Europe snow report
Austria is in a lull at the moment, but even so, a few cms are forecast over much of the country this weekend, though not quite matching the falls in Italy and Switzerland. Depths are generally good at present across the country, with five resorts posting mountain depths over two metres, and Solden topping out at more than three metres. The Ski Welt resorts are averaging around 100/80cm, Lech in the Arlberg has 190/110cm, while Ischgl is hanging in there with 90/30cm. Light winds, however, are giving rise to a few more misty days in the Alps.
France is revelling in the recent metre-plus dumps, and although there has not been much new snow around in the past seven days, there is a bit more due this weekend. Val d’Isere and Tignes (170/95cm) are expecting around 40cm by the end of Monday, with around 30-40cm forecast at Alpe d’Huez (200/120cm) and around 20cm in the Three Valleys. The Portes du Soleil resorts of Avoriaz (280/220cm) and Chatel (230/100cm) are in glorious shape, and expecting a 20cm+ top-up this weekend. The Pyrenees resorts such as St Lary (180/140cm) and Bareges (260/200cm) which had such record falls recently, have now seen no new snow since before last weekend, but more is due towards the middle of next week, there is the risk is of milder weather and light winds which threaten to turn the snow into rain at resort levels.
Switzerland has had its expected quieter week, but there is some substantial new snow forecast at many resorts, notably nearly 70cm at Zermatt (210/50cm), over five very snowy days. Saas Fee (260/60cm) is due even more - another 80cm – with Tuesday seeing most of that. 30-40cm are forecast throughout much of the country, topping up Verbier (190/60cm), for example, and the Jungfrau area, where Grindelwald (165/30cm) is one resort that could do with a bit more at base level. Gstaad (240/75cm) and Klosters (170/45cm) are presently expected to miss out on the big falls, with a mere 10-20cm due, but it wouldn’t take much of a change of track for things to alter dramatically.
As Snow left the Dolomites a week ago, it had been snowing steadily for 48 hours, bringing around 50cm of fresh powder to the pistes in Cortina (150/35cm). It’s been mostly quiet in Italy since last weekend, but that’s about to change. This weekend, and early next week, will see 60-70cm falls in the Monterosa area – including Gressoney and Alagna (200/50cm). The tiny ski enclave of Macugnaga (320/60cm) is expecting nearly a metre. Cervinia (250/90cm), just across the pass from Zermatt, is relishing another 55-60cm, and, indeed, half a metre accumulations are expected over much of the alpine region, including the Aosta Valley and across in the Dolomites, where fog is likely to spoil the views once the snow stops.
Andorra is still revelling in the fantastic snowfalls up to a week ago. It been a more settled week, but light snow is forecast from Sunday, and skiers can expect modest top-ups of around 10-15cm to add to the metre and a half depths around the principality. It’s been a similar story for the Spanish Pyrenees resort of Baqueira Beret (140/65cm) but Formigal (110/40cm) is bucking the local trend with a forecast dump of around 50cm over the next few days. Further south, it was snowing in the Sierra Nevada (90/40cm) yesterday, and there’s more due next week!
Again, not much new snow to report in Scandinavia. In Sweden Are (50/40cm) is still having a lean time compared with the abundance of snow that has fallen in Norway, where Voss (200/120cm) is still skiing well thanks to frequent top-ups. Another 24cm predicted here, though some may fall as rain at resort level.
In Bulgaria, Bansko (210/90cm) and the rest of the country’s main resorts have seen some fresh snow in the past week – just as well, as there’s not much in the forecast for Eastern Europe, with Slovenia and Poland also expecting a mix of clear skies and mist. If you fancy something a bit different, Zakopane in Poland is posting very respectable depths of 130/60cm, and is reporting ‘great snow conditions’.
Scotland has had some great snow conditions this winter, but the pistes are now hard-packed and icy in the absence of any real snow for more than a week now. Not much in the forecast either, with Sunday night/Monday morning offering the best chance of a snow shower.
North America snow report
In the US California got its long-awaited new snow, transforming the slopes at Mammoth (122/61cm) and Heavenly (89/86cm). Sadly, once again the cupboard looks bare for the coming week with clear skies and double-digit daytime temperatures. So that transformation is likely to be very temporary. Grab it while you can!
Colorado continued its snowy progress with Keystone (104/104cm) and Breckenridge (147/147cm) adding some fresh falls this week to the 40cm+ that fell last week. Clear skies and bright sunshine should make this a perfect weekend with a few more cms due on Monday. The biggest totals over the next week are expected out east however, where the New Hampshire and Vermont resorts should see up to 30cm of new snow.
Dumps of around 10cm are forecast in most of western Canada, where Revelstoke currently joins the two-metre league with 230/160cm. Great skiing is there for the taking in Alberta, where Sunshine Village (155/104cm), near Banff, picked up around 70cm of new snow in the past week.
Not so good across in British Columbia: Whistler has suffered a huge setback, with milder temperatures bringing slushy conditions as far up as mid-mountain. The resort is again forecast to get the most new snow, but again, with the freeze/thaw level at just under 2,300m, like last week, that’ll mostly be rain at resort level and a fair way up the mountain. Unusually, the mild conditions have virtually closed the three small ski areas above Vancouver – where snow is almost non-existent! It remains quiet back East, where Mont Sainte Anne (130/70cm) and Tremblant (119/89cm) are both holding up well.
Again, this has to go to Europe which is seriously outgunning the US and Canada when it comes to snow depths. The recent epic snowfalls have left the pistes in great shape across the Alps and the Pyrenees. There’s no better time to get out there!