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All Europe wants for Christmas is a big dump of snow, but sadly Santa is mostly set to disappoint. Some helpful snow fell last week across much of the Alps, but it was followed by rain and the lower altitudes are still struggling to make the ski party.

snow report newsletter

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, and if you’re heading high to the likes of Val Thorens, Cervinia or Zermatt or anywhere with a glacier, your Christmas will surely be white. Norway continues to amaze, with some good falls continuing, and the US and Canada are still rewarding long distance travellers.

 

Europe

In France, as across Europe, the busy Christmas week is likely to see too many skiers confined to too few runs, with resorts reporting only limited access, especially at lower levels. Alpe d’Huez, for example, sixth in our ‘deepest snow’ chart at 80/15cm, has around 30% of pistes open, and it’s a similar picture in Meribel (40/10cm). Serre Chevalier (100/10cm) can offer 60%, however, and in Val Thorens (100/60cm) has a stellar 90% of pistes open. The good news, though, is that snow is forecast for Sunday with falls of around 10-12cm likely to freshen up parches slopes.

Austria saw some light new snow over the past weekend, and is expecting some falls on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, with a few light flurries next weekend. But the tale here is similar to France, with little snow holding on lower slopes, meaning skiers will be piling into the cable cars to access the higher pistes, where the snow is skiing reasonably well. Kaprun (170/60cm) and Solden (195/75cm) are two of the best, with 70% and 80% of pistes open, respectively and good skiing reported on the upper runs.

In Switzerland any good that was done by some light falls last week, have been mostly undone by warmer temperatures and clear skies since. Grindelwald (20/10cm) has just 10% of pistes open, though neighbouring Wengen (80/10cm) has 50% up and running. Andermatt (280/10cm) has terrific snow at altitude, enabling it to open 60% of pistes. Verbier (70/15cm) has 40% running with the best snow up on Mont Fort. Klosters (70/10cm) offers 45% to its customers this Christmas. Throughout Switzerland there is a chance of light snow over Christmas and a few more flurries are forecast for Sunday and Monday.

In Italy, Cervinia and Madesimo (170cm and 230cm respectively on their upper slopes) continue to post the best snow depths, and there is decent skiing to be had on upper levels from the Aosta valley in the west to the Dolomites in the east, where Cortina (120/10cm) is hanging onto its December snow. It may only have 30% of pistes open, but these are above mid-station and the skiing is still good. Fingers remain crossed in Italy, though, with only single-digit falls currently forecast.

Out west, in the Pyrenees, Andorra hasn’t seen any new snow since last Thursday but is holding up quite well, with the best skiing to be found in Arcalis (80/40cm), with 70% of pistes open, while In Spain, Baqueira Beret (50/10cm) still has 90% of pistes open. Both regions might see a few flakes fall over Christmas and possibly again on Sunday.

In Scandinavia, Norway looks the place to be this week as it continues its storming start to the season, with Voss (150/40cm) in particular, piling up the snow. It’s snowing here again today, and an amazing 35cm is forecast over the coming week. Geilo (70/65cm) is also reporting fresh snowfall with more to come and has opened 40% of its pistes.

 

North America

The major US resorts continue to pile up the powder and it looks like being a cracking Christmas week pretty much everywhere. Jackson Hole (165/46cm) and Breckenridge (140/140cm) are just two popular resorts that have seen further good falls and have more promised. Vail (99/99cm) is reporting 98% of pistes open.

Powder is the word across much of Canada too, with Kicking Horse (104/18cm) and Revelstoke (135/99cm) reporting great skiing amid fresh snowfall. Whistler has a very respectable 130cm across mid and upper slopes and expect more terrain than the 50% currently available to open soon.

 

UK

The recent freeze-thaw Scottish yo-yo has kept our home slopes guessing but with the met office ‘warning’ of potentially plunging temperatures and decent falls, next weekend, particularly in Glencoe and the Nevis Range, we could finally have some better news to report.

 

Deepest Snow

Andermatt         280cm
Madesimo         230cm
Solden            195cm

 

Most Forecast

Alyeska        37cm
Voss              35cm
Jackson Hole        23cm