Latest snow report
Updated: 4.20pm Monday 21 March 2016
Conditions in the Alps remain good for late March, even if some areas haven’t seen any significant snow for some time now.
With the recent fine weather, there has inevitably been something of a freeze-thaw cycle in progress. However, freezing levels have been relatively low recently, which means that afternoon slush has not been as bad as it can be at this time of year.
The weather did turn a fraction warmer and more humid over the weekend, which accelerated the thaw low down, but temperatures will actually drop again this week with a little snow on Wednesday and Thursday, especially in Austria.
Snow conditions across the pond also remain pretty good, especially in Colorado where there will be further significant snow this week…
Austria’s lower valleys are turning a little green - entirely normal at this time of year – but, generally speaking, there is still lots of good skiing to be found.
Not surprisingly, the very best snow quality is in resorts with plenty of north-facing terrain above 2000m, such as Ischgl (30/95cm) and Obergurgl (35/195cm).
However, even low lying resorts such as Zell-am-See (30/135cm) are holding up ok, if you avoid lower south/west-facing areas in the afternoon.
France offers some of the best snow conditions in the Alps right now thanks to its multitude of high altitude options.
Val Thorens (160/280cm) and Tignes (145/260cm) are skiing as well as anywhere, but lower resorts such as Les Gets (55/210cm) are still enjoyable, especially if you time it right and follow the sun around the mountain.
Italian resorts have seen a lot of sun over the last few days but, generally speaking, snow conditions are holding up well.
Naturally the best skiing is in high altitude resorts such as Cervinia (50/240cm) and Livigno (70/135cm). However, on-piste at least, cover is also still excellent in the lower lying Dolomites, where Selva has base depths of 50/110cm depending on altitude.
Snow conditions remain pretty good across most Swiss resorts. However, just like everywhere else in the Alps, there is a freeze-thaw cycle in progress.
The impact of this is least noticeable in high resorts with plenty of north-facing terrain, such as Saas-Fee (110/328cm), but more obvious lower down and in areas more exposed to the sun, such as Villars (50/200cm).
Rest of Europe
Many Pyrenean ski resorts saw some fresh snow at the weekend - 25cm, for example, in Spain’s Formigal on the southern side of the chain, where base depths are now 135/260cm.
Most Scandinavian ski resorts haven’t seen a major dump of snow for some time now but, on-piste at least, conditions are holding up fine in leading Norwegian resort Hemsedal (110cm mid-mountain).
By contrast, the snow has been melting rapidly in Scotland. All five main ski areas are still open, but base depths at Glenshee, for example, are down to a modest 10/45cm and more snow is urgently needed for skiing to be guaranteed throughout the Easter period.
After a fine few days, snow will start up again in Colorado later on Tuesday, and will continue on and off for much of the week. This will greatly improve the already perfectly decent conditions in Vail (178cm mid-mountain) and Breckenridge (200cm mid-mountain).
Utah’s Snowbird (241cm mid-mountain) will also see plenty of snow over the next few days, while California’s Mammoth (275/510cm) will largely miss out (after a few cm tonight).
There is fresh snow at altitude in Whistler (340cm mid-mountain base) with more in the forecast, though as is often the case it will be wet or/rainy close to the base.
Further inland there is still some excellent skiing on offer in Big White (304cm upper mountain base) with more snow also forecast here mid-week.
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 24 March 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates