Latest snow report
Updated: 5.45pm Monday 16 January 2017
Snow conditions have improved enormously across most of the Alps over the last week or so, even if snow depths remain largely below par for mid-January.
The freshest snow and best skiing can be found across the northern half of the Alps, from the French Alps (e.g. 3 Valleys, Val d’Isère, Chamonix, Avoriaz), across most of Switzerland (e.g. Verbier, Mürren, Engelberg, Laax) and into Austria (e.g. Lech, St Anton, Kitzbühel, Saalbach). These areas have seen 40-80cm of new snow in recent days, locally over 100cm. Off-piste opportunities in these regions are becoming more extensive, but note that the risk of avalanche remains high and that an experienced guide is always recommended.
Some southern parts of the Alps have also seen some fresh snow but, generally speaking, in more modest quantities. This means that many resorts are still heavily dependent on artificial snow but, off-piste at least, snow conditions are also excellent.
Across the pond, snow conditions continue to astound in the western US…
Snow conditions are excellent across most of Austria with lots of new snow and frigid temperatures. Be careful off-piste, however, as the risk of avalanche is still high and will only decrease slowly over the next few days. Lech currently has 95/130cm of settled snow depending on altitude, while Saalbach has 70/110cm.
Further light flurries are expected across the northern Austrian Alps over the 24 hours or so, before it turns mostly fine from mid-week onwards. It will remain cold, however, which will preserve the quality of the snow.
Snow conditions in the French Alps have improved immeasurably over the last week or so thanks to significant new snowfall. The rest of this week will be mostly dry, though it will remain very cold which will help preserve the quality of the snow.
Alpe d’Huez now has 70/160cm of settled snow depending on altitude, while Megève has 50/120cm.
Note that the risk of avalanche off-piste remains high, especially (but not exclusively) at altitude.
Italian resorts have seen less new snow in recent days than those further north but, on-piste at least, are still skiing very well.
The best natural snow cover and overall snow conditions in Italy remain in the higher resorts of the north-western Italian Alps, such as Cervinia (30/120cm) and La Thuile (30/100cm).
Further east the ski resorts are generally more reliant on snow-making, even if it does now look a bit more wintry in Cortina (10/25cm) and Selva (5/30cm), for example.
Expect plenty of dry weather this week but very cold temperatures.
Snow conditions are very good across most Swiss resorts thanks to new snow and sub-zero temperatures.
The heaviest of the recent snow has been in the north, though base depths are still considerably below average, with 30/65cm depending on altitude in Mürren and 25/70cm in Davos.
Except for a few light flurries in the northern Swiss Alps over the next 24 hours, the rest of the week will be mostly fine but very cold.
Rest of Europe
The Pyrenees have at last seen big snowfalls, after a very poor start to the season. Over 1m has now fallen in both Andorra’s Soldeu, where base depths are 80/130cm, and Spain’s Baqueira Beret (140/180cm).
Bulgarian ski resorts, such as Borovets (130/155cm), also have plenty of snow with lots more in the forecast.
In Scandinavia, most resorts are ticking along nicely, with some of the freshest snow to be found in Norway’s Voss (60/120cm) where around 25cm fell on Friday.
Snow conditions remain excellent across the western US following multiple big snowfalls. California’s Mammoth (320/622cm) has perhaps the most impressive snowfall figures in the world right now, with yet another big storm due in the next few days.
Two other particularly snowy resorts are Crested Butte (210cm mid-mountain) in Colorado, and Alta (215cm mid-mountain) in Utah, both of which will also be seeing yet more snow over the coming days.
Whistler (177cm mid-mountain base) is at the beginning of a new storm cycle that could bring well over 1m of new snow at altitude over the next few days. This time it is milder though, which means rain will also be in the mix lower down.
Further inland some snow is also due in Fernie (168cm upper mountain base) where conditions are generally very good, though it will also turn relatively mild here in the coming days.
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 19 January 2017,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates