Little by little Europe is opening its slopes, but we sorely need the kind of big base-setting dumps currently falling in the US and Canada. There, the early season continues to go from strength to strength, with plenty more snow to come. If that’s too far to travel, Norway is the best performer close to home with Voss the stand-out resort recording 63cm of new snow.
In France, more resorts have opened their runs, but the picture remains patchy, with some popular ski areas yet to open, including Chamonix, which will be offering very limited access from this weekend. The Three Valleys had some fresh snow in the past week, and Val Thorens is the place to be with nearly all of its lifts turning nicely.
The coming week does show signs of improvement with double-figure snowfalls forecast for many resorts, including those in the Portes du Soleil and Grand Massif.
Austria has had a dearth of new snow over the past week, though Solden and Piztal were among the handful of resorts to buck that trend. St Anton finally opened but with only 15 out of 94 lifts running. The week ahead looks a little better with light snowfalls maybe touching double figures across the country.
Switzerland has snow forecasts of up to 12cm and snow is falling in the Jungfrau region, covering Grindelwald, Wengen and Murren. Zermatt continues to outperform the rest, with excellent on-piste conditions.
Andorra is now open with about 40% of lifts running and more light snow possible in next few days.
In Scandinavia, Finland and Sweden are predicting an improving picture over the coming week, but Norway is already looking the place to be with consistent snowfall and a lot of more promised, meaning more terrain will be opened up. Voss, in particular, is forecasting another 57cm.
In Spain, Baqueira Beret (90cm/35cm) is reporting good skiing and more light snow.
After a couple of weeks without fresh snow, Colorado at last saw plunging temperatures and heavy falls to top up its resorts. Winter Park (94cm) had 48cm of fresh snow, Steamboat (84cm) saw 43cm and Vail (81cm) had 41cm.
Utah weighed in with its own fresh dumps and the snowstorm that struck California left Mammoth and Squaw Valley celebrating 51cm and 48cm respectively of new snow. And more, much more, is forecast…
Topping the ‘most forecast’ lists in the US are Alyeska in Alaska and Mt Bachelor in Oregon.
Canada did not see as much as the US, but there were useful new falls at Marmot Basin (34cm) and Mont Sainte-Anne (32cm). Whistler clocked another 42cm and heads the Canadian list for most forecast, with decent amounts predicted nearly everywhere.
Last word this week goes to Japan, where Niseko (175cm/100cm) is among resorts reporting huge dumps in the past week and forecasting much more to come. While Europe suffers, Japan is teasing us with the magic word: ‘powder’.
Andermatt - 280cm
Madesimo - 230cm
Saas Fee - 190cm
Alyeska - 77cm
Voss - 57cm
Mt Bachelor - 45cm
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