Latest snow report
Updated: 6.30pm Monday 20 February 2017
Snow conditions in the Alps are reasonable rather than spectacular, all things considered.
Last week (probably the busiest of the season so far) was mostly sunny and, with the vast majority of skiers happy to stick to the piste, all was well. This week, however, things will become a little more complicated, first with some rain (below 1500m or so) in the eastern Alps tomorrow, then with rising temperatures more generally.
On-piste at least there will again be plenty of good skiing on offer. The off-piste, however, will be decidedly mixed and, looking longer term, there are some concerns as to how some low altitude areas will fare later in the season. The sun is getting stronger now and snow levels remain considerably below par in many parts of the Alps.
There are no such concerns across the pond where the western US in particular continues to catch the high with further massive snow falls…
On-piste snow conditions in Austria have generally been quite good in recent days. However, the snow quality will become more variable this week due to fluctuating temperatures and changeable weather, with a mixture of rain and snow (1600m) forecast tomorrow.
High altitude Obertauern (110/170cm) and Obergurgl (20/115cm) are good bets right now. There is also reasonable snow cover in the Ski Welt (60/70cm), but here the going will be heavier this week, especially lower down.
For most recreational skiers snow conditions are pretty good right now. Off-piste, however, the picture is more mixed.
For the best snow quality (on or off-piste) you need to aim high, with resorts such as Val d’Isère (90/175cm) and Val Thorens (95/205cm) as good as anywhere right now.
Lower down, you can still find decent piste skiing in La Clusaz (20/130cm) and Morzine (30/50cm), but here the cover is noticeably thinner.
There is still lots of excellent piste skiing to be found in Italy. Like everywhere else in the Alps, however, good off-piste opportunities are not quite so straight forward and the weather is set to remain mild for much of this week.
Some of the best conditions right now can be found in Sestriere (50/140cm). Further east, Livigno is also in good shape with 35/95cm.
On-piste at least, most resorts are skiing quite well right now. However, off-piste opportunities are less obvious, and it is forecast to stay mild for much of this week.
Zermatt (5/140cm) is as good a bet as most right now, even if there is very little snow at village level. Further north and east, Davos has 50/110cm, with a dusting of new snow possible on Tuesday.
Rest of Europe
The Pyrenees still have lots of snow right now, with base depths of 100/150cm in Andorra’s Soldeu and 160/240cm in Spain’s Baqueira Beret.
Bulgaria hasn’t seen any new snow in a while but there is still good piste skiing in Bansko (70/150cm).
Scandinavian resorts have also been bone dry of late. Finland’s Ruka currently has 65cm mid-mountain, while Norway’s Geilo has 75cm.
Scottish skiing is again on hold, however, due to mild temperatures and only very patchy snow cover.
Snow conditions continue to astound in many western US resorts. Wyoming’s Jackson Hole (230cm/340cm) has seen another 50cm in the past 48 hours, with lots more in the forecast. Utah’s Alta is also wallowing in powder, with mid-mountain base depths approaching 3m.
Most eye-catching of all, however, is California’s Mammoth which now claims base depths of 447/889cm and where more snow is forecast!
Snow conditions are also pretty good in western Canada, even if the stats are generally less impressive than in the western US.
Lake Louise currently has 117/173cm of settled snow depending on altitude, while Whistler has 253cm (upper mountain).
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 23 February 2017,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates