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Having to decide on my Alps trip (Chamonix) by end of week...Bail?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So I have to decide if I truly want to make the trip to EU to ski Chamonix this year.  I won't get another shot until next year, at least, however the conditions there look terrible!  I'm planning on going the second week of Jan and was hoping someone with a bit of Alps knowledge could help me decide - is it worth the risk?  It just seems that the winter will remain mild, and the last thing I was is to be up there Jan 7th and have no snow. 


Any tips?




Moderator Note: moved to International Zone (for destinations outside North America)

post #2 of 6

Too early to say.  Certainly forecast isn't promising through Xmas BUT big storms around the turn of year can dramatically change the picture in Europe quite often.  Depends what your expectations were and what you were hoping to do - if you're fully refundable in time and money then you don't really lose anything by cancelling other than a gnawing pain if they do get slammed and you are stuck elsewhere.  Generally though I'd recommend people shoot for late Jan or March for a big commitment trip to Yurp.

post #3 of 6

have been to chamonix last week in jan for the last three years and have had great conditions everytime , usually a safe bet , last year conditions at this time were worse than they are now , and we were out there for NYE and was not good , but went back three weeks later and had some of the best skiing ever:).

that said the weather at the moment is very warm and not doing the base lower down any good , but if you can wait until last week of december before pulling the plug you will have a much better idea of what to expect .

my son is living out there for the season so will be getting regular updates over the next few days how things are progressing , so will pass any info on Thumbs Up

post #4 of 6

We went March before last and there was little snow and conditions were mostly very firm and then very spring.  We skied a very frozen Vallee Blanche and Had a wonderful time in Chamonix.  


I am not sure what I would do in your shoes but we went and loved it though conditions were far from good.  Of course we feel compelled to go back when conditions du ski sont excelletn!


Here is video I made from our Vallee Blanche day

post #5 of 6
I would bail. I'm in France now, no snow and none coming
post #6 of 6

I just returned from 3 years in Geneva and skied most of the main Swiss resorts.  Chamonix wasn't top of my 'favorites' list for skiing.  Hiking yes (especially around Mer de Glace), but not skiing.  The village is awesome but getting around to the different ski areas isn't great.  If I were putting together a ski trip to Europe I would start with either Zermatt or Saas Fee.  The former is a lot busier and larger, the latter is more laid-back and I preferred the apres ski there.  I used to stress about ski conditions but it really wasn't necessary unless off piste is a must.  At the top of both (glacier) you'll be fine to ski even if down below is too warm.  Grindelwald and Wengen are also favorites though you'll want a little more snow cover (esp Grindelwald).  Fly into Geneva and get on SBB (Swiss train system) relax/snooze straight to the resort.  No ski shuttle or dealing with transfers.


Photo below is Saas Fee (Alalin glacier) on a warm weekend (9-10 degree C) in March last year. 


Edited by dprice72 - 12/18/15 at 5:52am
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