Latest snow report
Updated: 10.30pm Thursday 6 April 2017
Snow conditions in the Alps are typical for early April. There is some good skiing to be found, especially at altitude, but many low resorts are now struggling and some have even closed.
The very best snow conditions are in the higher resorts of the western Alps where the most snow has fallen in recent days/weeks. These include (but are not limited to) Val d’Isère, Tignes, Val Thorens, Val Cenis, Montgenèvre, Sestriere, Cervinia, Monte Rosa, Saas-Fee and Zermatt.
Lots of other resorts are also offering enjoyable skiing, but the lower you are or the less north-facing terrain you have at your disposal, the shorter your window for good quality snow will be during the daily freeze-thaw cycle. Note also that the freeze-thaw cycle depends on skies being clear and that at this time of year, cloudy nights will often mean soft or mushy conditions right from the word go.
As for the forecast, apart from the odd shower here and there (mostly in the east, there will be lots of fine and generally quite warm weather in the Alps over the next few days, which means that spring-snow conditions will continue to be the order of the day.
Colorado is currently the place to be across the pond, with new snow in many resorts, though attention will shift towards California this weekend where a very potent storm is expected…
Some places will see a little new snow today but, generally speaking, spring-snow conditions apply in Austria, with the higher resorts such as Hintertux (80/210cm) and Obergurgl (20/100cm) offering the most consistent snow quality.
Lower down, snow cover is very patchy, and some areas (such as the Ski Welt) are now closed. Saalbach has just 40cm left up top, while Alpbach has 60cm.
Snow conditions are generally very good in the higher French resorts though even here slushy lower slopes are evident later in the day. Val d’Isère (80/195cm) has healthy base depths of 80/195cm, while Courchevel has 70/160cm.
Snow cover is patchier in lower resorts but some enjoyable skiing is still possible in the likes of Châtel (15/40cm) and Valloire (10/110cm), if there has been a good overnight refreeze and you time your runs correctly.
The best snow conditions in Italy are at altitude in the west, where Cervinia still has base depths of 30/200cm and Alagna has 0/220cm.
Generally speaking, however, spring-snow conditions rule and natural snow cover is patchy lower down. Cortina now has 0/50cm depending on altitude, while Arabba has 20/70cm.
As with most other parts of the Alps, you need to aim high for the most consistent snow quality. In this respect, you cannot beat the upper slopes of Zermatt (0/190cm) and Saas-Fee (20/280cm).
It is still possible to find some enjoyable skiing lower down, but natural snow cover is patchy in the likes of Grindelwald (0/140cm) and Champéry (0/90cm).
Rest of Europe
Snow cover is still respectable in the higher Pyrenean resorts, with base depths of 80/150cm in Andorra’s Soldeu and 15/270cm in France’s Cauterets. Expect freeze-thaw conditions, however.
Some Norwegian resorts saw a little top-up of snow recently – with 5cm in Geilo, for example, where the upper base is around 70cm deep.
The season is still on hold for Scotland, however, with only a few patches of snow remaining in any of its five main ski areas. However, colder and snowier weather could return next week, so there is still a glimmer of hope.
Many Colorado resorts saw a significant fall of snow yesterday – with nearly 40cm in Breckenridge where the upper mountain base is still 218cm deep.
Over in California, a big storm cycle is expected to deliver over 1m of new snow to some resorts over the next few days. Mammoth is currently posting the most impressive figures, claiming 838cm of settled snow on its upper pistes.
The resorts of western Canada continue to impress, with lots more snow expected in Whistler (356cm upper base) over the next few days.
Further east, Revelstoke won’t see as much new snow but is still in good condition for April, with nearly 3m of settled snow at altitude.
Next full snow report will be on Monday 10 April 2017,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates