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April Ski Trip Advice - Switzerland or elsewhere?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My wife, daughter  and I have 2 weeks in Switzerland planned for the first 2 weeks of April. The only thing known is we fly into Geneva and out of Zurich. We have traveled Europe many times but this is the first time ski specific. We have visited the proposed resorts 23 years ago but it was in the Fall. Tentative plans have us renting a car then going to Chamonix, Zermatt, and Saas Fee.My wife and daughter will not ski the whole time, I plan to try for 10 days. We are flexible. I know in parts of the Alps it has not been a banner year while in others it has been. We have skied in the Dolomites, I know they are having a banner year but we want to go someplace new.

 

We are Lake Tahoe skiers with passes at Mt Rose and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. I'm a Spring skiing fanatic. Too me it's as good as powder so if I get 2 weeks of sunshine I will be happy.

 

Is the current snow pack at these resorts normal or below normal? I guessing in between based on what I'm been able to discern. Based on current snow pack and typical, if there is such a thing anymore, March weather what can we expect at these resorts during this time period. 

 

I'm thinking Zermatt, Cervina, Saas Fee should be decent. Not so confident about Chamonix.

 

At Gear or Alpine?

 

Any comments or advice would be appreciated.

 

I can't believe I could log in after an 8 year absence!!

post #2 of 6

You are absolutely right to be confident about Zermatt and Saas-Fee  (Cervinia is a long way from Swiss airports). Both resorts have above average snow depths right now. Chamonix is slightly below average and a long way from Zurich.  Saas-Fee is quite limited in extent, so if you are keen skiers opt for Zermatt which is 3.5hrs by train from both Geneva and Zurich. 

post #3 of 6

Alpine touring gear is needed for some of the guided tours.  Here's our day on the Schwarztor: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11353

 

In April the 1.5 to 2 hours of skinning will probably be more comfortable than it was for us, but perhaps less fresh powder on the4 skiing part.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Tony

 

When you were in Zermatt what was your feeling on snow depth for early to mid February?

 

I read your trip reports. Very useful. Incredible that there was so much open, uncontested powder for you. My wife is looking forward to Swiss culinary mountaintop delights.

post #5 of 6

Hi - here is an interesting link to a chart that shows current snow depths as a percentage of where they should be for the time of year. 100% would mean that the base is right on average. You can clearly see what a north/south divide there is this year with Zermatt doing very well (between 131% and 186% for it's two measuring locations). Much of the north, however, particularly the north-east are below average.  http://www.slf.ch/schneeinfo/schneekarten/hsm/gross/index_FR

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser Wilkin View Post
 

You are absolutely right to be confident about Zermatt and Saas-Fee  (Cervinia is a long way from Swiss airports). Both resorts have above average snow depths right now. Chamonix is slightly below average and a long way from Zurich.  Saas-Fee is quite limited in extent, so if you are keen skiers opt for Zermatt which is 3.5hrs by train from both Geneva and Zurich. 

EDIT: Sorry hadn't seen that you might have a car which, of course would make the inclusion of Chamonix, or any other resort for that matter, much simpler. Back to the snow and although I said it is a little under par in Chamonix  I wouldn't worry too much about this as there is lots due over the next week or so.

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