Latest snow report
Updated: 6pm Monday 18 January 2016
Until recently, most of this season’s snow has come from the west or north-west, benefiting the northern French and western Swiss Alps most. This weekend, however, it came from the north, with the heaviest falls favouring the central-northern and north-eastern Alps.
Most of the northern Alps have a thick layer of new snow, but the greatest falls have been in the north-eastern Swiss Alps (e.g. Amden), and the northern and western Austrian Alps (e.g. Warth-Schröcken) where nearly one metre of new snow has fallen in places since Friday. The southern Alps have again missed most of the action, with little or no new snow in recent days.
So snow conditions are superb across the northern half of the Alps, even if great care is still required off-piste. On the southern side of the Alps, snow cover remains (with one or two exceptions) very thin, but on-piste at least there is still some very enjoyable skiing to be had, helped by the current low temperatures. This cold spell has now reached its peak and it should slowly turn milder over the next few days.
Across the pond, many resorts have also seen new snow, and conditions are generally excellent.
Snow conditions are now excellent across much of Austria, especially in the north and west where Lech now has 125/145cm of settled snow depending on altitude, and Saalbach has 65/135cm.
The far south has seen little if any new snow, but at least the snow cannons are operating at full throttle, so there is still plenty of fun to be had on-piste in the likes of Nassfeld (10/50cm).
Snow conditions are generally excellent across the northern French Alps, both high up and lower down. La Clusaz now has a very respectable base of 60/200cm depending on altitude, while La Rosière boasts 115/220cm.
What’s more, cold temperatures mean that the snow is cold and powdery in consistency all the way down to the valley bottoms. Be careful off-piste, however, as the snow-pack remains highly unstable.
Snow cover is thinner in the southern Alps, especially in the far south, where Isola 2000 (45cm mid-mountain base) is still heavily reliant on the artificial base it laid down earlier in the season.
The best snow conditions remain in the north-west, where resorts such as Cervinia (65/180cm) and Courmayeur (110/180cm) have seen lots of new snow over the last week.
Further south and east, snowfalls have been more erratic and snow cover remains thin. That said, there is still some excellent piste skiing on offer in both Sestriere (30/40cm) and Selva (20/30cm), thanks in part to the current low temperatures.
Most Swiss resorts have seen fresh snow over the last few days, heaviest in the north where Engelberg (80/310cm) and Mürren (65/180cm) are in fantastic shape right now.
The thinnest snow cover (relative to altitude) is in the far south-east. Here St Moritz has upper base depths of just 35cm but, on-piste at least, is still skiing ok thanks to the cold temperatures and high quality snow-making.
Rest of Europe
All five Scottish ski areas are open with reasonable snow cover, after a slow start the season. Best of all perhaps is Glenshee (25/45cm), but good skiing can also be found out west at Nevis Range (20/35cm).
The Pyrenees have seen bits and pieces of snow over the last few days, but nothing like the levels witnessed in some parts of the Alps. Arcalis (30/80cm) is probably the pick of the Andorran resorts, while, in Spain, Baqueira Beret is also in reasonable rather than outstanding shape with 40/85cm.
It’s been snowing again in many western US resorts after a relatively quiet start to the year.
Jackson Hole (121/180cm) in Wyoming is doing particularly well, with around 50cm of new snow in the last 48 hours alone.
Over in Colorado, Vail (101cm mid-mountain base) has also had a top-up, with plenty more snow in the forecast.
Whistler (164cm mid-mountain) remains in excellent shape with further snow over the weekend and lots more in the forecast this week.
It’s also snowing inland, with powdery snow conditions reported in both Fernie (174cm mid-mountain base) and Sun Peaks (137/153cm).
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 21 January 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates