Weather in the Alps

Old Jun 6th, 2022, 03:03 AM
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Weather in the Alps

I've been to the Alps several times for hiking, and will continue to go there on an annual basis. When I plan my trips I count in several factors. One I haven't paid so much attention to so far, but perhaps I should consider, is the weather.

From my experience, weather in parts of the Swiss Alps like Valais is better, more sunny and has less rain than for example the Austrian Alps. This is is also supported by the website Myswissalps where it is said the Rhône valley in Valais and the Engadin valley is the driest places. The two times I've been to Valais the weather has been generally good. And two of my three trips to the Austrian Alps have been partly diminished due to rain and cloudy weather.

So; am I correct in my assumptions. Is the weather better (less rain and clouds, more sun) in Engadin and Valais than the rest of the Swiss Alps and the Austrian Alps? What about places in Italy like the Dolomites and Grand Paradiso/Aosta Valley? Compared to the Swiss and Austrian Alps?
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 03:48 AM
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You are right: the Valais between Martigny and Fiesch is one of the driest areas of the Alps.
Aosta Valley (Valleys of Doire Baltée, Valgrisanche, Valsavaranche, Vallee de Rhemes, Valle de Cogne, Valpelline, Valtournenche, Val d'Ayas, Valle de Gressonney) is usually fine too.
In the Eastern Alps, Val Venosta and Val Pusteria are usually fine. The Drau Valley may be a bit more rainy, but much less than Northern Austria.
Italian alpine Valleys (except Aosta Valley) are usually dry in high summer, but may get somewhat more rainy in automn.
The worst places in Switzerland are Appenzell, St. Gallen, Lucerne area, Bernese Oberland.
Engadin isn't bad, but usually cooler than other places at the same altitude.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
You are right: the Valais between Martigny and Fiesch is one of the driest areas of the Alps.
Aosta Valley (Valleys of Doire Baltée, Valgrisanche, Valsavaranche, Vallee de Rhemes, Valle de Cogne, Valpelline, Valtournenche, Val d'Ayas, Valle de Gressonney) is usually fine too.
In the Eastern Alps, Val Venosta and Val Pusteria are usually fine. The Drau Valley may be a bit more rainy, but much less than Northern Austria.
Italian alpine Valleys (except Aosta Valley) are usually dry in high summer, but may get somewhat more rainy in automn.
The worst places in Switzerland are Appenzell, St. Gallen, Lucerne area, Bernese Oberland.
Engadin isn't bad, but usually cooler than other places at the same altitude.
Thanks. Remeber the first time I was in Valais, we saw the Bernese Oberland in the horizon where it looked more cloudy and one of our guides mentioned that Valais had better weather than Bernese Oberland.

The next place on my list is the higher part of the Dolomites with Gardena and Badias as bases for hiking and cycling. This is just in the vicinity of Val Venosta and Pusteria. Does what you wrote also apply for Gardena/Badia and the area around Sella Group and Marmolada? That the weather there is usually fine?

I like the Austrian alps due to easy connections from Norway (via Munich) and the relatively low prices, but I'm willing to spend more money by going to Switzerland or travel longer to the Dolomites or Aosta if the likelihood of good weather is somewhat higher.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 05:23 AM
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There isn't a big difference between Pustertal/Val Pusteria and Val Gherdeina/Val Gardena/Groedental resp Alta Badia. All are fine in July-August and may get more rain than Valais the rest of the year.
Valais is dry because mountain on both sides (north and south) are between 3500 and 4500 metres high, protecting the Valley from rain coming from North or South.
Aosta Valley is in a similar position (Mont Blanc in the West, Gran Paradiso in the South, Grand-Combin-Matterorn in the North.
So is Val Venosta/Vinschgau with the Oetztaler Alpen in the North and Ortles & Co in the South.
Pustertal and Alta Badia are a bit more open towards the South (lower mountains), but still rather dry, at least during the time where Veneto and Lombardy are dry.
But all these areas are much more drier than the rain hell of Salzburgerland, Allgaeu or northeastern Switzerland.

BTW: Aosta is of easy reach from Geneva airport (via Chamonix - Courmayeur). There are furthermore direct flights from Kobenhavn and Billund to Torino Caselle, with a direct bus from there to Aosta.
For the Dolomites you may check the direct flights of Norwegian from Oslo to Verona (rather closer than Munich) too.

Last edited by neckervd; Jun 6th, 2022 at 05:26 AM.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
BTW: Aosta is of easy reach from Geneva airport (via Chamonix - Courmayeur). There are furthermore direct flights from Kobenhavn and Billund to Torino Caselle, with a direct bus from there to Aosta.
For the Dolomites you may check the direct flights of Norwegian from Oslo to Verona (rather closer than Munich) too.
Yup, I'm aware of this. But I need a flight to get to Oslo in Norway, and that connects fairly bad with the flight to Geneva. And even worse for Torino. The selection is considerably worse now than pre-covid. So I will save Aosta for a later occasion and do either Valais or the Dolomites this year.
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Old Jun 9th, 2022, 10:31 AM
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MXP - Aosta Valley (with bus change at Novara autostrada) isn't that bad neither.
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Old Aug 18th, 2022, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
MXP - Aosta Valley (with bus change at Novara autostrada) isn't that bad neither.
Ended up with 2 days in Kanderstag, 6 days hiking the Tour of Matterhorn and 3 days in Saastal.

Great weather tha whole time, only half a day were cloudy, the rest was sunny and no rain at all. Fantastic trip!
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Old Aug 20th, 2022, 12:52 AM
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Not to hijack this thread, but I do have a question about hiking and weather in the Swiss Alps. I have a meeting in Rome in early July next year and was considering visiting the Swiss Alps for some easy to moderate hiking either in late June before the meeting or mid July after the meeting. Any advice as to where we should go in Switzerland? The Dolomites might also be a reasonable destination. Also would the heat wave as experienced this summer affect the decision as to where to go in the Alps?
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Old Aug 20th, 2022, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mjs View Post
Not to hijack this thread, but I do have a question about hiking and weather in the Swiss Alps. I have a meeting in Rome in early July next year and was considering visiting the Swiss Alps for some easy to moderate hiking either in late June before the meeting or mid July after the meeting. Any advice as to where we should go in Switzerland? The Dolomites might also be a reasonable destination. Also would the heat wave as experienced this summer affect the decision as to where to go in the Alps?
If it gets THAT hot it was this summer, I would certainly stay in a high altitude resort. It was really hot even in 1600m this summer, so it will be even worse at lower altitude.
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Old Aug 20th, 2022, 07:19 AM
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We about burned up one early June when we got caught out in a heatwave, but fortunately it only lasted a few days. We were in Ilanz at the time, at an elevation of 2,293 meters.
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