Latest snow report
Updated: 2.50pm Thursday 12 January 2023
Snow conditions in the Alps have improved this week thanks to a much-anticipated storm that dumped 20-40cm across a wide swathe of the Alps – with 50cm+ in some north-western regions, including higher up in the Chamonix valley and Grand Massif.
While this snow was of great help to many resorts, it wasn’t enough to radically change the situation in the lower resorts of the north-western Alps such as Samoëns, Les Carroz, Les Gets and Morzine. These resorts need at least one, preferably two or more significant snowfalls in reasonably quick succession to get things properly up and running again. The good news is that multiple snowfalls are exactly what they are going to get next week, with huge snowfalls forecast across many parts of the Alps, especially in the north-west!
Elsewhere in the Alps, snow conditions are currently a bit mixed – generally ok on-piste, but with off-piste still limited due to fluctuating temperatures and considerably below par snow depths. Conditions are better at altitude but in terms of the lower areas, the Dolomites still stand out as offering some of the most consistent snow quality.
Across the pond, California’s Mammoth has been grabbing the headlines with over 2m of fresh snow in 48 hours alone…
Snow conditions have improved across many Austrian resorts this week, though more is needed to really ignite the season in the classic lower resorts of the Tirol and Salzburgland. Söll, for example, has a modest 20/60cm of settled snow depending on altitude and is offering some reasonable piste skiing, but doesn’t have much natural snow lower down.
Lech (45/135cm), which is higher and saw more snow earlier in the week, is doing a bit better but still has below par depths for January. For the best overall snow conditions, you need to aim for resorts whose skiing is mostly above 1800m, such as Obertauern (60/110cm) and Obergurgl (45/65cm).
Snow is forecast across all Austrian resorts next week, heaviest in the far west (e.g. Lech/St Anton).
Snow conditions have improved across most French resorts thanks to the significant fresh snow that fell this week, particularly on Sunday and Monday. The higher ski areas like Tignes (80/200cm) and Val Thorens (90/140cm), which already had a reasonable amount of snow before this week’s dumps, are currently offering the best conditions.
The southern French Alps area also in good shape, not only having avoided the worst of the rain that plagued some more northerly resorts in December but also having seen significant fresh snow this week. This has allowed for some excellent skiing in resorts such as Serre Chevalier (50/195cm) and Risoul (65/115cm).
There are still some problem areas in the French Alps though, especially in the lower resorts of the Haute-Savoie which were worst affected by the warm and at times rainy weather in December. Many resorts still haven’t had enough fresh snow to reform a proper base.
While some excellent skiing can be found higher up in the likes of Avoriaz (220cm upper base) and Flaine (150cm upper base), more snow is needed lower down in both the Portes du Soleil and the Grand Massif to get the bulk of these areas back up and running. The good news is that a lot of snow is forecast across the French Alps next week. Fingers crossed!
Despite snow depths remaining below average for the time of year, there is lots of good skiing to be had across the Italian resorts right now, with all areas having seen some fresh snow earlier this week.
In the far east of the Italian Alps, the Dolomites are doing well with lots of fresh snow having fallen earlier in the week in Madonna di Campiglio where base depths are 70/80cm depending on altitude.
In the north-west, La Thuile is also in good shape with fresh snow and base depths of 60/160cm. Nearby Courmayeur (0/30cm) could do with more snow though, although it is still offering some good piste-skiing thanks to a mix of well-groomed natural and artificial snow.
The good news is that Italian resorts are expecting fresh snow next week, heaviest in the west.
Thanks to this week’s snow, conditions are much improved across most Swiss resorts. Mürren (40/120cm) did very well from this storm, though some lower parts of the Jungfrau region are still a bit threadbare. Further east, Laax (25/80cm) is also looking much better though here, as everywhere, snow depths remain below par for mid-January.
For the most consistent top to bottom on-piste snow conditions, you could try Saas-Fee (40/180cm), which has the highest average altitude of any Swiss resort and a solid base, even at lower levels.
Lots of fresh snow is expected in all Swiss resorts next week.
Rest of Europe
After heavy snowfalls, Norwegian resorts have been making headlines this week with record snow depths for the time of year and superb skiing right now in the likes of Hemsedal where snow depths are 80/150cm depending on altitude. While this might not sound much, this sort of base is very unusual for central Norway where the climate is cold but relatively dry.
Further north in Scandinavia, Sweden’s Åre (29/42cm) largely missed the heavy snowfalls but is still offering some good piste-skiing thanks to a mix of natural and artificial snow.
Snow conditions in the Pyrenees are a bit better now thanks to some snow falling earlier in the week, but snow depths remain very modest with just 10/35cm in Andorra’s Soldeu and 20/40cm in Spain’s Baqueira Beret. Both resorts are expecting heavy snow next week though.
Scottish ski resorts do have some snow in varying quantities. Glenshee (5/20cm) currently has the least, with its skiing restricted to some beginner areas. The most snow is at altitude in Glencoe (25/50cm), which has offered some superb skiing during recent breaks in the weather.
Over the next few days the weather looks set to be pretty stormy, with high winds and heavy snow in many places, heaviest in the west (Glencoe/Nevis Range). This may be good news for base-building but it will make it skiing difficult in the short term, with high winds hampering operations at times.
Californian resorts have been making headlines this week thanks to some huge snowfalls, especially in Mammoth where nearly 2m has fallen in the last three days alone and the upper base is now 584cm!
There is lots of good skiing elsewhere in the western US, with over 1m of fresh snow in the last 48-hours in Utah’s Snowbird where the mid-mountain base is now 383cm.
There has been less snow over in Colorado, with 10-15cm in the last week in Breckenridge, but it can still offer some enjoyable conditions on a mid-mountain base of around 80cm.
There hasn’t been much in the way of fresh snow in Banff-Lake Louise (68/131cm), but you will still find some excellent skiing conditions here, especially on-piste.
Closer to the coast, Whistler (194cm mid-mountain) is offering superb conditions right now, with 87cm of new snow at altitude in the last week and plenty more in the forecast.
Our next full snow report will be on
Thursday 19 January 2023
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