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Alps trip in November.

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 Crumpet 30 Aug 2020

Hello! 

We're looking at going for an alps trip around Novemberish and was looking for advice on where to go? Cham and La Grave are the current places we are looking at for ease of access/lifts. We'll be looking for a guide for the first part of the trip.

All advice and recommendations welcome!

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In reply to Crumpet:

Hi Crumpet,

I live about an hour from la grave, November is a funny month for weather and temps, some years I am climbing in shorts getting a tan, other years I am ski touring by mid November (la grave had some snow this weekend but it wont last that long) and others its wet and warm. I think the lift shuts mid September and wont open for winter till the 20th December.

What are you looking to get out of the trip? rock routes, alpine peaks etc, feel free to drop me a line and I can help give advice about option including guides if needed.

rob@ecrinscollective.com

Cheers

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 Doug 30 Aug 2020
In reply to Crumpet:

As Rob said, November is a difficult month to plan anything as conditions can be so variable - last year I had probably my best day on skis mid November, skiing in knee deep powder in bright sunshine with hardly anyone else around (but a thankyou to whoever made the nice skin tracks from the village up to a local summit). A few days earlier I was walking in shorts & teeshirt while heavy rain & low clouds isn't unknown.

If I was planning a visit at that time of year I'd try to be as flexible as possible, both for destination & planned activities.

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In reply to Crumpet:

Lifts are usually closed in Cham in November. Best advice is go next summer... 

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 Jamieee1991 30 Aug 2020
In reply to Misha:

That's great advice; I hear that the winter alpine climbing conditions are great in summer. 

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 Webster 30 Aug 2020
In reply to Jamieee1991:

The winter alpine conditions are usually better in summer than november...

November is pretty much the only month of the year where not much gets done in the alps anywhere, except by locals who happen to be in the right place at the right time.

all lifts and huts are shut (even the aiguille du midi), most bars and restaurants are shut, public transport is very limited and there is very little accommodation on offer.

you should seriously consider saving your money and going at any other time of year, and thats before you even factor in the highly likely complications thrown in by coronavirus...

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 supersteve 30 Aug 2020
In reply to Crumpet:

Why wait till November. Plenty of fresh snowfall in the Alps today above 3,000m. LOL

Once did an early season trip to Cham in my younger days - no lifts open, deep snow and unbashed pistes led to long snowshoe hikes, no routes bagged, but some good Cham party time. If you are going to go, go in Feb when everything is frozen solid. But maybe not this season. Rumour is of long queues due to social distancing and reduced numbers on lifts. Unless you want adventure, then skin up.... 

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In reply to Jamieee1991:

If you get lucky with the weather and conditions (that’s a big if these days), there can be some good mixed in October and some routes will be logistically easier as you can walk off without too much snow in the way (eg big up and over routes) November conditions could be good as well I guess but the lifts are closed, the days are short and there will be enough snow up high to make it annoying but not enough for winter / spring style ski in ski out action. I’d opt for March if I were planning a first winter alpine trip as there would be enough snow for ski in/out (obviously ski touring would be an essential skill), there’s usually some mixed to be had and the days are longer and warmer.

The OP mentioned getting a guide, which suggests they aren’t particularly experienced and perhaps don’t realise that November really isn’t a great time to be doing Alpine routes, unless you’re a local with time to kill. I don’t know where the OP has much Alpine experience. If not, the summer is definitely a much better time to go. If they have some summer experience and want to get into winter alpine, March would be much better, or at least Jan / Feb once the lifts are open.

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 gustl 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Crumpet:

I m thinking of going too this november.

would not do any booking in advance. try to clear your schedule and if the conditions are good (and covid allows it) than go for it and if not, don‘t.

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