PA#10: tips to ride powder from Sunday to Wednesday!

By meteomorris on 5 January 2018 · 11

After a week of extremes with a lot of wind, a lot of snow in the high alpine, rain up to an altitude of 2000 meters, a temperature roller coaster, extreme avalanche danger and many closed lifts you can finally prepare yourself for an old-fashioned powderchase. Key words: Piedmont, espresso, larches and powder. Italy it is!

You can check everything In the video forecast above. In short, it comes down to this: the northwest and north of the Alps are faced with a sturdy and mild Föhn from the south, but at the same time it snows heavily on the south side of the main alpine ridge with a snow line that can be found between 1000 and 1600 meters. Low enough for the better treeruns. PowderAlert #10 is in effect from Sunday afternoon and will last at least until Wednesday. Possibly even until next weekend when cold air comes back in from the east on Wednesday/Thursday and the Italian Alps will get a lot of fresh snow. You can find my tips below where to find the best powder the next couple of days.

Where will the most snow fall the next couple of days?

We see the first snow coming down on the south side of the Alps on Saturday afternoon. The most snow is calculated for the Italian Piedmont and Aosta until Tuesday and that will be the place to be! The French southern Alps and the bordering ski areas in France and Switzerland will also get a lot of snow. You can check it out on the map below (check the forecast page for more details).

Keep in mind that the wind will be strong on the high peaks in the ski areas just on the other side of the main alpine ridge. The further to the west and north, the snowfall decreases quickly, the sun will come out, the temperatures rise (+2 at 2000 meters) and there is a strong Föhn wind in a lot of places.

What's the quality of the snow cover in the Piedmont and Aosta right now?

Although the snow cover in the Piedmont and Aosta is not as thick as in the rest of the Alps at the moment, there's still a meter or more at 2000 meters in most regions. Most of that snow is pretty wet right now because of the high temperatures up to high altitude, but the temperature will drop the next couple of days. An additional advantage is that quite a lot of ski areas in the Piedmont and Aosta are packed with larch trees, often up to 2200-2400 meters.

Check out the snow forecast map with the depth of the snow cover for the next couple of days below. This information is published by the avalanche service of the Piedmont. (PDF).

The same goes for the Aosta where you can find a snow cover of a meter or more at 2000 meters. Larches, an excellent base and fresh snow: an espresso alert!

Where to go?

Below you'll find some suggestions where you can enjoy the goods of PA #10 in the Piedmont and the Aosta from Sunday afternoon.


  • Via Lattea - Sestrière with ski areas such as Sestrière and Sauze d'Oulx. Especially on the Pragelato side you'll find plenty of powder when the current is coming from the east. There are plenty of larch trees and as a wePowder Pro member you have access to a lot of freeride routes
  • Prali is an hour drive from Sestrière and has a great larch forest.
  • Bardonnechia is situated at the entrance of the Fréjus tunnel and a 45-minute drive from Sestrière. The Mélezet area has a great forest. The village itself lies a bit lower, so the snow will be a bit wetter at the bottom.
  • Monte Rosa especially Alagna gets a lot of snow with storms coming from the southeast, but other valleys will profit as well. Staffal is located in the middle of the ski area. There are some more little gems worth discovering in the north of the Piedmont, but you'll have to find that out yourself.


The Aosta always benefits a bit less from a retour d'est because it is a bit more to the west, but there's still plenty of snow in the forecast.

  • Courmayeur has some great forests in the Cresta d'Arp area.
  • La Thuile has a decent base and some nice forests with larch trees. Keep in mind the the connection to La Rosière can be closed because of the Föhn.
  • Champorcher always picks up a lot of snow with a retour d'est. The resort is often closed outside of the holidays, so always check if they're open.
  • Cervinia has a great base at the moment.

The French southern Alps will benefit as well. Especially the (eastern) Queyras will get a lot of snow, as will the ski areas at the border with France and Switzerland. Think about regions like the Haute Maurienne, the Haute Tarentaise (especially the eastern part of Tignes-Val d'Isère and the south of Wallis.

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More details this weekend!

Stay stoked. Morris


  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 5 January 2018 · 16:16
    Have fun in Canada. Still a little thin most places, but a few cm coming in in the next week. Be careful of buried hoar frost.
    Check this: for good BC forecast resources.
  • Chester_Tartsnatcher
    Chester_Tartsnatcher op 5 January 2018 · 16:18
    Also: Facebook buffering is terrible for high latency networks, I can't really watch their stuff at home since we have crappy DSL (Amurika, fuck yeah!). youtube is much better at gauging buffering based on network bitrates.

  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 6 January 2018 · 09:58
    @Chester_Tartsnatcher thanks! Will check vimeo/youtube.
    May the powder be with you.
  • Nidhugg
    Nidhugg op 6 January 2018 · 13:37
    Hi Morris
    We got one last skiing day on sunday, and we need to be in Zurich sunday night, so we would like to find a resort as close to Zurich as possible but that still benefit from the snowfall tonight. Courmayeur is an option, but if Andermatt benefit as well it will give us more time to ski on sunday.
    Do you have any input (or other suggestions)?
    Erik Lyttkens
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 6 January 2018 · 16:50
    @Nidhugg, at what time do you need to be at Zurich?
    May the powder be with you.
  • Nidhugg
    Nidhugg op 6 January 2018 · 16:53
    At 1830, so we are prepared to quit early, but would like to ski as long as possible of course😀
  • andrésberegovich
    andrésberegovich op 6 January 2018 · 17:19
    @meteomorris Hey Morris, I'm trying to get some powder close to Germany/Austria, what do you reckon would be the best for tomorrow?


  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 6 January 2018 · 20:29
    @andrésberegovich only the higher alpine resorts +2300 meters are okay.

    @Nidhugg than I would check Airolo. They had some fresh snow today.

    May the powder be with you.
  • Nidhugg
    Nidhugg op 6 January 2018 · 23:47
    Thanks a lot! As always invaluable advice!
  • Freerider_H
    Freerider_H op 7 January 2018 · 10:39
    Flying to ZRH 13.1. Looks like we still have to wait before make decisions. Very variable forecasts.
    *message edited by Freerider_H op 7 Jan 2018 10:40 (1% bewerkt)
  • meteomorris
    meteomorris op 7 January 2018 · 16:16
    @Freerider_H Exactly!
    May the powder be with you.


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