Latest snow report
Updated: 4.30pm Thursday 17 November 2016
Snow conditions in the Alps remain excellent for mid-November, despite the recent increase in temperature leading to a steady thaw at low altitude.
As we have previously reported, resorts with lots of skiing above 2000m (such as Val Thorens, Val d’Isère, Cervinia, Saas-Fee, Obergurgl and Ischgl - to name just a few) now have a secure snow base for the season.
On the other hand, resorts where most or all of the skiing is below 2000m (such as Morzine and Kitzbühel) will lose much of their natural snow cover over the coming days, and still have lots to play for before the season “proper” kicks off in a month or so time.
The weather in the Alps will be highly variable over the next few days but most areas will see some new snow later tomorrow and over the weekend. Early next week some particularly heavy snow is likely at altitude in the south-western Alps (e.g. Monte Rosa region) while a strong Foehn brings drier, milder but very windy conditions to the northern side of the Alps. More on this in our detailed weather report for the Alps tomorrow…
There was fresh snow across many of the Austrian glaciers yesterday but lower down it fell as rain, especially in the northern Austrian Alps, where it melted some of the low-lying.
All eight glaciers resorts are open and, weather-permitting, are skiing very well right now. Some of them such as Hintertux (25/105cm) and Sölden (10/130cm) now also have a reasonable amount of non-glacial terrain open.
Non-glacial Obergurgl (10/45cm) also begins its operations today with respectable, rather than exceptional, snow cover for the time of year.
Snow depths remain very impressive across the northern French Alps, particularly at altitude.
The two best offerings in France are Tignes (45/120cm) and Val Thorens (60/130cm), the latter opening on Saturday, a week earlier than originally planned.
There are also a handful of other weekend-only possibilities available, including Alpe d’Huez (55/90cm) and, as of this weekend, La Clusaz (10/80cm).
The deepest snow in Italy is at altitude in the north-western Alps. Indeed, Cervinia (50/190cm) remains the best bet in Italy, with top to bottom snow cover and skiing possible down to resort level as of this weekend.
Other more limited options include Val Senales (10/90cm), Solda (10/60cm) and, at weekends, only Madonna di Campiglio (depths not available).
Snow conditions remain excellent in Switzerland, particularly at altitude and in the west where snow depths are exceptional for mid-November.
Zermatt (20/150cm) and Saas-Fee (40/135cm) are still the best options in Switzerland, though there are plenty more limited possibilities. Some of these are still only open at weekends, like Verbier (25/125cm) and Crans Montana (60/130cm), while others like Glacier 3000 (0/115cm) are open daily.
Andermatt is another high profile name joining the action this Saturday.
Rest of Europe
A handful of Scandinavian ski resorts are open in a limited capacity, otherwise there is very little skiing possible in Europe outside the Alps right now.
Norway’s Geilo has two lifts operating and an 80cm upper base, while Finland’s Ruka has five lifts running and a 30cm upper base.
Skiing options remain very limited in the western US. In California, Mammoth (15/95cm) had six trails open on Wednesday, while Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin (45cm upper base) had just three.
Sunshine Village (80cm upper base) is the only area offering any proper lift-served skiing in Canada right now, with decent on-piste snow conditions and 74 open trails.
Next full snow report will be on Monday 21 November 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates