First time Europe. Looking for insight.

I am at Val Thorens March 26 - April 3. Standard deviations of snowfall in the Alps are lower than in California but higher than in other North American regions. France is more volatile than Austria. When I was in La Grave in March 2008 it had not snowed in a month.

Most of the big Austrian ski complexes are much lower than the ones in France and thus not a good idea in spring. Ischgl and the areas with glaciers like Solden and Hintertux are the best bets. Val d'Isere is regarded by Fraser and others as the most reliable snow in the Alps. It's second to Zermatt in average ski altitude, probably half north facing and likely in the 300-350 inch range for snowfall at average ski altitude.
There's plenty of time for a turn around I suppose and as a permanent intermediate I am content cruising groomers even though I'd really like to ski some fresh snow. If conditions are really bad there's always the back up plan of a long lunch on a sunny terrace I guess.

I thought Landeck might be decent as a base with the areas you mentioned plus Leck, Obergurgl, Serfaus, Stubai etc within driving range.
We'll see what happens in the next month.
 
There's plenty of time for a turn around I suppose and as a permanent intermediate I am content cruising groomers even though I'd really like to ski some fresh snow.
If I may, you're still a long way out so I'd follow this ^^ sage advice and not overthink it.

Meanwhile, I'm off to the Aletsch Arena, which has received 60cm over the recent storm wave. :eusa-dance:
 
The later in the season you go the more important altitude and exposure are. As long as there is enough snow on the ground places like Zermatt and Val d’Isere in the Alps and Mammoth, Bachelor, LCC and several in Colorado rate to be the best bets most of the time. And you need to be very lucky with a ton of new snow where those factors are negative like Jackson Hole and the Arlberg.

Currently weak sun and cold temps -15 to -20C are preserving snow very well at Jackson. This was also true for a few days in the Arlberg for us in 2017. That would be impossible at those places a month from now.
 
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I have zero perspective on these bc Ive only skied in NA, but most of these numbers do not look reassuring in the least. Is this typical? Low? Or seriously low?

 
These are the sources I recommend:

Fraser gives a good overview, but it's once a week and oriented to on piste skiing. The southern Alps are still very lean on natural snowpack. The northern areas that got rained on to 2,000 meters have decent base depths and should improve when it snows again.

WePowder confirms that conditions now are not good but seems hopeful that early next week storms with a lower rain/snow line should help.
 
I just rerouted my flights through Zurich as it offers options in several directions where the snowpack is in better shape.

Of course, I was looking forward to that southern French Alps road trip but I'll try again in upcoming seasons.
 
FWIW, I noticed in the past few days when playing with the Swiss entry questionnaire/ tool; it appears that for fully vaxxed travelers coming from USA, DO NOT need any test for entry. I went thru this several times and it always stated the same. The entry form as well as the covid-certificate was still needed however.
Now that I'm flying into Switzerland, I went to the Entering Switzerland FAQ and confirmed what @jnelly mentioned, see below in red. Now it's saying that you don't even need an entry form. As far as I know, you still need a rapid test within 24 hours to fly back to the U.S.

Test

Currently you do not have to present a negative test result to enter Switzerland. Neither is there a test requirement on boarding for people arriving by air or long-distance bus (coach).

Entry form

Currently you do not have to fill out an entry form for entry to Switzerland. It is the list of countries with a variant of concern that determines whether you have to complete an entry form. Since there are currently no countries or areas on this list, until further notice people arriving can enter Switzerland without an entry form.
 
I have zero perspective on these bc Ive only skied in NA, but most of these numbers do not look reassuring in the least. Is this typical? Low? Or seriously low?
From Weather To Ski today: 12 to 20 inches

Today in the Alps...

Updated: 10am Monday 21 February 2022 – Major storm for the north-western Alps…

An active cold front is crossing the Alps today bringing significant snow to north-western regions but rather less the further south and east you are.

Between 30cm and 50cm of snow is forecast above 1300m by the end of tonight in the north-west of the Alps, including the northern French Alps roughly north of les 2 Alpes (e.g. 3 Valleys, Paradiski, Grand Massif, Portes du Soleil), the northern and western Swiss Alps (e.g. Verbier, Villars, Mürren, Engelberg) and the far west of Austria (e.g. St Anton, Lech).
 
Now that I'm flying into Switzerland, I went to the Entering Switzerland FAQ and confirmed what @jnelly mentioned, see below in red. Now it's saying that you don't even need an entry form. As far as I know, you still need a rapid test within 24 hours to fly back to the U.S.

Test

Currently you do not have to present a negative test result to enter Switzerland. Neither is there a test requirement on boarding for people arriving by air or long-distance bus (coach).

