#PA1: Where to go?

By meteomorris on 15 October 2015 · 0

It's mid-October and it's winter in the Alps. The snow line dropped to 1200 meters altitude and the main alpine ridge will receive some freshies today. The village of Andermatt got a white makeover that will hopefully stick around for a while. And if the webcams dont't fire up the stoke, you should consider a different passion.

Stelvio Pass
Stelvio Pass



St. Moritz
St. Moritz


Around 10-40 centimeters came down between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning. Obviously most of the snow came down in the high alpine and the inneralpine resorts. You'll see the measurements from the Diavolezza below. They had around 40 centimeters of freshies at 2400 meters.

Snowfall Diavolezza
Snowfall Diavolezza

And we're not there yet! There's more snow coming down today. Especially the Stelvio and the Monte Rosa will get hammered. It was snowing in the streets of Saas fee and its peaks this morning. And it won't stop snowing today. You can easily spot the center of gravity the next couple of hours on the snow maps.

Snowfall around the Monte Rosa
Snowfall around the Monte Rosa

But wait.... there's more. More snow. Because it won't stop snowing after today. Storm Steffen is being pushed away to the east and this will result in snowfall at the border of Austria and Italy on Friday. That's great news for the glaciers in that region. Storm Steffen will loose some of its power after Friday, but that doesn't mean that this is the end of a period of cold temperatures and snowfall. A bubble with cold air just north of the Alps will stick around for a while and that air is moist and unstable enough to bring in some snow.

Where to go?

It's still early in the season and there aren't a lot of resorts that already have their lifts running. Check out the list below of the resorts that are open. Check out a resort for the latest and more detailed forecast and more information that comes in handy. Below a summary of what you can expect. Please keep in mind that the conditions will improve with the snow that still has to come down.

  • Diavolezza: Is opening its lifts for the first time this season on Saturday. The slopes are okay, but the snow cover in the terrain is pretty thin (20-60 centimeters).
  • Saas Fee: Great conditions. Saas Fee already had quite a lot of snow and they're getting more freshies today. Great conditions on the slopes.
  • Zermatt: The snowfall today will improve the conditions even further. Great conditions on the slopes.
  • Stelvio Pass: Open till November 1st. A great base and probably the best snow cover of the Alps at the moment.
  • Hintertux: The snowfall today will improve the conditions even further. Great conditions on the slopes.
  • Stubaier gletsjer: The snowfall today will improve the conditions even further. Great conditions on the slopes.
  • Pitztaler gletsjer: The snowfall today will improve the conditions even further. Great conditions on the slopes.
  • Solden: The snowfall today will improve the conditions even further. Great conditions on the slopes.
  • Tignes: Already open. Great conditions above 3000 meter. There's no snow in Tignes le Lac.
  • Kaprun: The new lifts will open and they're working their ass off to open more slopes. The slopes at high altitude are open.

A resort that you should also keep an eye on is Sulda am Ortler. The lifts will open at the 24th of October.

Pay attention

A good visibility isn't a guarantee the next couple of days. It's hard to say when and where the sun will come out with the current instability of the weather. Keep in mind that you might ride with bad visibility (now and then).

Keep in mind that there was no snow at all at slopes below 2600 meter. This is not more than an early start of the winter. Don't expect mid-winter conditions. King Winter painted everything in our favourite colour, but this doesn't mean that you don't have to deal with some hazards. Remember, it's still October, so there are the typical early season warnings. Only some high altitude resorts and some glacier resorts have their lifts running. The glaciers had to deal with high temperatures this summer and the snowcover is still thin. If you're riding on a glacier you should stick to the slopes. Please ride with your head and don't let stoke take over.

  • The rocks (sharks) are not covered by a thick snow layer yet and so the risk of getting injured or damage your gear is high.
  • The summer was pretty warm and the crevasses will be right below the surface. If you ride on a glacier, ride on the slopes.
  • The winter is still long and injuries, fractures etc. can ruin the rest of your winter. Don't go full throttle.
  • You can find a base here and there. This means that the first avalanches of the season are possible. The first avalanche forecast is available for Switzerland.

Please keep those things in mind when you ride down. More finetuning tomorrow!

Stay stoked!


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