The north-eastern Alps are expecting a chilly and snowy end to Easter, with more of the white stuff to come in the week that follows.
The weather is due to change on Saturday, when a cold front moves down from the north. To begin with, it will be snowing at altitude across the whole of the northern Alps. Thereafter, sunny and settled conditions will return to the French resorts, but it will stay wintry in the east.
Here’s the latest snow forecast for Easter Day.
And this is the forecast for April 17.
Mid-range forecasts suggest another cold front will hit the eastern Alps on Tuesday.
In other words, once the skies clear – and before it warms up again – there should be some lovely skiing on offer in the high-altitude Austrian resorts – such as Hintertux, the Stubai Glacier and Obergurgl. What’s more, with visitor numbers dropping sharply after Easter, the slopes will be more or less empty, too.
Here’s how the Hintertux looked earlier today – still in good shape, thanks to fresh snow last week.
In the meantime, spring is keeping a firm grip on conditions across the region. The sun’s been out in many areas today, and the mountains have been looking magnificent: but the snow’s been slushy – especially in Austria, where it was overcast last night (which meant temperatures didn’t drop as low as normal, and only the highest slopes refroze).
Here’s how it was looking in Val d’Isere this afternoon. The resort still has 155cm of snow bedded down on its highest slopes.
This was Obergurgl in Austria, earlier today where (courtesy of Crystal) my fellow editors Peter and Felice Hardy are skiing this week. Thanks to an overcast night last night, the snow was a bit sugary and wet this morning. But generally they’ve been enjoying good spring snow in the resort – firm first thing, and softening up during the course of the morning without getting too slushy.
Finally, here’s the view from the top of the Grands Montets lift above Chamonix. A potent reminder of why we all love the mountains so much…