50 cm of fresh snow, it will be sunny on Friday and lifts open. Winter is here and this would be a great weekend to start the season. Wax up! Don't think riding big lines, but think alpine meadows and you'll have a good time! It's ON! In short: you'll find the most and best snow in the Bernese Oberland, where already 50-90 cm of snow came down at 2000 meters altitude. But you can also find plenty of snow in the French Northern Alps and Vorarlberg!
We all know that Switzerland isn't a budget destination (especially with the current value of the Franc). So the question is: how to attract tourists? Let's start with great snow quality. It may be a bit more expensive, but you'll get some good value. And let's face it: a good powder turn is priceless. You can find a lot of snow especially in the areas north of the northern alpine ridge. They also have a pretty good base already. When you look on this page you'll know where to go. Further south, the snow cover is much thinner and they had less snow.
There's a solid base in the east of Switzerland and the west of Austria from last weekend. They had some snow last week and it's still snowing deep into the valleys. If you travel to the east or to the south, you'll see less freshies and the wind is pretty strong. The snowpack is still pretty thin everywhere, except on the glaciers in the main alpine ridge.
In the French Alps, the most snow came down in the pre-Alps in the last 36 hours and there was no precipitation at all in the French southern Alps. You'll find the most snow in France in the Savoy/Isère and Haute Savoie. I was pretty jealous when I had a look at the webcam of La Clusaz this morning.
The lift was running with some skiers in it. It turned out to be some staff preparing an early opening. Chances are that La Clusaz will open early, because they had some freshies again. But the most snow came down in the pre-Alps, as many as 35 centimeters in the past 36 hours. Check out this measuring station below. It is great to see how the snow after the dump of last weekend settled. You'll see the next dump right after.
More fresh snow for the entire northern Alps today. At our snow maps you can immediately see that you can expect around 5-20 cm.
Friday will be pure magic. Freshies, sun and the lifts are opening. A number of areas will open early and the conditions are great. The following resorts will open their lifts:
It was announced yesterday and you could see it on the maps as well. A new front with snow and wind will arrive on Saturday morning. You can expect the most snow in the night from Saturday to Sunday. The temperatures will rise on Sunday. Although there are many more resorts that will open on Saturday, the conditions won't be as good as on Friday. Less visibilty, more wind and higher temperatures. No-go's if you want to head deeper into the terrain. Keep in mind that the snow cover is still pretty thin and sharks are waiting for your gear. Think carefully where you'll ride this weekend. Alpine meadows and terrain that is not that steep are your best bet.
The sun will return after the weekend. It is (significantly) warmer, without precipitation. The snow on northern slopes will be preserved pretty good and the extisting snowpack has some time to settle. There will be some lifts open next week and with some blue skies you can go out on a tour.