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Skiing in Switzerland, then where?

We are joining a group in January to ski near Interlaken for 7 days. Group wil then go onto Munich. We thought we might be a little tired of the cold and would travel to Nice. We are open for suggestions though. We'll have 5 more days and haven't decided where we will fly out of yet. Essentially, we are trying to decide- onto Munich and fly out of there, or take another path all together. Ideas?

Posted by
20440 posts

You just might find that the warmest, sunniest place to be is up on the mountain at Kleine Scheidegg or the Schilthorn. That's why Europeans love their ski breaks, the lower elevations tend to be hazy, cold and damp, but the weather is often delightful above 1500 meters. Heading south to Italy is always an option.

Posted by
12040 posts

"You just might find that the warmest, sunniest place to be is up on the mountain at Kleine Scheidegg or the Schilthorn. That's why Europeans love their ski breaks, the lower elevations tend to be hazy, cold and damp, but the weather is often delightful above 1500 meters." As an avid skier in the Alps, let me just say that statement is completely wrong. The temperatures are ALWAYS colder at higher elevations, and it's as likely to be cloudy above as it is below. People head to the higher elevations in the winter because the snow is more consistent there for skiing, not because the weather conditions are more mild. You won't consistently find "warm" weather anywhere in Europe in January, but the farther you head south into Spain and Italy, the more mild the temperatures. Nice will probably be well above freezing, but don't expect anything too warm either.

Posted by
20440 posts

Skied Wengen and Muerren in January 2009 for three days wearing no parka, just a fleece vest. Similar in 2011 in Soelden. Of course it has to be cold for heavens sake, there is snow under those skis! Maybe I was just lucky (or unlucky, no powder dumps), but the point is that at the higher elevations the air is dryer (not just a meteorlogical fact, but physics), there is less atmosphere above to filter UV so the sun really is warmer and you can get a sunburn. Finally, there are frequent inversions where the air temperature high on the slopes gets cold over clear nights, then sinks into the valley in the morning pushing the warmer air higher. When that happens there is a thick cloud deck at about 1200 meters and the mountains look like islands. Then you can work on your raccoon tan knowing that the people in the valley are shivering in a damp fog. I'll be in Portes du Soleil in January to further test this hypothesis, and ironically, I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to have a couple of half meter dumps while there.

Posted by
12040 posts

I will agree that if the sun is out, you can easily get sunburned at the higher elevations, but I have never experienced a temperature inversion in 20+ days of skiing in the Alps. The general rule is that if it's cold below, it will be colder up top.

Posted by
177 posts

OT but there is a famous spot in Switzerland for inversions. It is called La Brevine (nicknamed Little Siberia) close to Neuchatel. The lowest recorded temperature was -43.8 F in Jan 12 1987.
Clear sky, high pressure, no wind, and snow on the ground are a prerequisite to the inversion happening at this spot.

Posted by
177 posts

"who cares" I would. You can increase the probability of finding good weather by going to a place like Anzère above Sion. It gives access to about 40km of skiing slopes. Granted it is purpose built (in a traditional Swiss style) and is not as charming as Murren.

Posted by
177 posts

Chris from the Bailiwick of Jersey: I spent more than 2 years in the alps between the Swiss army and winter holidays. In general I prefer Verbier over the BO for skiing. I'll take low key Anzère in the sun over upscale Mürren in the clouds.
Statistically the Berner Oberland (while absolutely stunning) is by far not the area in Switzerland that has the best weather. Consult the historical maps of meteosuisse.

Posted by
8234 posts

Sorry Denise, but the Nice Côte d'Azur Airport doesn't have flights from Munich. Be a bohemian, and just spend the balance of your time around Munich. With group of people, Munich would be an incredible place to experience the Bavarian culture. They have incredible palaces and museums on top of many great beer halls. I once was in Cortina, Italy where ski lifts and ski runs take you from town to town. In close proximity, they had twice the number of ski lifts as the State of Colorado. It almost makes U.S. ski resorts look "bush league."

Posted by
3 posts

We have decided to go onto Munich with our friends and leave Nice for another time. so Interlaken and onto Munich it is. Thanks for all of you input.

Posted by
11507 posts

I wouldn't go anywhere to far out of way looking for good weather, Nice in January won't be warm anyways, so why not just enjoy Germany, or of course if it was me, I would fly to Paris and enjoy ,, then fly home out of Paris. So mountains and outdoorsy stuff in Interlaken, then world class museums, wines, shopping, historical sites, restaurants, etc etc etc,, Paris is has more then enough to keep you busy and happy. Open jaw( also known on booking sites as "multi destination" flight, into Munich out of Paris, no backtracking.