cm of new snow quite widely across these north-western parts of the Alps (e.g. Courchevel, Flaine, Avoriaz, Verbier, Mürren, Engelberg, Lech) with up to 1m of additional snow in a few favoured spots!

Generally speaking snow conditions are excellent for mid-December with most of the weak spots now ironed out. Indeed one of the areas of concern, the southern French Alps, have seen particularly huge snowfalls over the last few days with 1.5m of new snow or more in places (e.g. Parc national des Écrins).

Re: Early-Season 2017 Alps Trip

Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:38 am

The Weather to Ski site is now calling this the snowiest start to an Alps winter in 20+ years and it looks like a monster dump (including 3-5 feet in favored western Alps locations) is coming this weekend. I won't be there again until the first week of February, but I believe that Tony is heading across mid-month?

Re: Early-Season 2017 Alps Trip

Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:40 pm

I pulled the trigger since 1. USA snow is almost below average and 2. Europe is having a 20 or 30 year winter. Was going to do the lower Powder Highway - Red, Whitewater, Cat day, Heli day - but just did the upper route Calgary to Revelstoke last year, and a separate trip to Whistler. These BC areas always have snow.

However, I have my brother interested in doing his only Euro trip - so I am getting 'stuck?' with his calls. I would prefer to go to Austria to St. Anton just using the train from Zermatt, since this is one of the last major 'big areas' I have not yet been to. However, I was over ruled by an overlay aggressive tour of the big resorts with 3 days in each: Val d'Isere, Chamonix, Zermatt - in late January/early February. Already there are issues:

Grands Montets tram did not like 220 km/hr winds. ... 900ea598d0" onclick=";return false;

Road to Verbier from Chamonix is closed due to rockslide.

1. Val d'Isere. I am not sure why I do not see more chatter about this. It's my favorite of the French/Swiss mega resorts. The off piste is identifiable, not overly glaciated, comes in all flavors, and super extensive. The village is nice too. Expensive - yes, but you can find options that are not crazy. People say it gets tracked to quick - but that is only for Europe. Nothing like the Cottonwood, Whistler, Jackson [censored].

2. Chamonix. There is so much choice here: Megeve to Les Houches to Brevent to Le Tour - something has to be good. Goal is to do a tougher line off the Agui like the Grand Envers - which I have not done.

3. Zermatt. I have only done a summer ski here with Cervinia still open. Like to ski the other sections. Maybe hire a guide.
Hopefully avoid being trapped after 2 meters of snow like the tourists suffered last week.

Fingers crossed there is more sun than clouds.

Re: Early-Season 2017 Alps Trip

Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:01 pm

We are leaving for LAX within an hour, will land in GVA tomorrow afternoon. We plan to drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Italy, have reserved nights of Jan. 19-21 in Gressoney, central of the 3 Monterosa valleys.

Weather may be too nasty to ski anywhere Friday. We have reserved guides for the Monterosa region but do not know how well snow has stabilized from last week’s 2-3 meter dump.

The rest of the trip through Feb. 3 is open, will look at the weather as our time progresses.

Re: Early-Season 2017 Alps Trip

Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:35 pm

ChrisC wrote:1. Val d'Isere. I am not sure why I do not see more chatter about this.

It's gotta be one of the Top 5 most popular French resorts. Do you mean stateside chatter about it?

Re: Early-Season 2017 Alps Trip

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:42 am

We get a little weather break today but more snow is coming from the NW over the weekend. Avalanche rating is 4+ today with lots of wind loading. Since we are stuck on piste for awhile, we'll drive the 4+ hours to the Dolomites after skiing today. We got our reservation in the Monterosa rescheduled to start Tuesday instead of tonight.

For ChrisC:
Zermatt reports from 2014 are low on page 2 of this section.
Chamonix reports from 2004 are low on page 5 of this section.

The good news is that all of these places are loaded with snow. But you wouldn't want to be at any of them right now due to the storm this week with more coming. You probably need guides for all of your time in Chamonix and Val d'Isere. At Zermatt you should ski one day each for Rothorn, Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn/Cervinia. The prime ski terrain Is the 3,400 vertical Hohtalli tram and the Stockhorn chair beyond it, between the former two sectors. You should get the avalanche report for that area and probably hire a guide at least one of the Zermatt days.

Re: 2017 Alps Trips

Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:09 am

I retitled this thread to show that we're moving into mid-season.

Tony Crocker wrote:We get a little weather break today but more snow is coming from the NW over the weekend. Avalanche rating is 4+ today with lots of wind loading. Since we are stuck on piste for awhile, we'll drive the 4+ hours to the Dolomites after skiing today.

Sorry, I should've suggested that you fly into Venice and save yourself five hours of driving. Oh, that's right: I did! :lol:

Re: 2017 Alps Trips

Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:13 pm

We had a long drive after skiing today and will have another one Tuesday when we moved our Monterosa reservation. That’s looking better as Wednesday is now forecast clear.

Weather is expected unsettled until then with Sunday being the worst day. But in the Dolomites that’s 1-3 inches so we shall see.

Re: 2017 Alps Trips

Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:21 pm

Looking forward to some TRs soon. Good thing that the Euro forum will have nonstop new content for the next three weeks, especially seeing that our webmaster seems to have moved on to greener (or sandier) pastures.
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