Latest snow report

Updated: 7pm Sunday 26 November 2023

Welcome to our first detailed snow report of the 2023-24 winter ski season!

As regular followers will already know, some parts of the Alps have seen a lot of snow in recent days, particularly in the north. Indeed, up to 1m of snow has fallen since Friday in some eastern parts of Switzerland, and the far west of Austria (e.g. Lech, Warth-Schröcken).


More generally, the northern Alps have seen between 30-60cm of new snow, including resorts such as Wengen, Engelberg and Laax in Switzerland, and Ischgl, Saalbach and Kaprun in Austria. The north-western Alps have seen less snow from this storm, with just 5-10cm (and 15cm in a few favoured spots) in the northern French Alps and the far west of Switzerland. The southern Alps have also missed most of the action, although a bit of snow has got through here and there - in resorts in Lombardia (e.g. Livigno) and the Dolomites, especially the west (e.g. Madonna di Campiglio), for example.


So where does this leave the general snow situation in the Alps as we approach the beginning of December?


Broadly speaking, the northern Alps have a decent amount of snow for the time of year, especially at altitude, but also lower down in parts of Austria and the northern and eastern Swiss Alps. So, as it stands, the very best bets for an early season ski holiday include the likes of Val d’Isère, Tignes, Val Thorens, St Anton, Lech, Ischgl, Sölden, Obergurgl and Obertauern.


In the southern Alps, the situation is a bit more hit and miss. There is some decent natural cover in the central-southern Alps and parts of the Dolomites (e.g. Livigno, Passo Tonale and Madonna di Campiglio) but cover is patchier in the south-western Alps (e.g. Monte Rosa, Milky Way) which missed out on the recent storms. The good news, though, is that it is now cold enough for extensive snowmaking, and it is also possible that the southern Alps will see some significant natural snow later this week… 


Austria has the best overall snow conditions in the Alps right now. The very best snow is in the higher resorts of the northern and western Alps, where Lech now has settled snow depths of 80/120cm and there is probably even more up to top in St Anton. Both Lech and St Anton open this Friday (2 December 2023).


Of the ‘open’ resorts, Ischgl (60cm upper depth) is currently leading the way in terms of available terrain. Today, while conditions were restricted due to high winds, it had 124km of runs open, with Sölden (55/210cm middle/upper) not far behind with 99km, and Obergurgl (20/85cm) had 55km. Note that the extent of open terrain is likely to increase once the weather settles down. Further east, high altitude Obertauern (80/110cm) is another good option.


There is currently even snow down to the valley bottoms in the lower Austrian resorts, most of which are yet to open.


More snow is forecast for the Austrian Alps on Tuesday and again later in the week. 

Snow falling over snow-covered pistes in Obertauern, Austria – Weather to ski – Snow report, 26 November 2023 Cold and snowy in Obertauern today – 26 November 2023 – Photo:


Only two French resorts, Tignes (17/150cm) and Val Thorens (50/110cm), are currently open, despite generally good cover above 2000m or so across the northern French Alps. More resorts will join them next weekend, most notably Val d’Isère which, when combined with Tignes will offer one of the most extensive options this season.


Lower down, snow cover in the Portes du Soleil, for example, is still on the thin side below 1800m. No southern French resorts are open yet, and conditions here also appear slightly less favourable than in the north.


However, with more snow forecast on Monday/Tuesday across the French Alps, then again later in the week, there is plenty of room for optimism here too. 

Blue skies above snow-covered pistes in Tignes, France – Weather to ski – Snow report, 26 November 2023 Decent piste-skiing in Tignes, with impressive snow depths higher up – 26 November 2023 – Photo:


Italian resorts currently have the least natural snow cover of the four main Alpine countries. That said, there is reasonable cover in the central and eastern Italian Alps, including in Passo Tonale (5/120cm) and Madonna di Campiglio (40/50cm), with colder weather also allowing for snowmaking to operate at full capacity, of which the Dolomite region takes great advantage.


Further west, natural snow cover is patchier, with very little snow lower down in both the Monte Rosa region and the Milky Way, though snowmaking is also underway here in earnest. Cervinia (30/160cm) remains the stand-out place to ski in the western Italian Alps right now, with skiing possible from top to bottom, despite the relatively modest depths.


Some snow is forecast for the Italian resorts this week, especially later in the week. 

Panoramic view over the Monte Rosa region with snow higher up, but patchy cover lower down – Weather to ski – Snow report, 26 November 2023 Only very patchy snow cover in the Monte Rosa region, but snow is forecast here next week – Photo:, 26 November 2023


Snow conditions have improved across much of the Swiss Alps in recent days, especially in the north and east which have received the lion’s share of the recent snow. Engelberg (50/90cm middle/upper slopes) has done particularly well from recent storms, with good skiing also available in both Davos (45/100cm) and Laax (25/130cm), albeit still on a relatively limited basis.


Relative to altitude, the area with the least natural snow is the far south-west, including Zermatt (0/200cm). However, the ski area’s impressive overall altitude means that there is still some good piste skiing on offer on the upper half of the mountain.


All Swiss resorts are also in for some new snow this week. 

Fresh snow on the mountains in Engelberg, Switzerland – Weather to ski – Snow report, 26 November 2023 Lots of fresh snow in Engelberg – 26 November 2023 – Photo:

Rest of Europe

A handful of Pyrenean resorts have opened in recent days, albeit with relatively modest snow depths. The best bet right now is probably Spain’s Baqueira Beret (10/35cm) where about 25km of pistes are open on a mixture of natural and artificial snow.


Lots of Scandinavian resorts are also partially open, with Sweden’s Åre (28/60cm) currently offering the greatest extent of open terrain, with 12km.


Scottish ski areas still have insufficient snow to open any skiing.

Panoramic snow-covered mountain scenery in Baqueira Beret, Spain – Weather to ski – Snow report, 26 November 2023 Enough early season snow cover in Baqueira Beret for some reasonable November piste-skiing – 26 November 2023 – Photo:


Lots of western US resorts are now offering some limited skiing, as you would expect at this time of year. However, despite some promising early November snowfalls, most areas are reliant on man-made snow and need a big storm or two to get ahead of the curve again.


Best of all right now is Wyoming’s Grand Targhee (56cm upper) which has 63% of its terrain open followed by Utah’s Alta (100cm upper) with just 29%. Most big-name Colorado resorts are still offering less than 10% with no significant snow on the immediate horizon. 

View of chairlift and ski slopes in Breckenridge, USA – Weather to ski – Snow report, 26 November 2023 Modest snow cover in Breckenridge, as is generally the case across the western US – 26 November 2023 – Photo:


A handful of Canadian resorts are also open on generally modest snow depths. Whistler (60cm upper base) is forecast to see some significant snow by early December, which should help it open more than the 7% of its terrain currently available. 

Our next full snow report will be on
Friday 1 Dec
ember 2023

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