Latest snow report
Updated: 4.35pm Thursday 19 January 2017
Snow conditions in the Alps are generally excellent right now with lots of sunshine and frigid temperatures.
In the northern half of the Alps there is also plenty of off-piste, though the risk of avalanche remains considerable and it always pays to take a good guide.
In the south, with some exceptions, many resorts are still heavily reliant on artificial snow, even if it does look more wintry than it did a week or two ago. On-piste at least things are still very good, it just means that off-piste opportunities are much more limited.
Some snow will affect the far south-western Alps later this weekend and into the first part of next week (e.g. Isola 2000, Limone, Sestriere), possibly creeping a little further north than this. However, for the vast majority of the Alps no significant snow is expected for at least a week, possibly longer.
Across the pond, snow conditions are generally excellent in both western Canada and the western US, with another big storm cycle imminent in the Californian Sierra Nevada…
Snow conditions are excellent in most Austrian ski resorts right now, even if snow depths remain relatively modest.
St Anton (65/150cm) reports great skiing both on and off-piste, though note that avalanche danger remains considerable. The lower resorts of the Tirol and Salzburgland, such as Kitzbühel (70/85cm) and Saalbach (70/110cm), are also in great shape, helped by this week’s cold weather.
No new snow is expected in the Austrian Alps for at least a week.
Snow conditions have been fabulous in most French ski resorts this week, though (with some exceptions) snow depths remain below where they should be for mid to late January.
In the north, most lifts and pistes are now open in Megève (50/120cm) where the cold weather is helping maintain a high quality of snow. Further south, Serre Chevalier (20/175cm) is also offering fantastic piste skiing, though off-piste conditions are more variable.
Some new snow is expected close to the Italian border in the southern French Alps later this weekend (e.g. Isola 2000), but most places will stay dry for the foreseeable future.
Italian ski resorts missed the heaviest of the snow during the recent storms, but can still offer some fabulous piste skiing, thanks to their world-class snow-making. Despite upper bases of just 20-40cm, the Dolomiti Superski area (e.g. Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Kronplatz) now has 1098km of runs open, thanks largely to artificial snow.
The best natural cover in Italy remains in high altitude resorts in the west, such as Cervinia (30/115cm) and Sestriere (50/140cm).
Some new snow is expected in the south-western Italian Alps (e.g. Limone, Prato Nevoso, Sestriere) later this weekend.
Snow conditions are generally very good across Switzerland right now, especially in the north, which caught the brunt of the recent storms. Engelberg now has 40/100cm of settled snow depending on altitude, though caution is still needed off-piste as the risk of avalanche remains high.
Further south and west, Verbier (30/140cm) and Zinal (40/80cm) are also skiing well, but no significant new snow is expected any time soon.
Rest of Europe
Most Pyrenean ski resorts are in excellent shape following their huge snowfalls earlier in the week. Andorra’s Pas de la Casa now has a very impressive 110/150cm of settled snow, while Spain’s Baqueira Beret has 140/180cm.
Bulgaria is also doing well, with further heavy snow again today in Borovets (130/155cm).
In Scandinavia, snow conditions continue to be steady rather than spectacular, with upper piste depths of 60cm in Finland’s Ruka and 50cm in Norway’s Hemsedal.
Scottish ski resorts are still unable to operate due to insufficient snowfall.
Snow conditions remain excellent across most western US resorts. California’s Mammoth (355/683cm) has the most impressive figures, with another 2m or more possible over the next week!
Colorado resorts are also in superb shape, with base depths of 119/167cm in Copper Mountain and 144cm mid-mountain in Breckenridge.
Over in Wyoming, more snow is forecast in Jackson Hole (147/223cm). Conditions have been superb here all season though it has enjoyed a quieter interlude over the last week.
There has been plenty more snow in Whistler this week, though milder interludes have meant some rain lower down. Overall though the slopes are in good shape with a mid-mountain base of around 240cm.
Further inland the snow quality is more consistent right now, with base depths of 101/152cm in the Banff/Lake Louise area.
Next full snow report will be on Monday 23 January 2017,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates