Latest snow report
Updated: 6.30pm Monday 27 March 2017
Snow conditions in the Alps remain very mixed.
Many high ski resorts in the south-western and western Alps are skiing superbly right now thanks to significant snow over the weekend. These include the likes of Montgenèvre, Val Thorens, Val d’Isere, Tignes, Val Cenis, Cervinia and the Monte Rosa region.
By contrast, the far northern French Alps (e.g. Portes du Soleil), most of the Swiss Alps (away from the far south) and the central/eastern Italian Alps (e.g. the Dolomites) have seen little or no new snow of late and remain in full spring mode, even at relatively high elevations.
The coming week will be mostly fine and sunny with chilly nights but warm afternoons, which means that freeze-thaw cycles will be the order of the day. If you want “wintry” snow quality all day long, you really need to find a resort with plenty of north-facing terrain above 2200m, possibly higher.
Meanwhile, across the pond, Whistler is the resort of the moment, with significant snowfalls over the last week or so and more in the forecast.
Austrian ski resorts have been in full spring mode for some time and will continue in a similar vein this week. It is still possible to enjoy some good piste skiing in low resorts such as Saalbach (0/35cm), and Söll (0/35cm), but natural snow cover is now very patchy and afternoon slush difficult to avoid.
For more consistent snow quality you need to head to resorts with plenty of terrain above 2200m, such as Kaprun (85/195cm), Sölden (20/275cm) or Ischgl (0/110cm). Expect plenty more fine sunny weather this week with a further thaw at lower and mid-level altitudes.
Some higher French ski resorts have seen significant fresh snow in recent days, especially (but not exclusively) in the south and/or close to the Italian border. Val d’Isère/Tignes (98/227cm) had as much as 60cm of new snow at altitude on Saturday and are skiing superbly right now. Other resorts with lots of new snow include Montgenèvre (140/245cm) and Val Cenis (40/235cm).
However, at low altitudes, and especially in the Haute-Savoie, spring is in full swing with only patchy natural snow cover now in Les Gets (15/85cm) and Megève (20/100cm), at least on the bottom half of the mountain.
Expect lots of fine sunny weather this week with the snow-line moving back up the mountain.
Most western Italian ski resorts saw significant snow late last week and/or over the weekend, meaning that the likes of Cervinia (30/240cm), Champoluc (20/200cm) and Sestriere (40/120cm) are in excellent shape right now, especially high up.
Further east, however, it is a different story. You can still find some very enjoyable piste skiing in the Dolomites, but natural snow cover is extremely patchy and many resorts will close this weekend. Selva now has base depths of just 10/30cm depending on altitude.
Expect lots of warm and sunny weather this week, with a rapid loss of any low-lying new snow in the west.
Some southern and south-western Swiss ski resorts have benefited from new snow over the weekend. Saas-Fee, for example, saw around 30cm up top and boasts healthy late March base depths of 30/260cm.
Further north, and lower down generally, snow conditions are more mixed with spring in full swing and only patchy natural cover at low altitudes. You can still find some enjoyable piste skiing in the likes of Wengen (0/80cm) and Nendaz (5/210cm), but the hard early pistes are turning slushy by early afternoon – even earlier on slopes directly exposed to the sun.
Rest of Europe
Most Pyrenean ski resorts have seen some new snow over the weekend which means that conditions are pretty good for the time of year, at least if you are skiing anywhere at decent altitude. Andorra’s Arcalis has base depths of 140/250cm, while France’s Cauterets has 15/275cm.
There is also plenty of good skiing available in Norway, with Voss (100/185cm) again leading the way with another moderate fall of snow last Friday.
It is still possible to ski in Scotland, despite the patchy cover, with 10/25cm now in Cairngorm.
The weather is changeable again after a prolonged mild spell earlier this month. Telluride (210cm upper mountain) has clocked 81cm of new snow in the last seven days with plenty more to come on Tuesday.
Over in Utah, fresh snow has also been falling in Snowbird where the mid-mountain base is 317cm deep.
Whistler’s snowy March continues with 76cm of fresh in the last week and more to come over the next couple of days. Needless to say, snow conditions are very good for late March.
Further east, there hasn’t been as much fresh snow but you can still find some excellent skiing in the likes of Revelstoke (283cm upper base).
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 30 March 2017,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates