Snow for the Alps

30th November 2009, by Chris Gill

That’s better!

As forecast, it has been snowing across much of the Alps to start the week. Great news, for now at least. And although it seems to be a short, sharp spell of cold weather, what falls above 1800m will be building decent cover to start the season.

Some of the heaviest falls have been in South-Eastern Switzerland, where the typical freezing level dropped to 600-800m. And it is been pretty stormy too: strong southerly winds blowing for much of the day. This has stopped play in some areas, with lifts closed until the weather eases. Saas Fee got 20cm on the Allalin on Monday, but everything was reported closed.

Local weather centres reported snowfall up to 80cm in Upper Engadine, 30-60cm in the central and Valais regions, with 15-30cm further north. Engelberg had 5-10cm at valley level this afternoon – and temperatures of minus 11 on the mountain. Brrr.

The snow has tracked through Italy, France and western Austria too. Val d’Isère reports about 30cm so far, and snow fell as far south as Isola 2000 – will it be another good winter down there, we wonder? Les Deux Alpes opened at the weekend and has received another 20cm snow.

In Austria, the Arlberg was relieved as fresh snow fell to valley level in St Anton and Lech. And in Italy, Sauze d’Oulx, Courmayeur and Monterosa were all looking much better than this time last week – white again. Fingers crossed, the snow keeps coming … but we would still advise aiming for high and glacier resorts for early season trips.

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