Latest snow report
Updated: 7.30pm Thursday 25 January 2018
Snow depths remain exceptional across many parts of the Alps, especially at altitude where a number of resorts now have upper base depths in excess of 4m. Some resorts such as Crans Montana and Engelberg even have in excess of 6m!
Despite these astonishing snow depths, it has actually been very mild in the Alps and at low altitudes January looks set to become one of the mildest ever in parts of France and Switzerland. This means that we have an unusual disparity between upper and lower snow depths in many areas. Engelberg, for example, has 655cm up top on the glacier but just 5cm at village level. Similarly, the Portes du Soleil has around 360cm at 2300m yet just 5cm at 1000m.
On Friday it will snow across some southern and western parts of the Alps but the fine and very mild weather will return on Saturday and last until the middle of next week.
Meanwhile, across the pond, snow conditions (generally speaking) remain better in Canada than in the US…
Generally speaking snow conditions remain excellent across Austria though the mild weather has led to variable snow quality on some lower slopes, especially off-piste.
High altitude Obergurgl has settled snow depths of 180/360cm while Obertauern has 200/250cm. Lower down, Niederau still has an impressive 80/200cm while Söll has 70/165cm.
Austrian resorts will see little or no snowfall from the next storm and should stay dry and mild until the middle of next week.
French resorts have a huge amount of snow at altitude, especially in the northern Alps where Tignes boasts 244/400cm depending on altitude, and Flaine has 157/410cm.
Snowfall figures are a bit more “normal” lower down, but 120/260cm in Megève is still impressive for a resort where most of the skiing is below 2000m. Generally speaking, the recent mild weather has meant that snow quality is just that bit more variable low down, especially off-piste.
Some areas will have a top up of snow on Friday, mostly in the southern French Alps (e.g. Isola 2000), before it turns fine and very mild again everywhere over the weekend and into the first part of next week.
Snow conditions in Italy remain impressive though, as with everywhere else in the Alps, milder weather has led to some variability in snow quality low down, especially off-piste.
The very deepest snow is still at altitude in the west where Cervinia has base depths of 90/400cm, and La Thuile has 80/290cm. Further east, snow coverage is also excellent with 125/155cm in Arabba and 60/250cm in Passo Tonale.
Some central and western Italian resorts (e.g. Champoluc, Sestriere) will see fresh snow tomorrow before the weather settles down again over the weekend.
Snow conditions remain impressive across Switzerland even if the mild weather has led to a slight thaw in some low resorts.
Some high resorts such as Zermatt (120/345cm) are only just getting back up to speed following the recent massive storms. Further north, Wengen has snow depths of 25/130cm while Flims has 72/465cm.
Some snow is expected in the southern Swiss Alps (e.g. Zermatt, Saas-Fee) on Friday, before it turns fine and mild again over the weekend and into the first part of next week.
Rest of Europe
There hasn’t been much snow in the Pyrenees in recent days but there is still some good piste skiing to be found both in Andorra, where base depths in Pas de La Casa are 70/90cm, and in Spain where Baqueira Beret has 105/160cm.
In Scotland, the wind has been playing havoc with conditions in recent days but generally speaking west is best with a respectable 90/130cm in Glencoe. Glenshee, by comparison, is struggling with a rather paltry 5/50cm.
Recent snow in Norway means that conditions are excellent in most resorts, including Hemsedal where upper base depths are 120cm.
The deepest snow and best conditions continue to be found in the northern Rockies where Mt Baker has seen over half a metre of new snow in the last 24 hours alone, and upper base depths now stand at 452cm.
Jackson Hole (216cm upper base) has also seen significant new snow but many Utah and Colorado resorts have only seen bits and pieces and remain below par. Aspen has 64/109cm on its pistes depending on altitude, while Vail has 97cm up top.
Whistler (274cm upper base) has seen a lot of snow recently - 154cm in the last seven days in fact – which means that conditions are fantastic right now. There is also more snow in the forecast, heaviest on Sunday though it will turn to rain for a time lower down.
Further inland, new snowfalls have been more moderate but conditions are still excellent in both Fernie (235cm upper slopes) and Revelstoke (205cm upper slopes).
Our next full snow report will be on Monday 29 January 2018, but see Today in the Alps for regular updates