Latest snow report
Updated: 3pm Thursday 3 March 2016
On balance, snow conditions in the Alps are now probably the best they have been all season. At altitude in the northern and western Alps (e.g. Val d’Isère, Avoriaz, Verbier, Engelberg) conditions have been good since the New Year, and they will improve even further this week with lots of new snow in the forecast.
In the southern Alps, especially in the Dolomites (e.g. Cortina, Selva), there has been a remarkable turnaround in recent weeks. Despite their very dry early winter, there has always been at least some decent piste skiing on offer - thanks to their extraordinary snow-making capabilities (particularly in Italy) - but now there is also plenty of natural snow, which has opened up more and more off-piste possibilities.
Other relatively weak areas, such as Morzine in the French Alps and some low-lying Austrian resorts, are also improving, which means that (all in all) late season prospects for the Alps are looking good.
Across the pond, all eyes are on California, where a series of massive storms is set to deliver 2-3m of snow over the next couple of weeks…
Most Austrian ski resorts have seen snow in recent days, which means that generally speaking conditions are very good for early March.
The very best skiing remains at altitude, with 130/220cm in Zürs and 110/150cm in Obertauern, both of which are in fantastic shape both on and off-piste.
Even the lowest resorts, such as Söll (50/70cm), are much improved with new snow now at all levels. More snow is also forecast for many Austrian ski resorts over the next few days.
Snow conditions are generally excellent in France, especially across the northern French Alps where Flaine (140/330cm) reports 40cm of new snow up top, while Les Arcs (122/295cm) reports 25cm.
Even Morzine, which has struggled for much of the season, is improving rapidly, with new snow at resort level and upper base depths of 160cm.
Further south, snow depths are more modest (with some exceptions close to the Italian border), but conditions are still good, on the whole. Serre Chevalier currently has 20/143cm, while Isola 2000 has 110/130cm.
Further snow is forecast across all French ski resorts in the next few days.
Snow conditions are now excellent across most Italian ski resorts.
The heaviest of the recent snowfall has been across the Dolomites, where Selva (for example) has seen 40cm and now has settled snow depths of 45/110cm - by far the highest they have been all season.
Further west, the Monte Rosa region is also in fantastic shape thanks to heavy snow earlier in the week. Champoluc, for example, now has 60/160cm depending on altitude.
More snow is expected in many Italian ski resorts over the next few days, heaviest in the central and eastern Alps on Saturday.
Generally speaking snow conditions are excellent across the Swiss Alps.
St Moritz (55/120cm), which had struggled earlier in the season, now has plenty of snow and is skiing superbly.
Further west, where conditions have been good for much of the season, yet more snow has fallen. Zermatt now has 50/250cm, while Verbier has 40/255cm. Snow is also falling in lower lying Wengen (30/135cm), where lower depths had been a bit of concern.
Further snow is forecast across all Swiss ski resorts over the coming days.
Rest of Europe
The Pyrenees are generally skiing well thanks to at least a little fresh snow in most resorts. Andorra’s Soldeu has snow depths of 50/100cm and is in good shape right now. Spain’s Baqueira Beret is doing even better though, with 110/195cm.
Bulgaria’s snow drought continues, with reasonable pistes in leading resort Bansko (65/100cm), but little off-piste to speak of.
By contrast, Hemsedal has fresh snow and continues to offer excellent conditions, with 140cm of settled snow mid-mountain.
There is also plenty of snow in Scotland, and more in the forecast, with the most impressive figures currently in Glencoe (65/125cm).
In the US, all eyes are on California, which is bracing itself for series of spectacular storms that could bring 2-3m of new snow in places over the next couple of weeks. Mammoth already has 229/419cm of settled snow thanks to big snowfalls earlier in the season, with these figures set to rise considerably.
Further north and east they are also expecting snow in Colorado and Utah, but generally in much more modest quantities. Vail (Colorado) has 135cm of snow mid-mountain, while Alta (Utah) has 213cm.
Whistler (282cm mid-mountain) is expecting some heavy snow at altitude over the next few days. However, as it is still mild here, this will mostly fall as rain lower down. Generally speaking though, there is lots of good skiing to be had on the upper half of the mountain.
Good skiing can also be found further inland, with fresh snow in Revelstoke (246cm mid-mountain), and more in the forecast.
Next full snow report will be on Monday 7 March 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates