8

Is it possible to have trekking in the Alps in September and October? It will be warm enough to do such type of activity? Is there high probability of rain and clouds?

  • 1
    Adding to the excellent answer Relaxed gave I would like to point out that "the Alps" is a very broad term, they are in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria, so weather is vastly different in different regions and also highly depends on the height. But to give you a positive example: Last Sunday I was in Austria at 2000m and it had around 30 degree celsius, so "warm enough" would be kind of an understatement. – dirkk Sep 2 '15 at 17:59
  • @dirkk Last Saturday was also too warm in France, glad I left early in the morning to avoid the worse of the heat ;) – Relaxed Sep 2 '15 at 21:38
  • Depending on the region, you maybe should distrust the weather forecast in general, but expect anything from 40°C in October to snow in July at 1800m. – deviantfan Sep 4 '15 at 22:02
9

You can have warm days and hiking is definitely possible. But the first week of September is very different from the end of October and anything can happen, even snow. There is certainly a decent chance of wet and relatively cold weather but that's not the end of the world, on a multi-day mountain trek, you have to be prepared for that anyway.

The main issue is not simply rain and clouds but very bad weather (which is also possible in the summer, albeit less likely). If there is a storm, snow or foggy conditions, you don't want to be too high in the mountains, especially without equipment and a guide or significant experience. Depending on altitude, snow is definitely possible in October. Be ready to change your itinerary as needed, do not always expect to be able to do everything you planned and do not take risks because you only have a few days left.

Incidentally, I have had near-freezing weather at 3000 m a month ago, in the middle of summer, and that wasn't by any means a particularly bad day or record low (in fact heat was the main problem this summer, causing accidents in the Mont-Blanc area because of melting ice). Whenever you are contemplating a mountain hike, you always need to track the local weather and be ready for sudden changes.

1

When I was a student in Paris, a girl once asked me to accompany her to Chamonix to go hiking. It was mid-October. I figured it would be cold in the Alps, but when we got there, Chamonix was covered in snow. The girl was determined to go hiking, so we did. Did I mention the snow? There was lots of it.

The next day, we went to St. Gervais-les-Bains for some reason that escapes me. It was raining at the time, but she wanted to see whatever it was. Supposedly it was within walking distance, so we walked from the train station up the road for a few kilometers, getting soaked in the process. We never made it. She finally gave up and we turned around. Some kind-hearted local offered us a ride on the way back. Did I mention the rain? There was lots of it.

Basically, expect snow and rain in October.

  • 4
    Because you went there once, for two days, many years ago? The only logical conclusion is that snow is possible, not that you should expect it! (In fact, many people there probably wish it were so reliably snowy, it's not uncommon to have too little snow at the end of December for the beginning of the ski season). – Relaxed Sep 2 '15 at 16:03
  • 1
    I'm just relating my experience. Nevertheless, if you are going hiking in Chamonix in October, expect snow and rain. Be prepared for it so your trip doesn't turn into a disaster. If you get warm and dry sunshine, then lucky you. The Alps are beautiful in October. – Mohair Sep 2 '15 at 16:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.