October has been fantastic in the Alps - much better than September which was cold. But apparently it's all about to come to an end, with snow forecast at 600m or even lower. Everyone is out in their gardens digging up the last of the veggies and restocking the wood piles ready for the cold evenings. Putting the hour back only adds to the impression that winter will soon be here.
Obviously this is good for snowshoeing and there are lots of places left for this winter's trips.
But it's also not too early to think about the summer. The programme for Trekking in the Alps summer trips is available on http://www.trekkinginthealps.com/Summer_Calendar_2009.pdf so why not take a lot and start thinking about those long balmy days in the mountains.
Meanwhile, I had better get out and prepare for the white stuff. There is already a good covering in the high mountains and now it looks like the middle mountains will get their first fall. At this time of year any snowfall above 2500m is unlikely to melt even if warm weather returns. So a good start to the winter seems likely. Prepare the snowshoes and skis!