Latest snow report
Updated: 1.30pm Thursday 18 February 2016
Snow conditions remain pretty good across most of the Alps as we move towards the end of the busy half term week.
The best of the fresh is currently across the far south of Austria and the Dolomites, where 15-40cm of new snow fell on Wednesday (locally 50cm+ close to the Slovenian border). Many other eastern parts of the Alps have also seen at least a little new snow over the last day or two, while the best of any sunshine has been at altitude in the west.
Off-piste conditions might be quite variable right now (not least due to the high number of people using it), but on-piste there has been very little to complain about this half-term, even if there hasn’t been bright sunshine everywhere all the time - cool but not excessively cold temperatures have helped.
Across the pond, snow conditions remain pretty good (rather than exceptional) in most places, with bits and pieces of snow in places but few notable dumps to speak of…
It’s a powder day in the far southern Austrian Alps today, where Nassfeld has 40cm of new snow and the upper base is now 230cm deep.
Elsewhere in Austria there have been bits and pieces of new snow this week. Conditions are generally quite good, best at altitude and in the west. Obertauern has 100-140cm of settled snow, while Lech has 145-210cm.
Lower down, the snow pack is thinner - which may become an issue later in the season - but for now good skiing can also be found in the likes of Ellmau (55/65cm) and Seefeld (25/55cm).
Snow conditions remain good to excellent across much of the French Alps, even if any easily accessible powder has long been tracked out by the sheer volume of skiers.
If there are any concerns, it is that the snow pack remains thin at very low altitudes. Morzine, for example, claims 30/90cm of settled snow and has plenty of good piste skiing on offer. It wouldn’t take much of a warm spell at this time of year, however, to expose the meagre cover close to resort level.
By contrast, above 1800m snow depths are above average in most of the northern Alps, with 135/310cm in Les Arcs and 165/310cm in La Rosière.
The stats are less impressive in the southern Alps but, for now, conditions are also holding up nicely here, with 100-120cm in Risoul, for example.
The far eastern Italian Alps are having a powder day today with 30cm of new snow yesterday in Cortina (30/100cm) and Arabba (45/75cm), and well over 50cm in some lesser known minor resorts close to the Slovenian border, such as Sella Nevea (50/225cm).
Elsewhere in the Italian Alps there have been some bits and pieces of new snow this week, and most resorts are offering excellent on-piste skiing. Livigno has 64/97cm of snow, while Champoluc has 40/70cm.
The most impressive figures, however, are still in the far north-western Aosta Valley, where Courmayeur boasts snow depths of 110/220cm and La Thuile has 85/290cm.
Snow conditions remain very good across most of Switzerland, although most of the obvious powder from storms earlier in the week has now been tracked out.
The deepest cover is still at altitude in the north and west, with 87/294cm in Mürren and 30/345cm in Engelberg.
Snow depths are more modest in the south-east ,and generally at low altitude, but for now there is still some excellent piste skiing to be enjoyed in St Moritz (52/92cm) and Wengen (20/105cm).
Rest of Europe
The Pyrenees are in pretty good shape following snowfalls earlier the week. Best of all perhaps is Spain’s Baqueira Beret (90/175cm), but Andorra’s Pas de La Casa (55/95cm) is also offering good skiing, despite its more modest snow depths.
The mini snow drought continues in Bulgaria, where spring snow conditions are reported in Bansko (65/100cm).
No new snow this week in Norway either but, with cooler temperatures, conditions in Hemsedal (117cm mid-mountain) remain excellent - on-piste at least.
Scottish ski resorts also have plenty of snow, though conditions are, as is usually the case, highly dependent on the weather day to day. Glencoe has settled snow depths of 40/60cm, while Glenshee has 20/40cm.
Snow conditions across much of Colorado remain pretty good, even if recent snowfalls have been relatively modest. Mid-mountain base depths are 147cm in Vail, and 150cm in Breckenridge, both of which are expecting another top-up later today.
Over in California, it is finally snowing again in Mammoth (419cm upper-mountain) following nearly three weeks of dry weather.
However, the best skiing overall is probably in Utah, where Alta (216cm mid-mountain) saw 20cm of snow on Tuesday, with more in the forecast today.
Snow conditions remain mixed in Whistler (247cm mid-mountain) due to the continuing mild temperatures. At high altitude there is fresh snow, but lower down there has also been rain in the mix.
Further inland, Fernie (252cm mid-mountain) and Revelstoke (272cm mid-mountain) have also seen a little new snow, and are offering some good skiing. However, temperatures here are also relatively mild and there are no major dumps on the horizon.
Next full snow report will be on Monday 22 February 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates