Latest snow report

Updated: 6.30pm Friday 15 December 2023

Snow conditions in the Alps are generally excellent at altitude, but a little more mixed lower down. The greatest snow depths are currently to be found in the northern half of the Alps where, higher up at least, a lot more snow has fallen this last week. Indeed, settled depths in resorts like Tignes, Chamonix, and St Anton are already close to or above 3m at high altitude - about as high as you will see at this time of year.


The situation is a little more complicated lower down in the northern half of the Alps, however. Although the rain that fell this week did turn back to snow at most altitudes on Wednesday and Thursday, by that time it had already done a lot of damage, especially in the north-western Alps including in the likes of the Portes du Soleil, Megève, Villars, Gstaad and Adelboden, to name just a few.


These areas do now look wintrier again, but some resorts (e.g. Morzine/Les Gets) still don’t have a proper base on their lower slopes, and have had to push their openings back to 23rd December.


The southern half of the Alps generally have less snow relative to altitude, but snow conditions are more consistent largely due to this region having avoided the worst of the recent mild and damp weather. The Dolomites, for example, may have modest snow depths but are currently offering consistently good piste-skiing on a mix or man-made and artificial snow.


Across the pond, the Utah resorts of Snowbird and Alta are leading the way with up to 1.5m of new snow so far this December...


On balance, Austria is probably still offering the best snow conditions of the four main Alpine countries. The higher resorts, including Obertauern (150/180cm), Obergurgl (55/120cm) and Ischgl (60/120cm), are in superb shape. However, the Arlberg has recently seen the most snow, with settled snow depths now 105/250cm in Lech and 65/270cm in St Anton. St Anton’s “upper” figure is actually mid-mountain, with depths of over 3m likely up top on the Valluga.


Lower down in Austria there is also lots of good skiing on offer in the likes of Zell am See (5/130cm) and Ellmau (25/70cm), even if the base remains thin below 1000m.


It will become mostly sunny in Austria over the weekend, at least at altitude, and increasingly mild too. 

Blue skies over the snow-covered buildings and pistes in Lech, Austria – Weather to ski – Snow report, 15 December 2023 Excellent early season snow conditions in Lech – 15 December 2023 – Photo:


Snow conditions are generally superb at high altitude in the French Alps, especially in the north where there has been a huge amount of snow at altitude in the likes of Val Thorens (100-160cm) and Val d’Isère (184cm upper base). Although, even here, some rain fell to as high as 2500m earlier in the week.


This rain has complicated the situation in the lower resorts of the northern French Alps where Morzine and Les Gets (25/80cm) have had to push their opening back to next weekend after losing much of their lower base. The rain did turn back to snow here on Wednesday though and nearby (connected) Avoriaz (95/160cm) is in much better shape.


In the southern French Alps there less snow relative to altitude. In the far south, Isola 2000 has missed the recent rain and can offer some decent piste-skiing, albeit on modest base depths of 45/60m. The best snow conditions in the southern Alps are to be found further north, where Montgenèvre has 60/100cm.


Over the next few days, the weather will be mostly sunny (above any low-lying valley cloud/fog) and it will feel increasingly mild, especially at altitude. 

Blue skies over snow covered fields with mountain scenery beyond in Chamrousse, France – Weather to ski – Snow report, 15 December 2023 Sunny skies and fresh snow in Chamrousse, near Grenoble – 15 December 2023 – Photo:


Snow depths are generally still modest across the Italian Alps, with some exceptions.


There is currently a lot of snow in the far north-west, where La Thuile (40/150cm) is skiing very nicely despite some rain earlier in the week, and Cervinia (65/150cm) is another good bet, with decent top to bottom snow cover.


Further east, Passo Tonale has the best natural snow cover with a very impressive 40/250cm depending on altitude. Snow depths are far more modest in the Dolomites, where there is just 20/45cm in the Alta Badia, for example. However, it still offering some excellent on-piste conditions on a mix of natural and man-made snow.


The far south-west of the Italian Alps is also struggling a little for natural snow, although artificial help has also enabled Bardonecchia to offer some reasonable piste-skiing. 

Snow on the slopes beside green fields in Bardonecchia, Italy – Weather to ski – Snow report, 15 December 2023 Little natural snow lower down in the southern Piedmont region. This is Bardonecchia – 15 December 2023 – Photo:


Snow conditions are generally excellent across the Swiss Alps right now, though there are still a few weaknesses here and there, mostly at lower altitudes in the north-western Alps.


The very best snow conditions are in the higher resorts of the eastern Swiss Alps, despite some rain having fallen at lower altitudes earlier this week. Davos-Klosters has impressive base depths of 55/185cm, and Laax-Flims (30/175cm) is also in great shape, with a lot of new snow higher up.


Further west, Verbier (35/110cm) did see some rain damage earlier in the week but is now skiing superbly again, at least at altitude. It has been more of a struggle for Gstaad (15/35cm) though, where the rain had a more pronounced overall effect.


Like everywhere else in the Alps, the forecast for Switzerland is for plenty of sun over the next few days, at least at altitude, but with increasingly mild temperatures. 

Cloudy skies over deep snow in Engelberg, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Snow report, 15 December 2023 Lots of snow at altitude in Engelberg – 15 December 2023 – Photo:

Rest of Europe

Recent snowfall has improved conditions somewhat in the Pyrenees, but snow bases remain relatively modest for now in Andorra’s Grand Valira (20/40cm). Some of the best skiing right now is in Spain’s Baqueira Beret, where they have had up to 40cm of snow in the last couple of days and base depths are now 40/60cm.


Snow conditions are generally excellent across Scandinavia with great piste-skiing reported in Norway’s Geilo (40/70cm) and Sweden’s Sålen (70/85cm).


Scottish ski areas still have insufficient snow for lift-served skiing. 

View of the top of a chairlift in Cauterets, with mountains in the background and snow-covered slopes in the foreground – Weather to ski – Snow report, 15 December 2023 New snow in the Pyrenees has improved conditions this week. This is Cauterets in France – 15 December 2023 – Photo:


Some western US resorts have seen significant new snow in the first half of December, not least in Utah where Alta (147cm mid-mountain base) is in particularly good shape.


Snow conditions in most Colorado resorts are still below par, however, despite also having seen some snow over the last week or so. Aspen is perhaps the stand-out resort here,with 28cm of new snow in the last week and a mid-mountain base of 51cm.  

Blue skies over steep snow-covered slope with skier skiing in powder in Snowbird, Utah, USA – Weather to ski – Snow report, 15 December 2023 Fabulous early season snow conditions in Snowbird, Utah – 15 December 2023 – Photo:


Whistler has seen 22cm of new snow at altitude in the last week, and currently has a modest 79cm mid-mountain base. There is some reasonable piste- skiing on offer but, overall, it’s a relatively slow start to its season.


Further inland, the Banff/Lake Louise area (107 cm upper mountain base) has more runs open and is in better overall condition for now. 

Our next full snow report will be on
Friday 22 Dec
ember 2023

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