Entry form

Currently you do not have to fill out an entry form for entry to Switzerland. It is the list of countries with a variant of concern that determines whether you have to complete an entry form. Since there are currently no countries or areas on this list, until further notice people arriving can enter Switzerland without an entry form.
@jamesdeluxe thanks for the update. This stuff is changing fast! I just booked a place in Zinal simply so I could at least to put down a location on the entry form, then saw this...WOW
 
This stuff is changing fast!
It sure is! As far as I know, you still need the COVID vaccine certificate to present at restaurants for on-premises dining (I haven't checked because I already have the certificate from the last trip). Switzerland is definitely ahead of EU countries in loosening pandemic mandates.
 
It sure is! As far as I know, you still need the COVID vaccine certificate to present at restaurants for on-premises dining (I haven't checked because I already have the certificate from the last trip). Switzerland is definitely ahead of EU countries in loosening pandemic mandates.
Just checked...this is what a very quick scan came up with....will definitely dig more but this looks good.



Screen Shot 2022-02-23 at 11.16.51 AM.png
 
Weather To Ski shows low-elevation Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil (pic below) with proper coverage -- looking good for our March visits. I'll be in western Austria's Vorarlberg, which has been getting small refreshers since the larger dump earlier this week.
Blue skies and snow-covered pistes looking down the mountain in the ski resort of Les Gets, France, with chairlift and seated skiers – Weather to ski – Today in the Alps, 25 February 2022
 
As far as I know, you still need the COVID vaccine certificate to present at restaurants for on-premises dining
Is this the country specific certificate like Chile requires you set up in advance or can you show the one you have from home? All 3 establishments in Fernie this week required proof of vaccination but they accepted my California record with QR code and Liz' photocopy of her CDC card.
 
Is this the country specific certificate like Chile requires you set up in advance or can you show the one you have from home? All 3 establishments in Fernie this week required proof of vaccination but they accepted my California record with QR code and Liz' photocopy of her CDC card.
When I went to Switzerland four weeks ago, I needed to present the country-specific one that you have to set up in advance (@jnelly posted the screen shot above) upon arrival at my hotel and at restaurants to dine on-premises. Given how quickly things have changed since then, I'm not sure if it's still required there.

My contact at Vorarlberg Tourism told me yesterday that establishments in Austria will accept either the QR code from my NJ vax record or my CDC card.
 
When I went to Switzerland four weeks ago, I needed to present the country-specific one that you have to set up in advance (@jnelly posted the screen shot above) upon arrival at my hotel and at restaurants to dine on-premises. Given how quickly things have changed since then, I'm not sure if it's still required there.

My contact at Vorarlberg Tourism told me yesterday that establishments in Austria will accept either the QR code from my NJ vax record or my CDC card.
Switzerland does not require the Covid Certificate anymore...I have seen this on several places outside of even the Swiss State Webpage. Where you can't even apply for it anymore simply for visiting.
This is screenshot from Val Anniviers this:
Screen Shot 2022-02-26 at 6.49.36 AM.png


As Tony states, Fernie was very accommodating to my photo on my phone of the CDC white card. That was after you breeched the barricaded doors :ROFLMAO: Hope @Tony Crocker had better conditions than I did end of January. I went and left after 1 day there and 1 at Castle. You were stuck on-piste 100% of both places were hard-pack everywhere save a very few spots on Castle which was mildly better. Amazing drive between the Fernie and Castle...it was worth it, ill def go back.
 

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I'm not surprised. Good, that saves you 20 minutes of your life and $32.

Great to see that you're lined up for the Val d'Anniviers. Let me know if you have any questions.
One thing I would ask: if you had your pick, where would you base there? I booked Vissoie (based on Powderhounds) as well as Zinal, which seemed more logical to me. I have a car and I'm usually not in a terrible hurry. (of course this is all subject to change now that there isn't a need to specify a destination for entry forms) Seems like a smallish area anyway so maybe a non-issue
 
One thing I would ask: if you had your pick, where would you base there?
Where are you planning to ski? My lodging wasn't in the Val d'Anniviers. I found a deal on the access road to Crans Montana that I couldn't pass up so I don't have any first-hand experience.
 
Where are you planning to ski? My lodging wasn't in the Val d'Anniviers. I found a deal on the access road to Crans Montana that I couldn't pass up so I don't have any first-hand experience.
Got ya...I have no real plan, but to follow best conditions. If I have to take a day trip to other "near places" Ill do it as well. I guess its sort of moot between Zinal and Vissoie, they are but 15 mins apart.

...barring we're not all vaporized by then.
 
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