It just keeps on coming. We had plenty of snow last weekend, but the conditions will be even better this Saturday and Sunday. This would be a weekend to consider. Fresh snow will come down on Wednesday and Thursday. It's quite hard to tell exactly where the snow will fall right now (as you know, details may change), but it definitely will snow!
The season shifted to winter in the course of a week in the Alps. Strange? It happens more often during Autumn. Nature was ready, but King Winter couldn't reach the Alps until now. And he came in through the front door! Check out these great reports:
I get a lot of questions about the conditions right now. In short it is quite simple. There's a solid snow cover in the French northern Alps, the west and north of Switzerland and in Vorarlberg. The conditions on the glaciers in Austria are pretty good as well. More snow is needed in the southern Alps. There some snow to be found on the highest peaks from October, but that's basically it.
If you want to know more about the current conditions per country, check out some extensive analyses in the articles below:
The image above shows the snow map of the Alps as it was calculated on Sunday (left) and today (right). The good news is that both maps forecast snow for northwestern Alps. The bad news is that around 30-50 cm of of snowfall disappeared from the maps. In addition, according to the latest calculations the snowfall might focus on Switzerland, whereas France did pretty well in the models yesterday as well.
The details will shift this afternoon and tomorrow as well. This has everything to do with the dynamics in the calculations. A shift to the left or right has major consequences. For now, I expect the most snow north of the line Grenoble - Mont-Blanc - Gotthard and Kleinwalsertal just like last weekend. The snowfall won't reach the resorts in the main alpine ridge, because the air is not as warm as last weekend. There will be more snowfall in the pre-Alps and the Swiss northern alpine ridge and less snow for the glacier resorts in the main alpine ridge. It won't snow at all in the southern Alps and the Ecrins.
Anyway, the devil lies in the details and I'll share the latest details tonight. Conclusions so far:
With all of the above in the back of your head, I can give you some tips for this weekend. You should be in the northwest of the Alps. There's still some snowfall on the maps for Saturday and Sunday. Verbier, Engelberg and Andermatt plan to open this weekend. If you happen to know which resorts will open as well: please let me know in the comments!
Of course you can go on a tour as well. This weekend will certainly be better than last weekend and if you choose a closed ski resort, you can drive easily to the base of the mountain and use the slopes to skin up.
Next weekend will be the last weekend of November, and I can tell you that this will be the best powder weekend of November. The chances that the weekend of the 5th and 6th of December will be the best powder weekend for December are much smaller. There is warm air expected to enter the Alps in the middle of next week. Even more reason start waxing and have some fun in the powder.
Stay stoked, Morris