It’s been dry for a fourth week in the Alps. That’s not bad news for most skiers happy to ski freshly groomed runs in the sunshine each morning as most of the continent’s famous resorts remain fully open thanks to all the snow they got in the autumn, which is still lying on their slopes. It’s less good news for anyone after powder or for smaller, low lying resorts which didn’t get much snow and where it has often been too warm for snowmaking if they have the equipment.
It wasn’t dry across Europe this week though. After three weeks the Pyrenees got some snow at the weekend and it has stayed snowy in much of Scandinavia. It has also got colder again with some fresh snow in Scotland turning hills white again. There is also snow forecast across much of the Alps this coming weekend, at last.
In the USA it is still dumping in the West, particularly on the Pacific Coast which had such a warm wet autumn. After a second successive week of five-foot plus snowfalls there it’s now home to the deepest snowpack not only in North America but also overtaking the deepest in the Alps for the deepest in the world. There have been some good snowfalls too further inland on the Rockies again as well as over on the East Coast.
It’s been another dry week in Austria with conditions little changed on a week ago., The main destination resorts remain in generally good shape with all runs open but fresh snow, particularly on lower slopes, is needed now after nearly a month. The good news is there is some forecast – probably 20-40cm, all being well, across the country from Saturday. Saalbach pictured top, St Anton above.
It has been another sunny week in most French mountains, with snow depths dropping a little as they usually would in the spring as the snow settles and thaws, but still, for most destination resorts on-piste conditions remain great, with all runs open and all lifts operating. Only smaller, lower resorts that never had much snow in the first place continue to suffer. Not much off-piste snow left either although the avalanche danger is pretty low. There was snow in the French Pyrenees at the weekend, however, freshening things up there. The French Alp and Pyrenees are finally due to see a change this coming weekend with 20-40cm of snow forecast across the country. Avoriaz pictured above at the start of this week.
#MontBlancAtItsPeak La #ValFerret è uno spettacolo in tutte le stagioni: venite a scoprire le sue attività.Su www.courmayeurmontblanc.it vi proponiamo 2 escursioni ogni settimana una in bike e l'altra con le racchette da neve.
Posted by Courmayeur Mont Blanc on Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Italy has seen little change in the dry and sunny conditions this week too but slopes here as well are mostly looking good thanks to autumn accumulations staying intact and again nearly all the major centres are fully open. Snow is forecast here too this weekend but perhaps not quite so much as further north and with just a few centimetres for the Dolomites.
It’s been sunny again in Switzerland too and after a cold start to the week a little warm in the past few days too, although here as well as a big temperature drop and snow is expected through the weekend, with 20-40cm expected in most areas. In the meantime here too base depths are mostly good, higher slopes best and everything is open at the bigger resorts. Verbier pictured this week above.
The Pyrenees did get some fresh snow last weekend to refresh cover with 5-15cm for most areas, and they’re due to get a second weekend of snow this coming weekend too with, hopefully, a little more than last weekend. In between, dry, sunny, and a little too warm here too, but again most of the region’s main ski areas are fully open and on-piste conditions generally excellent.
One part of Europe has seen lots of snow whilst the rest has been dry and sunny and that’s Western Norway. The past week has seen snowfall here just get heavier with ski areas around Norway’s coastal town of Voss (above) reporting up to 1.3 metres (over four feet) of snowfall in the past week. Other areas in the region have had less snow, but still, most have had some.
Scottish slopes are in about the best shape they’ve been for nearly a month thanks to cold temperatures on the mountain and hill snow. Resorts have been closed through the week by severe gales and those winds have blown snow off the top of the mountains but areas including Glencoe say they have pretty good mid-mountain snow cover and they hope to open terrain this Friday on.
Another dry, sunny week in the east of Europe too, a bit too warm down in the valleys. So the snow has been there a long while now and is largely machine-made on lower slopes with the best conditions up high. Bansko (pictured above this week) is due to stage World Cup racing next week and has maintained its top to bottom ski run.
There’s been lots of snow in western Canada, and some for the East too, with a generally good picture now across the country. Starting in the Far West, where it was too warm and wet up to Christmas, resorts like Whistler are now more than half-open. It has also continued to dump down inland, where it has been snowy all winter in Central and Eastern BC as well as in Alberta, and now still more snow has left deep powder lying. But it has been cold too, Marmot Basin near Jasper is currently closed for safety reasons as temperature hit -35C Further east, where Quebec also had a bad a season start, it’s now much better, with bases finally building, although there have been problems with freezing rain again. Sun peaks in BC pictured above this week.
There have been more incredible snowfalls in the US west for a second successive week meaning several resorts have now had more than 2 metres of snowfall this year already, Jackson Hole has had more than three metres, a record for the start of a year. There’s been snow in the east too, on higher, more northerly slopes, although lower and more southerly areas have had more rain and are struggling to open much terrain. Sunday Rover in Maine pictured above.
Snow report below published 10th January, 2020
Europe has seen its second mostly sunny week in a row, leaving most people out skiing for New Year’s week pretty happy with what they found. There were bumper crowds so the main complaint was busy slopes and lift queues but with nearly every run open and the sun shining, many said it was their best New Year week in years, or ever. Now those holiday crowds have gone and conditions remain good thanks to the November and pre-Christmas December snow.
True, lower slopes are suffering a little (in a few places a lot) from above zero temps and little or no snow cover, but for most destination resorts the slopes are open top-to-bottom. Those who like their powder may be hoping for more fresh soon though, but unfortunately there’s not a lot in the forecast at present with more of the same expected for the week ahead.
Scandinavia has actually posted the biggest snowfalls in Europe of the past week with up to 60cm (two foot) of new snow in Norway. Scottish areas are battling warm, wet, windy weather and there’s an improving picture in Eastern Europe.
Things are also looking ever better in North America where the northwest has seen some huge snowfalls (over 150cm/5 feet in one case) and nearly everywhere has had at least some fresh snow!
Pictured top: “ghost hunting” in Sun Peaks, BC, Canada on Jan 8, 2020.
Kleine Kostprobe direkt von der Piste! WIE IMMER: Sensationelle Bedingungen hier bei uns in Filzmoos! #mehralsnurschön #filzmoosski #filzmoos #skifahren #ski #toppiste #winterwunderland #winterparadies
Posted by Bergbahnen Filzmoos on Wednesday, 8 January 2020
It’s been a largely warm and sunny week in Austria where all of the country’s leading ski areas are fully open. The rather warm January temperatures has led to some rain down on lower slopes but has fallen as snow up high. Overall the picture is good on the groomed runs though, especially now the New Year crowds have moved on and the week ahead promises more of the same.
Splendid conditions across the French Alps for a third week and now all the new year revellers have moved on the slopes are empty too. As with the rest of the Alps, almost all major centres are fully open with good snow depths top to bottom, but the best conditions up high. It has clouded over a little to end this week and 5-10cm of snow is forecast for Friday/Saturday which should freshen things up. La Plagne pictured this week.
Holidays are really over…? 😉Le vacanze sono davvero finite…? 😉
Posted by Carosello 3000 Livigno on Tuesday, 7 January 2020
Italy has also had a dry, mostly sunny week across the country. As with the rest of western Europe skiers are largely happy to find almost all terrain open and great conditions, only powder hounds may be missing the diminishing amount of off piste powder to be found now that several weeks have gone by since the last snowfall in many areas. There’s no snowfall in the forecast at present either, perhaps just a few centimetres along the French border on Friday.
It’s a similar story in Switzerland – everywhere open, decent snow depths, but snow up high, mostly sunny conditions but the chance of a small snowfall to end this week before a return to more of the same. Any snow will most likely be in central and western parts of the country, not the East. Andermatt (pictured above) reports a 4 metre base up top – joint deepest in the world with Trentino’s Presena glacier.
Comencem la setmana amb una nova perspectiva. 😉_Empezamos la semana con una nueva perspectiva. 😉_We start the week with a new perspective.😉_Nous commençons la semaine avec une nouvelle perspective. 😉_Freestyler @carlitosaguareles_____#Grandvalira #Snowvolution #GoProResort #GoPro #GoProEs @GoPro @GoProEs
Posted by Grandvalira on Tuesday, 7 January 2020
The Pyrenees have had another largely dry week with no fresh snow to report and there’s not much sign of any in the forecast either. But most resorts in the region are fully open – that means more than 160km of runs skiable at Spain’s Baqueira Beret and more than 200km at Andorra’s Grandvalira shared by Soldeu El Tarter and Pas de la Casa. There’s no snowfall in the forecast at present.
Scandinavian ski areas have seen the most fresh snow this past week, with consistent snowfalls across the region, several areas reporting 20-25cm in 24 hour periods. So it’s a snowy picture here and definitely the place to be at present if you like your snow newly fallen! Ruka in Lapland above.
It has been snowing again on Scottish mountains to end the week after another topsy turvy week with double digit temperatures and gale force winds at times. All five highland centres are still open though thanks to their special snowmaking machines which can create snow even when it’s above freezing. The open terrain is limited top nursery slopes and a few short runs at present though until things get more consistently cold and snowy. Cairngorm pictured 9 Jan above.
There’s been fresh snow in parts of Slovakia this past week with Jasna reporting about 50cm of news snow since the start of the week. In Bulgaria it has been snowmaking allowing resorts to open more terrain this week as it has been sunny but generally cold. Some fresh snow is expected here on Sunday though. Borovets pictured above on Jan 9th.
In Canada Whistler Blackcomb has posted the most snow this week with nearly a metre (39 inches) of fresh snow. Here too it had been a very bad start to the winter and the resort, with North America’s largest ski area, had only been able to open a small part of it up to Christmas as it was too warm and wet. It now reports a 1.7 metre base and is moving towards having half of its terrain open.
Further inland conditions in Central and Eastern BC and in Alberta have, in contrast, been good for months already. Things are also improving over in the East in Quebec with colder temperatures and fresh snow at last. Big White, pictured above this week, with 30cm (a foot) more snow in the past few days now has the country’s deepest base at 2.1 metres (seven feet) with Revelstoke in second spot on 201cm.
Snow depths have passed the three metre (10 foot) mark in Western USA after heavy snowfall hit the region. Ski areas have reported up to 2.3 metres (nearly eight feet) of snow in the past 7 days, the biggest accumulation reported by Mt Baker, in northern Washington state close to the US border. It is also posting the deepest base on the continent at 3.1 metres (10.3 feet).
Mt Baker holds the record for the most snow ever reported in one season, and for the most snow on average each season (both unofficial records); 29 metres / 95 feet set in winter 98/99 and 16.3m / 54 ft respectively. But it, and the rest of Northwestern North America, had had a poor start to the season and very little snowfall up to Christmas, with many in the region delaying opening. So it is a relief there that conditions have improved dramatically. Jackson Hole has posted the second most fresh snowfall with 108cm (nearly four feet) of snow this week.
Conditions are improving on the east Coast too with up to 50cm (20 inches) reported by resorts in Vermont this week. Smugglers Notch there pictured above.
Post Below from 3 January, 2020
It has been predominantly sunny weather in the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites for the past week giving glorious conditions for those lucky enough to be in the mountains for New Year. The weather is changing a little now with some light snowfall to freshen things up as the slopes now quieten down after the busy holiday period. Saalbach is pictured top this week.
Elewhere in Europe it’s a much improved picture in the Balkans and Tatras with low temperatures allowing snowmaking systems to fire up and resorts in Bulgaria have much more terrain open now.
In Scandinavia it continues to look good with more fresh snow whilst Scottish centres have used their all-weather snowmaking machines to keep some terrain open during a record warm end to December.
Over in North America it’s an improving picture on east and northwest coasts which had had a warm start to the winter but are seeing plenty of snow now, whilst the Rockies are getting dumped on once again but north and south of the border.
It has been a good week for skiers and boarders in Austria with plenty of sunshine after the pre-Christmas snow. Most of the country’s ski areas are now fully open (or nearly so), with decent snow depths, the deepest up on the glaciers. There’s some fresh snowfall expected in to the weekend which should freshen up snow cover. Picture above, Saalbach by Mr G Williamson.
Splendid conditions in the French Alps and Pyrenees this week with almost all areas fully open, great snow depths and sunny skies. Val Thorens in the 3 Valleys is in fact now posting the world’s deepest snow depth of over 3 metres on lower slopes, over 4 metres up high.
Italy too has had a largely sunny week with great on-piste conditions., The only real complaint has been lift queues with so many skiers and boarders trying to get out on the slopes to enjoy it. Almost all runs are open in the huge Dolomiti Superski region and the snow is lying up to four metres deep on the country’s glaciers. National hero Dominik Paris became the four time winner of the Bormio World Cup downhill at the weekend.
It’s been a beautiful week on Swiss lopes with sun shining, cold temperatures and fresh snow. Most of the country’s areas are fully open, or nearly so, and Andermatt says it now has a 4 metre snow depth on upper runs, the deepest in the country. There was some fresh snow (10-230cm) to end last week and it looks like a similar volume should freshen up cover across the country this weekend too. Zermatt is pictured top during a snow shower at the end of last week.
Así hemos vivido el mes de diciembre en Baqueira Beret¡Mucho #espiritubaqueira gracias a tod@s vosotr@s! ⛷️🏂Així hem viscut el mes de desembre a #BaqueiraBeretMolt d' #esperitbaqueira gràcies a tots vosaltres! 🏂 ⛷️📍 Baqueira Beret
Posted by Baqueira Beret on Thursday, 2 January 2020
The Pyrenees have had a mostly dry, sunny week as well and here too the snow that fell consistently before Christmas in December and back in November means that most of the region’s larger ski areas were able to open pretty much all of their terrain for some great conditions to start the new year. Grandvalira (Soldeu and Pas de la Casa), the biggest area there, has more than 200km of runs open.
It is looking fairly good across Scandinavia as we head in to the new year with most resorts somewhere between 60-100% open, reporting fresh snowfall, and reasonable base depths. There have been small to moderate fresh snowfalls here over new year and its set to stay cold and occasionally snowy over the week ahead. Are, the region’s largest resort, has a 60vcm (two foot) base and about three-quarters of its runs open. Iso Syote is pictured above.
Alas it is not looking good in Scotland at present after record warm temperatures to end the year saw double digits above freezing and much of the hill snow in the country disappear. It’s getting cooler now and there are hopes of new snowfalls if it does get cold enough but in the meantime what’s open is limited to mostly beginner areas created using the centres’ all-weather snowmaking machines. Cairngorm is pictured above.
A big change for the better in eastern Europe compared to a week ago. Borovets that was hardly open at Christmas is now fully open and Bansko (pictured above) has opened its snow road down from the ski area to the resort. This is all thanks to snowmaking made possible by very cold temperatures.
The Canadian Rockies have seen still more huge snow falls with Sun Peaks in Eastern BC also getting dumped on – reporting more than 60cm (two feet) of snow in 48 hours this week. The country’s pacific coast, where resorts including the continent’s biggest Whistler Blackcomb have had a poor start to the season (warm and wet) are now seeing snow and are making up for lost time. The east has also had a tricky start and freezing rain this week hasn’t helped but more recently it has been fresh snow.
It has been yet another very snowy week in the US Rockies with some resorts reporting a metre of snowfall over seven days up to the middle of this week, and now after a few quiet days it is dumping once again with another 20-40cm reported in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming etc. The week started less well on the east coast when freezing rain coated lifts with ice, but here too there’s been up to a foot of fresh snow in the past few days so it’s looking much better there now.
Report below from 27 December, 2019
It’s looking like a great start to 2020 next week in much of the skiing world. The past week has seen more big snowfalls across the Alps with some resorts reporting more than a metre more snow and most at least 30cm (a foot).
The only important note to make is that as a result of all the snow, and sometime windy and mild periods too, the off-piste snowpack is unstable and the avalanche danger generally high to very high.
The Dolomites, Pyrenees and Scandinavia all look good too, and even in Eastern Europe, where it had been too warm and many areas had been forced to postpone opening, it has now got colder and snowier. Up in Scotland all five centres are open, albeit with limited terrain and after Glencoe suffered a Christmas fire at its base buildings.
Across the Atlantic there has been plenty of snow too in the West with again some areas getting more than a metre (it’s particularly good in Alberta and Eastern BC) and most several feet of snow. the northwest corner, where resorts like Whistler Blackcomb was suffering a poor start to the season (again too warm and wet), is also seeing improving conditions now too.
Das Wintermärchen bei der Liftfahrt genießen! #mehralsnurschön #filzmoosski #skiamade #salzburgersportwelt #skifahren #skilift #winterwunderland #wintermärchen #entspannung #entschleunigung
Posted by Bergbahnen Filzmoos on Thursday, 26 December 2019
Austria has had a very snowy Christmas period and whilst the snowfall in the western Alps was largely over by Christmas Eve, here it kept snowing through to Boxing Day, with Saalbach Hinterglemm reporting another 20cm for Boxing Day. Generally conditions look good across the country with up to 3 metres of snow lying on the glaciers but snow down to valley floors thousands of metres below now too.
It looks like this week should end with lots more snowfall, just like the past two weekends in France. Indeed last weekend was one of the snowiest of the season yet with most resorts posting at least 30cm of fresh snow and some including higher slope at Les Arcs reporting more than a metre over 72 hours. Les Contamines is pictured above. All in all its looking like a great start to 2020 in the French mountains with bases on higher slopes approaching three metres now.
Italy too saw some big snowfalls in the run up to Christmas and many areas in the West of the country have seen 5-15cm more snow in the past 24 hours. Generally conditions are really great across the country with most terrain open and fresh snow too. Livigno, pictured above and top, opened a run for powder skiing only just in time for Christmas with 30cm of fresh snow on it. The run is left ungroomed when conditions are good like they are currently. The avalanche danger is higher here also though -m generally around level 3 – so going off piste is not advised for now.
Swiss ski areas have seen some of the biggest snowfalls of the past week with Belalp claiming 172cm (nearly six feet) of now has fallen there in the past week. That generally means great conditions and almost every slope in the country open, but it does mean high avalanche danger too, which was witnessed at Andermatt at Christmas when an avalanche crossed a groomed piste there. Andermatt has the deepest base in the country too at 3.8 metres. Disentis is pictured above.
An ever improving picture in the Pyrenees where most resorts now have bases above the metre mark. The region’s largest ski area, Greandvalira in Andorra (pictured above) has more than 100 runs open now adding up to most of its 200km+ of trails now skiable.
Mostly light snowfall across Scandinavia over the past week following heavier snowfall earlier in the month. Here bases typically build by centimetres, with the usually fine powder snow at these latitudes compares to the 10cm at a time with heavier snow in the Alps. But one resort, Vaset in Eastern-Norway, has passed the metre mark with 1.1 metres of snow now lying. Generally though it’s looking good across the region with most runs now open for new year.
A much improved picture in Eastern Europe over the past week with colder temperatures and plenty of fresh snowfall, heaviest as usual on higher lopes. In Bulgaria Bansko has opened more terrain and Borovets, which had delayed opening though much of December, has now opened some terrain – it’s not brilliant but a lot better than it was. Cold but dry now so snowmaking systems are hard at work.
You couldn’t claim conditions are brilliant in Scotland, but thanks to cold weather, some natural snowfall and snowmaking with all-weather machines, all five of the country’s Highland centres are open for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Most have nursery slopes, snow play areas and in some cases small terrain park feature available. Several including Glencoe, Glenshee and Nevis Range a few longer ‘proper’ ski runs too with thin cover.
You couldn’t claim conditions are brilliant in Scotland, but thanks to cold weather, some natural snowfall and snowmaking with all-weather machines, all five of the country’s Highland centres are open for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Most have nursery slopes, snow play areas and in some cases small terrain park feature available. Several including Glencoe, Glenshee and Nevis Range a few longer ‘proper’ ski runs too with thin cover. Glencoe (pictured above) had a big set back with a base fire over Christmas but is heroically re-opening none the less.
Most of BC and Alberta have had another great snowy week with several resorts (Panorama in BC and Sunshine in Canada) posting 1m+ snowfalls in 7 days. Further west on the Pacific Coast which has had a very poor start to the winter (too warm and wet) it is colder and has been snowing too although Whistler still has some way to go to get back on track. In the East it is colder at last but there’s still not much snow, or much forecast, but at least snowmaking systems can now operate.
It has been a snowy week in much of the western Us with Mountain High in Southern California reporting 1.3 metres of snowfall in the last seven days. Ski areas further north have also seen some good snowfall and are continuing to regain ground after a warm start of the season delayed openings pre-Christmas. Lots of snow further east in the Rockies too with several feet of snow reported in the last 72 hours in Colorado. Mammoth still has the country’s deepest base at 2.3 metres.
Report Below From 19 Dec 19
It’s looking like one of the best Christmas/New year holiday fortnights in the alps so far this century as snowfall after snowfall has bolstered bases over the past two months, so the snow is lying 1-2 metres deep at 2000 metres and as much as 4 metres deep up at 3000m.
OK, it’s not perfect, it’s too warm at times which has meant much less snow low down and sometimes destabilising rain on snow, there have been gales too and another big storm is hitting Western Europe this weekend, but the start of Christmas week should be very pleasant in most places with a foot or two of fresh snow too. What’s most noticeable compared to past years is just how much terrain is open already with many areas already fully open when some Christmases they’ve struggled to open a dozen or so runs.
Elsewhere its looking good in the Dolomites, Scandinavia keeps getting dumped on and in most of North America. Scotland’s five centres have all opened, but with thin cover so far. The less good area over there include Quebec and coastal BA, which had warm weather until recently. It’s now sunny but dry in Quebec but it is dumping on BC’s Pacific Coast. So Whistler is on catch up there. Across the Pacific Japan is having a pretty disastrous season start, again too warm and wet, but normal Japanese snow is now forecast from about Christmas Eve.
It has been a rather worryingly warm week in Austria with some of the countries bigger, lower altitude ski regions like Saalbach-Hinterglemm (pictured above this week), the Skiwelt and Kitzbuhel, battling temperature of +5 to +10C at resort level and sometimes well above zero at the top of the slopes too. They’re doing a good job though, keeping lots of terrain open and the good news is its due to get colder. The snow is much deeper, as you’d expect, up[ on the glacier. More snow is forecast for parts of the country, particularly the south and east, this weekend, as well as up high on those glaciers again.
It has been a fairly dry week in the French Alps, often overcast, following snowstorms last weekend, but more snow will start falling from Saturday through to Monday which should see 30-60cm of Fresh now on top of what are already good bases for this early in the season at most French resorts. The stormy conditions that the snow will arrive on may mean a number of ski areas are closed at the weekend for periods, particularly on Saturday. It’s looking good from Monday on though with sunny skies and fresh snow for Christmas week. Lans en Vercors, pictured top, will start its 19-20 season on Sunday rather than Saturday because of the forecast storm. Val Thorens pictured above on Wednesday.
Italy missed out on some of the big snowfalls of the past few weeks, except at the resorts on the French and Swiss borders, but that wan’t really a problem due to accumulated snow from the big November falls. Some of the deepest snowbases ion the world at present are in Italy. Anyway the next 72 hours should see the snow back across northern Italy from east to west with higher slopes expecting several feet (60cm+) before the weather calms down from Monday just in time for Christmas. Livigno pictured top.
Swiss ski areas have seen some of the biggest snowfalls of the past week with Belalp claiming 172cm (nearly six feet) of now has fallen there in the past week. That generally means great conditions and almost every slope in the country open, but it does mean high avalanche danger too, which was witnessed at Andermatt at Christmas when an avalanche crossed a groomed piste there. Andermatt has the deepest base in the country too at 3.8 metres. Disentis is pictured above.
(( Actualité station )) J-1 Vacances de noël 🤩🎅✨🎁 La neige est bien de retour à Piau – Engaly ❄️ les pistes n'attendent que vous ⛷Suivez toute l'actualité du domaine skiable ➡️ https://urlz.fr/bp7P
Posted by Piau – Engaly on Friday, 20 December 2019
It’s looking good in the Pyrenees after more snow fell this week – with more forecast into the weekend. Most resorts in the region ate now operating almost at capacity as we enter the Christmas/New Year fortnight. Ski resorts on the French and Spanish sides have up to 1.7 metres of snow lying now, in Andorra its up to a metre and nearly all runs open at Grandvalira (Soldeu/Pas de la Casa) and Vallnord (Pal Arinsal). Video is from Piau Engaly in the French Pyrenees.
It has, unfortunately, been rather warm in much of Eastern Europe, particularly in Bulgaria where temperatures have reached double digits above freezing. Ski areas have continued to operate with bases built up through the autumn, although obviously the best snow is to be found high up at present. Winter is supposed to return early next week with some fresh snow deliveries expected in time for Christmas. The pic above was taken very carefully at Bansko a few days ago.
It’s staying snowy in Scandinavia with plenty of fresh falling, particularly in Western Norway where Voss in particular (pictured above this morning), keeps reporting 10-20cm more almost daily. The days are very short here now but start getting longer again from Sunday, and in the meantime the floodlighting does a good job!
All five Scottish ski areas have been open this week following another week of mostly low temperatures and more fresh snow. Terrain open so far is limited but all five areas have beginner slopes and snow fun areas thanks to all weather snowmaking systems and some, including Glencoe (pictured above earlier this week), have enough natural snow cover to open more terrain. Unfortunately it has warmed up since Thursday with Glenshee closing so far to preserve remaining snow cover.
A mixed picture in Canada with great conditions inland in BC where it keeps dumping at resorts like Fernie and Revelstoke a well as over the Alberta border in Banff and Jasper. It’s less good news further West though where coastal BC resorts like Whistler have had a very warm and wet autumn BUT the lack of snow cover is now, hopefully, ending as temperatures have dropped and snow is rolling in and this is expected to continue (one of these, Cypress Mountain) is pictured. It was a similar problem in the East for Quebec and unfortunately here it’s still pretty bad as although temperatures are now sub-zero it is also clear and sunny with little natural snowfall still so far.
There’s deep powder in the Rockies this week following the big snowfalls in recent weeks. There have been off-piste avalanches in Colorado (Steamboat) and Park City (Utah), the latter resulting in a fatality as freeriders are tempted to head off the groomed slopes in to the out-of-bounds powder. Most of the country’s slopes are in good shape for Xmas with snow in the East too (if not so much) to freshen up the slopes and in California. The country’s Northwest corner which had warm and wet conditions until this week is currently receiving huge snowfalls expected to add up to more than a metre by the end of the weekend.
Report Below from 13 Dec 2019
It has been a largely snowy-seven days in most of the skiing world as we build up to the start of the main 2019-20 season which really begins this weekend by which time nearly all of the world’s leading ski area will have opened and the first tour-operator charter flights will be heading off to the Alps.
After a fairly dry fortnight up to 70cm of snow fell in the Alps on Monday and Tuesday and similar falls are forecast over Friday/Saturday to end this week meaning some area will have had more than a metre of snowfall in a week by Sunday.
Elsewhere… the Pyrenees have also seen 20-50cm more snow this week and up in Scandinavia it has been snowy too with 20-50cm for many area but more than a metre of snow reported at one Norwegian area.
Scotland has had a thaw, the storms, but the past few days have been snowy and several centres will open this weekend. In Eastern Europe the season started to get underway last weekend with dozens of areas opening there.
In North America it is currently dumping big time in the west of the continent, with California and Colorado getting several feet more snow. The snowfall is especially needed up in the pacific northwest – one of thew few major ski regions not to have seen much so far this autumn. Whistler Blackcomb wasn’t looking great but has now had at least 10cm of snowfall and counting.
In Asia Japan’s season has also started slowly with temperatures too warm but there has been a lot of snow in the north (Niseko) this past week, still some falling as rain further south though.
Austrian ski areas had a snowy start to the week with the Arlberg area (pictured above) of Lech and St Anton reporting up to 50cm of fresh snow. the snow also fell down to low elevations, great news for lower, newly-opened ski areas like Saalbach. There’s more snow due in Austria over the next 72 hours meaning it’s looking like a really great start to the main season here.
20-40cm of fresh now to tart the week in France and here too the snow fell right down to the valley floor, so improved cover from top to bottom on slopes that had been becoming rather hard packed. the last of the country’s big ski areas including La Plagne and Les Arcs are due to open for their 2019-20 seasons this weekend.
Italy was the only country in the Alpine big four that did not really post major snowfalls to start the week. That was a big contrast to November when Italy saw the biggest falls of all, leaving it with some of the deepest bases on the planet at present, including the only reported 4m depth on the Presena Glacier in Trentino. However the country should get big snowfalls too over the next 72 hours through the weekend – particularly in the Northwest – the Dolomites, it is forecast, not so much.
Switzerland reported the biggest snowfalls in the Alps in the Monday-Tuesday snowfalls at the start of this week. Verbier is pictured above but it was the Gstaad region that reached a 70cm snowfall total, and another 40cm of snowfall is forecast there this weekend meaning its 7-day accumulation i s likely to pass the metre mark. but there’s been plenty of snowfall almost everywhere in Switzerland this week.
Conditions are looking pretty good in the Pyrenees following more fresh snowfall. Actually the biggest falls (30-50cm) this week have been reported on both the French and Spanish sides, rather than in Andorra, but Grandvalira still has a huge amount of terrain open already, despite reporting the snow base only at 30-50cm so far. Baqueira Beret in Spain is nearly fully open with almost 160km of runs open.
Lots of the main ski areas in Eastern Europe opened last weekend with Jasna in Slovakia and Bansko in Bulgaria two of the bigger names. The season has also got underway in the Czech Republic, Poland and even Bosnia, among other countries though. Typically this early in the season the best snow is up high with Bansko reporting an 80cm base on upper runs.,
After a warm spell at the end of last week followed by several stormy days to start this which closed ski centres before the season had started, it has been cold and snowy in Scotland the past few days and Cairngorm, Glencoe and The Lecht all plan to have some terrain open this weekend – if only limited areas with thin cover so far. It’s a start!
It has been a good week for Scandinavian ski centres with up to a metre of fresh snowfall reported (at Voss on Norway’s West coast, pictured), that’s more than anywhere in the Alps has reported this week. Other resorts have had plenty of snow too if not quite so much. With low temps the powder is in prime condition.
Great conditions in Eastern BC and Alberta in Canada where there’s been another half metre of so of snow since this time last week. The only part of Canada that had been suffering is the Pacific coast where Whistler Blackcomb is located and it had only about 5% of its terrain open due to lack of snow. That does seem to be changing now though, at last, with 10cm of snow so far and counting. Pictured in Cypress Mountain to the south. Another resort in the region, Red Mountain, had been due to open for the season today but has delayed.
Conditions are looking increasingly good in the US with more snow falling across much of the country. Loveland, pictured above, in Colorado, expects several feet (60cm) of fresh snow by the end of the weekend. Mammoth Mountain in California has the most terrain open in the country so far, over 2,000 acres. It’s looking good in the East too.
Published 5 Dec 2019:
After the very snowy November in the Alps, the tap seems to have been temporarily turned off this week, in most areas at least. That said several centres got another 50cm or more at the start of the weekend and many are now showing the latest round of snowfall just starting.
It’s been snowier in Scandinavia and across the Atlantic where last weekend saw snowfall across much of the US with California and Utah ski areas doing especially well, seeing as much as 1.5 metres (five feet) of snowfall in 48-72 hours.
More and more big name resorts are opening in both Europe and North America and the best of the snow on both continents remains on higher slopes this early in the season. In the Alps, above about 1800 metres, things are looking very good for the start of the main season.
It has been mostly clear and sunny this week in the Austrian Alps and looks set to remain so through the weekend before snow arrives at the start of next week, bringing 20-40cm to mot areas. Base depth are great above 2000 metres, less good lower down but it is early – Saalbach (pictured above today), which he the biggest area in the country, opens this weekend.
Like Austria it has been a fairly dry, sunny week for most French ski area that are already open. Val d’Isere was one of the big name resorts opening last weekend. Avoriaz, pictured above and top, opened for a preview weekend and will do again this coming weekend ahead of its main opening on the 14th because, they say, the snow is so good. In fact everywhere in France above 1800 metres the snow looks to be good. The next wave of snowfall is expected in France too early next week.
Things have quietened down a little in Italy after the heavy snow of November, although most areas did get another 20-50cm of fresh snowfall over the past week. The country also continues to claim the deepest base in the world at present – 4 metres lying on the Presena Glacier near Passo Tonale. More major areas including most in the Dolomites opened at the weekend and conditions are generally good for this early in the season across the country.
Swiss slopes are in good shape in common with the rest of the Alps and especially higher up. The upper slope bases at resorts like Andermatt and Engelberg above 3000 metres is already at more than three metre. Glacier 3000 near Gstaad say they’re opening their famed 7km long black run this weekend and Zermatt/Cervinia already has more than 200km of slopes open, probably the biggest area in the world skiable so far this season. Pictured above is Zermatt where the Mont Fort should be skiable from this weekend. Snow expected here too from Monday on.
After a dry week or so it is snowing again in the Pyrenees, and some ski areas on both the French and Spanish sides of the mountains have reported 10-20cm of fresh in the last 24 hours. Andorra’s ski centres did open at the weekend and have a moderate amount of terrain open with 20-50cm of snow lying so far. Snow depths are deeper at some resorts in France and Spain with Baqueira Beret reporting over 100km of slope open already.
Det preppes og klargjøres i Roni til helgen ❄️
Posted by SkiStar Hemsedal on Tuesday, 3 December 2019
More and more Scandinavian centres have opened in the past few weeks and those that are open already are adding more and more skiable terrain. The good news is it has been snowing here through the week in many area when it stopped in the alps so though the dumps here are almost never as big as down in the Alps, the cold temperatures keep the snow in great shape. Sweden’s Are, the region’s biggest area, has nearly doubled its base to around 70cm.
Eastern Europe’s season is nearly upon us with several resorts due to open this weekend including big names like Jasna in Slovakia whilst most others, including Bulgaria’s Bansko, plan to wait until the 14th. The snow did keep falling,. Lightly, east of the alps over the past few days. Currently snow depths are typically 40-60cm above about 1600 metres, below that there’s not yet much but snowmaking systems are powering up when temps are low enough.
Scotland’s five Highland ski centres expect to open over the next few weeks, in fact Cairngorm is ‘kind of’ opening this weekend. The problem is that it has been very warm and wet the past few days so there’s not much natural snow left. The good news though is that all five centres now have all-weather snow machines so there is some snow, and the coming week looks much colder and snowier so hopefully things will look a lot better by this time next week.
It’s a mixed picture across Canadian slopes – too warm and wet in the Far West with Whistler only able to open a small part of their terrain so far. At least 30 degrees colder at times further east in Alberta where Lake Louise, currently staging world cup Downhill racing, has over 100 runs open. More BC resorts have opened in between the two posting conditions that are also somewhere between the two – in other words more snow and runs open than Whistler so far, less than Lake Louise. Jasper to the north reported 19cm of snowfall on Wednesday and there’s much more forecast.
The US saw some of the biggest snow storms this autumn over their Thanksgiving holiday period at the end of last week. The snow fell on slopes across the country but the heaviest was in California and Utah where several centres reported nearly 1.8 metres (Six feet) of snowfall. Thanks to thanksgiving there are more US areas open than any other country by some distance but most so far have only limited terrain open for the early season.
Update below posted 29 November, 2019
The snowy November in the Alps has continued for another week with heavy snowfall at the weekend in the Western Alps, then snow falling again since Wednesday after a few days’ lull. Bases have now reached 4 metres and some resorts have had more than 3 metres of snow up high this month. So it’s looking like a good start to the season – albeit with the bests now up high.
Elsewhere in Europe some of the bigger areas in the Pyrenees have now opened and the coming weekend sees a lot more areas in the Dolomites open.
Scandinavia is looking good after more snowfall there and the first Eastern European centres should open for 19-20 this weekend too.
Across the Atlantic there’s a great improvement after the mostly warm and dry or west November and ski areas in California, Colorado and Utah have reported up to 60cm (two feet) of fresh snowfall in the last few days. This is good timing as the big Thanksgiving public holiday long weekend is underway and more than 100 US areas have opened.
North of the border the first areas in BC including Sun Peaks and Whistler Blackcomb, have opened.
The ski season is getting underway in Japan now but it’s a slow start with below average snowfall so far and some areas like Niseko have delayed opening.
A bit of novelty snow news before the individual country reports. It’s the start of the southern hemisphere’s summertime on Sunday but there was fresh snow reported at closed ski areas in Australia and Chile on Wednesday and a New Zealand area, Whakapapa (pictured above last weekend), plans to open a slope for the first day of summer, and its last day of operations too.
It has warmed up a little on Austrian slopes this week, with above zero temps down low, but there was more heavy snowfall last weekend so overall, things look great! St Anton and Ischgl are among the big name resorts starting their seasons this Saturday whilst Saalbach will unveil its latest mega-gondola lift.
Plenty of fresh snow for France, so much so that Avoriaz has announced it will open some terrain this weekend – a fortnight earlier than planned. Meanwhile Tignes has seen several days of 20cm+ snowfalls so things are looking great there, and several more resorts have opened for winter 19-20 including Alpe d’Huez, Montgenevre and Val Thorens./ Some, like Avoriaz, just at weekends for now though. Vars is pictured above.
Italy saw the biggest snowfalls in the world last weekend with ski areas reporting up to 145cm (nearly five feet) of snow in 48 hours. The heaviest snow was in the West of the country at Ski areas like Cervinia, Sestriere (which is pictured above on Monday and is opening some terrain early this weekend as a result) and Prato Nevoso. Italy’s Presena glacier is posting the deepest base in the world at present – the first to reach 4 metres so far in winter 19-20.
Swiss ski areas are in great shape too and can claim both the biggest lift-served vertical open in the world so far – 1800 metres at Saas Fee, and the largest ski area open so far – 138km at Zermatt over in to Italy at Cervinia. There was more heavy snowfall there last week with some stormy winds too that closed roads, lifts and caused some damage to buildings on a few mountains. It has calmed down since but stayed snowy with Zermatt reporting 20cm of fresh on Friday morning.
The season is in full swing in the Pyrenees with ski areas in Andorra as well as more big resorts in Spain including Baqueira Beret now open. Further south, Sierra Nevada (pictured above on Monday), has also opened for 19-20. Over all things are looking good with most areas reporting at least a metre of snow lying already on upper slopes. More French areas will open this week including Grand Tourmalet and the main ski slopes above Cauterets, which already has the deepest base in France at 1.8 metres.
Alas, warm and wet weather in the first half of the week has washed off much of the snowcover built up[ through the first three weeks of November on Scottish hills. However all five Highland areas now have all weather snowmaking systems and these have been working away to produce snow despite the plus temps, and lower temps and natural snow is reported to be on the way so some early December openings may still be possible.
The ski world focus was on Levi (pictured top and above) last weekend for the FIS World Cup slalom racing. Then, and ever since then, it has mostly been snowing in Scandinavia. Several dozen ski areas are now open across Finland, Norway and Sweden with many reporting fresh snow on their bases and great conditions for the start of December.
Fresh snow in Eastern Europe last weekend raised spirits in the region and the first centres are expected to open this weekend, though most not until closed to Christmas. There’s been more fresh snow since on higher slopes but it has been too warm at times down at resort level for anything but rain to fall.
On top of being American Thanksgiving, November 28th marked the opening of both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains for the winter season. Thanks for coming out and see you out on the mountain soon 👀!
Posted by Whistler Blackcomb on Thursday, 28 November 2019
BC’s ski season has got underway with first Sun Peaks then Whistler Blackcomb ski areas opening this week. Big White, Silver Star and Fernie are also opening. They’ve joined already open areas around Banff and Jasper in Alberta where temperatures are now double digits below zero. There’s been some fresh snow and Lake Louise is gearing up to stage World Cup racing this weekend, the first downhills of the season.
After something of a ‘limbo’ month in November with little snowfall, it has finally been dumping the past 48 hours in the west, following some good snowfalls at the weekend – so some areas have now had more than two feet (60cm) of snow. Over 100 US areas are now open, many opening earlier than they might as this is the big thanksgiving holiday long weekend.
Post Below on 22 November, 2019
Where is good to ski right now?
It has been a remarkably snowy November in the Alps and there have also been some big snowfalls in the Dolomites and Pyrenees. Scandinavia is also looking good.
Runs up to 9km long over more than 1,800 metres of vertical are already open. So all in all it’s looking pretty good for the start of the season. Chamonix and Val Thorens open this weekend.
It’s a rather different picture in North America so far. There was heavy snow in the Rockies in October but since then it has been rather warm and dry in the West. It is now snowing again there now, if lightly so far. In the east October was warm and dry but it’s now colder and there’s been some natural snowfall.
Altogether more than 100 ski areas have opened worldwide. More big snowfalls are forecast for the Alps this weekend.
Pictured top is Luz Ardiden in the French Pyrenees (image (c)Luz Tourisme), a region that is seeing great early season snow with several areas already open ahead of the previously planned season start date.
Austria has seen some of the biggest November snowfalls with some resorts receiving more than two metres of snowfall this month so far and bases up above 2.5 metres at a number of areas.
The Stubai glacier, pictured above, has some of the deepest snow. Unfortunately more extreme weather forecast there this weekend means a World Cup competition planned there has had to be cancelled although the resort should still; be open for recreational skiing and boarding. About a dozen Austrian areas are already open for the 19-20 season.
Half a dozen ski areas are now open in France after some smaller areas in the Alps and Pyrenees opened early to join already open glacier centre Tignes. The first of the big guns to join Tignes will open this weekend though with Chamonix and Val Thorens (pictured above earlier this month) opening terrain, the latter reporting a 90cm base up high already. More ski areas are planning to open in the french Pyrenees too, including Cauterets.
Italy too has had its share of big November snowfalls, in fact some of the biggest in the world. Cortina d’Ampezzo, which opened for the season early, is pictured above. More big snowfalls are forecast for the coming weekend too with some areas like Prato Nevoso in the West of the country likely to see up to 1.5 metres (five feet)( of snow in 48 hours of forecast are correct.
En plus de la piste du Pas du Loup du week-end dernier, nous ouvrons dès samedi la piste de la 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗲 jusqu'à la station intermédiaire.Les télécabines 𝗖𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀 – 𝗖𝗿𝘆 𝗱'𝗘𝗿 et le télésiège 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗲 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 seront ouverts de 8h45 à 16h15.Toutes les infos sur https://bit.ly/32KTodk
Posted by Crans Montana Ski Resort on Wednesday, 20 November 2019
Swiss ski areas have seen still more snowfall in the past week and many are in line for another metre or so over the next 72 hours, forecasters are predicting. Around a dozen Swiss areas are now open for the season with Saas Fee now having more than 40km of runs open including the longest on the planet so far open for 19-20, a 9km long, 1800 vertical metre descent.
A mixed picture across the Pyrenees although most areas have 50-100cm, of snow lying and half a dozen areas on the french and Spanish side of the mountains have already opened, as has Sierra Nevada to the south on the Spanish coast. Ski areas in Andorra should be opening in a week’s time. Cauterets, opening this weekend, has a 1.8 metre base already, the deepest reported in France. La Mongie in the French Pyrenees, which also opens in a week’s time, is pictured above.
It’s getting darker and colder in Scandinavia as we move towards mid-winter in a month’s time./ More areas are opening and up to 50cm of fresh snowfall was reported this week in Norway. However the weekend focus will be on Levi in Finland (pictured above today) where the first World Cup slalom races of the 19-20 season are due to take place.
There’s nowhere really open in Eastern Europe yet but the snow has been falling on and off over the past month, the latest accumulations in just the past 24 hours, so with snowmaking systems fired up, it’s looking promising. Centres are expected to start opening over the next few weekends although the majority not until nearer Christmas.
Scottish hills have been white and snowmaking systems fired up for most of November but as yet the country’s centres are saying there’s not enough snow cover yet to open. Some people have been hiking up to ski down however. Temperatures are set to rise a little but hopefully not so much that there’ll be a thaw and fingers crossed that forecast precipitation over the coming week falls as more snow, not rain.
Most of the snowsports centres so far open in Canada are in Alberta, where all three Banff centres are open along with Marmot Basin near Jasper (pictured above earlier this month). They’ve had fresh snowfall this week too. Mew areas opening have been in Ontario and Quebec but there’s still so far only about 10 areas open across the country.
With Thanksgiving a week away, which in the US is still a bigger holiday than Christmas, there’s been a push for ski centres to open, despite rather lacklustre snow conditions at present. More than 60 areas are already open – that’s more than half the world total at present – with many more set to join them over the next 48 hours ahead of the holiday weekend next week.
It has been a warm, dry November in the West so there’s been some excitement at the arrival of colder, snowier weather over the past 24 hours and up to 23cm of snowfall has been reported in the Colorado Rockies as well as smaller falls in California. But it’s the most snow for a month.
In the East resorts like Stowe are the latest to open. It has been colder here with some fresh snowfall too.
Post Below on 27 April, 2019
Where is good to ski right now?
Winter 2018-19 is drawing to a close with 95% of the northern hemisphere’s ski areas closed after Easter Sunday.
But more than 150 are still operating to this weekend and more than 50 will remain open next week into May.
The centres that are still operating mostly offer high altitude skiing and the good news in the Alps and the Pyrenees this week has been some quite wintery weather above 2000 metres (with rain below), so almost all of Europe’s glaciers have been dumped on and it’s actually looking like an end-of-season powder weekend for some. Cervinia and Zermatt have reported plenty of fresh snowfall and the nearby Monterosa region in Northwest Italy, where a few lifts are still operating on higher slopes, up to 90cm of snowfall has been reported in the past 72 hours up high!
This will be our final weekly report of winter 2018-19 so here’s a quick list of the ski areas staying open to May 1st: Are, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Ischgl, Kitzbuhel, Livigno, Oberstdorf, San Isidro, Sunday River, Finland’s Yllas and Germany’s Zugspitze.
A lot more areas remain open to this coming weekend and will close on April 28th.
And here are the ones staying open beyond that to include the first weekend in May before closing at the end of Sunday the 5th: Alpental, Andermatt, Cervinia, Chamonix, Gstaad Glacier 3000, Heavenly, Hemsedal, Jay Peak, Kanin, Lake Louise, Levi, Loveland, Marmot Basin, Masella, Mt Hood Meadows, Pitztal Glacier, Ruka, Sierra Nevada, Solden, St Moritz – Diavolezza, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Tignes, Val Senales, Val Thorens, Slovenia’s Vogel and Poland’s Zakopane.
There are others open now and staying open beyond May the 5th. In Europe they include the Hintertux, Kitzsteinhorn and Stubai glaciers in Austria right through May and the Kaunertal and Molltal Glaciers until the 12th; along with the Presena glacier in Italy and Engelberg (which still has snow lying 7 metres deep on its glacier, the deepest in the Alps) and Zermatt in Switzerland.
Sweden’s ‘Spring Skiing Capital of Europe’ Riksgransen will hopefully be open into June as will Norway’s three glacier ski areas although only one of these has opened so far, Folgefonn, the other two (Galdhoppigen and Stryn) opening next month.
Across the Atlantic there’s some fresh snow in Western Canada and more snow due in the North East after a warm, wet spell which closed ski areas in Quebec over the Easter weekend.
Resorts in the US due to stay open to the end of May or later include Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge in Colorado; Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley in California’ Mt Bachelor and Timberline in Oregon and Killington in Colorado.
In Canada’s Banff Sunshine Village closes after staging its annual Slush Cup celebration on the 20th And Whistler a week later on the 27th, although it will re-open in early June for Summer glacier skiing and boarding.
For all these resorts whether in Europe or North America expect changeable conditions this week and in to May as winter tries to hold on At these northerly latitudes and high altitudes but late spring inevitably increases its grip day after day.
So there may be summer-type days of full sun when the slopes only skiable in the morning until the snow is slushy by noon, or, as has been the case over the past few days in the Alps, more wintery conditions.
Report below April 18th 2019
It is coming up to the last day of the ski season for many of the resorts that are still open, with most of those closing at the end of the day on Easter Day or Easter Monday.
So there’s a real “end of the season” feeling this weekend in the Alps and the Rockies, although excitement is building in the southern hemisphere with the 2019 season only a month or so away.
However, over 100 will stay open for another week after Easter to the last weekend of April (27th/28th) and dozens of those will stay open into the start of May.
(Fresh snow at Fernie, BC, last weekend, just before it closed for the season)
There’s been very little fresh snow reported anywhere this week. The biggest falls have been 10-20cm in total since last weekend and they’ve been recorded in Western North America at resorts in states like Colorado and Montana, and the provinces of Alberta and BC north of the Canadian border.
In Europe it has been mostly a mix of cloud and sunshine, some fog and gales, but mostly “Classic spring skiing” with overnight freezes, hardpacked slopes in the early morning, softening rapidly by lunchtime.
Looking at 7-day totals so taking the snowfall search back to include last weekend there are some bigger numbers to report. Some ski areas in Utah, including snowbird, open well into May, report 75cm in total (2.5 feet) and a few of Europe’s glacier areas including the Stubai (open to June – pictured top at the weekend and above), reported 50cm of fresh snow (20 inches) up high. So did Italy’s Presena glacier.
It’s the final weekend for most ski areas in the Pyrenees and there’s actually Easter skiing in Portugal after heavy snow in early April there allowed the sole Serra de Estrella ski area to re-open there.
In Scotland, Glencoe is the only ski area open, just. It says Easter Monday will most likely be its last day of the season, although it says it could stay open longer if enough people arrive to make it worth maintaining the slopes. The Lecht says it may re-open if there’s a good late snowfall, but there’s no real sign of that in the immediate forecast.
Most ski areas are still open in Scandinavia and the Folgefonn summer ski area has opened for its 2019 season this week, posting an 8 metre base on opening day, the current deepest in Europe.
Most ski areas in Eastern Europe are, by contrast, closed for the season, including all in Bulgaria, but a few including Slovenia’s Vogel plan to stay open into the start of May.
Over in North America, as mentioned, most of the fresh snow has been falling in the West. Most resorts have already closed for the season there, or will do after this weekend, but the freshen up is welcome for those still open and several dozen will stay open to at least the start of May, including several posting fresh snow this week.
Besides Snowbird, these include Mammoth and Squaw Valley, both with snow lying around 5.5 metres (18 feet) deep, both having had 5-10cm (2-4 inches) of fresh snow and both open to June.
There was some snow in the east too, along with rain. Here Mont Tremblant (pictured above this week) is posting North America’s deepest base at over 6 metres (20 feet), but it closes for the season after this weekend.
Report Below From 12 April, 2019
Ski areas across Europe are seeing a very snowy end to the season with some receiving as much snow in the past week as they have had all year.
The heaviest snow fell at the end of last week when some Italian resorts claimed as much as 2 metres of snow fell in 72 hours, but it has kept snowing in many areas ever since, just not so heavily.
The heavy snow fell across most of central Europe and down in the Dolomites too where the 1 metre of snow that some resorts in the Dolomiti Superski region reported falling in 24 hours was almost as much as they had had all season.
The sun is out again there now, here’s the Dolomiti Superski on Wednesday this week:
Several big name resorts reported a metre of snow, or more including Andermatt, Engelberg, Serre Chevalier, Val Gardena and Verbier. Engelberg’s snow took their base depth up over 7 metres on their upper runs, the first time this season any ski area anywhere in the world has passed the 7m snow depth mark.
All the snowfall wasn’t entirely all good news though. The avalanche danger rose from very low to high in many areas, although it has dropped back down again to level 1-3 (low to moderate) in most.
The snowfall this week has also been accompanied at times by (depending where you are), rain, strong winds, low cloud or fog, so skiers have to pay back something for the pleasure of fresh powder in mid-April.
This was Davos on Tuesday:
That said the sun has been back out in the Western Alps (France and Western Switzerland in particular) most days this week giving great conditions there with the fresh snow, albeit more like classic spring skiing with lower slopes getting sticky by lunchtime.
And against all these weather trends are the reality that we are getting further in to the final month of the season for most areas and more and more resorts are closing each weekend. Most ski areas in Eastern Europe have already closed.
Elsewhere in Europe there’s been snow falling in plenty of other areas too. The Pyrenees have seen more fresh snowfall so far in April than they did in all of March. Formigueres in the Frech Pyrenees reported 40cm of snow on Thursday.
Even out in Portugal, at the country’s one ski area, Serra de Estrella, Europe’s most westerly, they’re hailing the most snow they’ve had all winter and hope to stay open to Easter weekend at least.
Scottish ski areas also got a good snowfall to end last week – up to 50cm accumulated – but have unfortunately (for skiers) seen warm weather at the start of this week which has once again thawed a lot of the new snow cover. At time of writing though four ski areas (Glencoe, Cairngorm – pictured below today, Nevis Range and The Lecht) had at least some terrain still open.
Across the Atlantic ski areas tend to close a little earlier than in the Alps and most will be ending their seasons this weekend if, like Jackson Hole, Telluride and others, they have not already.
There are however still more than 100 areas open.
The most snow in North America for the first half of this week was reported in Quebec where most of the still-open areas have reported 20-40cm of fresh snow.
More recently there’s been heavy snow in the Western US again with Utah seeing up to 60cm of fresh powder, as pictured above at Alta on Wednesday.
The deepest snow remains in California where half a dozen areas have 5-6 metres of it lying and several have said they’ll stay open to late spring or early summer, there’s been a little fresh snow here and at other Western ski areas in the past week.
Report below from 04.04.19
Where is good to ski right now?
It has been a remarkable few days for snowfall in the Alps, particularly when you consider we’re into the start of April and some resorts have already closed for the season last weekend, a chunk more will do so this coming weekend.
Ski areas in Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland have all reported huge snowfalls, some as much as 2 metres between Wednesday and Friday this week. For most, it has been more like 30-60cm, but wherever you look, it has turned to midwinter with lots of fresh, deep powder.
Engelberg, which already posted the world’s deepest snow base a week ago at 6.3 metres, has increased that total to 7.3 metres after more than a metre of snow fell there. It’s open through to the end of May and with the snow depth in the village increasing to 80cm it looks like top to bottom skiing over its full 2000m lift-served vertical may remain skiable right to the end.
Andermatt, which has had 1.2 metres (4 feet) of snow is pictured top, Solden, which got a metre in 24 hours, above.
All the snow has caused resorts some issues opening and clearing access as well as setting the avalanche danger up to level 3 or 4, – considerable to very high – for off-piste areas.
Ski areas in the Dolomites have also had heavy snowfall with Alta Badia, Val Gardena and Val di Fassa among the areas reporting at least a metre of snow by Friday morning. For some, this was more than the total snowfall in the first three months of this year.
Pictured below is a mountain restaurant in the Fassa Valley on Friday.
Elsewhere in Europe it has not been as snowy but there has still been considerable snowfall in the Pyrenees and even down at Sierra Nevada on the southern Spanish coast, Europe’s most southerly resort. So here too there’s been some fresh April powder.
There’s been lots of snow in Scotland too, enabling Cairngorm, pictured below on Wednesday, and The Lecht which had closed after a thaw last week to re-open their slopes for the start of the Easter holidays. Glencoe and Nevis Range on the West were still open anyway having survived the thaw.
Scandinavia has had fresh snow too in the West and North in particular with Riksgransen reporting a 4-metre depth, the region’s deepest. It hopes to stay open to late June and offer skiing under the midnight sun in May, and so far that’s looking promising.
Across the Atlantic it has been a less snowy week than in Europe, that is after ski areas in Utah got about a metre of snow last weekend. There’;s also beena lot of gloruious suinshine, such ats here at Marmot Basin in Alberta where the season still has a month to run.
Resorts have begun closing there and big names like Crested Butte and Jackson Hole are due to end their seasons this weekend.
There has been more fresh snow, particularly in the West, and there’s more forecast for the week ahead, but so far nothing major.
Post Below on 27 March, 2019
Even though we’re moving deeper in to spring, and some ski areas are even starting to close for the season, It has been a snowier and cooler week over the past seven days than it has been for the previous two.
Snow arrived back in the Eastern Alps (Austria, Easter Switzerland, southern Germany and northeastern Italy) at the weekend and ended up depositing up to 50cm of fresh cover on the mountains. Resorts like Laax, St Anton, Saalbach and the Zugspitze all posted a foot (30cm) or more of fresh snow in the 24 hours up to Tuesday morning. St Anton, pictured top and below, reports the snow depths on its highest slope (Not part of the official measurement) are at nearly 7 metres.
At the same time temperatures, which had been reaching double digits above freezing dipped the other way and we saw some -15Cs again 3000m up on the slopes and temperatures staying sub-zero, or almost, down in resort too.
It’s now warming up and returning to more regular springlike conditions with overnight freezing of the snowpack and daytime thawing, but it’s good to have the fresh cover on top.
There’s been no fresh snow to talk of in the western Alps (France, Western Italy and Western Switzerland) but bases remain good here to see out the season.
Elsewhere in Europe the Pyrenees got some fresh snow, just a few centimetres, over the weekend. Some smaller, lower resorts are struggling to stay open through to the end of the season due to the thin base there and rapid thaw and at least one has opted to close a week early, last weekend, for the season. However in Andorra there’s a thick snow cover and all runs are open as we head towards the Easter holidays.
It’s a similar issue in the Dolomites with little fresh snow here and thin bases in places, but skiers are still enjoying some glorious sunny days on the pistes with everything open.
For consistent fresh snow Scandinavia is the place to be, again, with lots of 20-30cm daily falls reported in resorts like Voss and Hemavan. The biggest accumulations have been reported up at Riksgransen in the Arctic Circle which only opened for its 2019 season a few weeks ago and aims to stay up to midsummer in late June. It’s had more than 40cm of snowfall this week.
Scotland has also had fresh snow but unfortunately it arrived after another period of rapid thaw at the end of last week which unfortunately wiped out most of the cover at Cairngorm, Glenshee and The Lecht and the new snow isn’t enough to allow them to re-open. Glencoe and Nevis Range have survived the thaw however, and in fact Glencoe (pictured above on Monday) has some great conditions with more snow forecast this weekend.
Over in North America the Eastern side of the continent saw some heavy snowfall over the weekend with the biggest accumulations in Vermont where up to 90cm fell over the three days.
More recently there’s been snow in the west with Californian ski areas seeing another 30cm+ fresh snow on top of their huge bases, and fresh snow from BC up in Canada (Where Apex in BC in prictured above on Tuesday this week) down to Colorado too, so it’s a snowy end to the season here.
Week ending 21st March…
After a snowy end to last week, the weather in the Alps has been fairly settled with some glorious, sunny, spring days for skiers and boarders to enjoy.
Of course for those looking for fresh powder that news isn’t always good news, but we are now in to spring, with just a week or so of March left and, well, like it or not, winter has to end eventually!
That’s not to say it isn’t easier the find powder this week compared to last. The heavy snowfall that ended last week (and continued in to the start of this at some areas) brought up to 1.5 metres (five feet) of fresh snow cover in the Alps and there are plenty of shaded powder pockets remaining if you have a good guide to take you to them.
Most resorts got at least 50cm of fresh snow up high; Verbier reported 70cm, Saalbach and the Zugspitze more than a metre. Alpbach is pictured below after fresh snow there.
For the majority that stay on the piste the news is that the fresh snow revitalised the groomed runs too and took the deepest bases back over the three-metre mark at resorts like Les Arcs and La Rosiere, the first time the snow depth has been more than 10 feet for some time in France.
Swiss depths remain the world’s deepest though with more than 6 metres (20 feet) still lying at Andermatt and Engelberg.
The avalanche danger is mostly at level 2, moderate, in the French and Western Swiss and Italian Alps but in the East including eastern Switzerland, Italy and Austria it’s at level 3, considerable, in many areas.
Eastern Europe is seeing similar conditions to the Alps. Jasna in the Slovak Republic is pictured above. Generally temperatures in the valleys are getting as high as double digits above freezing in the afternoon so a thaw is well underway and precipitation is often back to falling as rain when it arrives, and as snow higher up.
However most areas either have deep enough snow on their slopes down to resort level or are ab le to push snow down the mountain to fill any gaps that appear sop continue to offer top to bottom skiing.
Down in the Pyrenees there’s been a little fresh snow in recent days. Our top image is from the Spanish resort of Baqueira Beret which reported 10cm of fresh snow on Wednesday.
Up in Scandinavia it has been very snowy with plenty more snow in Norway, Sweden and Finland is also in the best shape it has been all winter. Levi, now fully open, is pictured below.
The same can be said for Scotland which has re-opened more slopes this week than it has had open all season up to now, thanks to three weeks of cold and often snowy weather since the big February thaw. It has been rather warm again the past few days which may be a minor set back but colder weather and more snow is forecast for the weekend. The Lecht is pictured below this week.
Across the Atlantic it has been a quieter week for snowfall in both Canada and the USA. Indeed a rapid thaw has led some resorts in traditionally warm states like New Mexico to begin closing but then New Jersey’s Mountain Creek area has, unusually, extended their season to the end of the month. The East Coast is due to get a lot of snow over the next few days right up to Quebec though, with up to 50cm/20 inches forecast.
On the west, there’s a return to snowier weather expected but it has been warm and the avalanche danger risk has been set at ‘very high’ by official bodies in regions like BC, Canada due to the instability of a rapidly thawing snowpack.
The far North West, Alaska, is the one part of north America that has seen big snowfalls this past week with more than six feet of snow for Alyeska, pictured below.
Where was good to ski week commencing 14th March 2019?
It has been the snowiest week in the Alps for some time with some resorts reporting almost a metre of snow already, and it’s currently dumping down again meaning five-day totals at some Swiss areas may get up towards 1.5 metres (five feet).
The snow is falling over a wide area from the Southern French Alps in the west across to the Northeastern Alps and the Tatra mountains of the Czech and Slovak Republics as well as Poland.
Heavy snow has been reported in Jasna in Slovakia for example, but the weather is changeable with strong winds blowing in at times, leading to the evacuation of higher slopes in Alpe d’Huez at the start of the week with some non-skiing visitors in mountain restaurants needing to be brought down on snowcats as high lifts were closed.
Jarné prázdniny skončili, ale zimná sezóna stale pokračuje :)Takto to u nás vyzerá dnes..
Posted by JASNÁ on Monday, 11 March 2019
Whilst it has been generally cold on the ski slopes there have also been reports of rain at times down in low valley ski resorts as spring starts to take hold at lower elevations.
But higher up the snow is good and it’s getting deeper, Engelberg just overtook Andermatt for the first time this season to post the deepest base in Europe (and the world) at 616cm (20.5 feet) after 30cm of snowfall in the past few days there.
Elsewhere in Europe, there has been some fresh snow in the Pyrenees but otherwise, conditions are distinctly springlike with top to bottom skiing but in the valleys, the only snow left is what’s pushed down on the slopes.
It was a similar picture in the Dolomites although here snow forecast may turn things much whiter over the next few days if it falls as promised and right down to the valley floor as snow.
Scotland’s stop-start-stop ski season is starting again with lots of snow showers through March so far after the warm February thaw (Glencoe pictured above). Ski areas have been re-opening slopes in the past week with all five centres open again for the first time in nearly a month since Wednesday. There’s a limited but increasing amount of terrain open and the main problem has been the strong winds of late, which has caused lift closures at times. In between when the wind has dropped and the sun come out conditions have been superb.
Scandinavia has seen some good snowfalls too and resorts on Norway’s coast like Voss (pictured top after the snow) reported some big 50cm accumulations earlier this week – some of the biggest of the season so far in fact. But there was also snowfall across the region so almost all Scandinavian ski centres have plenty of fresh snow to groom or for off-piste powder.
In North America the unending snowy deluge in the west seems to have finally, well, if not ended, certainly eased. Squaw Valley popped to the top of the world greatest snow depth table after the latest huge snowfalls last week hitting 6.3 metres (21 feet) at the start of this week but has now dropped back down under 6 metres after the snowfall finally eased and people could go out and enjoy the snow under clear skies at last.
It is still snowing in parts of Colorado, Utah and the Pacific Northwest but this week they’re measuring it in inches rather than feet.
Report below from 8 March 2019
There’s a big change in the weather in the Alps for the start of March with snow falling across the region after the three-week dry spell through the latter part of February.
The snowfall has also reached down the Dolomites, and in the past 24 hours to the Pyrenees, where it had been dry for a month. Vallnord in Andorra is pictured below as the snow clouds rolled in.
So the result is that much of mainland Europe is getting a fresh snow top up, welcome by most. The only downside beyond the low visibility snowfall normally brings, is that the change in the weather has also brought strong winds at times, which have closed some higher lifts and runs.
The snow is expected to continue pretty much everywhere for the week ahead. There are some fears that at lower elevations it may fall as rain, but at higher resorts like Obergurgl and the higher parts of the Chamonix Valley, there may be as much as a metre of fresh snow by this time next week if forecasters are correct.
So far resorts reporting 20-30cm overnight accumulations in the past few days have included Bonneval in France, Bormio in Italy (pictured below yesterday), St Moritz in Switzerland and Saalbach (on three separate days in the past week) in Austria.
Closer to home the picture has also changed in Scotland after the record warm temperatures of February and slopes in the Highlands are turning white again. At the time of writing it was still only limited terrain open at the base of the slopes, just for beginners really, at a few areas, but it is a rapidly improving picture and Glencoe for one says they expect to open full runs on the upper mountain this weekend.
It's #snowing!Forecast for today is for moderate NW wind and a day of frequent heavy snow showers. We have the Coire Pollach Tow open, early season conditions at present.
Posted by Glencoe Mountain Resort on Friday, 8 March 2019
It’s a snowy picture in Scandinavia too with the snow falling over most of Norway and Sweden’s ski areas and many posting regular 5-20cm overnight accumulations to provide fresh powder each morning. Voss on Norway’s coast reported 35cm in 24 hours to Friday morning – pictured below after the snow.
Across the Atlantic, more snowfall records are being set in the US and it is still dumping down in the West. Squaw Valley has announced it will stay open to July 7th and Winter Park in Colorado has said it will stay open into May (joining Breckenridge, pictured below on Thursday, which already announced would be open to the end of May). In fact, Colorado has been at the heart of severe weather over the past 48 hours with ski areas reporting up to 2 metres of snowfall in the past week, leading to road closures and in the case of Arapahoe Basin on Thursday, the whole resort closing due to ‘severe avalanche danger.’ In fact, the avalanche danger in Colorado is currently at its highest level: 5
There’s been snow right across the US though, including on the East Coast leading to severe weather warnings across the country and thousands of flight cancellations.
North of the border in Canada the weather has been less dramatic with just moderate snowfalls at ski areas from coast to coast. Tremblant has the country’s deepest base at 496cm.
Report below from 28 February
Where is good to ski right now?
The snow is falling again in the Alps, hoorah! Of course it was hard not to enjoy the sunny, warm days on the slopes that have dominated much of February but for those who like fresh powder, or even freshly groomed slopes, spring had come a little too early and it’s a relief to get back to more winter-like conditions – even if these are arriving just as spring itself is supposed to start on March 1st (the meteorological version that is).
In the Alps, the snow is expected to be heaviest in the North and West although the full region should get at least some. We’re talking 10-30cm in Eastern and southerly areas and 30-70cm in Northern and western part. The biggest falls are expected in France on Friday, then a bit of a lull before another wave of heavy snowfall at the start of next week – if the forecasts get it right.
In the meantime, it has been another warm, sunny week across much of the continent – very like late March/early April often is, less like what February should be like, but still quite pleasant on the pistes until it gets a bit too sticky in the late afternoon. But then that’s all history now anyway with the snow returning and cold weather with it.
There was some snow at the end of last week in parts of Austria though, Dachstein West (below) reported 20cm of snow, Saalbach 30cm.
The Dolomites and Pyrenees will probably have to wait until the middle of next week before the snow reaches them. And whilst current forecasts are for 40-80cm in the Western Alps (France and Western Italy and Western Switzerland) and 20-40 on the eastern side (Austria and Eastern Switzerland), so far it’s looking like 10-20cm for the Dolomites and Pyrenees, but of course that could change before the snow arrives next week.
Closer to home Scottish ski areas have continued to suffer as we’ve basked in record warm days for February in the UK but here too a return to winter is forecast from this weekend as we enter spring and its hoped enough snow will fall along with cold weather for snowmaking for some of the main ski runs to re-open alongside the beginner areas kept open with all-weather snowmaking at Cairngorm, Glencoe and The Lecht.
Scandinavia should see more fresh snow and Bulgaria, where there was a foot of fresh snow at the weekend, continues to look good with bases actually increasing here to nearly 3 metres (10 feet) at the snowiest resort, Pamporovo. The other Bulgarian centres have plenty of snow too though – Bansko is pictured above on Saturday when World Cup races were postyponed due to the snowfall.
It should stay snowy in Canada next week where ski areas across the country reported up to 60cm of fresh snow over the past seven days. The week ahead doesn’t look AS snowy but up to 30cm is still expected in Quebec (again) and around Banff in Alberta.
The US has seen another week of very snowy weather to round off February with more huge snowfalls this week in states including California and Wyoming, both seeing resorts post more than 1.5 metres (five feet) of snowfall since Sunday. That’s on top of similar huge snowfalls through February giving resorts like Mammoth, Jackson Hole and Squaw Valley their snowiest ever Feb. All the snow, accompanied by strong winds at times, has caused problems for some areas opening, but once the weather calms down the powder is incredible.
Report below from week ending 23 February
It has been the second week with little or no snowfall for most of Europe’s ski areas with blue skies and perfect conditions on the piste at most resorts for the February half term holidays.
Heavy snowfall earlier this month and in January means that despite warm temperatures and spring-like conditions a little earlier than they should be, most have the snow depths to withstand the warmth and have everything open. Here’s Morzine this week.
Some have reduced their depth totals by 10-20cm this week, reflecting the thaw, but as most have at least 2 metres lying on upper runs, and some like Andermatt and Engelberg, around six metres, that’s not a big issue as yet.
Of course whilst its great on the groomed runs, the chance of finding any fresh powder are diminishing by the day until there’s a fresh snowfall.
There’s not a huge change on the horizon still so far, although some colder weather has crept in from the East in recent days bringing light snowfall and subzero temperatures back to parts of Austria and further afield in Bulgaria. But most of the Western Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites look set to stay dry into a third week next week.
Skiing in Arabba, the highest skiing area of the Dolomiti Superski resort, implies long slopes and skiing fun in the heart of the Sellaronda ski circuit with breathtaking landscapes, like from the peak of the Marmolada glacier, at 3.265 m, also known as the queen of the Dolomites, where you can enjoy a 360° panorama on the fascinating Dolomite peaks. 😍#dolomitisuperski #besuper #arabba #fodom #dolomites #marmolada #movetothetop
Posted by Dolomiti Superski on Tuesday, 19 February 2019
The only part of Europe which has seen regular snowfalls over the past week has been Scandinavia where most resorts have had 10-20cm of snowfall in the last 7 days and some on Norway’s western coast, including Voss, getting nearer to 50cm.
Closer to home though on our side of the North Sea it is not looking good in Scotland. The BBC News reported a village in Aberdeenshire set an all-time February warmth record at over 18C on Thursday, 21st February – and that’s very close to the five Scottish ski areas which hadn’t had a deep snow covering as it was and that’s now pretty much all disappeared. Glencoe (pictured above), The Lecht and Cairngorm are still managing to keep small snow areas for beginners and sledges open though thanks to their new all-weather snowmaking machines purchased this year.
Across the Atlantic, it’s a very different picture with snowfall reported almost everywhere and in California, it has continued to be exceptionally heavy snowfall with several resorts now setting February all-time snowfall records, amongst them Squaw Valley and Mammoth each reporting more than 5 metres of snowfall this month alone. Mammoth has now had more than 13 metres of snowfall so far this season, has it lying 5.7 metres (19 feet) deep and is looking good to stay open to July as it plans.
Pictured below are a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture of a ski hut at Sugar Bowl ski area in California which has reported an average 30cm/foot a day of snowfall every day this month.
As mentioned it’s not just the far West though, there have been more good snowfalls in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, as well as on the East Coast and up across Canada where they’ve been getting excited that temperatures are ‘warming up’ to just below freezing.
There’s plenty more snow in the forecast across the continent with the biggest snowfalls expected in the Rockies over the coming week.
**** REPORT BELOW DATED 15 FEBRUARY 2019
Where is good to ski right now?
After a mostly snowy first six weeks of 2019 in one region or another the weather has calmed down across the Alps (and indeed the Dolomites and Pyrenees) with predominantly sunny days and great conditions for skiing and boarding. Obergurgl in Austria is pictrured top this week.
All that snow through January to mid-February has left deep cover at most resorts, with almost all the centres you can book a package holiday to reporting at least a 2 metre base depth and some as much as a six metre base depth.
The snow in the Alps is fresh too, there was another big dump last weekend and into the start of this week which gave 30-60cm more snow to most resorts in Austria, France and Switzerland.
Meribel is pictured last weekend below:
With all the sunshine this week it has also been getting warmer and it will be feeling ‘springlike’ in many resorts this weekend and into the main half-term week next week. Temperatures may well go well above freezing at village level and even up on the slopes.
There’s no real sign of change on the horizon at present either with just the odd centimetre of snow forecast here and there by the snow forecasting agencies, but mostly just more sunshine.
The avalanche danger rose up to level 3, considerable, for off-piste skiers and boarders with that heavy snow but has since eased in some areas.
There hasn’t been any significant fresh snow in the Dolomites or Pyrenees for nearly two weeks now but conditions remain good after all the snow that fell in later January and early Feb, with deep bases again and all runs open. A light dusting of snow is expected in the Pyrenees at the start of next week which should freshen things up nicely. Spain’s Baquerira Beret is pictured above this week.
Conditions are looking pretty good in Eastern Europe too, where the snow has continued falling and temperatures stayed lower through the past week. Bases are also looking very healthy and again pretty much all runs are open.
Further north things are looking a little less promising. In Scandinavia, there has been fresh snow but there’s also been a wild mix of weather with temperatures going from below -20 at the start of the week to above freezing with rain, and periods of fog and gale force winds have also impacted skiers.
In Scotland, the warm British weather has had a bad impact and the number of runs open which peaked at over 60 midweek is now down below 10 across the five areas and with warm weather expected to continue into next week it’s not looking promising at present.
Across the Atlantic there has been no let up in the heavy snowfall in Western North America with more massive accumulations in California and along the Pacific Coast, which has continued over to provide pretty huge snowfalls (60cm instead of 120cm further west) in states like Utah and Wyoming. Mammoth Mountain has now had more than 11 metres of snowfall and is sitting on a 5m+ base so has already announced that it’s staying open to at least July 4th this year. Cars at the summit at Snoqualmie in Washington State are pictured above.
There’s been fresh snow north of the border in BC too and over in the east some big snowfalls in New England and Quebec (includiong at Mont Tremblant below).
**** REPORT BELOW DATED 8 FEBRUARY 2019
Where is good to ski right now?
Ski areas around the world seem to be taking a breath this week after huge snowfalls up to last weekend and, in North America, the first half of this week.
Resorts in the Alps posted snowfalls of typically 50cm to as much as 2 metres by the end of last weekend and similar numbers were reported in the Dolomites (Alta Badia pictured below) and Pyrenees over the same period with the most snow – up to 3 metres (10 feet) reported in California between Saturday and Tuesday.
So in mainland Europe, after those huge snowfalls, this week has seen people simply enjoying all the snow. There have been blue skies in the French Alps, for example, leading to endless social media posts of “fabulous conditions.”
That said, in the past 24 hours things have been turning snowy again in the Alps with a fresh band of snow clouds crossing the area over the weekend with the heaviest snowfall expected on Sunday/Monday.
Snow depths are very healthy indeed with most of the continent’s leading ski areas having at least 2 metres of snow on upper slopes, some as much as 3 or 4 metres and a few, including St Anton, Engelberg and Andermatt, above 5 metres. That should take a while to melt in the spring.
It has been a great week in the French Alps with lots of sunshine and skiers in the mountains there over the past few days reporting ideal conditions. The snow clouds have moved back in at many resorts now though.
Elsewhere in Europe, there were huge snowfalls at the end of last week in the Dolomites. This was particularly welcome as the Italian mountains had not had much snow at all this season until then, although they did have most of their terrain open thanks to near 100% snowmaking coverage. Now the snow is lying deep across the region. Cortina and Val Gardena posted some of the biggest accumulations.
Further east still there’s been a lot of snowfall in Bulgaria over the past few weeks and conditions are good here with a deep base developing.
On the other side of Europe, the Pyrenees saw their second week of heavy snowfall leading to resorts in the French Pyrenees now posting deeper snow base depth stats than resorts in the French Alps – although both mountain ranges have healthy numbers. Like the Dolomites, the snowfall has been very welcome after a fairly dry first few months of the season before it arrived.
Looking north conditions are again fairly good across much of Scandinavia. It’s been cold and clear so far at Are for the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Sweden with will see Axel Lund Svindal and Lindsey Vonn’s final professional races in the next few days. There has been some fresh snow though with Norwegian coastal ski area Voss reporting 30cm of fresh powder this week.
In Scotland, it has been a constantly improving picture through February with bases building and all five areas opening terrain beyond the previously only-beginner terrain available. The Lecht is pictured above this week. Temperatures are rising and it’s a windy weekend ahead which could see some damage to the thin snow cover but hopefully not.
In North America, there have been huge snowfalls on the West side of the continent as mentioned above. The biggest falls were in California (Kirkwood pictured above) but 1-2 metre accumulations were reported across the western side of the US and it has hardly stopped snowing in Utah where the Freestyle World Championships are underway. Some resorts there have had two metres of snow this week.
Elsewhere there has been a bit of a lull since the snowfall was heaviest on Sunday/Monday but a fresh front hitting the West Coast this weekend is expected to bring at least another 50cm by the start of next week.
**** REPORT BELOW DATED 1 FEBRUARY 2019
Where is good to ski right now?
Well for the Start of February the good news is that the snow conditions are looking great almost everywhere.
The extremely heavy snow in the Eastern Alps (Austria and Eastern Switzerland) that caused disruption in the first half of January has now eased leaving most areas fully open.
The snow is lying deep across the region now, in fact, the world’s deepest snow base is 20 feet (six metres) deep at the resort of Andermatt in Switzerland, Engelberg isn’t too far behind and St Anton (above) recently pushed through the 5-metre mark for its upper snow depth earlier this week.
At the same time The Western Alps (France, Western Switzerland and Western Italy), which had been doing fine but really needed more fresh snow, have had just that over the past 10 days with most resorts receiving several feet (60cm+) of fresh snow but some as much as 1.5 metres of snow.
The snow is still falling and expected to continue to be quite heavy through the weekend at many areas, so that could cause travel issues.
The snow has also pushed the off piste avalanche danger up to level 5, one below the highest level, 5, meaning it is very dangerous to ski or board off piste at present.
The Pyrenees needed fresh snow more than the Alps and in some areas, until about 10 days ago, ski areas were only partially open because of a lack of snow. That has changed big time with the biggest snowfalls in the world over the past fortnight in the Pyrenees.
Some ski areas there have had over three metres (10 feet) of snow. So there are amazing snow conditions at present in the French and Spanish Pyrenees, as well as Andorra. Pictured below is digging out at Formigueres in the French Pyrenees.
Again the volume of snow, still falling in some places, may cause travel issues and has pushed up the off piste avalanche danger so its vital to be aware of and respect closed slopes and other safety advice.
The Dolomites too had not had much snow until recently although pretty much all their groomed terrain was open thanks to their massive snowmaking arsenal. But it is due to snow heavily this weekend here too for a good start to February. It looks like 50-100cm of snow may fall over the next 72 hours, more than most areas there have had all season so far, so that should transform conditions here too.
Most of Eastern Europe is looking good too. Large parts of the Northeast of the continent (Czech and Slovak Republics, Germany and Poland) shared in the huge snowfalls in the eastern Alps of early January and there have been several big snowfalls in Bulgaria over the past few weeks leaving the snow nearly two metres deep there.
Scandinavia – where the biggest ski competition of the year – the FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships – kick off next week in Are, Sweden, it is mostly good. Finland had a warm start to the season but it is cold now and most areas are fully open. In Norway there have been some substantial snowfalls this week with 50cm of fresh at Norefjell.
The only area struggling to open much terrain so far in Scotland, although here too it’s a rapidly improving picture after mostly cold and sometimes snowy weather over the past fortnight. The five Highland areas should all have some runs iopen this first weekend of the month.
Across the Atlantic the big news from North America has been the super cold weather (-50F wind chill at its most extreme) in the centre of the continent. This led to the closure of dozens of ski areas where it was too cold for them to operate safely.
However most of us head to ski areas on the West or East side of the continent where it has been cold, but not so much. The East has had the most snow over the past week but there was already a good base from big snowfalls from November on in the west and more fresh snow is arriving this weekend and into next week there. Revelstoke in BC has had more than 7 metres of snowfall so far this season. Panorama in BC is pictured top. Tremblant in Quebec below.
Finally, Japan – a fairly classic winter it seems with plenty of deep powder and Niseko passing the 7-metres-snowfall-to-date tally already.