Latest snow report
Updated: 10pm Monday 8 February 2016
The weather in the Alps has been very changeable in recent days, and snow conditions are highly variable.
The southern Alps are still lagging behind in terms of snow depths, even if they finally saw some significant and widespread snow on Sunday. However, on-piste conditions here remain good, thanks to excellent snow making, though many southern resorts still need at least one good dump to properly realise their off-piste potential. Further snow is expected here on Tuesday and again later in the week, which should help things along nicely.
The deepest snow cover in the Alps is in the north and west, where plenty more snow is expected this week. However, temperatures will be up and down with some rain likely at times at lower levels. There will also be a lot of wind this week, especially at altitude, so don’t be surprised if there is some lift disruption.
Further heavy snow is also likely in many parts of the Alps over the weekend, but there is some hope that things will begin to settle down early next week.
Across the pond, the weather is quieter (generally speaking) but, on the whole, conditions remain good…
Snow cover is still thin in the southern Austrian Alps but otherwise quite respectable for early February, with the best conditions at altitude in the north and west. Kaprun has 85/120cm of settled snow cover, while Lech has 130/175cm.
Further snow is expected for many resorts at times this week though, generally speaking, it won’t be as heavy as further west. It will also never be particularly cold, which means the chance of some wetter snow/rain at low altitude.
Sunday’s snow has done lots to improve the situation in the southern French Alps, even if base depths are still considerably below average in Isola 2000 (60/70cm) and Vars (50/70cm).
Further north there is lots of snow, at least above 1500m, with 110/230cm depending on altitude in La Rosière and 100/190cm in Avoriaz.
Some rain is expected lower down for a time on Tuesday but, at altitude, there will be some big snowfalls and the snow line will descend rapidly on Tuesday night.
Snow conditions in the Italian Alps are much improved following significant snow on Sunday. Madonna di Campiglio (40/120cm) in the western Dolomites is now in excellent shape, as is Gressoney (30/80cm) in the Monte Rosa Region, at least on-piste.
Further snow is forecast in many places on Tuesday, especially at altitude. In the longer term, this should help to open up more off-piste, which has been relatively threadbare so far this season.
Snow cover is now pretty good across much of Switzerland, and excellent at altitude in some northern and western resorts such as Mürren (80/210cm) and Crans Montana (45/260cm).
Lots more snow is expected across Switzerland at altitude on Tuesday and Wednesday. Be warned though - high winds will affect lift operations at times and some is rain is also likely at first lower down.
Rest of Europe
Snow depths remain relatively modest in the Pyrenees, but you can still find some decent piste skiing in Andorra’s Soldeu (35/60cm) and France’s La Mongie (25/130cm).
Good piste skiing can also be found in the Bulgarian resorts, with Bansko (65/100cm) leading the way.
In Norway, Hemsedal (85cm mid-mountain) reports excellent conditions, with 20cm of new snow today. Sweden’s Åre (80cm mid-mountain) is also doing well, with around 50cm of new snow in the last week.
It’s also good news for Scotland this week, where new snow has allowed all five main resorts to open (to varying extents). Glencoe currently has the best base, with 25/55cm of snow packed down on its pistes.
Most Colorado resorts are still in excellent shape following last week’s snowfalls, even if much of the off-piste has been tracked out. Steamboat has 170cm of settled snow mid-mountain, while Breckenridge has 140cm.
Even better is Snowbird in Utah, where 33cm fell on Friday and the mid-mountain base is now 229cm.
California’s Mammoth currently has the highest upper base of any major US resort (419cm), but conditions are more variable here due to a spell of drier, milder weather.
The Banff/Lake Louise area (95/120cm) saw 10cm of fresh snow today and is skiing superbly.
Further west, Whistler may have the more impressive mid-mountain base (238cm), but right now the weather is very mild which means more variable snow conditions, both on and off piste.
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 11 February 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates