Snow Magazine snow reports in association with
Winter’s not quite done with us, which is great news for anyone heading to the mountains this Easter. Around half a metre of fresh snow is due between now and Saturday night in the French and Swiss Alps, especially, as a warm front from the west has collided with the unusually colder late March air.
Of course, with the freeze-point yo-yoing like, er, a yo-yo, that could mean rain for anyone below 1,500m-2,000m, but for those resorts blessed with plenty of altitude, a white Easter is very much on offer.
And while many ski areas, especially lower ones, will gradually wind up during April, many higher resorts will remain very skiable, although the rising temperatures and a mix of rain and snow will inevitably mean slopes get slushier.
The north west Alps are in for another pasting this week, with dumps of half a metre due at many big-hitters, such as Flaine (200/460cm), Avoriaz (325/480cm), Chamonix (30/250cm) and Les Arcs (150/400cm), with maybe half that at the likes of Les Arcs (320/410cm), Val Thorens (265/350cm) and Val d’Isere (285/385cm).
Further south Les Deux Alpes (80/260cm) and Alpe d’Huez (240/445cm) can expect some heavy snow through Thursday and Friday, in particular with some thunder mixed in, and accumulations of around 30cm+.
Early next week, though the sun will come out again, and by Tuesday the freezepoint could be up around 2,800m.
If you are looking for some late opening resorts, try La Clusaz (28 April), Chamonix and Val d’Isere (1 May), Tignes (6 May) and Val Thorens (8 May).
Plenty of new snow about too over the next few days, with the Jungfrau resorts expected to get 40-50cm. Snow depths will remain healthy, then at Grindelwald (50/230cm), Murren (110/415cm) and Adelboden (30/205cm).
Zermatt (140/340cm), has had some huge falls this winter, and is ready to embrace another half a metre this week, with Friday and Saturday looking the heaviest.
Less snow forecast for Saas Fee (120/475cm) – a mere 35cm – but tomorrow and Friday look like dishing up the lion’s share of that, while Verbier (100/340cm) is due a mix of sunshine and around 40cm of new snow on those all-important upper slopes.
Among the late openers in Switzerland are Adelboden and St Moritz (6 May), Gstaad (8 May) and Andermatt (31 May)
Your reporter was on ski safari in the Dolomites last week and snow conditions were just superb. But come Easter Italians traditionally head for the beach and many lifts will stop turning around 8 April, in particular in the massive Dolomiti Superski area.
Shame really, as no-one told the weather gods, who have up to another half a metre of fresh snow to hurl at most of the western resorts – and the Dolomites - in the next few days, until sunny skies return early next week.
Honorable exceptions to the early April closers include Cervinia (220/390cm), which stays open till 6 May, and Cortina (40/130cm) and Livigno (105/160cm), which cling on till 1 May.
The east of the country is expecting some heavy snow this week, setting up resorts such as Solden (188/330cm), Obergurgl (185/250cm) and St Anton (125/360cm) with anything from 40-65cm, with most of that falling tomorrow and Friday.
Again, after Easter, many resorts will begin to wind down, with the Ski Welt resorts such as Ellmau among the first to close on 8 April, and the Arlberg area on 22 April. Hold-outs include Ischgl on 1 May and Kitzbuhel (6 May) – and of course the glacier resorts of Kaprun, which lingers through till July and Hintertux which remains open all year round.
Less snow (about 10cm), higher temperatures heading into double figures, and a lot more sun in Andorra, but snow depths are still great, so expect a cracking Easter at the likes of Grandvalira (130/220cm) and Pas de la Casa (135/220cm). It’s Andorra’s last hurrah, with resorts there set to stop the lifts on 10 April.
A bit more snow in the French Pyrenees, where a late-season top-up of around 30cm is due at St Lary (140/210cm). Despite this, the resort is due to close on 2 April, with Grand Tourmalet following six days later.
On the Spanish side Baqueira Beret (170/250cm) has a very respectable 30cm forecast over the week, with some sun, before the skies clear early next week, in time for a last fling as the resort pushes back its closing date from 2 April to 8 April.
Sunny skies but remaining cold in Norway where snow depths remain strong at Voss (90/270cm) and Lillehammer (60/220cm).
In Sweden, now is the time that Riksgransen (90/150cm) comes into its own as a late-season mecca for extreme skiers, staying open well into May. It’s due to pick up another half metre over the coming week.
REST OF EUROPE
Plenty of sun and about 10cm of new snow in Bulgaria, which winds down after Easter. Bansko (90/270cm) is due to close on 8 April, and Borovets (80/200cm) a week later on the 15th.
Slovenia, on the other hand, has a huge dump coming this week, with Vogel (120/290cm) expecting half a metre over the next two days. Sadly, it too is due to close next week on 6 April.
In Germany, expect a mix of sun and about 30cm of fresh snow at Garmisch (30/210cm) which still has another week of operation before calling it a season on 8 April.
What a great season it’s been in Scotland, and it’s not over yet! Glencoe (20/60cm) has all its 16 runs open, albeit on pretty hard-packed snow. But fresh snow overnight and a little more to come, will surely help. And Glenshee (20/50cm) is also in reasonable shape, with 19 out of 21 lifts still turning. It’s reporting spring snow, but all runs full width with plenty of off-piste opportunity.
Similarly, Nevis Range (40/60cm) has 18 out of 20 pistes open, and is reporting 5cm of fresh snow, blowing over hard base. And The Lecht says all runs have good snow cover, if a bit hard. And at Cairngorm 7cm of new snow is due tomorrow and Friday, which should freshen up the firm snow pack. All but three of its 32 runs are open.
A mix of sun, rain at low levels and modest amounts of fresh snow on upper slopes – that’s the story for most of the western BC and Alberta resorts, with Panorama (75/170cm) looking at fresh powder and several days of light to heavy falls, totalling around 20cm.
Whistler traditionally extends its opening well into May, and at 310cm, its depths are still tremendous, especially on the higher slopes of both mountains. Some heavy snow looks to be coming its way early next week…
Out east, until last night Tremblant had not seen any fresh snow on 14 March, but has another 10cm to come over Easter, to liven up its spring skiing conditions.
A quiet Easter is in store in the US, with Vail (137cm) picking up one of the highest totals of new snow at 10cm. It’s that quiet.
Snow depths are still impressive in Callifornia, where Mammoth is still reporting 445cm on its upper slopes. But with a week of warm sunshine and double-digit temperatures ahead, expect spring conditions all over.
It’s warming up, too, at Jackson Hole (220/330cm) though on-mountain temperatures should remain below freezing and there’s still plenty of powder about. About 7cm of fresh stuff due here.
This is our final snow report of the season. It’s been one of the best winters in Europe anyone here can remember and we hope you’ve made the most of it. If you’re heading out this Easter for a final fix, you’re in for some great spring skiing.
Alpine Elements is still open for business, so why not book a late season getaway? Stay slopeside in Tignes, France, at Hotel Hauts de Toviere, a dream location for skiers and boarders, for just £573pp for 7 nights beginning the 8th April, or £744pp beginning the 15th. Includes, half-board, flights and transfers!