Latest snow report
Updated: 4pm Thursday 9 February 2017
Most parts of the Alps have seen significant snow over the last week or so. The heaviest of this snow has been in the western Alps, with close to 100cm reported at altitude in resorts such as Alpe d’Huez, Argentière and Verbier.
The eastern Alps have generally seen less snow, though still enough to significantly improve conditions, especially in the Dolomites where there was so little natural snow until very recently.
Overall, snow conditions in the Alps are pretty good as we approach half term. That said, it has never been particularly cold in recent days and snow cover at low altitude remains thin. It will also become increasingly warm and sunny next week, which means that snow quality will become increasingly variable low down. Generally speaking, however, there should be plenty of enjoyable skiing to be had in the Alps.
Across the pond, snow conditions continue to impress – both in the western US and in western Canada…
Austrian resorts generally have plenty of snow as we approach the busy half term period. However, it has never been very cold in recent days, which means that the best snow conditions are in the higher resorts such as Obertauern (110/170cm) and Zürs (75/110cm).
Lower down, all lifts are open in Kitzbühel (90cm upper base) but, with warmer weather on its way, the snow quality is likely to be more variable next week.
Except for the odd flurry in the far south, no snow is likely for at least 10 days.
The French Alps have seen plenty of snow over the last week, both north and south, which means that snow conditions are generally good as we head towards the busy half term weeks.
Alpe d’Huez (80/160cm) has done particularly well from the recent storms, as has Val d’Isère (107/195cm). However, as it has not been particularly cold, snow cover remains thin in some low resorts such as Morzine (30/50cm).
A little new snow is expected in the southern French Alps over the next few days, otherwise it looks like remaining dry and increasingly sunny next week.
All Italian resorts have seen fresh snow in recent days which means that, on-piste at least, conditions are pretty good as we approach the busiest period of the season.
It certainly looks and feels more wintry in the Dolomites than it did earlier in the season, with base depths now 30/50cm in Arabba and 50/90cm in Madonna di Campiglio.
The deepest natural cover and best off-piste opportunities, however, are in the resorts of the western Alps such as Courmayeur (35/100cm) and Champoluc (40/175cm).
Some snow is expected here and there over the next few days, especially in the western Italian Alps, before it turns sunny everywhere later next week.
All Swiss ski resorts have seen new snow in recent days, which means that snow conditions are generally quite good as we approach half term.
Verbier (35/160cm) is in excellent shape right now, especially at altitude where there are plenty of off-piste opportunities (guide always recommended). Lower down and further north, Wengen (45/95cm) is also reporting some fabulous conditions even snow depths remain relatively modest.
Some snow is forecast in the far south (e.g. Zermatt, 20/145cm) over the next few days otherwise most Swiss resorts are looking at an extended period of dry, often sunny and increasingly mild weather, which may start to affect the quality of the snow on the lowest slopes.
Rest of Europe
Snow cover in the Pyrenees is excellent right now with 160/240cm of settled snow in Spain’s Baqueira Beret and 100/190cm in Andorra’s Arcalis. Further snow is likely over the next few days before the weather settles down a bit later next week.
There are no problems with snow in Bulgaria either, with 130/155cm of snow depending on altitude in Borovets.
Scandinavian resorts haven’t seen a great deal of fresh snow recently but, on-piste at least, conditions remain reasonable in most resorts, with a 65cm upper base in Finland’s Ruka and 66cm in Sweden’s Åre. That said, Norway’s Hemsedal could do with a dump. Most lifts are open but mid-mountain base depths are barely 20cm.
Skiing is available in Scotland again after a miserable first half to the season, with base depths of 20/30cm in Cairngorm where about half the lifts are now open.
Snow conditions continue to impress across most western US resorts. In California, Mammoth has seen another metre of snow in the last week with upper base depths now approaching 8m!
In Wyoming, Jackson Hole is also continuing its bumper season with 182cm reported in the last seven days and base depths now at 215/307cm depending on altitude.
Over in Colorado, recent snowfalls have been more modest but excellent skiing conditions are still being reported in both Vail (132cm mid-mountain) and Aspen (165cm mid-mountain).
Snow conditions are excellent in Whistler (268cm upper base) right now, especially at altitude, with lots of fresh snow in the last week and another storm in progress.
There is also fresh snow in the Banff/Lake Louise area, where base depths are a very solid 109/160cm.
Next full snow report will be on Monday 13 February 2017,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates