Latest snow report
Updated: 3.30pm Thursday 23 February 2017
Snow conditions in the Alps remain highly variable following several days of very mild weather.
There was some fresh snow above 1800-2000m in the northern and north-eastern Alps earlier in the week (mostly in Austria) but this fell as rain lower down, and today the temperature has reached the high teens in some lower Alpine valleys.
Not surprisingly the snow has been rather spring-like low down this week, with the best snow quality at higher altitude.
It will turn colder with some snow in places (especially in the northern half of the Alps) on Friday before temperatures rise again over the weekend. Another wintry spell is on the cards mid-week next week, but it may again be relatively short-lived.
Meanwhile, across the pond, resorts in California, Utah and Wyoming have more snow than they know what to do with!
Mild temperatures (and rain, earlier in the week) have affected the snow quality at low altitude in Austrian ski resorts. However, colder temperatures and fresh snow are on their way for Friday, which will improve matters, albeit perhaps only temporarily.
Generally speaking the best snow conditions are in resorts with plenty of skiing above 1800m, such as Ischgl (15/85cm) and Sölden (20/230cm).
Lower down conditions have been rather spring-like this week in resorts such as Söll (60/70cm).
Snow conditions are very mixed in France at the moment thanks to very mild temperatures.
Not surprisingly the best skiing can be found in the higher altitude resorts, such as Val Thorens (95/205cm) and Tignes (85/175cm). Lower down, it has been rather spring-like this week in the likes of Megève (30/110cm) and La Clusaz (15/130cm).
It will turn colder with a little snow in the north tomorrow before warming up again over the weekend.
Like everywhere else in the Alps it has been a mild week so far in Italy. It will turn colder with a little snow in places on Friday but generally not as much as further north.
In the meantime you can find plenty of good piste skiing across the Italian resorts, even if snow depths remain very modest in the east. Cortina has 20/50cm depending on altitude, while further west La Thuile can offer a more impressive (45/175cm).
Snow conditions are highly variable in Switzerland right now thanks to the very mild temperatures.
The best snow quality is at altitude in resorts such as Zermatt (5/140cm) and Saas-Fee (25/160cm).
Lower down, conditions have been decidedly spring-like at times this week but colder temperatures and fresh snow will improve matters on Friday. Wengen has base depths of 25/80cm, while Villars has 40/90cm.
Rest of Europe
The Pyrenees have also been mild and mostly dry this week but, on-piste at least, snow conditions remain very good with base depths of 140/210cm in
Andorra’s Arcalis and 160/240cm in Spain’s Baqueira Beret.
Bulgaria has also remained dry, though Bansko offers a very respectable 70/150cm depending on altitude.
Most Norwegian resorts have at last seen some snow, heaviest in Voss where base depths are now 65/85cm.
It is also snowing in Scotland though at the time of writing all of its ski areas remain closed.
Snow conditions are off the charts in most western US resorts right now compared with the Alps.
California’s Mammoth (889cm upper mountain) and Utah’s Snowbird (342cm mid-mountain) are as good as anywhere, with further huge snowfalls over the last week. Over in Wyoming, Jackson Hole is also offering dreamy powder conditions with base depths of 231/342cm depending on altitude.
Snow depths in Colorado are a bit more ‘normal’, but the quality of the skiing is also generally excellent here, with 145cm packed down mid-mountain in Winter Park and 170cm in Aspen.
Snow conditions in western Canada are not quite as amazing as in many of the western US resorts but still very good by current Alpine standards.
Whistler hasn’t seen a huge amount of snow in the last week but still offers excellent on-piste snow quality, with a 252cm upper mountain base.
It’s a similar situation in the Banff/Lake Louise area (116/184cm) right now, with excellent on-piste but somewhat more variable off-piste conditions.
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 2 March 2017,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates