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InTheSnow

01 Apr 24

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

InTheSnow

01 Apr 24

The question everyone is asking, Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

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**** Updated Friday, 1 March, 2024 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

Spring is here (by the meteorological measure of the seasons), so it’s perhaps typical that after months of ‘springlike’ conditions in the Alps, the past few days have been decidedly wintry!

It’s obviously good news though, with resorts posting up to a metre and a half of new snow over the last week, giving the slopes a base boost perfectly timed for the final month or two of the season.  The deepest bases are now touching 5 metres in the western Alps, so things are looking good for March and April skiing and in some cases even later into spring.

Snow totals in the Pyrenees have also been more than a metre now in many areas over the past seven days, really transforming things and allowing some centres to fully open for the first time this winter.

Elsewhere in Europe, there’s been snowfall, if not so much, in central and northern Scandinavia but rain further south. The picture in Eastern Europe is mixed and some Scottish slopes have reopened after most were closed last week.

Across the Atlantic conditions in most areas are the best they’ve been all winter with lots more snowfall in the west (and a huge new storm just coming in from the Pacific) as well as a bit of fresh snow in the east too. The Pacific Northwest corner continues to report below-average snow conditions but it too is seeing a decent dump this time with Whistler Blackcomb noting over 2 feet of fresh snow in the past 72 hours and more coming.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Austrian ski areas posted some of the biggest snowfalls of the last week, with glacier centres reporting up to a metre of snowfall up high in 72 hours through last weekend. That’s set them up well for skiing into April and May, with base depths now 3 metres (10 feet) or more in many areas. There was fresh snowfall for lower Austrian slopes too, where it was more accurately needed, with Saalbach Hinterglemm posting a 70cm accumulation in 48 hours. So, all in all, March starts much better than things have looked for much of February, bolstered by the biggest snowfall of the season so far.  Austria’s Ski Juwel pictured above, St Anton pictured top.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Many French ski areas have posted over a metre of snowfall on high slopes this week and Les Arcs, with 485cm lying at 2,000m, notes this is 3.5 times the amount they had there at this point last season. It and Alpe d’Huez, at 4.8m, are posting the world’s deepest snow and once again France is currently the only country with multiple ski areas posting 4m+ bases. Les 2 Alpes and Flaine are also up there. With all the fresh snow the avalanche danger is widely up to 3 “considerable” on the scale after previously being low. Despite all the new freeriding opportunities though, and the big refresh of snow cover on the groomed runs, there’s not a lot of change in what’s open, as that was already most runs before the new snow arrived and most large French ski regions remain 90%+ open.  Vars pictured above.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Italy has had a fantastic week for snowfall with some resorts getting over a metre of fresh snow up at about 2,000m Ski areas from the Dolomites to the western Alps are posting powder conditions as well as increased avalanche danger off-piste due to all the snow. As with the rest of the Alps that’s expected to keep falling through the weekend, with temperatures much cooler than they’ve been, but ease off to sunnier weather next week.  Madonna di Campiglio above.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss ski centres saw some big snowfalls over the last week, with some seeing snowfall totals nearing a metre over the last seven days, so conditions are excellent for the start of March. St Moritz was one of the big winners, posting a 75cm snowfall in 48 hours last weekend.  Glacier 3000 near Gstaad posted similar accumulations. All the snowfall did cause some issues for people trying to get to and from the resort last weekend and meant some terrain was closed while lifts were dug out or made avalanche-safe. Most centres are back to fully open now though, led by Verbier (pictured above as the snowfall started last Saturday) and the 4 Valleys which is 95% open.  Laax is the first Swiss area to post a 4m+ base this season whilst St Moritz is the only major resort in the world to report its upper slope base depth up more than a metre in the last 7 days.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Pyrenees have had the biggest transformation of any ski area in the world this week as we’ve reported here. Snowfalls of more than a metre at many areas, more than most had had all winter up to now, have made the region look fully winter-immersed after being springlike all winter. Temperatures have dropped, snow is still falling and resorts are opening the most terrain they’ve been able to all winter. On the downside, there’s only just over a quarter of it left and with so much snowfall so fast the avalanche danger for excited freeriders who finally have powder to enjoy is very high – level 4 on the scale to a maximum of five.  Formigal pictured above as the snowfall got started.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A mostly good picture still across Scandinavia but warmer weather has been impacting ski areas at more southerly latitudes over the past week bringing rain and fog to ski areas in southern Norway and Sweden. Further north though at the bigger resorts the precipitation has been snowy and base depths are still building. Myrkdalen in Western Norway has the region’s deepest snow at 2.4 metres and Sweden’s Åre the most terrain open with 90% of its 91km of runs skiable.  Norway’s Voss pictured above.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s had its usual weather ups and downs with some fresh snowfall and cold weather, but also gales and, at times, thawing temperatures on lower slopes. There’s not much change from a week ago. Cairngorm, Glenshee and The Lecht (pictured above this week) still have very limited runs open, just around the nursery slope area. Glencoe has the most open, about half its runs with top-to-bottom descents possible when the wind strength allows lifts to run up to the top. Nevis Range still does not have enough snow to be able to offer any skiing or boarding. Keep in mind though that things can change very quickly for better or worse in terms of snow on Scottish slopes.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A real mixed bag of weather across Eastern Europe this last week with some snowfall for high slopes in the north and even a few centimetres up top in Bulgaria, but against that some warm spells and rain at lower levels have brought overall open terrain down a little. Slovakia’s largest area Jasna has dropped from having all of its runs open a few weeks ago to about two-thirds now. Bansko in Bulgaria has seen its snowpack dropping with +1-C temperatures in resort although it so far maintains its long run back to the village and still has about 80% of its slopes open.  Pamporovo pictured above.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been a snowy few days in the US and it’s about to get snowier! Ski areas in (or near) the Rockies, including Aspen and Jackson Hole have reported two-foot accumulations over the past few days, so plenty of powder with everything open – although there have been reports of strong winds at times too. But the main event is just getting underway with a huge storm moving in from the Pacific coast, forecast to deliver up to 12 feet of snow (over 3.5 metres) to ski areas in California with significant falls elsewhere in the west too. That kind of snowfall is good for spring base depths but tricky in the short term as it buries lifts and roads and sends the tree well and avalanche danger up high. Looking good once it has passed next week though. Eaglecrest in Alaska pictured above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Western Canada has had one of its best weeks of 2024 with consistently sub-zero temperatures down to low levels and some good snowfall totals – some of the best of the season in fact, over the past few days. Whistler Blackcomb, which has struggled with warm temperatures at lower levels and not a lot of snowfall at any levels was one of the big winners, posting over 60cm of snowfall in 72 hours. Marmot Basin up near Jasper has also had several feet of snowfall this week, as have ski areas around Banff (including Sunshine pictured this week), where there are still nearly 3 months of the season left to run. So it is looking good for the start of spring here.

 

**** Updated Friday, 23 February, 2024 ****

The snowfall is finally here, it seems, in the Alps after weeks of big falls not really materialising. Hopefully the 30-90cm that’s forecast for a wide area will finally happen through the end of this week and conditions will be more wintery once more – just as meteorological springtime nears!

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

Snowfall and colder weather is also due in the Pyrenees and it hasn’t really left Scandinavia all winter. Unfortunately, it has been warm in the Scottish Highlands though, leading several centres to close their slopes until new snowfall arrives, which is just beginning as we publish this week, so fingers crossed.

Across the Atlantic conditions in much of North America are looking great after a February that has seen more snowfall already than the rest of the season combined at many areas. California, Colorado and Utah have seen the biggest falls with several areas now reporting 10 feet or more of February snowfall. But this week there have been good snowfalls in the East too. It’s just the Pacific Northwest corner of the continent still suffering due to warmer temperatures and limited snowfall.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A pretty good week by 2024 standards for Austrian ski areas with slightly colder weather and some decent snowfalls, most marked on the upper mountain (the usual rain at times in valleys). There were some good accumulations up high. Desoitr this the ongoing battle to maintain snow cover by moving snow that had been piled high in the colder, snowier months at the end of 2023 around to cover thawed area is being lost a little at last with some of the bigger areas closing more lower runs., The result is a slight decline in open terrain although it should be stressed there’s still plenty open for most.  The Arlberg region around Lech and St Anton, for example, still has 90% of its slopes open (down from 98%) and snow more than 10 feet deep up high. Plenty to see out the season.

France

We have been back to seeing some very warm temperatures, well into double digits above freezing, in French ski valleys over the last week unfortunately, hitting both the volume of snow surviving the thaw and perhaps more importantly (as most slopes remain open), the quality of the snow, most noticeably below 1800m. Up high though, in the second week of the busy half term holidays, it has been mostly happy faces. French ski areas continue to post the deepest snowpack and the most open terrain in the world.  The 3 Vallees remain over 90% open with more than 550km of slopes open with Alpe d’Huez, Chamonix, Les Arcs and Flaine the only ski areas worldwide posting upper slope base depths of more than 4 metres. Conditions do appear to be finally changing now with colder weather and snowfall returning.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has been a mostly dry and sunny week in Italy with temperatures reaching +10C in valleys, the freezing point up around 1800-2200mm for much of the week. There have been some light snow showers on higher slopes though, with Trentino a particular beneficiary. The cross-border Cervinia-Zermatt ski area is posting the most terrain open with  just under 300km of slopes, more than 90% of its terrain. However the Milky Way (Via Lattea) including Sause d’Oulx, Sestriere and others has the most terrain open in Italy at just a few kilometres less. Cooler temperatures are more significant snowfall is expected to end the week.  Passo Tonale pictured on Friday morning.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss centres have had fresh snowfall earlier this week with 10-30cm falls reported on Monday/Tuesday, it’s now snowing again and the most optimistic forecasts are that accumulations should be at least double that, potentially more. As with the rest of Europe conditions are better on high slopes, with valley runs battling thin cover despite the fresh snowfall. Most of the country’s big centres still have at least 80% of their slopes open. Verbier (pictured above on Tuesday morning) and the 4 Valleys continues to post the most with 95% of its slopes and 380km of runs available.  Lenzerheide is pictured top before the snow arrived.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Pyrenees finally saw a drop in temperatures and snowfall last weekend, after what seemed like (and largely actually has been, unfortunately) months of above average temperatures and snowfall. Alas it didn’t last too long with sunshine and warmer temperatures returning through this week, but it’s a little cooler than it was and there’s a more changeable weather pattern now with more snowfall expected. The FIS World Cup Ladies Tour was in Soldeu at the weekend so the ski racing world’s eyes watched conditions evolve from snow on high slopes but not much at resort on Saturday to winter down to the valley floor by Sunday. So 20-40cm of snow for most areas greatly improving conditions but not a huge jump in the amount of terrain open as a result ( widely 40-80%). Formigal is pictured above.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scandinavia has been posting some of the best conditions in Europe all winter so far with consistently subzero temperatures keeping the snow in great shape.  Most ski areas ion Finland, Norway and Sweden are fully open and after those in the far north had no daylight at all during the 24 hour Polar night period in the latter half of December, the daylight hours are now rapidly increasing as they head towards 24 hour daylight in May.  But it is still cold enough, in most resorts for the snow quality to be maintained better than in the Alps. Levi in Finland pictured above.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s ski areas have had a sunny, warm week – not good news for the thin snow cover. As a result Glencoe and Nevis Range in the west have both had to suspend offering skiing, at least at time of writing. Glencoe hoped to re-open some terrain on Friday, conditions permitting.  Nevis range has had fresh snowfall on Friday, pictured above. The Lecht and Cairngorm were back to nursery slopes open, maintained by their all-weather snowmaking machines. Glenshee had a little more. It did turn colder and start snowing again on Thursday and the forecast for the week ahead is looking more promising for colder, snowier weather, so there’s some hope that slopes and centres may reopen.

Eastern Europe

Spring weather is taking a bit of a hold in Eastern Europe to a greater and lesser extent. Bulgarian resorts are celebrating the sunny weather, although they have also reported a 2cm overnight snowfall on high slopes at Bansko on Thursday night. Further north in the Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland the warmer temperatures are impacting lower slopes but the big centres like Jasna in Slovakia still have at least 80% of their slopes open and report fresh snow now falling.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The latter half of the US ski season is certainly shaping up as much better than the first half with most of the country’s slope now open (unlike it November and December) and snow depths growing (When they seem to have stalled for the past month in much of Europe). The past week has been a good one with loads of snowfall across the West of the country as a series of storms blows through, but also in the East there’s been lots of fresh snow and powder conditions as well.  The only region where conditions ‘remain challenging’ (Meaning above average temperatures and below average snowfall) is the pacific Northwest corner where resorts like Crystal Mountain and (ironically) the famous holder of the world record for the most snowfall in a season, Mt Baker, both still only have about half their slopes open.  The Palisades pictured above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Not a bad week across Canada, particularly in the east where resorts in Quebec are posting their best key stats of the season to date – almost all slopes open, almost entirely below-freezing temperatures and some fresh snow on top. It’s still more problematic in the West where conditions in Alberta and BC range from – “close to normal, everything open, pretty much” on the eastern half of the region but “worst season in decades, this is dire” the closer to the Pacific Coast you get. Whistler Blackcomb has had issues with rain, thawing and slushy snow on its base slopes but is in better shape on the upper half of the mountain where most of the terrain is and runs are 80% open, but smaller areas like Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain to the south just have a few runs open each, less than 10% of their terrain.  Canada’s Mont Orford in the East pictured.

**** Updated Friday, 16 February, 2024 ****

There are not any huge snowfalls anywhere in the world to report for the last seven days, but there has been at least some snow almost everywhere!

That’s particularly good news for the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees which had been suffering in warm, dry weather for weeks – although in the case of the Alps and Dolomites, early-season snow meant pretty much all runs were open anyway, just getting very hardpacked with not much freeriding powder left anywhere. The new snowfall was not as much as hoped and heaviest up high of course, but still is a very welcome refresh.

Elsewhere in Europe Scandinavia has about the best conditions anywhere, with more fresh snowfall reported and temperatures staying low. Scotland has all five centres open for only the second time this season thanks to improved conditions there. However, Bulgaria had a setback from torrential rain and even lightning strikes to lifts reported at the start of the week.

Across in North America, it’s been cold in the Northeast and there’s been moderate snowfalls on ski slopes across the continent, leaving conditions about the best they’ve been all season, with certainly the most terrain open that there has been.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been back to very warm weather in Austria over the last few days after temperatures dropped to freezing and there was a rare snowfall down to valley floors at the weekend. As with other countries in the Alps, high slopes above 2,000m have seen 20-30cm of snowfall, but unfortunately, at low elevations, it has been more rain and thawing of the valley snow.  Most resorts still have 90% or more of their slopes open, a little less for areas like Saalbach Hinterglemm and the Skiwelt although they did pile the snow on when it was cold enough for snowmaking early in the season so much of it is surviving the warm weather on the pistes at least, it’s just a bit wet to ski on down low.  Zillertal Arena pictured.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

French slopes have not seen the big snowfalls that were forecast last weekend, but temperatures did drop and they did all see some snow – the best about 30cm on slopes in the southern Alps, more like 10-20cm further north. This was still good news though after three weeks of mostly warm and dry weather, especially as the snow fell down to the valley at lower resorts like Morzine and Les Gets. With almost all of the country’s slopes open anyway it was basically a nice refresh of the hard-packed surface ahead of the start of the busy half-term period. Temperatures have climbed back up in valleys but remain subzero at altitude and there is more snow forecast, albeit probably light stuff again, this weekend.  Bonneval pictured.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Conditions are the best they’ve been for weeks on most slopes in Italy with fresh snowfall on the groomed runs.  As before, most ski areas in the country have 80-100% of their runs open but lower temperatures and 20-40cm of snowfall at the weekend gave pistes a welcome refresh. Val Gardena is up at 98% open with 180km of runs and there’s even more for skiers based in Cervinia for the cross-birder terrain into Switzerland or in Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx for skiing into France on the Milky Way circuit. Although it has been back to sunshine this week, temperatures are cooler and more snowfall is forecast through the weekend. Bormio pictured.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There’s not much different to report in Switzerland than in the rest of the Alps – 20-30cm of fresh snowfall on the country’s glaciers and high slopes, but more like 5cm and rain at times down in valleys, where snow depth is about 10% of what it is up high. So many Swiss resorts, again as the rest of the Alps, have sunny, snow-free resort streets but ribbons of white to the base on lower runs, but good conditions and everything open above 1800m. Verbier and the 4 Valleys continue to post the most open, around 98% of their 410km of slopes, Zermatt is on about 300km with its connection to Cervinia.  Glacier 3000 pictured.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Pyrenees finally saw a drop in temperatures and snowfall last weekend, after what seemed like (and largely actually has been, unfortunately) months of above-average temperatures and snowfall. Alas, it didn’t last too long with sunshine and warmer temperatures returning through this week, but it’s a little cooler than it was and there’s a more changeable weather pattern now with more snowfall expected. The FIS World Cup Ladies Tour was in Soldeu at the weekend so the ski racing world’s eyes watched conditions evolve from snow on high slopes but not much at the resort on Saturday to winter down to the valley floor by Sunday. So 20-40cm of snow for most areas greatly improving conditions but not a huge jump in the amount of terrain open as a result ( widely 40-80%). Formigal pictured.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Finland, Sweden and Norway continue to report excellent conditions with most ski centres in the region seeing consistent cold temperatures and more regular snowfall than further south. The snow is now over two metres deep in western Norway with much of it relatively freshly fallen. Most ski areas in the area have all of their slopes open too and Europe’s most northerly major resort, Riksgransen, is due to open for its 2024 season at the end of next week. Meanwhile the Fonna summer ski area, due to open in May, says its entire drag lift including the overhead cables have disappeared under snow lying up to 10 metres deep!  Voss pictured above.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s ski areas have had one of the best weeks of the season, well timed to coincide with the first week of the half-term holidays. Essentially winds have been less violent and precipitation more snowfall than rainfall allowing bases to start building again and centres to gradually open more terrain. Conditions do remain dynamic and things can get better or worse quickly but at the time of writing all areas except Nevis Range had some more runs open beyond their nursery slopes, with Nevis Range hoping to be able to re-open soon.  Glenshee pictured above.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Torrential rain has hit Bulgarian ski areas hard this week with Bansko forced to cancel World Cup slalom races on Sunday and then Pamporovo largely closed on Monday due to rain damage to its slopes and even reports of lightning strikes damaging lift towers!  But things are now starting to improve again with slope recovery underway. It’s not been a lot better further north with heavy rain on low slopes in the Czech and Slovak Republics too, but temperatures have been dropping since Tuesday and again it’s looking better for the weekend.  Jasna above.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

None of the big snowfalls that we saw in California and the Rockies the week before last to report, but conditions have been good across most of America this past week with many areas in the Rockies and on the East Coast picking up 6-12 inch accumulations. The latter was particularly welcome for some resorts in states like Vermont which have not seen many decent dumps this winter and are still only 50-60% open in some cases. There’s more snowfall moving into the west over the weekend so the latter half of February is looking promising.  Whiteface pictured above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has not been a bad week across Canada, particularly in the east where resorts in Quebec are posting their best key stats of the season to date – almost all slopes open, almost entirely below-freezing temperatures and some fresh snow on top. It’s still more problematic in the West where conditions in Alberta and BC range from – “close to normal, everything open, pretty much” on the eastern half of the region but “worst season in decades, this is dire” the closer to the Pacific Coast you get. Whistler Blackcomb has had issues with rain, thawing and slushy snow on its base slopes but is in better shape on the upper half of the mountain where most of the terrain is and runs are 80% open. Meghan and Harry were over for a visit in the last few days. However smaller areas nearby like Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain to the south just have a few runs open each, less than 10% of their terrain.  Banff Sunshine pictured above this week, Mont Tremblant top.

**** Updated Friday, 9 February, 2024 ****

California and Norway have been the two snowiest parts of the ski world this past week as snowfalls have been quite local and quite intense where they have arrived. Some Californian ski areas have seen over four feet (1.2 metres) of fresh snowfall this week, while ski centres in Norway have posted up to 60cm (2 feet) on the back of storm Ingunn. Not such a snowy picture for the rest of Europe but the Rockies have also posted several feet of snowfall in the US.

Things are now starting to change in the Alps, thankfully, after three mostly dry, warm weeks. Colder temperatures and snowfall are starting to arrive in the Alps and the even more hard-hit Pyrenees.

Austria

Although Austria typically has lower altitude slopes than most of the rest of the big four Alpine ski nations, and it has, like the rest, seen warm temperatures, getting into double figures on lower slopes, in recent weeks, it is still reporting, on average, just under 90% of the country’s ski slopes open and many centres like Kitzbuhel are up near 100%.  Temperatures are now dropping with the freezing point back below 2000m and temperatures of -10C expected overnight on higher slopes into the weekend and light to moderate snowfall returning.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Vars

French ski areas suffered a third week of warm, dry weather but things have finally started to change with colder temperatures reported and the first of the snowfalls that are expected through the weekend and into next week. In the meantime everything is open and French resorts are posting the world’s deepest snow with Flaine, Chamonix and Les Arcs among those posting 4m+ snow depths. The Portes du Soliel and the 3 Valleys are also posting the most open terrain in the world. True there’s very little freeride terrain left worth skiing and snow quality hasn’t been great on pistes in valleys but that should change over the coming week. Beware though the avalanche danger level is set to rise steeply from its current low.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Italy is set to see some of the biggest snowfalls of the coming week if forecasts prove correct. Snowfall to low levels could total as much as two feet in the Dolomites over the coming days, about as much as most areas have had all year so far. It’s the same for ski areas in the northwest in the Aosta Valley where the snow is already lying much deeper, in some places over 3,m/10 feet deep. Despite another week of warm weather, and reports of closed slopes in Italy (which turn out to be for a small ski area near Rome hundreds of kilometres south of the main ski regions) most Italian ski slopes remain open. Arabba pictured above.

Switzerland

Reports of snowless slopes in Switzerland in British media are false – at least when it comes to all the major resorts most Brits actually head to. Verbier and the 4 Valleys, for example, have snow lying more than 3 metres deep and 390km of the 410km of slopes open – 95%. It’s a similar story across the country with Laax/Flims posting the deepest snow with 4 metres, nearly, lying upon its glacier. It has though been a third successive warm week with temperatures hitting double figures above freezing at 1000m and getting up above freezing at 3500m in the afternoons, bad news for winter. But temperatures are falling and so snow is starting to again, so things are finally looking up and in the meantime, everything is open.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been yet another mostly warm and sunny week for the Pyrenees, which have seen very little natural snowfall all winter, and for a month now have regularly seen temperatures climbing above +10C in valleys and the freezing point getting up above 3,000m in the afternoons, higher than the highest lifts. So we’re really talking old snow that gets very hard-packed and freeze-thaw conditions every day too, with little snow left at low elevations, most of the skiing on higher runs. The bigger resorts like Grandvalira (Pas de la Casa and Soldeu) in Andorra still have about half their runs open, some other centres are struggling to open even a quarter of their runs though. The good news is it appears things will finally change a little this weekend with cooler temperatures and snowfall forecast.  Spain’s Baqueira Beret, still with over 100km of slopes open, pictured above.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been a good week for Scandinavian ski centres as Storm Ingunn last weekend left a lot of snow behind in his wake. There was the most at West Coast Norwegian resorts like Voss which posted several feet of powder waiting at the start of the week (pictured above) after storm damage to power supplies and other issues were sorted out, Elsewhere most areas, including in Finland and Sweden, reported at least a foot of fresh snow, the biggest falls of the year. So currently everything is open and conditions excellent.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland has had another challenging week of gales, warm spells and torrential rain that has all hit the snowpack hard and knocked out much of the limited terrain that had been able to open before now. Things have turned colder again over the last few days but we are back to very limited terrain available at present, at several centres just the nursery slopes open thanks to their all-weather snowmaking machines. Glencoe, Glenshee and Cairngorm (pictured above) do have some more runs open though.

Eastern Europe

Bansko is the focus of the ski racing world’s attention this weekend as the Men’s Tour is in town for World Cup racing. The resort looks to be in its best shape of the seasons so far with about 70% of its terrain open. Borovets though is going the other way, closing some trails and cancelling nights skiing saying it’s too warm. Snow has started falling again up in the Czech and Slovak Republics where higher slopes and bigger resorts like Jasna are in good shape but lower runs lack snow cover as it’s been too warm in valleys.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been the best week of the 23-24 season so far for most US ski areas. California has done particularly well with huge snowfalls (Mammoth reported over 2 metres yup top) over the last seven days. They’re back to their traditional problem of having to dig it all out and make slopes safe to be able to actually operate. There have also been several feet of snowfall along the Rockies, from two feet at Jackson Hole to three in New Mexico at Taos.  The only places not doing so well are still in the Pacific Northwest which continues to have issues with wet snow/rain among periods of colder, snowier weather up in Washington state.  Taos is pictured top, Mammoth above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been a mixed week for Canadian ski areas with warm weather in the west causing issues with snow quality at times, either destabilising the snowpack on steep slopes leading to terrain closures at resorts like Kicking Horse, or seeing rain at low levels causing problems at Whistler Blackcomb and some other centres. Fortunately, though the past few days have been colder and so there’s been lots of shouting about 10cm snow accumulations and things getting back on track. Further east in Quebec, it has been colder, -20C at times in fact, but unfortunately here too it’s now warming up to end the week with a chance of rain before temperatures drop again.  Mont Orford in Quebec pictured above.

**** Updated Friday, 2 February, 2024 ****

“Springlike” continues to describe conditions in the Alps as we start February. We’ve had a week of mostly warm, sunny weather and there appears to be another on the way with temperatures passing +10XC in lower valleys in the afternoons and the freezing point rising above the highest peaks too. Not good news in the long term but in the short term not a huge problem as most ski areas have decent snow depths so any thawing is having little impact on what’s open – for the vast majority at least 80% of their slopes, many more than 90%.

Outside the Alps, it’s similar but more extreme still in the Pyrenees bit more mixed and generally colder in Eastern Europe. Scotland continues to be battered by gales and has lost some of the limited cover it had, Scandinavia is generally looking good but has just been hit by its most severe gales in three decades, impacting Norway particularly.

Across the Atlantic, it’s been a quieter week for snowfall and weather in general across North America but a fresh front just starting to move in is expected to bring significant fresh snow accumulations to the west through the weekend.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Austrian ski areas have seen predominantly warm, sunny weather over the last week, which although giving very pleasant conditions on higher slopes, is not good news for the snowpack overall and led to thawing on low runs and in some cases a battle to keep lower terrain open. But that said Austrian ski areas are well prepared for this and there’s not been a big change in what is open (which remains pretty much all slopes). There has also been sine fresh snowfall on higher slopes, with the Kitzsteinhorn posting 25cm (10”) and a corresponding jump in snow depths over the past few days. So it’s too soon to worry very much, but with sunshine forecast through the weekend, it would be nice to see a return to winter before long.  Kitzbuhel is pictured above this week.

France

French ski areas have been battling some very warm temperatures this week, hitting +10C in valleys down at 1,000m altitude. The freezing point has been climbing above 3,000m in the afternoons too meaning thawing at all levels, although obviously lower runs which had thinner cover from early warm spells and rainfalls are in the worst state. The big picture isn’t as bleak as that appears though because lots of early season snowfall has left France with the deepest snowpack, up to 4.2m up high in Les Arcs, so most of the country’s slopes remain open with good conditions up above 2,000m and valley runs still kept open. The world’s biggest area the 3 Valleys has 95% (550km) of its runs open still  and Les Portes Du Soleil which has lower terrain still 85% (490km)

Italy

Italian ski areas have enjoyed the same sunny conditions and mostly dry weather as the rest of central Europe. Bases in the Dolomites are lower than in the Alps, but still, most ski areas in the region are more or less fully open, well used to opening on a 30-50cm base. The sunshine here is expected to continue well into next week as well with the same plus temperatures reaching +10c at 1,000m altitude and the freezing point getting above 3,000m. The Milky Way (Via Lattea) around Sauze d’Oulx and Sestriere is now up to about 75% open, despite still having a thin base, with around 300km of slopes accessible, the second most in the country after the linked areas around the Sella Ronda with nearly 500km of slopes open.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss ski areas have also enjoyed a fairly settled, largely sunny week with little precipitation to report and strong, gusting winds at times the main issue for skiers. That and the fact that mild temperatures down in valleys mean the snow is sticky at times below about 1800m altitude, the best of the conditions above that …which fortunately most slopes are. So there’s little change on seven days ago really. Laax is posting the country’s deepest snow up on its glacier where it’s lying more than 12 feet deep. Verbier and the 4 Valleys have the most terrain open, still at 95% of the 410km of slopes there. It looks like a sunny weekend ahead.  Zermatt is pictured above.

Pyrenees

Alas, it has been another week of mostly sunny and too warm temperatures across the Pyrenees, lower valleys seeing daytime highs of +10 to +14C and even the highest slopes seeing +7C and overnight lows rarely cold enough for snowmaking. So the challenging conditions continue (with no sign of much change ahead) and centres are battling to keep slopes open still. The biggest centres like Andorra’s Grandvalira (Soldeu, Pas de la Casa etc) and Spain’s Baqueira Beret can offer the most – both at around 50-60% of their slopes on the upper mountain so around 100km each.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The big factor in Scandinavia right now is severe gale force winds, mostly impacting Norwegian resorts, which have closed on Thursday and Friday in many cases, but also the wider region. The storm, reputed to be the most violent since the early 1990s, comes against a backdrop of excellent conditions otherwise across Scandinavia with most ski areas fully open there with better snow quality than in much of the Alps thanks to the consistent low temperatures in the region.  Base depths have hit 2m at ski areas around Voss in western Norway.  Hemsedal is pictured above.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

After all five Scottish ski centres managed to operate simultaneously for the first time this season a fortnight ago, they were closed again within 48 hours as more than a week of gales began. These ended last Sunday with record-warm temperatures which decimated cover on lower slopes when centres could finally reopen earlier this week. We did get a few calm, cold days on Monday and Tuesday though and there are a few runs still open at Cairngorm, Glencoe (pictured above) and Glenshee plus nursery slopes at The Lecht. Strong winds returned for the latter half of the week though and now centres are hoping for a return of winter.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Not a great deal of change to report in Eastern Europe where the picture is of fairly good conditions at the bigger, higher centres, but not much snow cover for smaller, lower runs. So Slovakia’s Jasna and Bulgaria’s Borovets are posting 1m+ bases up high and most runs open, but Bansko still only has about half of its terrain skiable on the upper mountain. Eastern European ski areas have actually had more wintery conditions than the Alps this week, with temperatures closer to freezing, just not much snowfall.  Pamporovo is pictured above.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It was a fairly quiet week in the US until the past 24 hours or so with snow depths dipping a little on a week ago as temperatures rose a little above freezing but not much snowfall was recorded. However, a major storm is now moving west and is forecast to deliver several feet of snow by the end of the weekend, the heaviest in the west of the country. Mammoth (pictrured above) reported up to 2 feet of snow on Thursday morning. Conditions remain way better than they were in November and December with an increasing number of ski areas reporting they’re now 100% open, including America’s biggest Park City in Utah which may currently have slightly more terrain open than North America’s biggest Whistler Blackcomb north of the border. Keystone (pictured top) has every one of their 140 ruins open, they say. Looking good over in the East too which had seen similar issues but several areas have now reported their snowiest Januarys in at least a decade to bounce back.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has been a fairly calm week across Canada with temperatures typically in the freezing to -15C range. However, there have been reports of some unfortunate warm weather spikes, with Kicking Horse (above) announcing it was closing some lifts and runs midweek after warm weather there made some steeper sections of its snowpack less stable. Overall though it’s a positive picture with some light snowfall reported and almost all Canadian ski slopes currently open – the most this season so far.

 

**** Updated Sunday, 28 January, 2024 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

Temperatures in the Alps have been warmer than we’d like for January this week with “springlike” the term widely used. There has been some precipitation but although high slopes saw a foot of snow, lower ones saw torrential train at times.  Those skiing above 2,000m will certainly be seeing the best of the conditions this week.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Pyrenees continue to need colder temperatures and snow with most areas posting an average of half their runs open. Similar reports for Bulgaria, but Scandinavian areas are mostly fully open. Scotland has been battered by storms and we’re still waiting to see how things stand when the latest blows through – it’s been mild but with heavy snowfall reported up high.

Over in North America, conditions continue to improve although there has not been so much fresh snowfall this week. But from less than half of the slopes open a month ago, we’re now averaging more than 80%.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

We’ve had quite a lot of different weather hit Austria over the last seven days. The best was arguably last weekend when cold, sunny weather dominated, and the worst, midweek, when many areas saw heavy rain on lower slopes, although by Thursday many were reporting a foot of fresh snow up high, so there was an upside (including Fugen, pictured above). But it has been a little warm and snow conditions have suffered on lower runs. Against that though most Austrian areas report their slopes as 80-90% open.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A very mixed week for skiers in France, but, for most, it’s still good with some great sunny days and above 1800m more nig snowfalls. The deepest reported is now 5 metres at Alpe d’Huez. Against that, low valley slopes at resorts including Les Gets, Morzine and La Clusaz have reported rain when others were getting snow and the past few days have seen ‘springlike’ conditions with valley temperatures touching +10C and the freezing point climbing up to 3,000m. Unfortunately, that’s the picture for the coming week too, with lots of sunshine. Fortunately, the snow is deep enough in most areas to withstand it. Avoriaz is pictured above.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Snow depths are up a little in Italy on a week ago, not that that matters much for most of the resorts international skiers visit in the north and west of the country where the snow has been lying 2-3 metres deep for months no with more or less everything open. It’s good news for the Dolomites though where bases are more in the 50-100cm bracket, although here too everything is open anyway. There have been warmer valley temperatures this week as everywhere, after the snowfall, but centres like Val Gardena continue to report everything open, Cervinia is at 90%.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss centres have had the same mixed weather week as the rest of the Alps with cold clear weather at the weekend giving way to some heavy snowfall on high slopes early in the week, but that falling as rain at lower levels. They’ve also had the same problem with valley highs reaching +10C in the afternoon, although up high lows of -10C still overnight – so in short, springlike, with freeze-thaw conditions to quite high altitudes and the avalanche danger at ‘considerable’ in many areas. The coming week looks mostly dry, with plenty of sunshine, but mild still into February. Despite this most of the country’s ski runs remain open, Zermatt is at 90% of its terrain, Verbier and the 4 Valleys, 95%.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Unfortunately, conditions remain challenging for ski resort businesses in the Pyrenees. It’s not a problem if you like lots of sunshine and warm weather, because they’ve had plenty of that this week, but that’s obviously not great news for the snowpack, which hasn’t really had many good growth spells so far this season as it is.  So the best of the snow is on higher ground still and many areas still only have about half of their slopes open.  Formigueres aboive.

Scandinavia

There were some powder alarms in Scandinavia this week as some centres in western Norway posted 20cm+ 24-hour accumulations and Levi up in Lapland also noted it had abundant fresh power, although high lifts were also closed at the start of the weekend due to gales, so a mixed bag of weather. Conditions overall are good across the region though with most of the big-name areas like are, Trysil, Ruka and Hemsedal at, or nearly at, 100% open.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s centres have not had a great week after the euphoria of all five centres being open together for the final days of last week, the succession of storms hitting the UK plus warmer weather closed most of them for much of this week and despite some heavy snowfall on high slopes, overall snow loss means there are fewer runs open than a week ago. Nevis Range, currently closed, says it will provide an update on Saturday. The Lecht is back to just its nursery slope open and the other three all have fewer runs available, mostly representing 10-30% of their full terrain.  Glenshee, above.

Eastern Europe

The north-south divide continues in Eastern Europe with the most terrain open up in the Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland to the north, at least at higher elevations, where it has been more wintery all winter. Ski areas in Bulgaria and Romania and elsewhere at more southerly latitudes have still not really had any huge snowfalls and have instead relied a lot on snowmaking. The past week has been cooler than further west but mostly dry again so essentially little change on seven days ago. That is that most centres including Bansko have only half their runs open, although Borovets is up at 80%.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The US has seen some more snowfall and continues to look in much better shape across the country than it did in November/December. Mammoth Mountain reported it had passed six feet of snowfall for January after only getting just over two feet in the first few months of the season. They’re still way down on last season, which set record levels of snowfall, but are in much better shape than they were and are now almost 100% open. It’s a picture reported across the country with America’s biggest ski area Park City in Utah now 100% open and lots of fresh snowfall from multiple storms this week for the East Coast too.  Stowe is pictured above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Conditions across Canada are the best they’ve been all season after 2024 has continued cold with frequent snow showers. It was the east and west coastal ski areas which had been battling the most against warm weather and too little snowfall at the end of 2023, but big-name resorts like Tremblant in Quebec and Whistler Blackcomb in BC are both now reporting their slopes 90% open. The very cold temperatures of a week ago have now eased and temperatures are mostly in the freezing to -20C range with more light snow showers forecast.  Sunshine near Banff pictutred above this week.

**** Updated Friday, 19 January, 2024 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

The USA has been the place to be this last week if you wanted to see plenty of snowfall. Some huge accumulations of up to six feet in the last seven days have been reported, bringing to an end the first few months of the season that were often too warm and too dry in dramatic fashion. The snowfall has, ironically, caused some problems with ski areas that couldn’t open slopes for too little snow next having to close them while they dig them out, but the big picture is good for the rest of the season.

A quieter week in Europe with almost everything thrown into the mix – sunshine, murk, higher avalanche danger, snow up high, rain down low, gales – we’ve had it all. But again the big picture is good with nearly all slopes still open and base depths remaining healthy. In the north of the continent, Scotland’s five centres were open together for the first time this season from Thursday, but several were closed again by gales on Friday.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has been a week of mixed weather across the Austrian Alps, with pretty much everything on offer from snowy mornings to sunny afternoons, temperatures a little warmer than last week, in the -5 to +5C range.  Snow depths continue to look good with two glaciers – Kaunertal and the Stubai, among the three Austrian areas now reporting the snow lying more than 3 metres/10 feet deep up high. The other is St Anton and the Arlberg which is posting the most terrain open in the country at 250km. The mixed weather is set to continue into next week with an initially sunny weekend giving way to fresh snowfall to start next week. Kitzbuhel, staging the Hahnenkamm this weekend, above, reports its slop[es 100% open.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A mixed week of weather across the French Alps with reports of rain, unfortunately, in low valleys including around Les Gets, but with great conditions above 1,800m, where almost every piste is open and snow depths of over 4 metres have been reported up top in Chamonix and Flaine. Much of the past week has been dry but the past few days have brought more snowfall to higher slopes. Most of the big areas like the 3 Valleys, Grand Massif, Paradiski (Les Arcs is pictured above on Thursday) and Tignes-Val d’Isere remain at least 90% open. The coming weekend looks colder again and sunny with more snowfall expected with changeable conditions next week.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s looking good across much of Italy after a settled week following heavy snowfall for much of the country seven days ago. Most runs are open, the only real issue has been strong winds closing higher slopes in parts of the Dolomites and along the country’s western border with France. Val Gardena continues to post virtually every run open though and the snow depth in the Aosta Valley is the deepest in the country at nearly 4 metres. The week ahead looks initially dry and sunny but with more snowfall returning to the west from Monday, drier in the Dolomites.  Sestriere is pictured above earlier this week.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Great conditions across the Swiss Alps at present with more fresh snowfall over the last few days following a dry week after the snowfalls earlier last week. Most Swiss regions have 90% or more of their slopes open with Verbier and the 4 Valleys posting the most terrain of all skiable – almost all of their 410km.  Meanwhile, Saas-Fee has the country’s thickest snowpack, approaching 4 metres up on its glacier. Unfortunately, though the forecast for the next seven days isn’t that good, especially for lower runs. temperatures look set to climb over the next few days with double-digit plus numbers in valleys by early next week. There’s not much snow forecast either.

Pyrenees

One of the better weeks of the season in the Pyrenees with temperatures in the -10 to +5C range and occasional light to moderate snowfalls. After the snowfall last week and some good snowmaking weather we have the most terrain there’s been open all winter.  Spain’s Baqueira ​Beret continues to post the most runs open, about 85% of its slopes now and more than 85% of its terrain. Andorra’s Grandvalira which is home to Andorra’s ski villages like Pas de la Casa and Soldeu is only a little way behind with over 60% of its larger area now open.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Snowfall and some low, low temperatures are both back in Norway, Finland and Sweden, with up to 30cm of fresh snowfall and temperatures down as low as -30C in the far north have been reported. Most ski areas in the region are fully open including all the big resorts like Hemsedal, Trysil, Are, Ruka and Levi. The deepest snow and the biggest falls of the past week have been reported in Western Norway.  Idre Fjall is pictured above this week.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s ski season is continuing to improve. Nevis Range was the latest centre to open, unveiling its first slopes for the 23-24 season on Thursday, joining Cairngorm and Glenshee in having more terrain open beyond nursery slopes maintained by all-weather snowmaking systems. The move came following one of the coldest and snowiest weeks in the Scottish Highlands of the season so far. Cairngorm has been making access to its upper mountain terrain, where the best of the snow is, easier and easier thanks to the new snowfall. It’s hampered by the fact that the funicular lift which is the only full access to it remains out of action for repair. Glencoe has also opened. It had sledging and nursery slopes open already and its access chair for ski tourers but now has some inbounds runs of its own open too.  Glenshee this week.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s a mixed picture across Eastern Europe right now. In the northeast – countries like Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republic, the bigger, higher resorts are reporting their terrain fully open – but low-lying resorts, below about 1500m, are by contrast struggling to open much at all for lack of snow. More southerly nations like Bulgaria and Romania are reporting similar issues, plenty of snow up high but little or nothing on lower slopes, hence Bansko’s upper slopes are open, lower slopes closed. The past week has shown little change in that.  Serbia’s Kopaonik is pictured above.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It appears to be the turning point of the season after a lacklustre first few months. There’s been heavy snowfall across the country, with some big 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5m) dumps in the West, incredibly low temperatures, gale force winds, the whole lot. As a result the country’s snowpack, which had been below 50% average with less than half of runs open, has jumped to more than 90% with most runs open at most resorts. That means that Park City – which has the country’s biggest area potentially but the past few months has not had enough snow to open all of it – finally does have about 90% of its runs open and the most in the US. Conditions are also much improved at West Coast resorts, with the Pacific Northwest seeing the biggest snowfalls as well as the lowest temperatures – as low as -40C at the weekend. Crested Butte in Colorado pictured above this week.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Ski areas in Eastern Canada saw the same very low temperatures, if not colder, that ski areas in north and west US had and several centres in Alberta and BC were closed, in some cases for several days last weekend, for safety reasons as a result. But it has been ‘warming up’ to the minus 10s/20s since and there’s been some light to moderate snowfall too so the big picture is essentially the best it has been all season. Whistler Blackcomb is finally almost fully open and two months after opening is at last reporting the most terrain open in North America.  Lake Louise pictured above this week.

 

**** Updated Friday, 12 January, 2024 ****

It’s been a good week for most of the world’s major ski regions with some of the biggest snowfalls of the season so far and temperatures dropping below freezing in the Alps, Pyrenees and across North America …while climbing back up towards the freezing point in Scandinavia from very low levels last week.

It’s difficult to remember better conditions in the Alps with some centres reporting up to a metre of snowfall this week and a growing number of centres posting 10 feet/3m bases already, and its still only the first half of January! Most areas have 80=95% of their slopes open. The world’s biggest, the 3 Valleys, is now up to 550km of slopes open. The recent cold weather has also seen snowfall down to valley floors.

Elsewhere in Europe things have warmed a little in Scandinavia where it had been very cold indeed, Scottish centres have started to open some terrain beyond their beginner slopes and the Pyrenees have had some much needed snowfall. There’s also been more snow for most Eastern European destinations.

Across the Atlantic North American ski areas have, by contrast, had a very poor season start unfortunately sand last weekend less than half of Canadian and American slopes were open, on average. The good news is there’s been lots of fresh snowfall on both the East and West side of the continent at last. So while not yet back to normal, by far the best it has been this season so far.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There have been some great images coming out of Austria this week with heavy snowfall down to valley floor turning low valley resort villages into picture perfect snowy scenes (Kitzbuhel is pictured above). As most of the country’s big ski areas were already 70-80% open anyway, the new snowfall has just improved things further, with low temperatures keeping the snow in good shape. St Anton has both the deepest snow in the country – nearly 4 metres deep up high – and the most terrain open, more than 90% of the huge Arlberg area. But it’s looking good pretty much everywhere.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There’s been a lot of fresh snowfall in the French Alps this week, further improving conditions that were already good, with the snowpack deeper than average – in fact passing the 4 metres mark last week at Flaine, Les Arcs and Chamonix. Conditions are great across the French Alps, the only issue has been some wet snow at low elevations, but with most terrain at destination resorts above 1800m, ski areas like Tignes – Val d’Isere are 95% open.  The world’s largest ski area, the 3 Valleys, has more than 90% of its slopes – equaling more than 550km of runs, open.  La Plagne pictured above.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There’s been snowfall and low temperatures across Italy this week, turning its valleys white, to match its ski slopes. Most runs were already open but more southerly resorts had not had much snowfall to date this season and were heavily reliant on snowmaking, so the new snowfall is very welcome. The Milky Way has seen a big jump in its reported snow depth thanks to heavy snowfall in the west of the country and is now posting the biggest single-area amount of terrain open in the country – about 250km of slopes, ahead of Val Gardena with 180km.  Livigno, which reported 52cm in 24hrs earliuer this week, pictured above.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There are some of the best conditions in Switzerland for years with the slopes nearly 90% open, on average, across the country, the highest percentage in the world. These stats have been boosted this week by cold temperatures down to low elevations which has enabled more valley runs to open. The huge Portes du Soliel region on the French/Swiss border, which had been struggling to open half its runs until last week, has now jumped to more than 90% and 500km of slopes open, second only to the 3 Valleys. Verbier has 95% of its runs open.  Saas Fee above.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Pyrenees have had one of their best weeks of the season so far, with some very low temperatures down below -10C, and some fresh snowfall …and there hadn’t been much of that until now. Unfortunately for Andorra and sopain, most of the snowfall landed on the French side of the border though. As a result, although we’re coming from a point of snow depths well below average, more terrain has been opened and snowmaking systems have been ramped up to maximum production.  Up to 50cm (20”) of snowfall was reported through the past seven days.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Temperatures have warmed from their very cold -20s last week to a much toastier -10 to -5C across Scandinavia. It’s slowly getting lighter and snowier, with the deepest depths in Western Norway reaching five feet (1.5 metres) and most centres across the region now open.  It should stay cold with more light snowfalls between sunny spells across Scandinavia this coming week. Lapland’s Ruka pictured above.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s ski centres continue to battle top open more terrain beyond the limited beginner slope areas maintained with all-weather snowmaking equipment. The results are nixed. At Glenshee access is most straightforward. For Cairngorm (above) the White Lady and M1 pistes are open by with the funicular out of action once more it’s a 15-minute hike to the M1 Poma to reach the lift to ski the slopes. Glencoe doesn’t have any inbound terrain open but tourers can use their access chairlift to get to what’s reported to be good snow lying between the top of that and the summit.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Most Eastern European ski areas are in good shape with cold temperatures and fresh snowfall in many areas. Slovakia’s Jasna has the most terrain open and some of the deepest snow lying – 99% of its slopes available and snow depths of up to 100cm. It’s not quite such a rosy picture in Bulgaria where most centres are only reporting 30-50% of their slopes open, although Borovets are up at 85% and a metre of snow lying up high.  Bansko is pictured above.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The snowfall that US ski areas have been badly needing has arrived this week with ski areas from East to West Coasts reporting 1-2 feet of snow and powder conditions. There’s a lot of catching up needing to be done with only about half of the country’s slopes open so far after the warm and dry/wet start to the season, but the new snow has allowed resorts to open more terrain and offer some of the famed powder to enjoy at last on top. Ski areas in Colorado are tending to offer the most runs with Steamboat (above) and Vail up to 80% open, while some resorts in Utah like Alta and Snowbird (pictured top), are posting the deepest snow outside of Alaska. However Californian ski areas, which have been suffering the lack of snow the most, got a boost too with over a foot of fresh snow and Mammoth is now 75% open.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Canada saw some good snowfalls on both East and West coasts at the weekend and conditions are much improved, with some powder skiing possible in the west. The most marked improvement is at North America’s largest resort Whistler Blackcomb, which has jumped from being only 40% open to 80% now and having the most terrain open in North America at last.  Elsewhere there’s been fresh snowfall in the Rockies too and on the East Coast (Massif du Sud pictured above), where conditions have unfortunately been very poor to date. There’s still only limited terrain open there. The weather has now got much colder across the country.

**** Updated Friday, 5 January, 2024 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

Snowfall returned to the Alps on New Year’s Eve after a fairly dry final week or so of 2023. Since then it has been snowing over a wider area, with some resorts now reporting over a metre of snowfall this week and Chamonix the first in the world to report a 4-metre snow depth reached on its highest slopes – months earlier than the Alps say those numbers last winter. So although there has been some rain and sleet down low, the overall picture is very good, especially compared to recent years.

Not so in the Pyrenees unfortunately where it has been too dry although snowfall is expected here too. Up in Scandinavia, the issue is dangerously low temperatures closing some lifts, over in Scotland the skiing remains very limited but small areas beyond the nursery slopes are tentatively opening.

Across in North America, there have been some good signs for the new year, a foot of snow in California and fresh snow on the East Coast too, but it remains a lacklustre start to the season with most areas struggling to open terrain due to predominantly warm and dry (or wet) weather. The best appears to be in parts of the Rockies where some centres have 70-80% of their slopes open and snow depths close to a metre.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Conditions are excellent across most Austrian destinations. The Arlberg region is in particularly good shape with snow over 3 metres deep up high and more than 95% of the terrain there is open. It’s similar in all of the country’s big areas – Saalbach Hinterglemm, the Skiwelt and indeed most of the smaller areas too. Kitzbuhel (pictured above at New Year) reports it has all 190km of its slopes open and every lift operating. There’s been some light snowfall over the past few days and that’s expected to continue through the weekend as temperatures drop before skies clear next week.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

French ski areas have reported up to a metre of snowfall this week, the most anywhere in the world. At the same time, Chamonix has reached a 4-metre base depth at Grands Montets, the deepest in the world at present. So things are looking pretty good almost everywhere. Most of the country’s ski areas are 75-95% open, although Les Portes du Soliel has been having issues with about 55% of its slopes open. However ski areas there, Les Gets and Morzine, were among the resorts posting nearly a metre of snowfall this week so it looks like more will be open here too shortly, and in any case, 55% of their terrain is 325km of runs.

Italy

There’s been some fresh snowfall for Italy this week and cooler temperatures too which have given a nice refresh to the slopes in some areas, however, snowfall remains below average at more southerly and easterly Italian ski destinations, but good, especially above 1800m, in the north and west. Despite thin cover, more slopes are open in the Dolomites however and the country’s big regions like Val Gardena, Cervinia and La Thuile-La Rosiere are running at 70-90% open. The Via Lattea area which had only about 40% of its slope open over Christmas week has opened up much more for New Year week, now nearer 70% of its 400km of runs available.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s looking good across Swiss ski slopes at the moment with snow depths very healthy, fresh snow falling, cold temperatures and most resorts 90-99% open. The biggest is the 4 Valleys around Verbier which reports almost all of its 400km+ of slopes are open. Other big areas like Zermatt-Cervinia and Samnaun-Ischgl also have 200km or more of their runs skiable.  St Moritxz is pictured above.

Pyrenees

The Pyrenees continue to struggle with what have been mostly warm and dry conditions, but that said snowfall is finally forecast over the next few days along with temperatures way down below freezing so hopefully a big improvement can be reported next week. For now, Spain’s Baqueira Beret continues to post the most terrain open – 11-0km of slopes, with the biggest area Andorra’s Grandvalira (Soldeu/Pas de la Casa etc) only having about 80km/40% of its slopes available. Elsewhere some centres on the Spanish side only have 10-20% of their runs open but on the French up to 100%.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Great conditions overall in Scandinavia with most resorts now 90-100% open, the biggest Sweden’s Are posting over 80km of slopes skiable. However, the past few days have seen an issue with temperatures dipping as low as  -25 to -30C making some more exposed lifts deemed too dangerous to operate meaning skiers need to get back indoors every hour or so to avoid frostbite danger.  Levi, above, was one of the colder ones.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s ski season is gradually improving and consistent cold weather is helping. There’s not been a lot of natural snowfall, particularly at lower levels, but it is starting to build higher up and Cairngorm (above) is opening their M1 and White Lady slopes as we publish this week, the only catch is you need to hike up to the lift to access the run, so it’s ‘for experts only’ at present. It and other areas have beginner slopes open and tickets for those are selling out daily. Glenshee also has runs beyond the nursery slopes open though.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Mixed reports from Eastern Europe, There have been some good 20-40cm snowfalls in the Czech and Slovak Republics where big areas like Jasna (above) were already fully open, so it’s just better still there. In Bulgaria, warm weather has left brown slopes around the lower pistes but there has been some fresh snowfall and colder temperatures here too over the last few days.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been another mostly dry, not-too-cold week across the US, unfortunately. There have been some snowfalls (after more rain showers in the east) but it hasn’t made a lot of difference, although for most areas things continue to gradually improve. Most areas have had less than half of their average snowfall this season and are posting lower bases in the inches rather than the feet. Almost all big-name resorts are open now but many have only half their runs open, or less.  Other than up in Alaska, which is in pretty good shape (although even here one area closed this week blaming rain damage to the snowpack), the best conditions are in the Rockies where some resorts including Utah’s Alta and Snowbird and Colorado’s Steamboat and Winter Park, are posting at least 70% of their terrain open and some of the best snow depths in the country. There has been some snowfall in the east, improving conditions after the rain and Mammoth just saw one of the best snowfalls it’s had this winter, about a foot of snow, and is now up to about 70% open.  Unfortunately though despite this though this is turning into one of the worst season starts in many years for most parts of the US. Copper Mountain above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Yet another fairly dry week for Canada where lots of ski areas continue to struggle to open even half of their runs. Whistler Blackcomb is now up to 60% and some like Sunshine (pictured above this week), Sun Peaks and Panorama have 70-95% open, but many including Big White, Jasper and others have only 40% open and for Red Mountain it’s only 10%.  It’s not much better in the East where ski areas are still battling the impact of rain and struggling to open much either. Consistent cold weather and a decent snowfall are badly needed.

 

**** Updated Friday, 29 December, 2023 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

The last week of December has been a largely sunny one across much of Europe, with a storm blowing through the north to spice things up a little. After some big snowfalls in the Alps, heaviest in Austria, a week ago, piste skiers have been enjoying great conditions in the Alps and up in Scandinavia where almost all resorts are open and most with 75-95% of their slopes groomed for the peak Christmas and New Year weeks.

As always it’s not good everywhere. The Pyrenees continue to struggle with warm temperatures and a lack of natural snowfall. Here it’s more like 10-40% of slopes open in most areas although some like France’s La Mongie have managed 100% and Baqueira Beret in Spain has 110km of slopes open despite each having only a 30-50cm base. Scottish centres have also been storm-battered over the past few days and just have small areas of nursery slope created with all-weather snowmaking machines available. It’s looking good over in Scandinavia though where there were some big snowfalls in Norway this week. Eastern European resorts are in pretty good shape although it has been a little warm down in Bulgaria.

Across the Atlantic, it remains a poor start to the 23-24 season almost everywhere, possibly thanks to the strong El Nino. That said more and more terrain has opened and there’s been over a foot of snowfall reported in Colorado.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There have been some big snowfalls in Austria over the past week – some of the biggest for a few years in fact. The Ziller Valley (above) saw really huge snowfalls just before Christmas, with accumulations of up to a metre in 24 hours reported. There were also big dumps for many other resorts.  As a result snow depth totals have jumped across Austria, particularly on higher slopes, with the Arlberg region now posting the deepest snow in the world up high, at over 3.5 metres for Lech and St Anton. Since the snowfall last weekend, it has been much drier though and that’s set to continue into next week with the freezing point at around 1700m.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been a mostly sunny week in France after more snowfall at the start of last weekend. That’s given glorious conditions on the groomed runs, of which about 70-80% are open at big regions like the 3 Valleys and Paradiski (Les Arcs/La Plagne) which are also posting some of the deepest snow in the world at over 3 metres (10 feet) up high. The forecast is for more sunshine and warm temperatures in valleys for the coming week into the New Year too. The only real downside is that the snow is melting in lower traditional valley resorts like Morzine. So far not a big problem with pistes created down to resort but it would be nice to have lower temperatures and fresh snow to low elevations before much longer too.  Peisey Vallandry pictured.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Most of Italy has had a predominantly dry week with plenty of sunshine and warm weather in the south. The dolomites are long used to being able to open almost all of their slopes with a thin covering of predominantly machine-made snow and that’s the case now in resorts like Cortina d’Ampezzo which is posting most of its runs open but only a foot of snow lying at most. On the other side of the country, the via Lattea/Milky Way has similar depths but only about a third of its 400km or so of slopes open.  It’s not the same, the low snow depths, everywhere though. La Thuile posts nearly 3 metres up high, Cervinia 2 metres. There’s no big change ahead in the forecast although temperatures should be cooler and there’s a chance of some snowfall on New Year’s Eve. Val di Fassa pictured.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss centres have been posting some of the best stats in European skiing this week in terms of the percentage of terrain open (most of the big centres at 90-99%) and snow depths (up to 3 metres). It’s been a sunny week here also and the rest of the snow is in the north and west with cover thinner in regions like the Jungfrau around Wengen, at least on lower slopes and Engadin around St Moritz, although both still have most of their slopes open. The coming week has a more unsettled weather pattern which should mean fresh snowfall. St Moritz pictured.

Pyrenees

It’s been another challenging week for ski areas in the Pyrenees as Spain wraps up its warmest December on record. Most centres are now open but smaller areas sometimes only have 5-10% of their runs available so far as they battle warm, dry weather. That said the bigger resorts mostly have at least 40% of their slopes open. That’s the case for the Grandvalira area of Andorra (Pas de la Casa, Soldeu etc) with Spain’s Baqueira Beret still posting the most open – 70% of their terrain and about 110km of slopes. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of change in the forecast – continuing mostly dry but a little cooler.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There were some good snowfalls in Norway this week with some centres reporting as much as 60cm of fresh snowfall in 24 hours. Otherwise, things look good for most resorts across the region. The big players like Sweden’s Are and Norway’s Trysil report slopes 80-90% open for the peak season, although Hemsedal is only ay 60%. Up in the far north where the sun dropped below the horizon in mid-December, it’s due to re-emerge for the New Year on Monday (for example at Levi, pictured above this week).

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s season is underway at Cairngorm, The Lecht and Glenshee (pictured above this week) but so far it is just small areas of nursery slope created using all-weather snowmaking machines rather than any ‘proper’ ski runs. There has been some snowfall this week and consistently low temperatures but really a lot more is needed before resorts can start to open full runs. Glencoe has a dry slope for skiers and a sledging slope with its all-weather snowmaking system. Nevis range has nothing open yet.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A bit of a north/south divide in eastern Europe this week with more snowfall and more terrain opening at more northerly centres in The Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland, and more springlike weather at more southerly resorts in Bulgaria and Romania. That said the deepest reported snowpack, about a metre up high, is the same both north and south and so is the amount of terrain with ski areas like Borovets in Bulgaria (above) and Jasna in Slovakia both now reporting that their slopes are almost fully open. Bansko is pictured top.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Ski areas in the US are continuing to suffer a poor start to the 23-24 season with most areas still hoping for a good snowfall to kick things off. The best conditions are reported in the Rockies, particularly Colorado, however, where there was 1-2 feet of snow reported last weekend. Parts of Utah are also doing OK. Snowbird is almost fully open. But on the West Coast it’s an ongoing battle to open more terrain despite some fresh snowfall last week and in the east resorts do get snow but then see temperatures rise and rainfall wash away the snowpack. So colder, snowier weather is needed almost everywhere in the US as we start 2024.   Schweitzer in Idaho is pictured above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Canadian ski areas are facing very similar issues to those south of the border in the US, with resorts in Quebec in the east of the country forced to close by spells of torrential rain, while those in the west, including the continent’s biggest Whistler Blackcomb, struggling to open much terrain because of the warm temperatures there. The best of the conditions are, as in the US to the south again, in the Rockies, along the Alberta/BC state line. Here resorts like Panorama and Sunshine (pictured above this week) are almost fully open, despite not having much snow lying, most other centres are at 60-80% open, much better than the 40-50% for most areas on the East and West coasts.  The forecast is mostly for cold and dry weather across the country into the start of 2024.

**** Updated Friday, 22 December, 2023 ****

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas across the world’s ski slopes, particularly in the Alps where the snow is falling again after a sunny start to the week and base depths have reached 3 metres (10 feet) at some areas in the Alps. We’re at the shortest day which means more daylight hours from now on and we’re also about to start the busiest fortnight of the season which means virtually all ski areas are open and that they’re each aiming to open as much terrain as they can.

Currently, that’s easiest in the Alps, where there’s the most snow and up in Scandinavia. Some resorts in Eastern Europe are about there too. However the Pyrenees are in need of more snowfall unfortunately and up in Scotland any snowfall at all would be helpful – centres there are starting to open but just with small nursery slope areas courtesy of all-weather snowmaking machines.

Across in North America, challenging conditions continue, with things actually getting worse on the East Coast with torrential rain earlier this week temporarily closing some centres.  Snowfall is badly needed on the west coast too although there has now been some snowfall in California to slightly improve things this week. The Rockies, particularly in Colorado and Utah as well as up in Alberta and Eastern BC seem to have the best of it there at present with some centres almost fully open and a few feet of snow lying.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

After a sunny weekend and start to this week it has turned colder and snowier again over the last few days with temperatures back below freezing day and night right down to low levels, so a good run-up to the Christmas weekend. Snow depths on Austrian slopes are already looking healthier than they did all last season too, so so far so good. Most Austrian areas now have most of their terrain open with the Alberg (St Anton, Lech), Skiwelt (Soll, Ellmau, Westendorf and others) and Ischgl/Samnaun all reporting over 200km of slopes open each this week.  Saalbach pictured above.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has been a mostly sunny week in the French Alps after last week’s rain and then snow, with skiers and riders lucky enough to be out there reporting amazing conditions already. The country is reporting the world’s deepest snow (Around 3 metres at La Rosiere and Flaine) and the biggest areas open, including the biggest of them all, the 3 Valleys, nearing 500km open so far and perhaps going for even more for Christmas week. A snowy weekend is forecast then a sunny Christmas week with temperatures warming a little in valleys.  Risoul, now open for the season after a delay due to flooding, has now opened and pictured above.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been a fairly uneventful week in Italy with plenty of sunshine, although some snowfall is arriving as we publish this week’s report. However, the ski racing world’s attention has been on the country with multiple stops on the men’s tour staged here this week. Cervinia is posting the most terrain open in the country, although some of that is over the Swiss border in Zermatt, Passo Tonale’s neighbouring Presena Glacier the deepest snow and Val Gardena the most terrain wholly in Italy, 170km or about 95% of its slopes open already. It’s looking sunny over Christmas and perhaps a little warmer than we’d like down in the valleys.  The new cable car opens at Val Senales this week (pictured above)

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss ski centres had a mostly dry and sunny week but snow clouds have now moved in and it’s looking like the country could see some of the biggest snowfalls in Europe by Christmas Eve, some areas likely to get more than half-a-metre of fresh cover. Conditions are pretty good already with the 4 Valleys almost fully open and the Zermatt-Cervinia area not far behind.  Growing numbers of Swiss resorts are reporting the snow already lying more than 2.5 metres deep including Laax and Saas Fee. So it’s looking good and sunshine is expected to return next week.  Glacier 3000 near Gstaad pictured bove.

Pyrenees

Alas, its continuing to be a rather challenging start to the season in the Pyrenees, with the very warm December temperatures continuing, with valley highs still getting into double figures in the afternoons.  Smaller, lower resorts are struggling to open at all, bigger higher centres are open but with thin cover so far and limited terrain. Spain’s Baqueira Beret has the most available, over 100km of slopes, with the region’s biggest centre, Andorra’s Grandvalira, incorporating Pas de la Casa, Soldeu and others, managing about a third of their runs so far. Connections between the different resort bases are all open but in some cases, it’s a lift link, not yet a piste one.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Temperatures did make it a few degrees into positive numbers earlier this week on lower slopes at more southerly Scandinavian centres with sunny skies too (for those not currently in a period of permanent Polar night), but the latter half of the week has seen more cloud, snow showers and temps back down in the -20s overnight for many.  Norway’s Trysil and Sweden’s Åre are currently posting the most terrain open in the country.  Finlaand’s Levi above.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s season is getting underway with Cairngorm (pictured above last week) opening a small area of snow slope for beginners thanks to their all-weather snowmaking machines. The Lecht will also be opening a  small nursery slope area from Saturday. Neither would have been able to open without their TechnoAlpin SnowFactoy machines as the week started warm, wet and windy, although it has now got a lot colder with some snowfall, but there’s not much snow left for the fresh snow to fall on. Glenshee had aimed to open on Wednesday but was delayed as it was too warm even for all-weather machine-made snow. Glencoe was already open with a toboggan slope and the Lecht has said they want to open a terrain park with their all-weather snowmaker next week. So only Nevis Range is reliant on the natural stuff and not yet open.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Bulgaria’s ski season kicked off last weekend with great fresh snow falling with perfect timing after a warm, dry spell. More snowfall has led to more terrain opening with Borovets (pictured top) already nearly 100% open, and Bansko (pictured above) with more than half of its slopes skiable. Jasna in Slovakia, the largest area in the northeast, appears to have better conditions with about 75% of its terrain open and snow depths of up to a metre reported.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Unfortunately, there’s been little improvement in conditions in the US where most ski regions are having a poor start to the season. The exception is Alaska up in the far northwest where there has been several metres of snowfall, and the Rockies which have had several feet and conditions aren’t too bad at all with resorts like Alta, Snowbird, Vail and Aspen reporting some fresh snowfall and most of their terrain open, so not far off normal operations. On the West Coast, it remains dry in California where centres are still battling to reach half their runs open, most not there yet and on the East, there was torrential rain earlier this week temporarily closing most centres.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Canada has had another mostly dry week, unfortunately, and ski areas on both the West and East coasts are struggling rather with a lack of the white stuff. In Quebec, the problems were exacerbated by warm temperatures and rain to start this week, which closed a number of centres. Over in the West, there’s just not that much terrain open still at North America’s biggest ski area, Whistler Blackcomb. There have been some decent dumps further east in BC and over the provincial border in Alberta, Resorts like Fernie, Panorama and Lake Louise reporting around a metre of snow on their higher slopes and most of their terrain is open. Sunshine, pictured top this week, has lifts running.

**** Updated |Sunday, 17 December, 2023 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

It’s time to hold our nerves in the Alps where, after some great snowfalls through November and early December, things turned warm and wet to about 2,000m altitude last weekend and remained so for a few days. Not too much damage was done before temperatures dipped again and it actually kept snowing up high throughout but it looks like to weather rollercoaster isn’t over yet with more warm weather for lower elevations next week, although this time it should stay sunny for most. Perhaps this is the new normal?

Elsewhere in Europe Bulgaria’s ski season starts this weekend, with limited terrain initially, its remained very cold up in Scandinavia and resorts are struggling to open much terrain yet in the Pyrenees while they await colder temperatures and a good snowfall, though the big centres and manging to open quite a lot.

Across the Atlantic The Rockies continue to see some good snowfalls and there’s been more snow in the East too, but on the West Coast it remains challenging due to warm, dry weather.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Despite warming temperatures earlier this week and some tawing on lower slopes, conditions in Austria continue to be much better than they were a year ago with some healthy snow depths o higher slopes, still 30-60cm of snow in valleys and most of the country’s resorts reporting 60-80% of their slopes open already.  Ischgl, with the cross-border area linked to Samnaun, still has the most terrain open, about 200km of slopes, but other big regions like the Skiwelt and Arlberg aren’t far behind.  Sunny weather and warmer temperatures are expected for the next few days in most areas.  The Kaunertal Glacier is pictured above.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A  bit of a mixed week in the French Alps with temperatures climbing and rainfall to quite high levels earlier in the week. However it then cooled down midweek and we saw more snowfall before `skies cleared and sunshine returned to many areas to end the week. Oh and there were strong winds at times to add to the mix!  Despite this snow conditions remain good in most areas after the big snowfalls of December and early November  with base depths very healthy for this early in the season. The last of the big French resorts that hadn’t yet opened for 23-24, including Les Arcs, open his weekend.  Les Menuires, pictured top, was another new opener.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Most Italian ski resorts and about half of Italy’s ski slopes are now open highlighting that the proportion of runs open so far is about 50% on average. There’s a big range within that average though, with Val Gardena having 95% of its slopes open, the most for a single destination in the country, over 170km in total. There’s been the same range of weather conditions here and it’s looking a little warm for the week ahead but base depths of up to 2.5m (at Passo Tonale) should mean this isn’t too big a problem and snow has been topping up the cover in the cold spells, Livigno reported 50cm snowfall in the previous 24 hours on Thursday.  Kronplatz is pictured above.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss resorts have also seen warm temperatures and some snow loss at lower elevations, Crans Montana, for example, reports kits lower slope base depth down from a metre to 60cm. At this stage though the snow that built up through November has been plenty to see resorts through and there was more snowfall, heavier at altitude, in the latter half of this week. As a result Saas Fee is the second resort in Europe, after Chamonix, to post a 3m base on its highest slopes.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Conditions continue to be a bit challenging for ski centres in Andorra, Spain and the French Pyrenees with a number of smaller centres still unable to open after the warmest December temperatures on record in Spain. Some fresh snowfall has been reported though and most of the major resorts are open and opening more terrain. Spain’s biggest, Baqueira Beret, will have over 100km of slopes, more than half of its terrain, open this weekend the say.  Grandvalira in Andorra has opened all connections and has more than 70km of slopes open.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has been another cold (-10 to -30C) week in Scandinavia but without much fresh snowfall. The big resorts like Norway’s Hemsedal and Trysil and Sweden’s Are and Salen continue opening more and more terrain ahead of the busy Christmas weeks, aided y snowmaking systems. Up in the far north, resorts like Levi and Ruka in Finland have entered a three week period of Polar Night when the sun does not appear above the horizon. The slopes are floodlit though (with multi-coloured lights in Ruka – pictured above) so it’s a nice surreal atmosphere for skiers. The sun will be back in the New Year!

Scotland

 Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland’s ski season will definitely start next weekend, if not sooner, with Cairngorm (above) announcing they will offer at least a small beginner area thanks to their all-weather SnowFactory snowmaking machine. Hopefully though they’ll be able to offer more, as will the other Scottish centres which also plan to operate for Christmas week, Glenshee the first to name a date – from this Wednesday. Snow has been falling, it’s just a question of whether there’s enough natural stuff yet.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Bulgaria’s 23-24 season got underway on Friday with all of the country’s top centres opening. It’s ‘early season conditions’ with Borovets apologising for the limited amount of terrain the were able to open on day one. there was though, heavy snowfall for the opening weekend, raising sprits considerably. Elsewhere most resorts are now open in other countries like Romania (Poiana Brasov),  the Czech Republic (Spindleruv Mlyn) and Slovakia. Here Jasna has the most terrain open and deepest snow (up to a metre) so far in the region.  Serbia’s Kopaonik pictured above.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Conditions continue to improve across much of the US after low snowfall in November to start the season.  The Rockies have seen some of the best conditions with several feet more snowfall in the last seven days. Snowbird in Utah has opened their Mineral Basin terrain and other centres in Colorado and Utah have more and more runs open while Jackson Hole has gone through the 125” season snowfall total already. Conditions remain challenging on the West Coast where there’s been little natural snowfall and what’s open is mostly thanks to snowmaking. There’s been more snowfall and some powder days in the East though.  Snowbird is pictured above, Telluride top.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The  Canadian  Rockies continue to post the country’s best conditions with bases now reaching the metre mark after  recent snowfalls and centres including Lake Louise (pictured above this week) and Fernie having most of their runs open – the most in the country so far in fact with Whistler Blackcomb on the west still needing more snowfall to be able to open more terrain. Ski centres on the East Cast were closed for a period earlier in the week due to stormy, warm, wet weather but most have now reopened and are reporting fresh snow cover.

 

**** Updated Friday, 8 December, 2023 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

Winter is increasing its hold on the northern hemisphere’s ski areas with more snowfalls reported across Europe, North America and Japan. There have not been any massive falls reported, but typically 1-2 feet has landed over the last seven days. Chamonix opened posting the deepest snow in the world, the first over 3m / 10 feet.

Unfortunately, the snow hasn’t just floated down though. There have been gales reported at times, low visibility from fog and low cloud and in the western Alps a brief period of rain to high levels. This mostly led to short-term slope closure due to the winds or high avalanche danger, but the French resort Risoul sadly suffered serious damage to its base from flash floods as it was in the eye of one storm.

Besides that isolated incident though, more and more ski areas have opened for their 23-24 seasons and of course many more will start this weekend. Andorra, Poland, Romania and Slovakia were among the countries where the 23-24 season started last weekend.  Already open resorts are opening more and more terrain, we’ve seen the first single area to offer 200km of slopes in 23-24 this week and again this weekend will see bigger still areas open.

Here’s what’s happening where:

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Around half of Austria’s ski areas have opened already and are posting excellent snow conditions in the large part – especially for this early in December and compared to last season. Obertauern, for example, already has snow lying two metres deep from top to bottom of its slopes. All of Austria’s big ski regions are open and for much of the past week (as the one before), the Ischgl-Samnaun area has dominated in terms of terrain open with more than 200km of slopes – the most in the world until this weekend. The Arlberg (St Anton / Lech) held second place. It was a drier week for a while but it has stayed cold and now the snow is falling again so it’s continuing to look good. Including down to low levels at resorts like Kitzbuhel, above.

France

 Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Despite a blip a week ago which saw a brief period of warm, wet weather to high altitudes, resulting in serious damage at the base of Risoul ski area thanks to resulting flash floods, the big picture is still very good for early December in the French Alps. More resorts have been opening early and those that had planned to open, like Argentiere in the Chamonix Valley, report the snow already lying 3 metres (10 feet) deep up top – great news for the season ahead.  The forecast looks good for lots more snowfall over the week ahead too.  Courchevel, which opened early last weekend is pictured top, Chatel above.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s a big week for Italian ski areas with the giant Dolomiti Superski region fully opening all 12 sectors with over 300 lifts spinning and more than 800 km (500 miles) of runs open, about two-thirds of its full area. In the west of the country, the Milky Way region is also starting operations on the Italian side (Montgenevre on the French side opened last weekend) with the skiing at Sestriere starting. Overall it’s looking great for the first half of December, in part evidenced by how much is open already.  The Presena Glacier above Passo Tonale reports the country’s deepest snow with 2.5m lying.

SwitzerlandWhere is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The snowy start to Switzerland’s season continues with more snowfall reported and more snow forecast through the coming week as temperatures stay low. Gstaad’s Glacier 3000 has the country’s deepest snow at 2.2m. The Samnaun/Ischgl cross-border ski area is the first in the world to offer over 200km of slopes open this season but another cross border region Zermatt-Cervinia (above) is catching up fast with about 130km so far. More than a third of Swiss centres are already open for winter 23-24 and that number is set to grow this weekend with many more due to join them.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The ski season is getting underway in the Pyrenees. Spain’s Baqueira Beret is posting the most runs open so far – about 65km, with Andorra’s Grandvalira (above), which opened at the start of this week, at around 40km initially. There’s not a lot of snow there yet and resorts have been battling with warm temperatures, particularly at their bases, but then temperatures are dropping well below freezing overnight so the extensive snowmaking systems can work at max. Resorts have begun opening on the French side too.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It continues to be  great start to the 23-24 season in Scandinavia where most centres are now open and many have been open a month already now, for Finland’s Levi and Ruka (pictured above) it’s two months. Light snowfall has kept falling and continues to accumulate and stay in great shape tanks to the low temperatures – down to -20C at times. It’s also getting dark around the clock at more northerly latitudes so most skiing is under floodlights. All of the big resorts including Sweden’s Are and Norway’s Hemsedal are open and adding increasing terrain availability daily.

Scotland

Scotland has seen temperatures rise a little from the double digits below freezing at the start of this week, however, they remain close to freeing and the air has more moisture in it with the airflow coming off the Atlantic rather than down from drier areas to the northeast. So Scottish centres have reported snow starting to accumulate and fill in the hollows on higher slopes, fingers crossed, we just need the temperature to stay below freezing and for more to fall. Most centres aim to open Christmas week, whether with natural snowfall and/or with their all-weather snowmaking machines. Glencoe’s machine is already supplying a tobogganing slope and they’ve turned on the access chairlift to help tourers access high-altitude snow.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A swathe of ski centres have opened in the Carpathian Mountains across northeastern Europe over the last week, including the biggest, Slovakia’s Jasna as well as Romania’s best-known, Poiana Brasov and Poland’s Zakopane. The Czech Republic’s Špindlerův Mlýn is another with some runs open already. Jasna already has more than half of its 45km of slopes open thanks to early snowfalls which have continued through the past week. There’s been more snowfall at Bansko (above) which opens the weekend after this.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has not yet been a big start to the season in the US but nonetheless, most of the country’s big resorts have opened now and there have been some relatively good snowfalls this week with most ski areas right across the country seeing at least a foot of snow, more like two feet in the Rockies That let to Utah’s Snowbird closing briefly last weekend due to avalanche danger while Jackson Hole has already reached the 100 inches (2.5 m) snowfall this season to date point.  Sunday River in Maine above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There’s been an improvement in the snow conditions across Canada over the last seven days with fresh snowfall reported in the East and West. Alberta has topped the fresh snowfall table with Sunshine at Banff posting about 60cm (two feet) of fresh snowfall over the past week and some great powder conditions. However, Whistler Blackcomb has the most terrain open in the country with about 20% of its vast area open already.  On the East Coast centres are still battling warm, spells and rain showers but cold and snow are gradually winning it seems with more centres opening in Ontario and Quebec and more terrain available at those that have already opened.

**** Updated Sunday, 2 December, 2023 ****

It’s been a  slightly up-and-down week for weather in the Alps but in most respects, the dream start continues with still more early base-building snowfalls. For full disclosure, the only real ‘blip’ was a period of rain to high altitude as temperatures suddenly spiked, but this appears to have been short-lived and actually helped stabilise the snowpack.  Stormy weather also closed some centres at times. The week ahead looks predominantly cold and frequently snowy again. So it’s looking good.

Outside the Alps, the first resorts have opened in the Czech and Slovak Republics but the start of the season seems to have stalled slightly in the Pyrenees.  Nearly everywhere has opened now in Scandinavia however.

Across the Atlantic, the season start still lacks the big snowfalls that marked the start of last winter 22-23, but there has been more snowfall and most of the continent’s well-known resorts are now open, just without much terrain available yet …but then it is just the start of December.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A great week for Austria with cold temperatures and snowfall down to low levels. More than 50 of the country’s ski areas are now open and those that have been open a while continue to lead the world in terms of terrain open. The Saalbach and Arlberg regions, including Lech and St Anton, are among the latest big-name centres to open this weekend. Kitzbuhel, Saalbach, The Arlberg, Obergurgl, Solden and Obertauern all have at least 50km of slopes open, with Ischgl leading the world with nearly 200km of slopes open already.  Year-round Hintertux has the highest percentage of its runs open already, 52km of its 60km area.  Snow falling in Fieberbrunn this week above.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s mostly good news from France, with still more snowfall and more resorts opening, but not quite all good with a brief spell of rain up to 2,800m altitude reported a few days ago. However that’s actually good news overall, avalanche experts report, as it will stabilise a snowpack that was rather unstable off-piste due to the heavy snowfall and strong winds at times. Newly opened ski areas include Alpe d’Huez, La Clusaz, Les 2 Alpes, Montgenevre and Chamonix Valley (Argentiere) – opening with over 3 metres of snow reported lying, the most in the world for anywhere open to date. They join Val Thorens (pictured above last week) and Tignes, already open a fortnight. The 3 Valleys has also had an early opening of some of its other sectors.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

More Italian centres have opened meaning about a third of the country’s resorts now have at least some runs open. But it’s been a mixed week for weather with more snowfall for most but some suffering from dry, sunny conditions, leading to the temporary closure of some slopes at Madonna di Campiglio (although it looked good when this picture was taken above earlier last week). Val Gardena is one of those newly opened, several days ahead of schedule, initially with just a few runs but planning to fully open from the middle of next week when it will have one of the largest areas open in the world at present.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There’s been a big jump in the number of Swiss areas opening for the season, so now more than 50, or about half of the country’s leading centres have opened. Here too it has been a mixed week for weather with an overall positive picture but with some spells of warm weather bringing rain to quite high levels against periods of snowfall down to low levels. This dynamic pattern, which has also included strong winds at altitude has led to temporary lift and slope closures at times and a moderate to high avalanche risk off-piste.  The Samnaun-Ischgl area has just under 200km of slopes open, the most in the country to date, while Glacier 3000 has the deepest snow at 2.4 metres (8 feet) up top.  Verbier, pictured above last week, has had nearly a metre of fresh snow but warns the avalanche danger is high. Murren is pictured top last week.

Pyrenees

There seems to be a bit of a delay on the season kick-off in Andorra, with centres saying they’ll open at the start of next week – a key one on the Spanish side of the mountains with a plethora of public holidays making resorts really, really want to have slopes open to attract early-season overnight stays. For now though, there’s not much change on a week ago when Baqueira Beret opened the first runs on the Spanish side and Porte Puymorens the first on the French side. This weekend it’s Font Romeu open instead on the French side. Bases are thin at this early point though, with just 10-30cm of snow lying.  Conditions are a little marginal still, with overnight lows of -10C and some snowfall but daytime highs of +10C and some rain at times.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Another cold week in Scandinavia where all of the region’s big resorts are now open for the season, including the largest, Sweden’s Are and Salen, as well as Norway’s Hemsedal and Trysil (pictured above last week) and Levi,  Ruka and Yllas up in Lapland where we’re now early at 24-hours without the sun coming up above the horizon. Although we have again seen the minus 10s and even minus 20s, temperatures did climb up and ut even managed to sleet a little briefly early in the week at more southerly locations, but most have seen clear days with the odd light snow shower. As a result, most lonely have thin bases and 10-20% of their terrain open so far.

Scotland

Scotland has enjoyed a very cold, sometimes snowy week, but there’s not yet enough snowfall to open, despite one newspaper claiming centres were opening early.  To be fair all five centres have all-weather snowmaking systems so could open a small amount of terrain if they wished, but most are saying they’ll aim for Christmas week for that when demand is there. Glencoe has though got its access chairlift running to take ski tourers up to the snowline for some early season off-piste.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The first ski areas outside the Alps, Pyrenees and Scandinavia have opened in Europe this weekend with centres in the Czech and Slovak Republics now open.  They include Czechia’s Špindlerův Mlýn but the region’s largest resort, Jasna in Slovakia, reports the most terrain open, about half of its 45km of slopes,  and decent snow cover, particularly on higher slopes. It has been a snowy week with another one forecast ahead. Bulgaria’s ski season is set to kick off in the middle of the month.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Most of America’s leading ski areas are now open and a foot or so of snowfall has been reported both in the Rockies in the west and in New England in the East over the past few days. But it has been a mixed bag with a lot of dry and sometimes warm weather as well as periods of low visibility, so it still feels like winter proper has not really got underway. Most resorts still have thin bases and limited terrain open, although more significant snowfall is now in the forecast.  Colorado’s Vail is reporting the most terrain open in the country – but still only about 10% of its full area. Alaska’s Alyeska has opened with the deepest snow in America as that’s the part of the continent that did see a lot of November snowfall.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Like the US, Canada is also still waiting for a really good snowfall to get the season moving but nonetheless, more areas have been opening. Fernie has opened about 20% of its slopes on opening for the season and currently has the most terrain open in the country.  Whistler is just behind with about 10% of its slopes open. Conditions remain challenging in the East with warm weather for December limiting snowmaking operations. Those watching the women’s World Cup GS races at Tremblant at the weekend, unfortunately, saw racers battle on springlike slush and mountain fog in the limited open terrain.  The forecast is looking good though with cold, snowy weather expected for the week ahead.  Cypress Mountain in BC pictured top.

 

**** Updated Saturday, 25 November, 2023 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

We’re into triple figures for the number of ski areas already open in Europe and North America and pre-season conditions remain promising in most areas. There’s been more snowfall to low levels in the Alps and temperatures have remained mostly low while over in the Pyrenees, new snow has allowed ski areas to start opening here for the season.

More resorts are now open in the Dolomites too, the largest opening with 50km of slopes open from day one. Over in North America, most of the continent’s big resorts are now open, including the biggest, Park City and Whistler Blackcomb. For US resorts many wanted to be open for the current Thanksgiving holiday weekend. There’s been less snowfall here than in the Alps so far but reported falls of up to about a foot more snow in the Rockies have improved things and it’s been cold enough for snowmaking systems to run at full pelt.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Austria, and particularly the Tirol region, continues to lead the world when it comes to the amount of terrain open at its resorts so far. Ischgl jumped to the world’s number one spot with 112km of slopes open from day one when it opened on Thursday. It overtook Solden which had reached 100km of slopes open itself, the first in the world this season to get to triple figures. Nearby Obergurgl is in third place with 70km open already.  Often needing snowmaking to open its terrain in November, this year Ischgl says it has had up to 60cm (two feet) of natural snowfall, and there’s been more falling across the country down to low levels over the past few days.  The Stubai Glacier pictured this week.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The French ski season was due to have begun this weekend at Tignes (lift opening day at Tignes last weekend pictured above) and Val Thorens but because of the heavy snowfall in the French Alps in the first half of this month, is already a week old, after those two centres opened early. That said dlown in the Pyrenees Porte Puymorens reported some ski slopes open this weekend. Most other French resorts plan to open over the first three weekends of December with resorts like Chamonix, Montgenevre and Les 2 Alpes lined up to open next weekend. It has been another week of mostly promising weather in the French mountains with the snowline dropping again with lower temperatures and more snowfall.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Another good very early season week in Italy with cool temperatures and some fresh snowfall and the number of centres open here is now up into double figures. Big name centres already open include Cortina d’Ampezzo, Madonna di Campiglio (above this week), Livigno and Kronplatz. The latter has opened with the most terrain open in the country so far – 50km of slopes. However, less well-known Sulden has the deepest reported snow in the country at 1.2 metres.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Switzerland now leads Europe in terms of the number of ski centres open, reaching almost 20 ski areas with at least some runs open this weekend. There are also more runs available at centres that are open, with Zermatt/Cervinia nearly doubling up from 30km a week ago to 60km this and the newly opened Corviglia area at St Moritz posing even more. However, the Samnaun/Ischgl area has taken the top spot with 120km (75 miles) of runs open this weekend. There’s more and more terrain open and in further good news, temperatures have been very low, hardly getting above freezing, with more snow falling too. Glacier 3000 is pictured above.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Pyrenees have had a positive change in the weather since the start of this week with temperatures dropping and a decent amount of fresh snow falling too. Snowmaking systems have also fired up with many of the region’s larger centres due to begin opening for the season from next weekend. Baqueira Beret (pictured above this week) announced it was opening a week earlier than expected, this weekend, thanks to snowfall there.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Another great week for Scandinavian ski areas as temperatures appear to dip ever colder and daylight hours start to disappear altogether, until January, up in the Arctic Circle. -25C has been spotted up in Levi and Ruka in Lapland which are already nearly two months into their 23-24 seasons. The region’s big-name resorts including Are (pictured above) and Salen in Sweden and Hemsedal, Trysil and Geilo in Norway are all open now too. There have been some good 20-40cm snowfalls reported by some Norwegian areas including Roldal.

Scotland

Scotland has had slightly warmer weather on some days over this past week but also continued to see overnight lows dipping well below freezing most nights on ski slopes. Not much fresh natural snowfall to report this week but Glencoe has had a test firing of its all-weather snowmaking system and said it hopes to open sledging in a fortnight and its access chairlift for ski tourers wanting a lift up, at the start of December.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It continues to look promising for the start of the season for most ski centres in Eastern Europe. Slovakia’s largest, Jasna, has been posting images of snow lying a foot deep on higher slopes (above) and Bansko, the biggest in Bulgaria, has had more snowfall too. Most Eastern European centres aim to open over the first three weekends of December.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

An improving picture in the US with resorts in the Rockies posting up to a foot of snowfall at the start of the week. Then midweek there was a decent dump on the East Coast too (Sugarloaf in Mazine pictured this week above). Both were much needed, especially as resorts battled to open for the big Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of the country’s big resorts are indeed now open right across the country.  However, there’s still not much open at most resorts with most only having a foot or less of snow cover and limited terrain open so far.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The season is starting to find its rhythm in Western Canada with a decent 30-40cm dump in Alberta which Banff’s Norquay declared was “the snowfall we’ve been waiting for”.  Lake Louise is pictured top and above – about to open new terrain this weekend.  The country and continent’s biggest resort, Whistler Blackcomb, has started its season and reports about 10% of its vast terrain open so far. The season is also getting underway in the east of the country too, mostly thanks to snowmaking but with some natural snow too. The biggest area here, Tremblant, has a few runs open and another big player Mont Ste Anne opens this weekend.

**** Updated Saturday, 18 November, 2023 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

The number of ski areas open worldwide continues to grow rapidly, passing the 60 mark this weekend, with about a 60%/40% split Europe to North America.  We’re set to reach triple figures before next weekend.

A lot of ski areas in the alps are opening a week or more earlier than planned with Crans Montana, Laax, Livigno, Madonna di Campiglio and Passo Tonale among those doing so this weekend.  So too did Tignes and Val Thorens, starting the French ski season.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Alps have seen more snowfall, down to low levels in Austria over the last few days, although there has also been thawing and rain on some lower slopes after the big falls in the first half of the month, pretty normal as things settle down to winter in the latter half of autumn. It has remained cold up in Scandinavia where big name resorts like Are and Trysil are now open..

Over in the US it remains a mixed picture with more East Coast resorts opening (including Sunday River pictured top) and the biggest in the US, Park City (pictured above), but some including Telluride have delayed opening due to too little snowfall there.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Ischgl preparing the slopes before opening for the season.

Austrian ski areas have seen some of the best snowfall of the past few days with Lech and St Anton both posting images of heavy snowfall down to street level on  Saturday. There are about a dozen ski areas open with Obergurgl the latest non-glacier area to join, opening with over 50km of runs open while its Otztal neighbour in Tirol, Solden, has jumped to over 90km of slopes open, up 50% on a week ago and remaining the most in the world at present. In fact there two have the most open on the planet at present, followed by two more Tirol areas, Hintertux and Stubai, each with nearly 40km open. They’re perhaps all preparing for next Thursday which sees Ischgl opening and its currently reporting great snow conditions ahead of opening day. It often manages to have over 100km of slopes open from day one, even in poor snow autumns.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The French ski season is due to get underway this weekend with both Tignes and Val Thorens (pictured above a few days before opening), which had planned to be the first in the country to open at the end of next week, bringing their opening dates forward by a week after receiving more than a metre of snowfall above 2,000m. The past week has, unfortunately, seen a bit of a set back as you might expect for mid-November with some fast thawing on lower slopes as well as rain and gales at times but Tignes still aims to open with 1300m of skiable vertical this weekend.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The choice of ski areas open in Italy has jumped this week with Livigno (above), Madonna di Campiglio and the Presena glacier by Passo Tonale all opening early and doubling the choice of resorts open already here. The move follows more than a metre of snowfall on higher slopes in the first half of November creating great early-season conditions on higher runs. You can now also ski on the Italian side of the border down from the glacier at Zermatt-Cervinia.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss ski centres have seen another week of snowfall, if not so much as the previous fortnight, but things still remain good and more than a dozen areas are open this weekend (18-19 November), the most for any single country in Europe. Andermatt, Crans Montana, Grimentz and Laax were among the areas newly opening, joining the likes of Arosa, Davos, Engelberg, Gstaad, Murren, Saas Fee,  St Moritz and Zermatt.  Andermatt (pictured above) reported 80cm of fresh snowfall lying for its opening day.

Pyrenees

There’s been some snowfall on higher slopes in the Pyrenees but no ski areas are known to have opened for the season there yet and most targeting the first weekend in December in a fortnight’s time.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It continues to be very cold in Scandinavia and daylight hours are dropping away quickly too with more northerly areas due to start a month or so without the sun appearing above the horizon in just a few weeks’ time. Big name resorts including Are in Sweden, which has the largest ski area in the region as well as Trysil in Norway are now open, but none of the dozen or so areas now open have much terrain available yet. The most, 7km of slopes, is on offer at Finland’s largest resort, Levi, where temperatures have been down to the -15 to -25C range this week. It’s Lapland neighbour Ruka is pictured above.

Scotland

Scotland’s season is edging nearer with another week of low temperatures and more snowfall on higher peaks in the Highlands. Nowhere’s open yet but centres have started to announce opening plans. Cairngorm say they’ll wait to Christmas week, by which time they hope the funicular, out of action once more, will be fixed. Glencoe will run their access chairlift and start making snow with their all-weather Snow-factory from the start of December.

Eastern Europe

There’s been more snowfall on high slopes in many mountain ranges of Eastern Europe. It’s currently looking particularly good at Slovakia’s largest resort, Jasna. There has also been snowfall reported for Bansko, the largest resort in Bulgaria. However most areas won’t be aiming to open until early December or later, although that’s now just a fortnight away.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The US ski season continues to come to life but we’re yet to see the big snowfalls in either East or Western US that we’ve seen in the Alps and the last big snowfalls (1 foot plus) were recorded back in late October for most areas. Instead there’s been a lot of sunshine, some rain and not much snow yet. But resorts are opening with small amounts of terrain available, including the largest, Park City, as Utah’s season gets underway. On the East coast more centres have opened too, joining Killington, including Maine’s largest Sugarloaf (pictured above this week) and Sunday River, both offering top-to-bottom runs.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There’s still not a whole lot open for the 23-24 season yet in Canada, either in the number of resorts or the amount of terrain available at those centres that are open, and we’re really still waiting a big, prolonged, snowfall, but it is a gradually improving picture, especially in the west where about half a dozen resorts are now open with Sun Peaks (above)the first in BC to d so, pictured above, and due to be joined by the biggest in the country and North America, Whistler Blackcomb, in just a few days’ time.

 

**** Updated Saturday, 11 November, 2023 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

The main snow news this week continues to be from the Alps where some centres have reported another 30-60cm of snowfall following similar accumulations at the end of last week, so a growing number have now had over a  metre of snow on high slopes and it’s looking good for the start of the season. With that in mind, more resorts including big names like Cortina d’Ambezzo, Davos, Kitzbuhel and Verbier have now opened for 23-24 while the first French centres, Tignes and Val d’Isere will open next weekend, a week earlier than originally planned, thanks to the snow. Scandinavia continues to look good too and there’s been more snowfall, though nothing open yet, in other mountain ranges.

Across the Atlantic the US there’s not been much fresh snow but the country has leapt to first place for most areas open, the first to reach double-figures for the 23-24 season. Seven of these are in Colorado where Breckenridge and Vail just opened. California’s season is also underway with Mammoth among the first to open only 3 months after its 22-23 season ended in August.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Austria will most likely be the first European nation to have 10 centres open next weekend when Obergurgl (pictured above) is scheduled to open. It also has the ski areas with the most terrain open, topped by Solden, which has staged its winter opening this weekend and expanded its available slopes beyond its glacier to 60km of runs – far more than the less than 10km most of the 40 or so areas open worldwide can offer. Hintertux and Stubai have the 2nd and 3rd most in the world with over 30km of runs open each.  Kitzbuhel and Schladming opened at the weekend joining the seven glacier areas already open..

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The snow keeps falling on the French Alps and to some extent, the Pyrenees with many resorts now posting over a metre accumulated in the past week above about 2,500m, but with snow down to around 1,400m in places. There remains nowhere open as yet but Tignes has now broken ranks and says it will open a week earlier than planned, next weekend (18th) with skiing over 1300 vertical metres from day one, down from the glacier.

“We have snow down to Croisette at 1800m and temperatures are low. This is a great start to the season so far. There is more snow in the forecast for next week alongside these cool air temperatures and we are excited for our opening date of 9th December,” said Marlene Giacometti, Les Menuires Tourist Office Director.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Italian resorts have also seen plenty more snowfall in both the Alps in the west and the Dolomites. Cortina d’Ampezzo’s Col Galina area has opened joining already open Sulden. Madonna di Campiglio and the Presena Glacier are both expected to open early, next weekend, and Cervinia (pictured above), which now provides year-round access to the glacier skiing above Zermatt and is currently on the world ski racing stage as successive weekends of World Cup downhill racing are underway there, has announced that some runs on its side of the border will open this week.

Christina Demetz from Val Gardena Tourist Office comments, ” We have winter storms hitting Val Gardena this week and already we have 30cm of snow on the mountains. We are due to open on the 5th December and this cold weather and early snow is great to see.”

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

We have up to nine ski areas open in Switzerland now, although about half of these are only opening at weekends in November. Newly opened for 23-24 this weekend are Arosa (pictured top), Davos and Verbier (pictured above) with Adelboden opening some cross-country tracks but not downhill runs. They join already open Gstaad (Glacier 3000), Murren, St Moritz (Diavolezza Glacier), Saas Fee and Zermatt. All report great conditions thanks to abundant snowfall over the past week. Davos has skiing accessed by the  Parsenn funicular railway is taking skiers and boarders up to the ski area with the “Totalp”, “Rapid”, “Furka” and “Kreuzweg” lifts and their associated pistes all open. The summit lift is also in operation for freeriders, with the East summit having no groomed piste.

Pyrenees

There’s been more snowfall in the Pyrenees over the past week, particularly on higher slopes, but there remains nowhere open as yet.  Most centres plan to open on the first weekend of December.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scandinavia’s ski season is really starting to take off with more small centres opening across the region and big names like Are and Trysil set to open next weekend. It’s also stayed cold with more snow falling. Levi in Lapland (above) is already into the second month of its season and has been staging World Cup racing this weekend with the first women’s slalom races of winter.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland saw cold weather this week with overnight lows down to -8C in the Highlands. There has been precipitation too but not at the same time so that’s been fain at low levels. However Glencoe (above, cam pic credit Winter Highland) did hit the sweet spot and saw its slopes turn white down to quite low levels, others saw snow up high. Nowhere open yet although the all-weather snowmaking systems could really be fired up as soon as the centres like now.

Eastern Europe

There’s nowhere open in Eastern Europe yet but early signs are promising with more snowfalls. Serbia’s Kopaonik was among the latest to post fresh snow images on social media.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A mostly dry and sunny week across the US but it has been getting colder again allowing snowmaking systems to fire up and there have been some snow flurries. California’s ski season got underway on Friday after a  couple of inches of snowfall there with Mammoth (pictured above) and Mt Rose opening. However Colorado is dominating with seven resorts already open, including Breckenridge, Loveland and Vail which opened Friday, Copper will be the eighth on Monday. Dozens more ski areas including the largest Park City in Utah, are scheduled to open later this week.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There’s been more light snowfall in western Canada where it’s a gradually improving picture but there’s not a great deal of change on a week ago. The third of Banff’s ‘Big 3’ ski areas, Sunshine, has opened joining Norquay and Lake Louise but Jasper’s Marmot Basin has delayed opening by a week. There are a handful of other areas open, each with just a few kilometres of runs so far, including one small centre in Quebec in the east thanks to snowmaking.

**** Updated Sunday, 5 November, 2023 ****

We’re back with our winter 23-24 reports and it’s great to be able to report heavy snowfall in the Alps for the start of November. We’re seeing up to 60cm (two feet) in 48 hours up on glaciers and snow falling right down to the valley floor for the first time this autumn. Against that we have to report another warm, dry early half of the autumn means there’s lost ground to catch up, but there are now more than a dozen glacier areas open, most in Austria or Switzerland. It’s been more consistently cold and snowy for longer in Scandinavia where half a dozen resorts are already open and there’s also snow falling, but no lifts spinning yet, in the Pyrenees and in Eastern Europe.

Across the pond North America’s 23-24 season is now underway with the first half dozen areas open in the Rockies, both in Colorado and up in Alberta, Canada. A few centres have also used snowmaking to open in Vermont, Quebec and the Midwest for a total of 10 resorts open so far, but that number is likely to double by next weekend.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

We’ve seen some heavy snowfalls in Austria over the last few days, stepping up a transformation that began about a fortnight ago now as temperatures dropped after a warm first half of autumn.  Glacier areas reported up to 60cm of snowfall in just 48 hours at the end of the week and there was also the first snowfall down to valley floors. Seven glacier resorts are already open, mostly in Tirol and the most areas open in the world at present. They include Hintertux (above), Kaunertal, Pitztal, Solden and the Stubai, which have been open since October or before and the Kitzsteinhorn above Kaprun and the Molltal which opened this weekend.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

French ski resorts saw snowfall down to the valley floor at the end of last week with a healthy covering of snow for resorts like Châtel (pictured above on Friday) and Megeve, up on high slopes there’s been much with the snow looking to be 20-50cm deep up above 2500m for resorts like Les arcs and Val d’Isere. But with Tignes deciding not to open until the end of this month this year, there remains nowhere open in France. Val Thorens and Chamonix also plan to open in the final days of November.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Sulden ski area (above on Friday) opens on Monday, 6th November, and from webcam images is in good shape for the season ahead.  Italy has also had a lot of snowfall on higher slopes over the last few days, with Livigno reporting 50cm there. You can also access the glacier skiing above Zermatt from Cervini and the two resorts will be hosting the first cross-border FIS World Cup Downhill races over the coming two weekends, weather permitting.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss centres have seen some big snowfalls over the past week, so much so that the Glacier 3000 ski area near Gstaad announced it was delaying its planned season opening on Sunday until next Friday by which time it hopes to have fully prepped the slopes and dug out after several feet of snowfall. However, Mürren did manage to open some runs on the Schilthorn, joining already open Saas Fee, Zermatt and St Moritz (Diavolezza Glacier). Verbier says it will announce its season start imminently and has been prepping its slopes with groomers after the fresh snow, the first runs above Davos are also expected to open next weekend.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The ski season in the Pyrenees doesn’t usually start until the final weekend of November with Andorra’s ski areas targeting December 1st for opening day this winter. However, we have had snowfall on high slopes over the past few days. For many this is the second or third snowfall of the autumn to date, but for some the first and down to lower elevations too. If it continues to be cold with more snow some areas may open early as has happened in the past November, but a lot more snow is needed at this point.  Spain’s Baqueira Beret pictured above on Friday.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Half a dozen ski areas are already open for the 23-24 season in Finland, Norway and Sweden.  The region has seen wintery conditions over the past month when it was much warmer in the Alps, and now northern areas are seeing snow showers and staying below-freezing days and nights. Open areas include Kvitfjell in Norway and Idre Fjall in Sweden (above). Finland’s Levi and Ruka which used snow farming to open runs a month ago are now in full winter mode with natural snowfall turning the surrounding mountainscape from brown to white.

Scotland

Scotland’s ski areas saw snowfall down as low as 300m above sea level this week and subzero temperatures. There’s nowhere planning to open until early December but several centres could open earlier if there’s a good autumn snowfall.

Eastern Europe

Most Eastern European ski areas won’t aim to open until the very end of this month or more likely the start of December but there has been some snowfall in the last few days on higher slopes up in the Czech and Slovak Republics and further east.

USA

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The US ski season got underway in the final few days of October and more ski areas are opening by the day. Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin (above), Eldora and Keystone have all opened and more areas, including Loveland, Breckenridge and Vail are expected to open in the coming week. The first ski area on the West Coast, Mammoth, is also expected to open only three months after its 22-23 season ended last August. There are several centres open in the Midwest too. Killington opened at the weekend, the first in the east. It has been a sunny period in the west over the last few days after big snowfalls a week ago. In the East and Midwest, it is snowmaking that has allowed centres to open thanks to a temperature drop although there has been a little fresh snowfall too.

Canada

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Canada’s 23-24 season got underway on Thursday, but unexpectedly it was Mont St Sauveiur ski area in Quebec that opened a run thanks to snowmaking as temperatures dipped. The first planned opening, Mt Norquay near Banff, had already been brought forward from Saturday to Friday and it was joined by Lake Louise opening a week early, then Nakiska opened on Saturday (initially weekends only), so we have four Canadian ski areas open so far, with Jasper and a fifth Albertan ski area, Sunshine, expected to join them later this week. They’re all opening as full winter conditions dominate in the west of Canada thanks to a quick transition from fall to winter. There’s been some snow in the east too but here there’s more of a reliance on snowmaking.

 

**** Updated Saturday, 22 April, 2023 ****

Where is Good to Ski Right Now?

Around 95% of ski areas in the northern hemisphere have now closed and by Monday we’ll be at 97%, but it has kept snowing, at least on higher slopes in the Alps, The Rockies and various other mountain ranges around the world.

The snowfall on high slopes in the Alps has been going on for about a fortnight now, with temperatures staying close to freezing. Remarkably, for this far into Spring, bases are still increasing, including the deepest in Europe at Tignes, up to 462cm now.  The season is over, or almost in Eastern Europe and the Pyrenees with all ski areas in Andorra, Bulgaria and Spain now closed.

In North America, it has been very warm in the east and most ski areas are closed, though half-a-dozen battle on. In the west, the great thaw, bringing with it fears of flooding, is underway and more areas have closed, but dozens have extended their seasons into May and there have been more significant snow showers on higher slopes here too.

Austria

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It’s the final week of the season for some of Austria’s best-known resorts, including Ischgl, Obertauern and Obergurgl – each aiming to stay open to May 1st and clock up their regular 5-month plus ski seasons. They’ve had more fresh snowfall on higher slopes in the last week so it should be a good final bash. The Arlberg region including St Anton closes this weekend but half-dozen Austrian glacier areas will stay open into May.  They include the Kaunertal, open another 5 weeks and pictured above with fresh snow this week.

France

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French resorts have not seen the snowfalls reported further east in the last week, although a few light showers have registered. But Tignes continues to post the deepest base in Europe at over 4.5 metres (15 feet) up on its glaciers, and along with neighbouring Val d’Isere as well as Val Thorens, has plans to stay open for another fortnight. Les 2 Alpes closes this weekend but plans to re-open in just a week’s time for two months of glacier skiing, meaning there’ll be no end to the French ski season next month.  La Plagne is pictured above this week.

Italy

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We are down to single figures for the number of Italian ski centres still open for the 22-23 ski season, but the snow keeps falling with ski areas in the Dolomites reporting snowfall to low levels on Thursday/Friday (Val di Fassa pictured above) and high-altitude Italian slopes above 2,500m seeing several snowfalls this week. Five Italian centres expect to stay open until May 1st, or later, Cortina, the Presena Glacier above Passo Tonale and Livigno (which reported 26cm of snowfall in the previous 24 hours on Friday morning) remain open daily with Macugnaga opening for weekends.  Cervinia will be the last area still open a week later.

Switzerland

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The centre is of course winding down in Switzerland as everywhere north of the equator and there are just over a dozen Swiss ski areas open this weekend, a number which will halve as we enter May in a week’s time. Davos and Verbier are among the areas where it’s closing weekend. As with the rest of the Alps, we’ve seen fresh snowfall on Swiss slopes above about 2,000m, with resorts like Zermatt posting up to 30cm of fresh in a 24-hour period. Swiss resorts open to May 1st include Andermatt’s Gemsstock freeride area and Samnaun with its cross-border link to Ischgl. Then a week later on the 7th, it’s Adelboden, the Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz, Engelberg and Glacier 3000 near Gstaad/Les Diablerets.  That will leave just Zermatt aiming to keep its glacier area, Europe’s highest, open all year round. Murren, pictured above and open to the 30th April, has been hosting the Swatch Nines event.

Pyrenees

The ski season in the Pyrenees is more or less over. All the ski areas in Andorra and Spain are believed to have ended their seasons, leaving Cauterets in France the only area still open – and its season end is expected to be this coming Sunday.

Scandinavia

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Scandinavia comes into its own for spring skiing and while it has been a rather warmer week than usual in most of the region’s ski areas, most of the big resorts continue to have almost all their slopes open and most plan to stay open into May. For Lapland Ruka (pictured above) and Levi will continue a week into next month and Sweden’s “Spring skiing capital” Riksgransen will be open most of the month with 24-hour daylight arriving in just over a fortnight’s time. More than half of the region’s ski areas remain open (its less than 10% in most other countries), with the biggest, Sweden’s Are, still having 90% of its slopes open.

Scotland

Scotland’s ski season ended last weekend when Cairngorm gave up on its last few runs still open in the Ptarmigan basin. It had been the only centre with lift=p-accessed in-bounds terrain open. Glencoe, on the other hand, has been offering chairlift access to ski-touring terrain outside its borders. Even that high-altitude snow has suffered with a week of very warm, sunny weather in the Highlands. Next week should see a return to winter with fresh snowfall forecast.

Eastern Europe

Most ski areas in Eastern Europe have now closed, including all centres in Bulgaria. However several centres are planning to make it to the start of May, including Slovakia’s largest resort, Jasna, as well as Kanin on the Slovenian/Italian border which is famed for its late-season spring skiing into May.

USA

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The US continues to see snow falling on high slopes in the Rockies and on the Pacific coast, although at the same time, the spring thaw is gathering pace with Utah declaring a state of emergency over flooding fears as a result. More ski areas have closed for the season but several dozen are staying open into May thanks to the huge snowpack, lying typically double its normal thickness for late April. Solitude in Utah (pictured above) is one of those with a month of the season remaining there, having already just made it to their longest season ever, passing the previous record of 160 days on Thursday.

Canada

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Canada’s season is winding down but here too ski areas in the west have been reporting more late-season snowfall up high. The continent’s biggest, Whistler, has now closed Whistler Mountain for the season but will continue snow sports on Blackcomb until 22nd May, which will probably be the last day of Canada’s 22-23 season, with Sunshine ski area near Banff also planning to close then Grouse Mountain, Mt Norquay and Marmot Basin at Jasper (pictured top) all planning to stay open another week to May 1st and Lake Louise another week after that  The season is more or less over in the East only Sommet St Sauveur may keep a terrain park open at weekends into May, as it often does. It’s Tremblant’s (pictured above) closing weekend this weekend.

**** Updated Saturday, 15 April, 2023 ****

It’s been a remarkably snowy week on high slopes in the Alps with up to three feet (90cm) of snowfall over the latter half of this week and real midwinter conditions. Of course, all the snowfall is arriving just as most ski areas have already closed for the season, or will after this Sunday. But for those still operating their higher terrain, and there are still hundreds of resorts open, it’s been a fantastic late-season bonus.  There’s been fresh snowfall in Scandinavia too, where most resorts are still open, and in Scotland, where sadly they’re not, for skiing at least. Further south a few snow flurries up high for the final few areas still open in the Balkans and Pyrenees.

Over in North America, it is feeling springlike across the continent although there’s been some snowfall reported, lighter than it has been for the past six months, in the Rockies. Here too many ski areas have closed or will be closed this coming Monday. But more ski areas have been extending their seasons later into May too.

Austria

It’s slightly ironic that high slopes in the Austrian Alps have seen some of the snowiest weather of the season so far just as most of the country’s ski areas have closed for the season. It’s good news too though for those centres that are planning to stay open into May or beyond though of course.  Solden, which has been posting the country’s deepest snow for more than six months now has over 3 metres./10 feet lying after receiving more than two feet (60cm) of snow up above 3,000m over the past 72 hours.  The Molltal glacier, open to late May, posted a similar snowfall total but was closed Friday due to strong winds.  The year-round Hintertux glacier topped the snowfall table though with nearly a metre of snowfall since Tuesday on its highest runs.  Lech is pictured top this week.

France

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It’s been a snowy week on higher French slopes just as more resorts wind down their seasons.  Initially, la Clusaz was posting the most snowfall with 30-40cm on its higher slopes just as it closed most down after the easter weekend, leaving the main Balme area open.  But the Chamonix Valley then posted a slightly higher 50cm total for its highest runs, eventually overtaken by Les 2 Alpes with nearly 60cm (2 feet) up above 3,000m altitude over 72 hours. The cold and snowy weather is continuing through the weekend and looks to be good news for those booked to ski areas open into May like Tignes (pictured above this week) , Val d’Isere and Val Thorens.

Italy

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Most of Italy’s ski areas have now closed with more joining them this weekend, but like the rest of the Alps, and in Italy’s case the Dolomites too, there’s been fresh snowfall on the country’s slopes over the last few days – whether they’re still open or not.  The country’s deepest base has gone over 3 metres – 10 feet, for the first time this season thanks to the snowfall at La Thuile on the French border. It’s open for one more week. The Cervinia-Zermatt ski area, which stays open for the first week of May, is posting the most still-open terrain in the country though, albeit with some in Switzerland – around 130km (80 miles) of slopes.  Val di Fassa is pictured above on Friday.

Switzerland

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Swiss centres have seen their share of snowfall too, just as more resorts there end their 22-23 seasons. Engelberg, which often has one of the deepest snowpacks in the Alps although not this year, has seen one of its biggest snowfalls of the year up on its Titlis glacier, getting more than 60cm (2 feet) of snow. It’s open well into May.  Davos (pictured above on April 14th), another ski area with high slopes and a long season, has had more than 45cm (18”).

Pyrenees

We are down to just three ski areas still open in the Pyrenees and that number will probably drop to just one from Monday.  The biggest – Andorra’s Grandvalira is among those into their final weekend, both with much-reduced terrain left open, Grandvalira having closed its Soldeu-El Tarter sector last weekend. It has actually been colder this last week with snow reported on the highest slopes. The only centre currently expected to stay open next week is Cauterets, on the French side of the ski area.

Scandinavia

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Scandinavia continues to stand out as the destination where most ski areas remain open, and in most cases fully open. The largest centre in Scandinavia, Sweden’s Are, remains 90% open and Norway’s Trysil reported 30cm (A foot) of fresh snowfall on Thursday.  Hemsedal is pictured above.

Scotland

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Scotland’s ski slopes have turned white over the past few days with some cold overnight temperatures and fresh snow. It’s not enough for terrain to reopen, and the coming week is set to be warm and sunny, but Nevis Range (pictured above on Friday) and Glencoe both offered sledging and the latter also highlighted their access to refreshed high-altitude ski touring terrain via chairlift. The only runs still open are a couple of trails on soft snow in the Ptarmigan Bowl above Cairngorm near Aviemore.

Eastern Europe

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It’s the final weekend of the season for most ski areas in the Balkans that are still open, with the biggest, Bansko (pictured above on Friday), closing after Sunday. Further north in the Czech and Slovak Republics, some centres plan to continue for another week or so, with that plan boosted by cold temperatures and fresh snowfall.  Jasna has announced that it intends to stay open until May 1st and still has nearly half its runs open and a nearly 2m base up top.

USA

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Spring has sprung in the US and there’s been plenty of sunshine and warm weather right across the country and much less snowfall. The huge snowpacks that have built up in the west through five months of snowfall are finally starting to diminish. At the same time, more and more centres have been ending their regular seasons. Some though have announced they’re staying open longer.  The country’s biggest ski area, Park  City, now says it will stay open until 1st May, making it the fourth Utah ski area to stay open until next month and joining five in Colorado also planning to make it into May along with a dozen or so more across other western US states.   Cannon, in the East, where temperatures are reported to have been reaching 80F, is pictured above.

Canada

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About half of Canada’s ski areas are closed with more closing after Sunday but it has kept snowing with resorts in the Canadian Rockies posting up to 15cm (5″) of fresh snowfall in the past few days. Ski areas including Sunshine (above), Marmot Basin, Lake Louise and Whistler are all staying open into May. Over in the East, it’s been getting warmer but some centres are still open using their diminishing snowpack as a base. Massif du Sud reports it still has 100% of its terrain open for its final weekend.

**** Updated Saturday, 8 April, 2023 ****

We may have reached Easter weekend but Mother Nature doesn’t seem to want to let up on winter, in some cases perhaps realising she dropped the ball when it was supposed to be wintery …back in wintertime and now trying to cram the cold and snow into April. It’s obviously good news for still open centres and those skiers and boarders lucky enough to be out there for Easter week.

It is snowing again on higher slopes for the third weekend in a row in the Alps, further improving conditions at centres still open, particularly up high. It’s been snowing again too in North America, where some resorts would actually like it to stop so they can just enjoy a few weeks without having to once again dig our lifts and make slopes avalanche-safe and actually get to enjoy it all before closing day. More have been extending their seasons later into April or even May to increase the chance of that.

Elsewhere it’s a bit warmer in Scandinavia but conditions are still good with long daylight hours now.  Eastern Europe has had fresh snowfall this week. The Pyrenees have too but there’s a definite end-of-the-season feel there and in Scotland, unfortunately, almost everything is now closed.

Overall most ski areas will be closed after the easter week concludes but several hundred will be continuing on into the latter half of April and some beyond.

Austria

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It’s a cold and often snowy weekend in the Austrian Alps, with many ski areas reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall on their higher slopes to start the Easter weekend. Most will be closing either from Monday or at the end of this week but a few dozen centres with higher altitude slopes including glacier centres will stay open into the latter half of April and even into May. Among them are Ischgl and St Anton, each open to May 1st, which still both have hundreds of kilometres of slopes open for the final weeks of the season. Kitzbuhel is pictured above.

France

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It’s a cold and snowy weekend in the French Alps too, with lots of centres posting some nice 5-15cm fresh snow top-ups for their higher slopes on Good Friday, perfectly timed. Most of the major French centres remain open with most still having 70-90% of their terrain open, but they’ll begin closing over the next few weekends, the last Tignes, Val d’Isere and Val Thorens in early May, although Les 2 Alpes currently plans to re-open for summer skiing in May and June after a brief closure at the end of April. French resorts continue to post the deepest snow in Europe with Les Arcs and Tignes both with snow lying more than  4 metres deep on higher runs.  Snow falling at Chamonix in France on Friday is pictured above.

Italy

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Italy saw some snowfall at the end of the week too, with up to 15cm reported in the northwest, closer to 5cm in the dolomites, but everywhere seeing something. The next few days will be sunnier but remain fairly cold, especially above 2,000m.  Many Italian areas will close either on Easter Monday or at the end of the coming week, but a number plan to stay open into May including Cervinia and Passo Tonale.  Val di Fassa above,

Switzerland

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Swiss ski areas saw a snowy start to the weekend as well, with plenty of fresh snowfall across the country, once again heaviest in the west and on higher slopes Gstaad’s local Glacier 3000 area (pictured above on Saturday) and another glacier at Saas-Fee both reported 7cm accumulations ahead of the weekend, for most other areas with slopes above 2000m it was just an inch or two. About half of the Swiss areas, mostly low-lying compared to the big-name areas, have already closed and here too many more will close after the easter weekend or the end of the coming week. But resorts including Andermatt, Zermatt and St Moritz will have at least some terrain open into May.

Pyrenees

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There’s a definite end-of-the-season feel in the Pyrenees with most ski areas due to close after the Easter weekend. Baqueira Beret (pictured above), the largest in Spain, has a 20-60cm base and about a third of its terrain, mostly the highest runs of course, is still open and it’s a similar story at other areas that are still operating. Conditions did improve a little with a fresh snowfall on higher slopes earlier this week.

Scandinavia

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The past few days have been predominantly sunny and dry across Scandinavia. It’s been a little warmer than it has been but with long daylight hours now and the snow still in good shape, conditions are generally excellent for the final three or four weeks of the season. Most Scandinavian ski areas are still open, with all lifts and runs accessible and many expect to stay so until the start of May. The coming week looks like a change to more wintery weather is coming with cold and snowy weather forecast.  Roldal pictured above and top.

Scotland

There’s very little open for the Easter weekend in Scotland unfortunately. The Lecht and Glenshee had both hoped to make snow with their all-weather machines for some nursery or snow fun slopes but have admitted defeat with temperatures too warm for it to be viable. Glencoe has chairlift access to ski touring terrain while Nevis range has hardly opened this season and is now in full mountain biking mode. So it’s just Cairngorm above Aviemore, with just a couple of runs still open at the time of writing.

Eastern Europe

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It’s been a good week for Bulgaria with ski areas reporting up to 50cm of fresh snowfall at the start of the week on their higher slopes and temperatures cooler than they have been. For many, the upcoming Easter weekend is the final one of the season. Further north there’s been snowfall more recently up in the northeast of Europe with the remaining areas still open in Slovakia (including Jasna, above), the Czech Republic and Poland all reporting 5-20cm Good Friday snowfalls on higher slopes so again things are looking good for what’s for most here the final weekend of the season too.

Canada

Still fairly good conditions across Canada, where most ski resorts are still open, at least for Easter weekend. The main issue in the west this weekend is reported to be very strong winds which have raised avalanche danger levels and forced resorts like Whistler to limit the number of lifts open.  In the East of the country, there’s been fresh snow in Quebec but also some warm weather so it’s a mixed picture for snow quality in the final few weeks of the season. Some centres including Lake Louise, Sunshine, Whistler and Jasper’s Marmot Basin are open into May.

USA

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The exceptional snowfall in the Rockies shows no real sign of ending even as ski areas begin to close for the season. There’s been plenty more fresh snowfall in Colorado and Utah over the last week, with some Utah centres posting over five feet of fresh snow and Alta and Snowbird now both having had more than 800″ (20 metres) of snowfall this winter, both at record levels. But all the snowfall continues to cause practical issues with both closed for several days midweek due to high avalanche danger.  Elsewhere the snow remains deep in California and along the West Coast and East Coast resorts have had more fresh snowfall up high, though rain at times on lower runs. Ski areas are now closing across the country but a  growing number have also announced season extensions into May.

 

**** Updated Saturday, 8 April, 2023 ****

It’s April and we’re coming up to Easter so it is no surprise that we’re seeing full springlike conditions across the skiing world. In the Alps, we had very mild temperatures again Midweek after snowfall to start the week, but it’s now got cold and snowy once more, with more significant falls expected over the next few days on higher slopes.

Springtime usually means heavier, wetter snow to higher elevations, however, is the norm and this year is no different in both the Alps and the Rockies. For lower altitude centres it can also mean the natural end of the season and again some of these centres will close this weekend, others after the Easter weekend and around 90% of resorts by the middle of the month.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

(Park City, 1 April)

It has kept snowing with more snowfall records being broken in Western North America however and while many centres will still close with the snow lying deep and still falling over the next few weekends, ever more have extended their seasons to later this month, into May or later in the spring and some even into summer.

Austria

The warm weather that has been plaguing Austrian ski areas for much of March was finally banished at the start of this week when cold weather arrived at last, temperatures getting down to freezing right down to valley floors and there was plenty of fresh snow to low elevations too. St Anton posted pictures of snow lying quite thick on resort streets while higher altitude slopes up on the country’s glaciers posted 30-60cm (1-2 feet) of snowfall on higher slopes. This is all good news for the Easter fortnight, which will also see many of the country’s ski areas closing this weekend or next. Centres with higher runs like Ischgl and St Anton will then come into their own for the rest of April, along with the Austrian glacier resorts.

France

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Some great snowfalls for French ski areas this week, the heaviest on Sunday-Monday when temperatures also dropped down to freezing right down to low valley floors. The base at Tignes, the deepest in Europe, has passed 4.5 metres, and Les Arcs has posted a metre increase in its upper slope base depth in just over a week. It’s one of a number posting 3m+ upper slope base depths and so looking good for the final weeks of the season. After the midwinter conditions to start the week temperatures did rise and the low-lying areas that have been suffering all season just got a brief respite, but it is now cooler and snowier again with more big snowfall totals forecast for the coming weekend.  Val d’Isere pictured on Saturday April 1 top.

Italy

There’s heavy snowfall in Italy to start April, at least on the country’s higher slopes and in the west of the country. Cervinia posted pictures of a full-on snowstorm on Saturday morning and La Thuile and Courmayeur both posted 25cm of fresh snow at the same time.  Lower Italian areas have seen rain in recent days and have begun closing but it is cold and snowy up high where most of the big destinations resorts offer their skiing so it’s looking good for easter for many.

Switzerland

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Swiss ski areas are seeing some big snowfalls on their higher slopes. Saas Fee posted 70cm in 24 hours up high at the start of the weekend, Crans Montana got 35cm. It was a similar story across the country with temperatures dipping wat back down below freezing and more snow forecast through the weekend and temperatures expected to remain low next week.

Pyrenees

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There was some snowfall at the weekend to end the weeks of fairly non-stop warm sunny weather, but it wasn’t really enough to stop the relentless thaw and end-of-season feeling. The region’s largest area Grandvalira (Pas de la Casa, ​Soldeu -​El Tarter) reports less than half of its terrain is now open for Easter and many smaller areas have closed for the 22-23 season.  Piau engaly in France says conditions are still good up high (pictured)

Scandinavia

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Things are finally turning more springlike in Scandinavia with temperatures climbing to +5 or so at some resorts in the region, although overnight lows on higher slopes are still getting down to -10 to -20C. Conditions are really the best in Europe for the start of spring with most resorts still fully open and many planning to keep operating into May.  Ruka is pictured top.

Scotland

There’s not much open in Scotland for Easter alas. The past week has seen some low temperatures and fresh snowfall but, as has been the case since mid-January, warm periods too which have stopped much improvement in the limited areas available. The most, but still not a lot, is at Cairngorm with Glenshee having a few short runs created with all-weather snowmaking (although this weekend they’re saying just sledging on them). Glencoe has lift access to touring terrain but no in-bounds runs, Nevis range remains closed to skiers and The Lecht says it will use its all-weather snowmaking machine to make snow for an Easter nursery slope.

Eastern Europe

It’s been quite a warm and sunny week in the Balkans after a little snowfall earlier on. The warmth isn’t great news for snow cover down to low elevations and Bansko’s home run is reported closed at present. Further north in Slovakia, there’s been some fresh snowfall reported at Jasna where everything remains open. The forecast for Bulgaria is more promising with temperatures dropping back towards freezing and plenty of snowfall forecast for the new week.

USA

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More snowfall records have been passed in the western US over the past week and ever more centres, particularly on the West Coast or in the Rockies, have announced extended ski seasons.  Mammoth has the most impressive numbers, passing its previous all-time seasonal snowfall to date earlier this week and reaching 700″ for the first time in a season in its history. It was already posting the deepest base in the world at over 8 metres and has extended its season at least into July. The past week has seen more snowfall across the west with multiple resorts reporting several feet more snow, but it has been getting warmer so the storms have had rain mixed in and even up high the snow is getting heavier to ski, particularly later in the day. More resorts have begun closing for the season too.

Canada

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Another generally good week across Canada with snow showers reported at ski areas on both the east and west sides of the country. Tremblant in Quebec, the largest in the East, says the 6.6 metres (22 feet) of snowfall it has had this season is the most it has ever recorded and it has extended its season by a week to April 23rd as a result. Most ski areas in Alberta and BC in the west are fully open although this is the time of year when most go from fully open to closing weekend over the next few weekends. Banff, Jasper and Whistler ski areas are staying open into May though.

**** Updated Saturday, 25 March, 2023 ****

It’s been a largely dry, sunny and once again warm week in the Alps. We are coming up to April and the Easter holidays of course, so it feels less unusual than it did earlier in the season. The warmth means that snow cover has been melting fast below about 1800 metres altitude and a growing number of resorts are giving up on trying to keep slopes open down to the valley. Up high though most ski areas are in good shape and as that’s where much of the terrain is for the best known resorts and the added good news is that high slopes are likely to get several feet more snowfall over the next few days.

Elsewhere in Europe conditions are good in Scandinavia and not bad at all in much of eastern Europe, but unfortunately almost all slopes are closed in Scotland now and there’s a battle for all but the biggest centres to remain open in the Pyrenees as the warm temperatures take their toll.

Austria

Austrian ski areas have seen warm weather this week, impacting snow cover on lower slopes. We are though into the final fortnight of the season for many of the country’s lower lying resorts. The country will see cooler temperatures and snowfall over the next few days, but lower centres may see rain and higher perhaps not so much new snow as further west. But higher resorts, famous for their spring skiing, like Obertauern, Obergurgl and St Anton still have great conditions up high. The country’s glacier resorts are also starting to come into their own, with Solden posting the country’s deepest base.

France

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There’s a higher/lower slopes divide in France with things looking increasingly patchy below around 1800-2000 metres, but pretty god at higher elevations, which had some light fresh snowfall earlier in the week and after a few sunny days are now being dumped on with up to a metre more snowfall expected above 3000m by Monday/Tuesday.  That will fall as rain some of the time on those lower slopes though, speeding the thaw.  Up high though France is posting the deepest bases in the Alps and luckily most of the big ski regions like the 3 Valleys have most of their terrain up above 1800m.  Tignes pictured above.

Italy

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The snowfall is arriving in Italy too, with western areas like the Aosta Valley expected to see the most over the next few days, then the snowfall continuing east and arriving in the Dolomites on Sunday/Monday.  As with other countries in the region, the snowfall is expected to be heaviest in the west and on higher ground, with rain possible in valleys. La Thuile, linked over the French border to La Rosière is currently posting the deepest base in Italy at 2.6m and it seems that might get above 3 metres up high this weekend.  It also reports more than 90% of its terrain still open.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Swiss centres have had the same warm week as the rest of the Alps and the lack of snow down to resort level in valleys is getting ever more pronounced – well we are at the end of March. But there’s snow starting to fall across the country through the weekend, expected to be heaviest in the west at resorts ,like Verbier, which may see the best part of a metre of fresh up on its glacier by early next week. However the downside is probably rain on any remaining snow lying below about 1600m. Most of the well-known Swiss resorts still have 70-90% of their slopes open and conditions above 2000m in particular remain good.  Andermatt above.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been mostly sunny in the Pyrenees which has impacted what terrain remains open increasing severely. A growing number of the less well known smaller areas have called it a day on their 22-23 ski seasons while the amount of terrain open at the better known, bigger, higher areas is typically down to 50-60% with bases at 20-60cm. The biggest, Andorra’s Grandvalira which includes Pas de la Casa, Soldeu and others, still reports 130 of its 210km of slopes open but describes the snow quality as ‘slush’. Spain’s Masella which reports its still 100% open is pictured above.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scandinavia continues to be the place skiers looking for fresher snow conditions should consider for spring skiing, thanks to colder temperatures here. There have been snow showers across the region with resorts including Trysil and Hemsedal in Norway posting 20-40cm of fresh in the last few days. The days are starting to get very long too so there’s plenty of daylight hours to enjoy it all.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Alas the battle to keep slopes open in the Scottish Highlands is mostly a losing one at the moment. It’s turning more wintery over the next few days but the warm weather of the past week has removed a lot of what had been left of the winter snowpack on all but the highest slopes (and that hadn’t been enough to support any lift-served runs, except at Cairngorm which still has half a dozen trails open). Elsewhere there’s very limited skiing on all-weather machine made snow at Glenshee (Pictured above) while Glencoe provides chairlift access to ski touring terrain and lessons on its sledging snow slope at its base. Nevis Range has nothing open at present and The Lecht has closed down until the easter holidays or a return of enough natural snow.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s looking fairly good for late-March across Eastern European ski slopes.  The best conditions are to be found in the north where Jasna in Slovakia has enjoyed cooler temperatures than the Alps over the last week and reports its slopes still 100% open with the snow lying up to two metres deep.  Further south its warmer in Bulgaria but there have been some light snowfalls during cold spells and  Bansko (pictured above and top) still reports having its long descent back to its resort from the base of the lifts open, if only a few centimetres deep at the bottom.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Resorts in western America continue to break their old records for snowfall totals and snow depths after the incredible winter of seemingly non-stop storms. Mammoth and The Palisades in California have both announced they’ll be staying open at least to July. Other have extended their seasons too, if not quite so dramatically. Haven’t has gone for 3 extra weeks through into May though.  The snow has kept falling the past week hasn’t been quite so heavy, with the upside of less blocked roads, buried lifts and resort closures. On the east coast things remain pretty good but warm weather has returned bringing unwelcome rain showers at times.  Crested Butte in Colorado pictured above.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There’s been fairly good weather across Canada and snow showers reported on ski slopes from coast to coast.  The only real negative has been some warm weather and rain at lower levels on the east coast which has led to a reduction of terrain available in Quebec, conditions best up high. Over in the west though most areas remain 100% open for a week or two more, with ski areas at Banff, Jasper and Whistler aiming to continue into May.  Marmot Basin above.

**** Updated Saturday, 18 March, 2023 ****

It’s been quite a week in the Alps after the largely snowless previous two months. The heavy snowfall that was accumulating as we posted last week’s report just kept falling with some areas clocking up 1.5 metres (five feet) of fresh up high by the end of the weekend. But there have also been yoyoing temperatures with highs getting to +17C in some resorts, leading to fast thawing of some of the snow that has fallen, and contributing to avalanche danger levels staying up at 3 or 4 on the scale to 5.

Elsewhere in Europe, there’s been more fresh snowfall in Scandinavia and Scottish ski centres continue to see promising conditions, if not quite enough cold weather and snow for much to reopen. The Pyrenees have been warm and springlike, Eastern Europe is a bit more mixed.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A mixed picture across Austria in terms of snowfall with ski areas in the west and north initially seeing big snowfalls at the weekend, then there was snowfall for much of the rest of the country (and more for the west) on Tuesday. In between, plenty of sunshine and some rather warm temperatures.  So there’s been several feet of snowfall in the Arlberg region, including St Anton (pictured top) with the Valluga slopes at the top the first in the country to post a 3m (10 feet) base up high.  Elsewhere more like 10-40cm for most areas, some of the lowest seeing rain at times.  Hintertux this week above.

France

It’s been a remarkable week for French ski areas considering how little snowfall there’s been over the previous two months. Up to 1.5-metre accumulations were reported in the first half of this week, with Europe’s deepest snowpack at Tignes jumping more than four feet (1.2m) in four days up on the glacier to 3.9 metres – great news for spring skiing and hopefully summer snow surviving this year too.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

But snow depths jumped by a metre 0r so at many other big areas including Flaine, La Rosiere and La Plagne as well. Avalanche danger is of course up and the snow was heavy and wet down low but all in all, a much-improved picture as we start spring.  Avoriaz above.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Italy has had a good week for snowfall. Things were very snowy in the northwest last weekend with Cervinia posting a 1.5m (five foot) snowfall and several other areas, including La Thuile in the Aosta Valley also reporting more than a metre of snowfall.  The rest of the country was fairly dry however and the new week started warm, but then another front, this time covering a wider swathe of northern Italy, passed through on Tuesday.  Bormio was among the centres posting 30cm+ of fresh snowfall from that. Since then Italian areas have seen predominantly warm, dry and sunny spring weather, similar to other parts of the Alps.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A week of fluctuating conditions in Switzerland.  Saas Fee, for example, saw an incredible jump of 1.2m (4 feet) in its upper slope base depth and hit 3 m (10 feet) on its glacier, but then saw it drop back 20cm. Even more extreme perhaps, Zermatt went from no snow in the resort for months, to 50cm falling at the weekend, and then that stat dropping back to 15cm after temperatures of 16C were recorded at low elevations midweek. It’s sunnier and drier now and staying mild, although everywhere remains open, pretty much, for now.

Pyrenees

Springtime is definitely taking hold now in the Pyrenees with some very warm temperatures over the last week, reaching +15C at resort basses and +10C near the top of the slopes on some afternoons.  The conditions are particularly impacting the smaller, tower centres with a number deciding to end their seasons over the last few days.  The bigger centres – including Andorra’s  Soldeu where the World Cup Finals are currently underway – are still managing to keep quite a lot of terrain open.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scandinavian ski areas continue to report some of the best conditions in Europe right now. There’s been more fresh snowfall reported across the region with Norwegian areas doing well again, Hemsedal posting 20cm of fresh (pictured above). Temperatures remain close to freezing keeping the snow in good condition too, daylight hours are longer and most areas still have at least six weeks of the season to run.

Scotland

Scotland saw some very cold weather this week and snowfall too but not really enough of either to dramatically increase the amount of open terrain. Cairngorm continues to lead the way with more than a dozen runs open, towards half of what can open when conditions are good.  There’s just a handful still at Glenshee and The Lecht with Nevis Range still closed to skiers. Glencoe is hoping to reopen some terrain at the weekend.

Eastern Europe

There’s been some snowfall in northern parts of Eastern Europe at resorts like Jasna in Slovakia, although there have also been problems here with strong winds closing lifts. It’s back to sunny skies here now, however. That’s also the pattern further south with ski areas in Bulgaria reporting sunny skies and increasingly warm temperatures, making it tougher for Bansko to maintain its long thin run back to the resort from the base of the slopes. It’s currently reported to be down to a 5cm depth.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The western US continues to be the main focus of extreme weather news beyond just excited ski news stories. Snowfall totals are now up around 7 metres (23+ feet) for the season at the snowiest centres and resorts in California have been posting pictures of channels cut through the drifts to allow chairlift chairs to move through (Kirkwood pictured above).  Deer Valley in Utah is the first to say it has now had an all-time record quantity of snowfall and is extending its season later into April as a result. On the East Coast, there have been more late-season snowfalls as another ‘Nor’easter’ moves in off the Atlantic, with some ski areas now reporting three feet (90cm) of snowfall in the last seven days – the most this season.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Good conditions across Canada as we near the start of springtime, when the northerly latitude of its ski centres helps to keep the snow in good shape. It has kept falling in both the east (Quebec) and west (Alberta and BC) with resorts reporting 7-day totals in the 20-40cm bracket and ever deeper bases. There are still two months of the season to go at resorts like Whistler Blackcomb and Banff Sunshine (above) and both are fully open and reporting great conditions.

 

**** Updated Saturday, 11 March, 2023 ****

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has been the snowiest week of the season so far in parts of the Alps with some huge weekend accumulations on higher slopes. The snow is falling across the mountains and some resorts could see 2-metre accumulations in 7 days by the latter half of this week.

Alas, the snowfall has not just floated down as light fluffy stuff, but has been accompanied by gale force winds and turned to rain at lower levels, the results have included slope closure while the worst of the weather blew through and the avalanche danger level rising to 3 or 4 on the scale to 5 (considerable to high). But on the plus side depths are greatly improved up high at those resorts that stay open to late April, May or beyond setting us up for a great spring skiing season.

Elsewhere in Europe the good snow conditions continue in Scandinavia and Scottish skiing is finally getting a bit of a boost with very cold weather and some snowfall, although more is needed still to really allow resorts to reopen terrain. On the southern side of the continent, the Pyrenees and Balkans have seen less fresh snowfall than further north but remain in generally good shape

Western North America has seen still more “Atmospheric rivers” off the Pacific bringing feet more snowfall although the latest deluge has a lot of moisture mixed in so has caused snow quality issues. Most centres remain fully open over on the eastern side of the continent, at least in the north.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s mixed news for Austrian ski areas as the storm develops, with most seeing a boost to their snow depths and just the good news of fresh cover, but also some including Kitzbuhel reporting rain in resort and on lower slopes. Up high though it’s looking good, Sölden, which has been posting the deepest snow in the country all season is now up to a 222cm base on its glacier, with another Tirolean glacier, Kaunertal, joining it in the 2m+ club.  Sportgastein in Salzburger Land is also now at 2m, with St. Anton on 190cm and about 80% of its slopes open.  Zillertal Arena pictured on Thursday above.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

After missing out on snow showers for the best part of two months, northern French resorts have seen some huge accumulations over the past 48 hours and it’s still dumping. All the snow has seen road closures, lift closures (although that is more for high winds at times) and avalanche danger levels up to 4 on the scale …as well as a boost to snow depths. Tignes was the first to post a base of more than 3 metres (10 feet) up high in more than two months, the deepest in Europe. 24 hours later on Saturday that had leapt to 3.7 metres – a 70cm increase in 24 hours. The boost to bases is definitely good news for the final month or two of the French ski season, the only outstanding question is whether rain at lower levels will cause premature problems to low-lying resorts and slopes. That will become clear over the next few days but probably there’ll be a workaround, whatever the aftermath.  Bonneval is pictured above.

Italy

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Western Italy has seen some of the biggest snowfalls of the past 72 hours with Cervinia (pictured above and top) reporting it has had 150cm (five feet) of snowfall from the storm so far.  It has another two months of the season to run there and aims to re-open for summer skiing so that’s a big boost at this stage in the year.  Less snow so far further east in the Dolomites but with less stormy weather, everything is open.

Switzerland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A big improvement in snow cover in Switzerland. Zermatt posted a video of deep snow on its resort streets on Saturday morning, which had been snowless for months. Higher up snow depth on the glacier there is finally improving which may be a step towards its managing to return to 365-day operations depending on how hot this summer is. For the remainder of the main spring season though it looks to be all good news with resorts like Verbier (pictured on Friday before even heavier snowfall, above) posting big jumps in snow depths.

Pyrenees

The Pyrenees got the best of the snowfall in mainland Europe in late February and early March but has seen more springlike weather and fewer snowfalls (although some have been reported on the French side) over the last week. Strong winds have been an issue at times though, closing higher slopes. Soldeu hosts the big World Cup Finals racing season close out and the Grandvalira region of which it is part, the biggest in the Pyrenees, reports 95% of its slopes are open.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

A mixed picture across Scandinavia with some resorts like Roldal posting powder conditions after 30cm in 24 hours midweek, while other Norwegian resorts like Geilo have posted little or no fresh snowfall in the last seven days. Another Norwegian resort, Trysil, posted 15cm of fresh midweek though, as pictured above. Conditions though, across Scandinavia remain, as they have been all season, generally good with much more of a winter feel than we’ve had for much of the season in the Alps. That said, the daylight hours continue to rapidly increase and temperatures are rising to positive numbers.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scotland has had its best week for a couple of months in terms of cold temperatures (very cold in fact, as low as -16C overnight recorded) and there has been some snowfall to turn slopes that had thawed to green and brown back to white. There has though not been enough natural snowfall yet for a big reopening of slopes, although some centres have opened more thanks to snowmaking being possible. Cairngorm has the most runs open, about a third of its terrain, with Glenshee (above) and The Lecht in the East having a few runs open each too.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s a mixed picture with ski areas in the north of the region, including Spindleruv Mlyn (pictured below) in the Czech Republic and Jasna in Slovakia both reporting 20-40cm of fresh snow this week and wintery conditions. Down in the Balkans, it has been much drier and more springlike but so far Bulgaria’s biggest resort, Bansko, has managed to keep its long home run back down to the resort open, albeit now with wafer-thin snow cover.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The big snow news in the US this week has once more seen huge snowstorms moving in off the Pacific, as they have, generally several times a week, for over three months now.  On the one hand, they lead to impressive snow depth stats (more resorts are passing 500″/12.5m and approaching 600″/15m season-to-date snowfall totals) and amazing images of buried chairlifts (eg at Heavenly, pictured above), on the other they cause if anything greater problems than those ski areas in the eastern US that suffered from too little snow, by blocking roads and shutting down ski resorts. Further inland, snow in the Rockies has been drier and more like powder, Park City has announced a two-week extension to its season. Conditions continue to be among the best they’ve been all in winter in the North-eastern US with more snow falling and everything open now at most centres there.

Canada

Good conditions persist across Canada with generally good snow conditions dominating right across the country. There’s been more snowfall, mostly light to moderate showers but still a good slope cover refresh, from BC to Quebec. The season still has over two months left to run at big-name resorts like Banff and Whistler and conditions currently look good at both for skiing beyond mid-May.

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**** Updated Saturday, 4 March, 2023 ****

It’s been another week when the Western US has made the headlines for some incredible snowfalls. Some ski areas have had over 3 metres (10 feet) of snowfall there in the last week alone and the world’s deepest base, also found here this season, has topped 7.5 metres.

In Europe ski areas in the Alps and Dolomites have had some snowfall, mostly in the 5-10cm bracket but a little more in the southwest on the French/Italian border and northeast in Austria, here 20-40cm have been recorded. There’s been snow too in Bulgaria and the most in the Pyrenees – up to 60cm here, with temperatures down across Europe – so March has started cooler than February ended.

Elsewhere in Europe Scottish ski centres still have just very limited terrain available but things are looking good in most of Scandinavia with fresh snowfall across the region, longer daylight hours and temperatures remaining well below freezing in most areas keeping the snow in good shape.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It has been an unsettled week of weather across Austria with sunny periods interspersed with cloud and snow. The country’s ski resorts have seen cumulative snow totals of up to around 50cm, much of it falling at the start of the week. Temperatures have been up around +5 to +12C at lower elevations so some of the snow has fallen as rain at times in the valets, while up high, some of the best snow conditions for a month.  Most major ski areas remain 80-100% open. The Arlberg pictured earlier this week above.

France

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

At last, there’s been some snowfall in the French Alps, and a second week of snow showers in the French Pyrenees, where ski areas have seen some of Europe’s biggest snowfalls over the last few weeks, some reporting 50cm or more. Further north the most snowfall has been in the southern Alps with Serre Chevalier posting a 12cm increase in its upper slope base depth.  Reflecting the trend across the Alps though, its snow cover on its lower runs is down by about the same amount, reflecting warmer weather at low elevations. That said it is actually a little cooler at present than it was in the final fortnight of February. Most French ski areas have around 90% of their slopes open. La Tania this week above.

Italy

Most ski centres across Italy have also seen snowfall, but the amount has varied a good deal. The heaviest falls were reported along the north-western side of the country. Close to the French and Swiss borders, with Cervinia posting the biggest accumulations – 25cm in 24 hours into Tuesday. Further east and in the dolomites it was more like 5-10cm accumulations, except down in the Apennines where 20-30cm falls were reported.  Here too it has been cooler and also most of the country’s well-known resorts continue to have most of their slopes open.

Switzerland

One of the best weeks in a while on Swiss ski slopes with most areas seeing some snowfall and temperatures dropping back down to seasonal norms having been a little too warm of late. Verbier was among the areas posting fresh snow cover, getting about 10cm, while higher slopes at Zermatt got double that and the much-thinner-than-usual snow levels on the glacier grew a little for the first time in over a month. Most of the well-known ski areas in Switzerland continue to have most of their runs open, although snow cover at lower, more exposed resorts continues to diminish down at the base. Zermatt gained up top but according to its stats lost at the village level, for example.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Pyrenees have had some of the heaviest snowfall in Europe over the last few weeks with totals of more than half a metre for some areas from repeat falls. So it’s looking much better here than it did in mid-February, with bases deeper and maximum terrain open.  In fact, more and more centres have announced they’re back to 100% of their terrain open in the region.  This is all obviously good news for skiers booked for visits during the final months of the season. Baqueira Beret this week above.

Scandinavia

Scandinavian ski centres are generally in good shape with more snowfall reported right across the region. There’s a huge variation in temperatures with highs reaching +5C in more southerly resorts while still dipping down to -30C up in Lapland. Ski areas in Western Norway are posting the most fresh snowfall of the past few months in Europe, another 50cm or so this week. There are still two months of the season to go here and conditions are good with low temperatures and daylight hours lengthening.

Scotland

Unfortunately, there’s not much open in Scotland at present. Temperatures have dropped but warm weather for periods over the last month or so has thawed away much of the cover. At the time of writing, there was nothing really open at Nevis Range or Glencoe on the west and Glencoe has had to cancel its annual snow fest, although lifts can be used to access high ski touring terrain beyond the centre’s own slopes. Cairngorm has a little natural snow skiable on its upper slopes, otherwise, The Lecht and Glenshee have nursery slopes maintained by all-weather snowmakers. Snow and cold weather are forecast for the next few days so we may see some improvement.

Eastern Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been a better week than expected in eastern Europe with temperatures lower than forecast and 20cm of fresh snowfall on higher slopes to start March at Bansko. As with most of Europe, snow depths are nothing to write home about but most ski areas in the Balkans now have the majority of their runs open and further north in the Czech and Slovak republics and Poland the bigger resorts like Jasna report they’re currently 100% open.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The US has had another snowy week from coast-to-coast with some exceptional snowfalls reported on the Pacific Coast.  Many ski areas here have now passed the 500-inches-snowfall-total-to-date mark (that’s over 12.5 metres since last October) and The Palisades report it has had the most since the winter of 1969-70 over 50 years ago. Base depths at Mammoth, the deepest in the world this season, have passed 7.5 metres and snowfall totals in the last week have been up to 12 feet, with some areas posting up to 3 feet in 24 hours at the height of the storms!  There’s been a lot of digging out but the sun is now out again.  Lots more snow in the Rockies too (if not quite so much) and New England in the east has had a foot or so giving powder conditions there as well.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Canada has had a quieter week than its neighbour south of the border, but most ski areas across the country have seen some fresh snowfall and conditions are good almost everywhere. The Banff region has had more than 50cm of snowfall in the last seven days, the season still has nearly three months left to run here. Temperatures have mostly been in the range of -20C up to freezing. Most ski areas remain fully open including Tremblant, the largest in the East, and Whistler, the largest in the west and indeed the whole North American continent.

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*** Update 26 February 2023 ***

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Hoorah! The snow is back in the Alps, and just as important, a return to cold wintery weather …just as springtime arrives, how typically ironic of Mother Nature!  The Pyrenees were the first in western Europe to see the return of the snow around Wednesday/Thursday but with fronts moving north and east from the southwest and south and west from the northeast, most ski areas are set to see snowfall soon, if they haven’t already. Scandinavia is the exception in all this, it has just kept snowing here throughout, particularly in western Norway.

Across in North America, the snow has been falling from coast to coast, and we’ve seen some huge accumulations, as well as blizzard conditions in places. There’s also a vast 100-degree range in temperature across the continents with some ski areas closing because it’s 30+ degrees below freezing, and other (non-ski) parts in the south are very hot despite it still being winter.

Roldal in Norway is pictured top on 25 February.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The hoped-for snow last week in Austria did not really materialise beyond a few flurries, but a new front, from the northeast again, is making inroads, bringing in some cloud and cooler temperatures and even some light snow flurries.  Despite the challenges of recent warm temperatures and the lack of much off-piste powder remaining, on-piste conditions remain fairly good across Austria and most slopes are open at the destination resorts, but cold and fresh snow will definitely improve things. Wildschonau after fresh snow on Saturday pictured above.

France

French ski areas are being approached by two fronts, one coming from the north, and the other from the south, which hopefully means most areas will see snowfall over the coming week. How much remains uncertain and the forecast changes daily from optimistic looking 20-30cm falls, to less inspiring but better than nothing 3-6cm falls. In any case, the other good news is falling temperatures – not quite back to the well-below-zero, 24-7, top to bottom temps of late January and early February, but getting that way and into double digits below up high. Down at the resort level, especially at lower levels, temperatures will continue to get into positive numbers in the afternoons, but not so high as they have been. Most of the country’s best-known ski areas continue to have most slopes open.

Italy

Italian ski areas are seeing or should soon see a slope refresh with snow clouds arriving from both the south and west and north and east through the weekend and the final few days of February. Temperatures are also cooling back towards freezing. It’s clearly good news although most of the country’s bigger ski areas were 70-100% open anyway, including the largest, Dolomiti Superski, which is running at 97% despite the fairly thin cover. Sunshine returning and slightly warmer weather from the start of March on Wednesday.

Switzerland

There’s some change in the air for Swiss snow centres with a front moving into the East and west sides of the country. These are bringing much colder temperatures than we’ve seen for the last fortnight or so as well as snow showers to refresh slope cover, along with less welcome weather factors at times including fog and gales. Snow showers have already been reported bringing 5-20cm of snowfall in the East of the country into the weekend and they’re expected to become more widespread. The cold and snowy weather should continue at least to the start of March but temperatures look like they’ll climb back up above freezing, although hopefully not get as warm as they have been. Despite the recent warm weather though and thin bases at valley level, most larger Swiss areas remain fully open, or more or less so.

Pyrenees

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The Pyrenees actually had some snowfall a fortnight ago when parts of the northern Alps had already gone several weeks (and until now more than a month), since last seeing snow. But these were the first mountains in  Western Europe to really see fresh snowfall this week, with around 5cm on Thursday morning, then another 15cm on Friday on the Spanish and Andorran side of the range, with resorts on the French side reporting up to 40cm ready for the weekend. It’s a great refresh on thin bases, although most slopes had stayed open anyway through the warmer temperatures. It should stay cold with snow showers for the week ahead.  Action at Boi Taull in Spain pictured above.

Scandinavia

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Scandinavia – particularly Norway – continues to post good snowfall figures. Up to 50cm of fresh in the last week and some of the deepest bases. Riksgransen up in the Swedish Arctic opened for its 2023 season this weekend.  Roldal pictured above.

Scotland

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s been colder in Scotland over the last few days and is due to remain so into the start of March, but unfortunately, much of the natural snow cover has gone from the mountains and recent snow flurries have not yet been enough to replace it. So there are currently not really any runs open above Glencoe or Nevis Range in the west unless you count ski touring terrain and across further east Glenshee (pictured above this weekend), The Lecht and Cairngorm have just nursery slopes open, using snow made by their all-weather snowmaking machines.

Eastern Europe

It’s pretty good at the major resorts across Eastern Europe at present although the region’s smaller, lower-lying areas continue to battle warm weather and there was rain reported again for many which fell as snow higher up. But Slovakia’s largest resort, Jasna, reports a lot of fresh snow and its slopes are 100% open and most runs remain open at Bulgarian ski centres.

Canada

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Great conditions across Canada with fresh snowfall reported on ski slopes in both the East and West of the country thanks to storms blowing in from both the Pacific and the Atlantic simultaneously. The only real weather issue has been a return of severe cold – down to -30C at times – reported again on both sides of the country, with Sunshine in Alverta delaying opening to 10 am some mornings until things go a little warmer.  Whistler pictured above on Saturday 25 February.

USA

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The US is once again where much of the snow action of the past week has been taking place. Almost every ski area in the country has seen a good snowfall in the last seven days ranging from a foot or two on the East Coast and Midwest through to a metre or more for some resorts in the Rockies and on the Pacific Coast where major snow storms have been blowing in and resorts are battling to open access roads and dig out lifts.  Heavenly is pictured above on Saturday. The world’s deepest base at Mammoth is back up from 5.9 to 6.6 metres and it is still dumping. The news isn’t quite all good though, ski areas in the Southeast (Blue Ridge mountains) have seen two weeks of record warm temperatures and some have been forced to end their seasons early, in February. But over in the west, by contrast, resorts have been posting record snowfalls.

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Update 19 February, 2023

It’s been another sunny week for much of the Alps with conditions feeling ever more springlike. Some ski areas in the west of the region – particularly in parts of France and Switzerland – have now not had any fresh snowfall for over a month. There has been more snow for parts of Austria in the last day or two though, where there had been heavy snowfall just a fortnight ago.

The warm, dry weather has been dominant in much of the rest of Europe too, including the Pyrenees and the Balkans, although there’s been more snowfall in Scandinavia as well as in Scotland, although here warm fronts between snowfalls have stopped much fresh snow building up.

The big snowfalls of the last seven das have been further afield, over in North America, particularly up in the Pacific Northwest corner of the continent, and in the Rockies, where resorts already posting the snowiest conditions in the world this winter have had several feet more snowfall.

Austria

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

In a small repeat of a fortnight ago, Austria is the only country of the Alpine big four to see some snowfall in the past week, with clouds moving in on Thursday/Friday while the rest of Western Europe has stayed sunny …other than Eastern Switzerland and north-eastern Italy. “Small” because the snowfalls so far haven’t been great, a few centimetres for most areas although some in regions like Salzburgerland have reported 10cmm or more. It is looking more changeable here though with much more cloud than further west, light snow showers possible and heavier falls expected later this week.  Obergurgl is pictured above this week.

France

It’s been wall-to-wall sunshine for most French ski slopes over the past week with temperatures rising to +10C at resort bases as the freezing point rises to 3000m during the day. This has not seriously impacted snow cover however with most resorts maintaining 85-95% of their slopes open during the busy French February half term period, but bases, particularly on lower slopes, are quite thin and have diminished further this week. Some areas in the northern French Alps including the Portes du Soleil have not now seen any real snowfall for five weeks.

Italy

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Italian ski areas are posting similar conditions to ski areas to the north – warm daytime temperatures, particularly on lower slopes, as the afternoon arrives then back to overnkight freezing lows down to the valley floor. There has been a little thawing as a result but for the majority it is just a few centimetres over the last week and while that’s not great news with bases thin in the first place, most centres remain 70-95% open here as well. Val Gardena is posting 98% of its slopes open so is one of the best by that measure. The deepest snow continues to be right over on the Slovenian border at Sella Nevea where it’s over two metres deep.  Cervinia is pictured above, this week.

Switzerland

Switzerland has had a small division over the past few days with the dominant sunny weather of the Western Alps covering much of the country, but some ski areas in the east like Arosa and Davos seeing cloudier skies and some light snowfall.  Otherwise things are similar to the rest of the Alps with freeze-thaw conditions impacting low-lying slopes, but not enough for any cut in the amount of terrain open so far. The coming week should see more widespread cloud, lowering temperatures and more snow showers across the country.  Davos is pictured top.

Pyrenees

The Pyrenees have had similar weather to the Alps over the last seven days with lots of sunshine. There was snowfall here the week before though, unlike many parts of the Alps, so the snow that’s there is more recent. But bases aren’t huge in the Pyrenees this year so warm weather in February may not be good news for later in the season, unless we see a return to cold and snowfall. The good news is that so far Pyrenean ski centres have been able to keep most of their slopes open and there is indeed a return to cold and snowy weather forecast for the latter half of the week.

Scandinavia

A real mix of conditions in Scandinavia over the last week with sunny spells, wild winds when Storm Otto blew through on Friday and some more fresh snow – resorts in Norway posting up to 30cm of fresh just in time for the weekend. Myrkdalen ski area near Voss on the Norwegian Coast is posting Europe’s second deepest base at present at 2.4m (8 feet), and that snow is much fresher than that lying at the deepest – Tignes, which has 2.7m (9 feet) up on the glacier.

Scotland

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Scottish centres continue to see big weather changes, heavy snowfall on Wednesday night, violent gales on Thursday night, temperatures fluctuating between -5C and +10C, so it’s an ongoing battle to open. Glencoe has terrain suited to advanced and intermediate level skiers available on its upper slopes.  Cairngorm also has similar terrain and some runs suited to beginners. For Glenshee and The Lecht its beginners only and Nevis Range is currently closed for snow-sports.

Eastern Europe

The cold and snowy weather of the last few weeks in the Balkans has ended but all the snowfall and snowmaking has left the slopes in good shape. Most resorts in Bulgaria and Romania are now 80-90% open. Further north in the Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland things are looking great with everything open at resorts like Jasna in Slovakia., the region’s biggest, which is also expexcting fresh snowfall.

USA

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US ski areas, particularly in the Rockies, have been posting the biggest snowfalls of the past week with some receiving up to three feet (90cm) of fresh snowfall in 72 hours, so plenty of powder at present. Mammoth on the West Coast hasn’t had so much fresh snowfall but continues to post the world’s deepest snowpack at around  20 feet (6 metres).  Jackson Hole is pictured above this week. It’s not been so good on the East coast though with a return of the warm temperature and rain that dogged the region earlier this winter, leading some smaller, more southerly areas in states like New Hampshire to temporarily close down until colder weather returns.

Canada

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Pretty good conditions across Canada, in the west the Freeride world tour was in Kicking Horse at the end of last week and there were more snowfalls on ski slopes across Alberta and BC. Big White is pictured above this week. In the east ski areas seem to have escaped the too-warm temperatures reported to the south in the Eastern US and instead posted 30-60cm (1-2 feet) more snowfall leading to several reporting they had sold out of lift tickets at the weekend.

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Update 11 February, 2023

It’s a sunny half-term week for much of the Alps with temperatures also rising a little from the very cold temperatures of the past month. At low valley resorts, we may see the mercury hit +10C in the afternoons although it should stay cooler higher up. In the Eastern Alps, the big snowfalls of just over a week ago remain fairly fresh but in the west, some areas have seen little or no fresh snowfall for a month. But, in terms of prepared pistes, there’s more terrain open than there has been all season with most of the big areas like the 3 Vallees and 4 Valleys close to fully open. The weather in the Pyrenees is similarly sunny but here there was a little fresh snowfall in many areas last week. In the Balkans, it’s an improving picture still and it is staying cold so far. Scotland continues to face challenges from warm, windy weather and Scandinavia keeps getting dumped on and maybe posting the deepest snow in Europe by this time next week as it’s set to carry on there.

Across the Atlantic, the very cold weather in the Northeast has eased and it is just 10 below freezing with fresh snow falling. It keeps snowing in the west too where the snowpack is the deepest in the world this winter.

Austria

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After all the snowfall in the week up to a week ago, things have turned sunny and a little warmer across Austria. Really the conditions are among the best in the Alps here at present, with the snow only a week old, compared to nearly 4 weeks old in some parts of the western Alps. The avalanche danger has dropped a little in most areas too, from 3 or 4 to 2 or 3 – still considerable but not so bad.  Most Austrian ski areas remain fully open and after a metre of snow for some a week ago, bases on higher runs are now among the best in Europe, with Solden among those posting over 2 metres.

France

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France has seen a sunny week again and the week ahead, one of the busiest of the season as half-term weeks get underway, looks largely sunny again. However the cold weather of the past month, which saw food and hot drinks go cold within minutes for anyone sitting outside on a terrace to soak up the rays, has finally ended, for now at least, and we’re seeing resort-level temperature highs in the afternoons of +5 to +10C. That’s not impacting the snowpack much though and most of the big ski regions have 85-95% of their slopes open for the peak February Half term weeks ahead with the 3 Valleys having the added excitement of the Alpine skiing World Championships at present.

Italy

Sunny weather for Italy too and some of the warmest temperatures forecast at resort level for some lower Italian ski villages too – potentially seeing +15C in the afternoons by Wednesday! But most will see highs staying in single figures and lows remaining below freezing. Anyway, most Italian slopes are open and most people skiing them are happy to be doing so in the sunshine.  The giant Dolomiti Superski region has more than 90% of its slopes open, for the Milky Way on the French border it’s more like 75%.

Switzerland

Swiss slopes are sharing in the sunshine that is currently shining across the Alps. Most of the country’s ski areas are running at 80-90% open, the 4 Valleys around Verbier at the higher end of that./ It’s just a week since ski areas in the east of Switzerland, in particular, saw good snowfalls, but some in the west have not had fresh snow for nearly a month and the surface is getting pretty tired and in need of a refresh,  though unfortunately there’s nothing really in the forecast.  It’s getting a little warmer too, again like the rest of the Alps, with temperatures getting to 5 or 10 degrees above freezing in resorts in the afternoon and a degree or two into positive numbers higher on the mountain too.

Pyrenees

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There was some snowfall – about 15cm – reported in Grandvalira (Soldeu, Pas de la Casa) in Andorra in the middle and latter half of last week giving a nice refresh to the slopes. Otherwise, it has been similar to the Alps with plenty of sunshine and warming temperatures. Ski areas remain 75-90% open so far, however, although bases are not that deep.

Scandinavia

With the snowfall largely ending in the Alps, Scandinavia, and particularly western and northern Norway, is once again where the snow has been dumping over the past week. It looks like ski areas around Voss could be posting the first 3 metres (10 feet) base in Europe this winter by next weekend if it keeps falling as forecast over the next seven days. Myrkdalen currently has 2.4m (8 feet) lying.

Scotland

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Scottish ski centres are battling to open terrain for the February half term but while one day there’s fresh snowfall, the next temperatures spike and gales blow in wiping away a lot of the gains. Glencoe still has some high terrain open at the time of writing, with most other areas operating a handful of runs using their all-weather snowmaking machines.

Eastern Europe

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It’s an ever better picture in Eastern Europe where temperatures have stayed low and not climbed in the way they have this weekend in the west. So it is still mostly sub-zero. In the north of the region, Slovakia’s Jasna has hit a 1.8m Base depth and is 100% open. In Bulgaria, which had a terrible warm and no snow start to the season, it continues to get better with Bansko now about 80% open. Strong winds have been a problem this past week but are reported to have eased off

USA

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Fairly good conditions across the US following the very low temperatures, particularly in New England in the east, a week ago. It has kept snowing in the Rockies, where ski areas in Utah continue to post the best conditions, and in the east and ski resorts on the West Coast continue to post the deepest snowpacks in the world, led by Mammoth Mountain with the snow lying 6.2 metres (nearly 21 feet) deep up top.

Canada

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After the ultra-cold temperatures just over a week ago, which saw temperatures as low as -50C and centres closing for safety reasons, Canada has “warmed up” to a more acceptable freezing down to -15C range. There’s also been more fresh snowfall across the country. Conditions are probably the best they’ve been all season, particularly in the East where everything is now fully open, or nearly so, after a problematic first half of the season. The cold and snowy weather has been more reliable in the west and Whistler now has north America’s biggest ski area 100% open.

 

 

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Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Update 6 February, 2023

It’s been an interesting week in the Alps with heavy snowfall all week in Austria – some ski areas seeing more than a metre of snowfall over the last 7 days – but most of the rest of The Alps getting nothing, staying dry and sunny. Along with snow Austria got strong winds and resulting high avalanche danger leading, sadly, to multiple incidents and a number of deaths among off-piste skiers and boarders. The danger level remains very high away from opened, prepared runs.

Like the western Alps, the Pyrenees have also been mostly dry but here, as in France, Italy and Western Switzerland conditions do remain largely very good, on the groomed runs at least, thanks to earlier snowfalls leaving almost everything open.  Cortina in Italy is pictured above.

In Bulgaria and south-eastern Europe, there was more catching up to do after a poor season start there but they have now had more and more snow and ever-improving conditions. Something of the reverse in Scotland alas where rain, wind and warm weather have severely damaged the snowpacks, although the past few days have seen some recovery. Scandinavia, meanwhile, remains cold and snowy as it has been all winter.

Across in the US, the big issue was ultra-low temperatures in the northwest of the continent over the end of last week which shut down ski areas in Quebec and New England for safety reasons as lows got into the -40s C/F, but since then conditions have stabilised and it has been snowing again from coast to coast.

Austria

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Austria has been the place to be for fresh snowfall over the past week, it has been dumping here while the rest of the Alps have remained largely dry. Up to a metre of snowfall has been reported in some areas, though for most it’s more like 1-2 feet. The news isn’t all great in the short term though, there were strong winds that closed lifts at times and some regions including the Arlberg around Lech and St Anton hit very high avalanche danger levels due to the mix of conditions. This led to a high number of deaths among off-piste skiers at the weekend in multiple incidents.  Pitztal glacier pictured above.

France

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(Bonneval pictured above)

France has had another largely dry and sunny week with temperatures a little warmer though, getting back into plus temperatures at bases.  Some areas have just reported a few centimetres of snowfall up high.  So it’s a bit of a holding pattern, bases are dropping slightly and slowly as it settles with a bit of thawing at low elevations but basically everything remains fully open (or nearly so). Avalanche danger has dropped but sadly so has the chance of finding much fresh powder left.

Italy

Italy has had a mostly dry week, like France, although light snowfall was reported in some northern areas and in the Dolomites. Actually, though some of the last heavy snowfall in the Western Alps took place just under a fortnight ago at resorts like Sestriere so some of the conditions remain at the best in the country here. But really, things are pretty good almost everywhere with most runs open and on-piste conditions fine. It’s just off-piste powder that’s hard to find.

Switzerland

Eastern and central Switzerland saw some of the snowfall that covered neighbouring Austria over the past week and sadly some of the off-piste avalanche deaths as well. The west of the country, other than an occasional snow flurry, stayed largely dry, however. Glacier 3000 near Gstaad is now posting the country’s deepest snow at 1.8 metres (6 feet) but base depths are well down on the highs of 4-6 metres we’d normally see on high slopes across the Alps by February. Most swiss resorts have almost all of their terrain open though.

Pyrenees

It has been back to dry, mostly sunny weather over the past week in the Pyrenees, but the late-January snowfall and cold have re-set the season to some extent and most ski areas remain 80-95% open, although bases are rather thin for the time of year. The Freeride World Tour was in Andorra at the weekend.

Scandinavia

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It has continued to be cold and snowy in Scandinavia even as temperatures rise a little from the -20s and -30s in recent weeks and daylight hours lengthen. Some Norwegian ski areas have reported up to90cm (three feet) of snowfall in the past week and Myrkdalen (140/240cm / 56/96”) near the west coast has put on more than half-a-metre of snow depths in the last seven days to take the ‘deepest reported snow depth in Scandinavia this week’ title.  Norway’s Trysil pictured above.

Scotland

Unfortunately, mild weather in the Highlands has severely impacted the snow cover on Scottish slopes. Most centres still have a few runs open but they vary a good deal. Glenshee has lower runs open maintained with all-weather snow, at Glencoe it’s more intermediate/advanced terrain left. Things have turned a little colder and snowier since the weekend.

Eastern Europe

It’s been another good week in Eastern Europe for skiers, with snowfall reported across the region bringing ever-improving conditions. Things were already fairly good in the Czech and Slovak Republics but they’ve shared in the snowfall from the north that impacted Austria and now everything is open with fresh snow. Ever more snowfall in Bulgaria too and improving conditions there with lower runs to Bansko now open.

USA

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The Northeastern US largely shut down at the end of last week and the start of the weekend as temperatures dropped down to the -40s Fahrenheit, unsafe for machinery to operate and for humans to be outdoors for long. It’s since warmed up and started snowing again giving some of the best conditions of the season so far in the east and continuing to be excellent in the west.  Copper Mountain pictured above.

Canada

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(Massif du Sud, Quebec, on Sunday)

Good conditions were reported on ski slopes across Canada with almost everything open. The only downsides have been a very high avalanche danger in the BC backcountry and extreme cold,  at the weekend, in Quebec in the East, which closed down most areas due to dangerous levels of cold – getting into the -40s, which can result in frostbite in minutes.  Things have warmed up a little since then though and we’re seeing plenty of snowfall on slopes across the country.

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Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Update 29 January, 2023

It’s been another largely cold and sunny week in the Alps, at least after fresh snowfall in southern France and along the Austrian/Italian border eased in the middle of last week. But things are starting to change, at least in the north and east initially, with more snowfall arriving in Austria and Eastern Switzerland from the north.  Elsewhere in Europe, there’s been cold weather and some fresh snowfall in the Pyrenees and down in Bulgaria too, so it’s an improving picture there also.

Across in North America, the weather extremes seem to have settled a little in North America. The last few days have seen healthy snowfalls on both the east and west sides of the continent, but the warm weather spikes that have plagued the east and the violent gales in the west have been much less.

In the wider world ski areas in Japan have been reporting the return of “Japow” there after a fairly average start to the season with some centres reporting a metre of powder dumping in just 48 hours at the weekend. Myoko Kogen, below, one of them.

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Austria

The cold temperatures that have dominated in Austria for the past fortnight are continuing into February, but after a week that saw quite a lot of sunshine and the odd snow shower, snowfall is now back as Arctic Air moves down from the north and it’s a wintery-looking week ahead. Most of the country’s leading ski areas were already operating 80-90% of their slopes but conditions continue to improve with Kitzbuhel announcing that more valley runs were opening for the weekend.

France

French ski areas have been enjoying some sunny days for much of the past week but the weather is starting to change with fresh snowfall expected this week. It has been cold – generally below freezing and getting as low as -25C up high – for a fortnight now and that’s enabled most of the lower ski areas that had problems opening some of their runs to open most of their terrain now, while higher areas like the 3 Valleys are up to about 95% open, the most of the season so far. Avoriaz is posting the deepest snow in Europe at over 3 metres (10 feet) up high.

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Italy

Italy has also had another cold week with heavy snowfall in the west that’s greatly improved conditions along the French border, the Milky Way (Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere) doubling its base depths and now about 2/3 open. There was snow for the Dolomites too but it’s now back to cold, sunny weather and that’s the pattern here for the week ahead. Further north and west though, the snowfall moving in from northern Europe looks set to make an impact with some significant accumulations through the latter half of this week.  Livigno pictured above.

Switzerland

Swiss ski slopes are, on the whole, in great shape. Parts of the country, and some famous resorts including St Moritz and Zermatt, have not had a great season for snowfall so far, but they’ve still got most of their terrain open and the good news is that fresh snow is now expected across a wide area over the coming week. The snowfall will most likely be heaviest in the eastern half of the country with some ski areas expected to receive more than 60cm (two feet) by the weekend if things play out as per the current forecast. In the meantime, it remains cold and most Swiss ski areas are mostly open. The 4 Valleys has about 90% of its runs open now.

Pyrenees

An improving picture for the Pyrenees too thanks to cold weather and fresh snowfall.  A growing number of resorts in France and Spain are reporting their ski areas are 100% open at last with fresh snow. Baqueira Beret has been staging Freeride world tour events over the past few days.

Scandinavia

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Scandinavia is where winter was hiding earlier this month and it is still there, even though the days are getting longer and temperatures warming just a little on the -20s and even -30s Celsius some areas have been posting over the last few weeks.  The most snow continues to be in Western Norway where bases are nearing 2 metres at the snowiest spots near Hemsedal and Voss. Less snow but everything is open further east in Sweden and north in Finland and Lapland.  Idre Fjall pictured above.

Scotland

Scottish centres have had to deal with the usual ups and downs of the weather with temperatures too warm over the past week to maintain much of the lower terrain at the five Highland centres in skiable shape, other than areas where the machine-made snow has been piled high. Most do still have some higher runs open however and the forecast is for colder conditions over the coming week.

Eastern Europe

It’s been another much more positive week for snow in Eastern Europe after the terrible start to the season in countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Greece. It’s stayed cold and many resorts like Bansko have reported periods of heavy snowfall.  As a result most ski areas in the region now have at least half of their slopes open from next to nothing at the start of January. Further north it’s been cold and snowy too with the largest centre Jasna, which had been about 2/3 open already, now fully open.

USA

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There have been some decent snowfalls right across America over the past week as the extremes of weather that saw too much snowfall (if such a thing is possible!) and violent gales in the west and too little snowfall and warm, wet weather in the East both settled down to something more reliable and cold on each side of the country. So Jay  Peak in Vermont and Discovery in Montana both posted about two feet (60cm) of fresh snowfall at the weekend and they were typical of what’s been happening over a wide area.  Sunday River pictured above, Windham top.

Canada

Fairly good conditions across Canada, with resorts including Panorama in BC (pictured below) reporting powder days at the weekend while on the East Coast ski areas across Quebec reported cold and snowy conditions, with base depths continuing to grow there.  Whistler Blackcomb is into its second full week of being fully open having the most terrain in North America currently skiable.

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Update 24 January, 2023

It’s the best week of the season so far almost everywhere across the skiing world thanks to different factors in different places.

For much of Europe – the Alps, Dolomites, Pyrenees and Balkans – the big improvement is consistently low temperatures (below freezing) following fresh snowfall, allowing lower slopes to open and creating great snow conditions on higher runs.  Conditions had already been good in Scandinavia.

In North America where the western side of the continent has seen the best of the world’s snowfall over the first half of this season, it’s actually good news that the seemingly endless cycle of violent storms that piled snow up to 6 metres (20 feet) deep on the mountains of California have eased and resorts there can take a breather, dig out and open more terrain under sunny skies. It’s also an improving picture on the east Coast which has faced similar issues to lower resorts in the alps – warm and wet – in the early winter. Here New England and Quebec have been more consistently cold and snowy.

Further afield a huge storm is currently hitting northern Japan bringing very low temperatures and heavy snowfall.  Here are the details.

Austria

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The snow kept falling in Austria for longer than it did further west and another 20cm had landed (and was still coming down) by the time of the 83rd running of the Hahnenkamm above Kitzbuhel on Saturday. But the time Dave Ryding scored his silver 24 hours later on Sunday though it was glorious blue skies. There are great conditions now with most of the country’s ski areas open, generally with 60-95% of slopes skiable and sharing in the low temperatures currently prevalent across the Alps.

(Skiwelt pictured above this week, Lech in Arlberg pictured top)

France

It’s been mostly dry and sunny in France since the big snowstorm that dumped up to a metre of snow there ended last Wednesday/Thursday. As a result of that most resorts are now almost fully open, including those that were reported closed or almost completely closed during the “no snow in the Alps” media storm earlier this month.  French resorts like Avoriaz and Flaine are posting the deepest snow in the Alps up at around the metres/10 feet mark up high.

Italy

Italy is on a bit of a dividing line for weather systems in the Alps at present with more northerly and westerly resorts in the country sharing in the dry and sunny weather following the snowfall, but more southerly and easterly areas in Trentino and the Dolomites enjoying a snowy start to the week with 20-40cm accumulation totals expected by Friday. Conditions are good across most of the country either with recent snow and sunshine or fresh snowfall daily though and most slopes in The Dolomites are open.

Switzerland

Great conditions across Switzerland following all the snowfall last week, it’s now mostly sunny but as with the rest of mainland Europe, remaining cold, getting to the minus 20s up high, closer to freezing in resort. Big regions like the 4 Valleys are 80-90” open and snow depths – while still below average below 2000m altitude as they are across the Alps, are nearing two metres at resorts like Glacier 3000, Andermatt and Saas-Fee. Low-altitude areas like Gstaad and Villars that had been highlighted in media reports earlier in the month for limited snow slopes open in the warm weather are now in much better shape.

Pyrenees

There’s a big improvement in conditions in the Pyrenees which had been facing similar issues to the Alps on lower slopes with warm weather thawing thin cover and diminishing amounts of terrain open. That’s thankfully now all changed though with lots of fresh powder and consistently cold temperatures. Big resorts like Soldeu / Pas de la Casa (Grandvalira) and Spain’s Baqueira Beret have gone from having dropped to only half of their terrain able to open to 70-80% again now.

Scandinavia

Staying wintery in Scandinavia with the deepest snow reported in Norway at resorts like Hemsedal and Voss where it’s lying 1.5 – 2 metres deep.  The daylight hours and now increasing fairly rapidly and everything is open.

Scotland

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After a promising start to the season and start to 2023 with last week cold and snowy,  the regular curse of Scottish snow sports is with us – mild and windy conditions coming in from the West this week.  The five centres had great conditions at the weekend and hopefully have snow cover to see them through until colder weather returns. Currently, it’s ‘soft snow’ though and the amount of terrain available is diminishing.

Eastern Europe

It’s a much-improved picture across Eastern European ski slopes with some big snowfalls reported over the past few days. The biggest improvement is in Bulgaria where there was little open due to the warm weather until a few weeks ago, Bansko and Borovets now have about a third to a half of their terrain open.  Further north it is still improving in the Czech and Slovak Republics with the largest area Jasna reporting ever better conditions.

USA

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There’s been a lull in the series of huge snowstorms that have been hitting the Western side of the US, much to the relief of resorts there. They’re all sat on big snow depths now but have had difficulty opening much terrain often as every time they dig out from one storm the next moves in. So less snowfall is actually good news in the west now and the current drier conditions, sunny in California, are being welcomed. In the East, there’s also an improvement with lower temperatures and more snowfall. In New England, it has been too warm and wet up to now, but this week, colder, snowier weather has brought the best conditions of the season so far.

Canada

Fairly good conditions across Canada with consistently cold temperatures from coast to coast, if not much fresh snowfall recently. North America’s largest ski area Whistler Blackcomb is almost fully open and it’s been snowing heavily in the East in New England and Quebec which had previously been suffering similar warm temperature issues to the Alps across the ocean in Europe. Now though they’re enjoying the best conditions of the season so far.

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Update 19th January, 2023

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It’s a much brighter picture in the Alps this week than it has been all season.

There’s been heavy snowfall in the Western Alps (France and Western  Italy and Switzerland) and good snowfall, if not so much, further east in Austria and Eastern Italy and Switzerland.

Some higher French resorts have reported their upper slope snow depths up by more than a metre on a week ago with a number, including Alpe d’Huez (above) and Avoriaz (below), now saying they have over 3m/10 feet of snow lying up high.

But the really good news is for low lying ski areas which have been at the centre of the frenzy of “no snow in the Alps” stories that have been filling world media, ignoring the fact that higher slopes have had average cover or better all winter.

Most low ski areas have had 30-60cm (1-2 feet) of snow leading to widespread and ongoing reopening of runs. The most dramatic change is probably at Les Gets which had been forced to fully close its ski area during the warm spell when most others managed to keep a sad run or two open.  It went from nothing to fully re-opened on Wednesday, including the Portes du Soleil links.

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Perhaps a little ironically, or just how it is, it is also immediately posting a “high” (level 4 on the scale to 5) avalanche danger level which is an increasingly common danger rating, particularly of note to freeride off-piste skiers and boarders across the western Alps at present, with most areas posting level 3 (“considerable”) if not at 4.

Regardless of the amount of snow that’s fallen a common and welcome change across the Alps , and indeed much of Europe, is a big temperature drop to something more normal for winter in the mountains. That means the freezing point dropping well below resort level for most areas and temperatures getting as low as -20C up at about 3000m.

Although the forecast is for the snowfall to ease off in most areas, and it already has in most parts with the sun breaking through for the weekend in the west, temperatures should stay low and overall conditions ae excellent, the best they’ve been all season so far.

Elsewhere in Europe

There have been similar improvements in the Pyrenees, not so much snowfall but some at least and lower temperatures. Bigger resorts like Grandvalira and Baqueira Beret now have more than half of their terrain back open again. 20-30cm of fresh snowfall widely reported in the last few days.

There have also been improvements in the Balkans with cold weather and some fresh snow after resorts in Bulgaria could hardly open a run with no natural snow and temperatures too warm for much snowmaking.  It’s now improving, though still with a lot of catching up to do and Bansko is hoisting World Cup competition this weekend. Further north in resorts like Jasna conditions have not been so bad and are now much improved by fresh snowfall.

Scottish ski centres are also seeing their best conditions of the season so far after a cold and snowy week here. Glencoe is almost fully open, Cairngorm about 50% open, the rest reporting a third or so of  their runs open. Alas temperatures look to be warming from the weekend but hopefully not too much damage will be done.

In Scandinavia it remains cold and snowy as it has been all month.

North America

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More amazing records being set on the North American West Coast and Rockies where more and more ski areas are passing the 10 metres (400 inches) of snowfall season-to-date total. Mammoth’s world deepest snowpack has now passed 6 metres (20 feet) and further north of the Pacific Coast Whistler has reached 2 metres on its highest runs.  The East Coast continues to lag behind for snow cover unfortunately and warm temperatures continue to be an issue in New England but it’s more consistently cold and snowy further north in Quebec.

Keystone, Colorado, pictured above and top.

 

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Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Update 10 January 2023

The snow is finally here across the Alps. It began falling in the west, in the French, Italian (Bardonecchia pictured top and below) and Swiss Alps on Sunday and has continued moving north and easterly over the past 48 hours, bringing snowfall to most areas.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Naturally the snowfall is heaviest up high, with 60cm (2 feet) accumulations reported up at 3,000m already at some areas and with the snow expected to continue through midweek before easing off, some may see a metre of snowfall by Thursday.  It should remain colder than it has been with more snow showers later in the week.

Of course areas above 2000m were already in pretty good shape with ski areas like Paradiski above la Plagne and Les Arcs and the 3 Valleys about 75% open due to all their high altitude terrain, so the focus id on lower altitude ski areas like Les Gets and Gstaad which have been hard hit by the warm and sometimes wet weather over Christmas and New Year. They have all been reporting snowfall down to low levels and from the pictures posted it looks like 10-30cm rather than the metre up high, as you’d expect. It’s also cold enough to fire up the snow cannons.

It’s too soon to know how much the new snow will improve things, that’ll become clear later this week, but it’s looking promising for at least some re-opening of terrain.

The avalanche danger levels are already creeping up however. Areas in the Western Alps have hit level 3 on the scale to 5, considered the most dangerous level in some respect as more skiers and boarders tend to ignore the danger, leading to accidents, at level 3 than at 4 or 5.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Elsewhere the Pyrenees, which have been facing similar problems to the Alps, have also had some fresh snowfall and a drop in temperatures, although not quite such a dramatic change as further north and east in the Alps.

It’s also good news in the Balkans where ski areas in Bulgaria too are at least seeing a temperature drop and snow showers hopefully enabling them to soon open more terrain too from the very limited amount that has so far been possible.  Bansko is pictured below on Tuesday.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Snowy weather in Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic is also improving the conditions there, allowing more resorts to open more terrain.

Further north Scandinavian ski centres continue to post the most ‘wintery’ conditions in Europe as they did through the warm spell further south. Norway has done particularly well with fresh snowfall in the past seven days heading towards the metre mark up high at resorts like Geilo and Hemsedal with more forecast.

Not quite such dramatic snowfalls but an improving picture in Scotland too where most centres have at least a few runs open and there’s more cold weather and snow forecast.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

North America

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

In Western Canada still more huge storms have been moving in off the Pacific coast, where ski areas in California, Oregon and Washington had already been posting by far the world’s deepest snowpacks after months of the same. Mammoth has the world’s deepest at nearly 5 metres. The snowfall has continued west so the Rockies are in great shape too, with Park City in Utah, America’s biggest area, fully open.

West Coast resorts would probably appreciate the snowfall easing a little now as the endless storms make it difficult for them to actually open terrain, due to the work involved digging out, making access roads safe and reducing avalanche danger.

Further north not quite so much snowfall in Alberta and BC, Canada, but most ski areas in the region are full open

A less snowy picture in the East although there has been some fresh. But as with the Alps on the other side of the Atlantic ski areas in New England and even north of the border in Quebec have been battling periods of warm weather and rain and few are fully open.

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Update 2 January 2023

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

If you’re looking for fresh snowfall (and who isn’t?!), the place to find it in abundance continues to be Western North America where still more mega snow storms have been moving in off the Pacific, dumping several feet more snowfall with Mammoth Mountain continuing to post the deepest snow in the world. The Palisades (above on Jan 1st, 2023) posted 95cm (3 feet 2 inches) of fresh snow in 24 hours to start the New Year. There’s been lots more snowfall in the Rockies too with Steamboat reporting its snowiest December in over a decade and Park City up in Utah, with America’s biggest ski area, fully open.

The news isn’t all good though unfortunately with the snowfall driven in on gales of up to 100mph and sometimes accompanies by freezing rain. Ice build up, deep snow and temperature fluctuations have also led to high avalanche danger among other storm related issues. .

Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

In Europe Scandinavia is the place to go for fresh snowfall (Hemsedal above on 31 December, 2022) as the Alps continue to be divided by altitude, predominantly, with fairly good conditions on slopes above 2,000m (which thankfully most large destination resorts have plenty of), but increasingly challenging at lower levels. The 3 Valleys for example have three quarters (about 450km) of their 600km of terrain open. Other big areas typically have 60-80% of their terrain open too, however it is lower at those like the Portes du Soleil down at Les Gets and Morzine or at the separate areas around Megeve and La Clusaz.

There was more rain at the weekend down below and the freezing point rose to 3000m to start the New year but it has since got a little cooler and there have been light snow showers up high.

Unfortunately there’s no clear sign of anything much changing in the coming week when we really need a proper start to winter here at last.

The Pyrenees have had some snowfall but are facing similar challenging conditions to the Alps.

It’s also not good news in more southerly parts of Eastern Europe with warm, dry and sunny weather dominant and ski areas in Bulgaria, Bosnia, Serbia and nearby only able to open very limited terrain – a run or two with machine made snow – so far. Further north in the Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland it’s a much more promising picture.

The Dolomites continue to be something of an exception with virtually everything open at all altitudes and none of the rain issues here. Conditions aren’t perfect but they’re not far off at resorts like Val Gardena.

Elsewhere in Europe it does feel like winter in Scandinavia where many resorts have been seeing -5 to -20C temperatures and plenty of fresh snowfall.  Not quite so cold in Scotland but it was quite a cold December overall and there’s been more snowfall in the past week. Four of the five Highland ski centres have some terrain open, albeit not yet very much at any of them, mostly thanks to the limited areas they each have covered by all-weather snowmaking machines with the natural cover elsewhere not yet deep enough.

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Update 28 December 2022

Alas, the current conditions in the Alps are a very mixed bag rather than the perfect end of year/start to 2023 we’d all hope.

A big part of the problem is altitude – higher slopes are generally in good shape – above 2,000m (Avoriaz is pictured on Tuesday this week, the Molltal Glacier in Austria below) – but at lower altitudes warm weather and rain has severely impacted the snow cover.

Despite these challenges most leading ski areas actually have more terrain open than a week ago, opening all they can for the busiest weeks of the season and most destination resorts have 60-80% of their terrain open.

There has been fresh snowfall up high, with some resorts posting 30-60cm (1-2) feet of fresh snowfall up above 2,000m, unfortunately though there’s been rain for many resorts at lower levels.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

As a result some lower resorts like Les Gets are offering lift pass discounts due to having limited terrain open. Some others like Laax are warning that some of their runs are narrow.

The Dolomites are reported to have some of the best conditions, mostly as they’ve missed the rain that impacted much of the Alps to quite high altitudes at the weekend.

The Pyrenees are facing similar issues to the Alps and although most resorts are open, most only have 30-50cm (12-20 inches) of snow lying and the amount of terrain open has been dropping. Spain’s Baqueira Beret has dropped below100km of slopes open for the first time since the start of the season there over a month ago.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

(Stranda, Norway)

The best conditions in Europe are currently up in Scandinavia where reports have posted up to 50cm of fresh snow  since Christmas and temperatures have been well below freezing.

Across the North Sea Scottish ski centres are also seeing improved conditions. Not enough snow yet to really open up but machine-made snow on short runs, topped up with natural cover, has allowed Cairngorm, Lecht and Glenshee to open, with Glencoe and Nevis Range aiming to join them asap

It’s actually a similar scenario on the other side of Europe down in the Southeast with ski areas in the Balkans most severely impacted by the warm weather. Bulgarian resorts have scraped a few short runs together with overnight snowmaking and new package holiday destination Sarajevo reports just a 500 metre slope open.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

(Eaglecrest, Alaska)

North America

It’s a very different picture across the Atlantic where yet another series of major storms slamming into the West Coast of North America with up to eight feet (2.5 meters) of snowfall possible by the start of next week.

The region currently has the deepest snowpacks in the world, with over 3 metres lying at some resorts. But all the snowfall is causing some issues – burying lifts and bringing high avalanche danger, limiting the terrain open while the storms blow through. There have also been very strong winds, with gusts of up to 100mph reported. But between these weather extremes, conditions are great.

This latest snowfall comes after Storm Elliot blew through at the weekend, bringing exceptionally low temperatures across the continent and major snowfalls to the Midwest and East Coasts which had been lacking much cover until now.  But there’s been powder skiing in the East since (Jay Peak, Vermont, pictured below this week).

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

 

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Update 21 December 2022

We’ve reached the winter solstice so the days are drawing out from now on and we’re into wintertime by both the astronomical measure of the seasons and the meteorological one.

But what about the snow? Well (as so often), it’s a mixed picture!

In the Alps and many other parts of Europe most of the major destination ski resorts are open now and the majority have about 30-60% of their slopes open and will be aiming to open more for the busy Christmas and New Year’s weeks coming up.   So on the whole things are fairly good so long as you want to ski on the groomed pistes and particularly if your resort is quite high altitude.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The factor working against progress in opening more has been below average snowfall and, particularly this week, above average temperatures. This has particularly hit lower altitude ski areas where its been harder to create cover.

But still, there’s a lot open. Over 300km in the 3 Valleys for example and many of the other big areas around Verbier, Zermatt, Grandvalira, Baqueira Beret, the Skiwelt, Ischgl-Samnaun (pictured above this week) Alpbach, Dolomiti Superski (the list goes on…) have at least 100km of slopes open already and in many cases double that.

Less Good News

The European region doing the worst at this early stage in the season is down in the southeast where Bulgarian ski areas are struggling with warm weather to open much at all. Bansko and Borovets each have managed just a run a piece opening in the past few days.

Scotland is facing its usual battles with borderline weather conditions. The first half of December was very cold and double-digit sub-zero temperatures were recorded, but it was also very dry so snow for runs was mostly machine made when several areas opened at the weekend. Precipitation did arrive at the start of this week, along with gales, but there was also the 10+ degree jump in temperature so a lot of it was snow-destroying rain and warm winds that closed areas again. Temperatures are dropping and ski centres are re-opening with limited terrain.

Elsewhere in Europe

It’s a similar picture to The Alps in The Dolomites and Pyrenees, in more northerly areas of eastern Europe – countries like the Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland it’s a much better picture than further south and there’s more and more terrain open.

Conditions in Scandinavia, where resorts in the north are now in 24-hour polar night and temperatures in the -20s have been reported, are much more wintery. Most of the region’s leading areas are now open include Are, Hemsedal and Trysil.

North America

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The main ski news stories in North America this week are a decent dump of snowfall, at last, on the East Coast (Sunday river pictured top last weekend, Whiteface above after things have settled and grooming don), which has dramatically improved the previously poor early-season conditions there. It’s been drier in the west after the successive snow storms there through November and December but here the most snow in the world is lying, Mammoth Mountain in California remaining the only resort reporting a base of more than three metres (10 feet) at present.

The other big ski holiday news story has been very low temperatures in parts of Western Canada into the -30s. Along with advice to cover up exposed skin, layer up and watch friends for signs of frostbite, skki areas in the Alberta/Eastern BC ski regions have been closing more exposed lifts and in some cases entire resorts, until things warm up a bit – expected by the Christmas weekend.

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Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Update 14 December 2022

As the start of the main ski season is just about upon us, it is good to be able to report generally  good conditions in almost all major ski regions.

Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

It’s an ever improving picture in the Alps with several fronts moving across the range from the south and west. Ski areas in the French Alps and in Western Switzerland and Italy have done particularly well with two snowstorms since the weekend bringing up to two feet (60cm) of fresh snow.  Chatel, one of those that got particularly heavy snowfall, is pictured above.

Along with ever improving snow depths the snowline levels have been dropping down to valley floors meaning better conditions for low-lying ski resorts and valley runs, as well as those up high.

There’s been snowfall too in the Pyrenees, at Sierra Nevada in southern Spain and over in Northeastern Europe for ski centres in countries like the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

In Scandinavia it’s getting darker, with sun dropping below the horizon at Finland’s largest ski area of Levi earlier this week and not due to re-appear until January 1st, but floodlit slopes keep things moving for those happy to be skiing on pristine powder at -10 to -30C.

Scotland’s first ski slopes opened for 22-23 on Monday with Glenshee taking advantage of the current cold weather in the UK to open several runs. The other four Highland ski centres plan to open this weekend on next week.

Really the only area that has been reporting warmer temperatures than they’d like is Bulgaria, where Borovets delayed its planned opening last weekend, but things are improving here too.

North America

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There have been more incredible snow storms in western North America, with up to 5 feet more snow reported in California.

Mammoth Mountain (pictured above on Tuesday) is the first ski resorts in the world to report a 10 feet/3 metre base on its upper slopes already this season.

All the snow in the Rockies and on the Pacific Coast has set the continent up for the entire ski season ahead.

However it remains a very different picture in the East unfortunately with warmer, drier weather upto now making even snowmaking challenging. Here too though cold weather and some natural snowfall is now in the forecast.

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Update 9 December 2022

As we reach the second weekend in December about 90% of the world’s leading ski areas have already opened for the season (or will do this weekend).

In most areas conditions are fairly good for this early point in the season. Western North America is having an amazing start with a rapid series of storms dumping huge amounts of snow, with more on the way.  It’s very different on the Eastern side of the continent though where its more of a battle to open runs whenever the weather is cold enough for snowmaking.

That’s a similar picture for low-lying ski areas in Europe, which haven’t had much snowfall yet. Fi the bigger, higher ski areas though it’s an ever improving picture at present with another 1-2 feet of snowfall expected this weekend.

North America

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Western North America continues to see fantastic early-season conditions with some resorts in the Colorado Rockies already reporting over 100 inches (2.5 metres) of snow has fallen this season already while in California Mammoth Mountain is posting the deepest base in the world at 2.7 metres (9 feet).  All the snowfall is causing short-term logistical issues opening access roads and with high avalanche danger in places leading to some resorts closing on some days as the worst of it is managed.

Europe

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

The snow has started falling in the Alps again after a largely dry and sunny week, with just light snow showers.

Temperatures will be below freezing down to low levels too so snowmaking systems should be able to work. More big name resorts are opening this weekend including Meribel and Les Menuires completing the links in the 3 Valleys.

Most ski centres are now open in the Pyrenees and have in fact been posting the most terrain ope in Europe so far with Baqueira/​Beret the only one to go above 150km of runs open already and Andorra’s Grandvalira not far behind on over 100km.

Many of Scandinavia’s ski centres have now opened for the season with larger centres like Are and Hemsedal among the latest to do so.

It has been cold and (particularly in the East) snowy in Scotland with centres using all-weather snowmaking systems to create small snow areas. Glenshee (pictured below on Wednesday) they intend to open the weekend after next, others may follow suit.

Eastern Europe’s ski areas have been enjoying some of the coldest and (for comparatively low lying mountains compared to the Alps), snowiest, December weather, at least on their higher slopes, and centres have begun to open here too.  Slovakia’s Jasna has the most open so far with Bulgaria’s ski season expected to start this weekend.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

 

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Update 1 December 2022

The ski season continues to gather pace across the Northern Hemisphere with the North American Rockies seeing the best conditions so far and people beginning to ask when was it last this good this early in the season?  Many resorts have had another foot or more of snowfall in the past few days.

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(Crested Butte. Colorado, 29 November, 2022)

Hundreds of ski areas are open coast-to-coast across the continent, in fact unlike Europe or Asia, more big-name resorts are already open for the season in Canada and the US than are yet to open.

They include the biggest in the US, Park City in Utah, which already has over 100km of slopes open, and the biggest in Canada and north America,  Whistler Blackcomb in BC, although it hasn’t opened much of its vast terrain as yet.

Europe

Good to Ski Right Now?

There are about 100 ski areas open already in Europe, most in the Alps but with about a quarter in Scandinavia and the first for 22-23 – Baqueira Beret – open in the Pyrenees since last weekend.

Those numbers will double, perhaps triple this coming weekend as many more open including big French names like Alpe d’Huez, Les 2 Alpes and Val d’Isere.

There’s also a battle to open more terrain for early skiers and boarders. Ischgl – Samnaun on the Austrian-Swiss border only opened last weekend but already has more than 100km of slopes open and Cervinia – Zermatt (pictured below) on the Italian – Swiss border has announced it will also offer more than 100km from this coming weekend.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

There was more snowfall, heaviest up high, earlier this week and more forecast next week, but currently its mostly dry, frequently sunny but still cold for most areas.

Lots more resorts plan to open in the Pyrenees this weekend as well as in the Dolomites and the first for the season in Eastern Europe, including Slovakia’s Jasna.

Scotland has seen cold but dry weather with nowhere known to be planning to open soon, in Scandinavia some big name resorts will open this weekend.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Asia

Good to Ski Right Now?

Unfortunately it hasn’t been that snowy yet in Japan and a number of areas that had planned to open this weekend have decided to postpone, some saying for a week, others until they know things are looking better.

The good news is that the weather does now appear to be changing with Japan’s normal non-stop snowfall through winter showing signs of getting underway.

 

 

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Update 26 November 2022

Good to Ski Right Now?

The past week has seen hundreds of ski areas open for the 22-23 ski season and plenty of snowfall too.

For most areas it’s now looking quite promising for the season ahead after the nervous wait through war, dry conditions in October and the first half of November. Along with the natural snowfall it has been cold enough for snowmaking systems to be set to work building bases.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

(Bonneval, France this week)

Europe

Good to Ski Right Now?

In Europe there are now about 50 ski areas open, more than half of them in Austria and Switzerland, but we’ve also seen the first resorts open in France at Tignes and Val Thorens and more big-name Italian centres open including Cervinia, and Courmayeur.

Most have had at least a foot of fresh snowfall over the past week and snow down to low levels as well.

It’s not just the Alps though. The season is underway in Dolomiti Superski in Italy at Cortina d’Ampezzo and several other resorts and the first centre has opened for the season in the Pyrenees, Baqueira Beret on the Spanish side of the mountains.

Some big-name ski areas have been opening in Scandinavia as well, including Norway’s Kvitfjell and Geilo, joining already open Finnish centres like Levi, Ruka and Yllas. Here it’s a very wintery picture with lots of snow falling.

There’s been snow too in places where resorts haven’t opened yet, but will be soon, including across eastern Europe in countries like Bulgaria, closer to home in Scotland and even countries with just one or two ski centres like Croatia, Algeria and Portugal.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

North America

Good to Ski Right Now?

It’s over in the USA and Canada where over 100 centres have now opened, helped by mostly low temperatures and some good natural snowfalls. Aiming to open ahead of the big US Thanksgiving holiday weekend was an extra incentive for many.

The best of the snowfall has been in the West where Mammoth in California reports they already have 2 metres lying on their highest slopes. Lake Louise had to cancel the first Men’s Downhill ski race of the season planned for there on Friday due to heavy snowfall.

Most big-name resorts across the country are now open with the largest, Canada’s Whistler Blackcomb, opening on Thursday.

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Update 17 November 2022

North America

Good to Ski Right Now?

Canada and USA continue to have the best early season conditions. Resorts continue to open early for the 22-23 season across the continent with some reporting up to six feet (1.8 metres) of snow in the past three weeks.

Most of the snowfall so far has been in the West where the first BC resorts open in Canada last weekend and Big White and Silver Star and others will join them this weekend.

Kicking Horse won’t open for a while yet but posted the picture below of the powder those who hiked up could enjoy.

Temperatures have now dropped on the Eastern side of the continent too with not much snow yet (though plenty forecast now) but snowmaking systems fired up. The first centre in Quebec opened for 22-23 yesterday and Sunday River is the first in New England, pictured top, opening today in Maine.  Stowe and Killington in Vermont plan to open this weekend.

We estimate there’ll be at least50 and perhaps as many as 100 North American ski areas open coast-to-coast this weekend.

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Europe

Good to Ski Right Now?

Some snow down to about 1500m and consistently colder this week but more snowfall is needed.

It’s a fine line – the French season has been put a further week back with Val Thorens delaying its planned opening this weekend to next, but Obergurgl in Austria has managed to open and despite only having 5-20cm of snow lying, has opened 30km of runs.

Also opening this weekend are Andermatt and Kitzbuhel, both thanks to snow farming, while Obertauern appears to have delayed their opening too.

The forecast looks unsettled, but cold, so we all have to hope for bigger and better snowfalls soon.

Scandinavia looks more wintery. Levi in Lapland hosts Alpine World Cup ski racing this weekend and more leading Finnish ski areas including Pyha and Yllas are due to open.

In the wider world it has been increasingly snowy in Japan and temperatures in Scotland have dropped from record November highs a week ago to the likelihood of snow above about 300 metres this weekend.

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After a mere 2 years, 8 months pandemic break, our regular snow updates are back!  It’s looking good in Western Canada and the US and we’re trying not to get too tense as we wait for more snow in the Alps. 

About 40 ski areas in nine countries on three continents are already open for their 22-23 ski seasons…  

North America

Good to Ski Right Now?

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

(The Palisades, California)

The best of the snowfall so far this month has been in Western North America.

Ski resorts in the Rockies have reported up to a metre (over three feet) of snowfall over the past fortnight leading to several opening early for the season.

About a dozen centres are already open in Canada and the USA and more plan to join them in the next few days.

Already open areas include Mammoth in California, which reported a powder day on November 9th after more than two feet of snowfall in the previous 24 hours, its first of 22-23.

Winter Park and Arapahoe Basin are already open in Colorado (as is Loveland, pictured top) with Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Vail due to join them in the next few days. Further north Utah’s Solitude say they’ll open early too.

In Canada the season is already underway at Lake Louise and Sunshine near Banff in Alberta Canada. Marmot Basin near Jasper to the north opens on Thursday 10th and Big White say they’re opening early from the 17th, potentially the first to open in BC.

It’s been warmer in the East but temperatures are now dropping and snowmaking systems operating overnight.

Europe

Good to Ski Right Now?

Where is Good to Ski or Board Right Now?

Austria’s Molltal Glacier opening November 10th

There are about 20 ski areas open in Europe already for the 22-23 ski s