Latest snow report
Updated: 3.20pm Thursday 3 March 2022
There is an increasing contrast between snow conditions on the northern and southern sides of the Alps right now.
Snow depths are considerably below average for early March in the southern Alps – i.e. the Italian Alps, southern French Alps (e.g. Montgenèvre, Risoul, Isola 2000), the far southern Swiss Alps (e.g. Bosco Gurin) and the far southern Austrian Alps (e.g. Nassfeld, Lienz). Indeed, resorts in the far south-west (e.g. Auron, Isola 2000, Prato Nevoso, Limone, Bardonecchia, Sauze d’Oulx) have had an exceptionally dry winter and have very little natural snow at lower altitudes.
It is still possible to find some decent piste skiing in these areas, but off-piste options are very limited if non-existent and, in most cases, snow cover is more reminiscent of early April than early March.
Further north the situation is much better, with generally near normal snow cover in resorts such as Val d’Isère, Flaine, Avoriaz, Villars, Mürren, Engelberg, Klosters, St Anton, Saalbach, Kaprun and Obertauern.
The good news for the whole of the Alps is that temperatures are relatively cold right now, despite the mostly sunny weather, and will turn colder still over the weekend and into the first part of next week.
Across the pond, the resorts of western Canada are generally in better shape than those in the western US…
There is lots of good skiing to be had right across Austria right snow, with the very best conditions in the higher resorts of the west such as Sölden (75/280cm) and Lech (135/280cm).
Even in the lower resorts such as Zell-am-See (55/175cm) and Kitzbühel (30/115cm) snow bases are very healthy for early March.
On-piste conditions are generally excellent, thanks to the relatively cool weather which is limiting the freeze-thaw cycle, and it will become colder still over the weekend.
There is a big north-south divide in terms of snow cover and depths in the French Alps right now. The southern resorts, such as Montgenèvre (25/50cm) and Isola 2000 (80/95cm), can still offer some reasonable piste skiing, despite the base being thin and natural snow cover being patchy lower down.
However, the situation is much better in the north, with pretty good conditions for early March in both the high resorts like La Plagne (120/200cm) and lower resorts like Morzine (45/150cm).
No significant snow is forecast any time soon but, with temperatures on the cool side and set to turn colder still this weekend, this will at least lessen the freeze-thaw cycle that normally starts to become more noticeable at this time of year.
Snow depths remain below normal right across the Italian Alps, with snow cover especially thin in the west, where Sauze d’Oulx has base depths of just 25/50cm depending on altitude, and Pila has just 20/40cm.
These resorts can still offer some reasonable piste skiing, and the relatively cool temperatures mean that the freeze-thaw cycle is not as prominent as it can be at this time of year. Nonetheless, unless a lot of snow falls this month, this doesn’t bode well for the end of the season.
Higher resorts such as Cervinia (60/135cm) and Livigno (65/100cm) are in better overall shape but, even here, snow cover remains modest for early March.
Snow conditions are still quite good across the Swiss Alps right now, even if there hasn’t been much snow in recent days. Despite the strengthening sun, the relatively cool weather (which is set to get colder still this weekend) is helping to limit the freeze-thaw cycle to just modest snowmelt on north-facing slopes.
The most impressive snow depths are in the north, with settled snow depths of 28/295cm in Engelberg and 70/150cm in Klosters. Further south, snow depths are generally more modest but 22/140cm in Zermatt and 50/98cm in St Moritz is perfectly adequate to provide some enjoyable on-piste skiing right now.
Rest of Europe
There is still plenty of snow and good piste skiing on offer in the higher resorts of the Pyrenees, with settled snow depths of 70/120cm in Andorra’s Soldeu and 135/235cm in Spain’s Baqueira Beret.
Snow depths remain more modest in most Norwegian resorts but 40/64cm in Hemsedal is ample for most recreational skiers.
All Scottish ski areas have at least some snow at the moment, with the best conditions in the western resort of Glencoe (150cm upper base) where the weather is expected to be mostly settled over the next few days (aways check individual areas for opening times and ticket restrictions though before setting out).
“Front range” Colorado resorts are considerably under par in terms of snow depths right now, but you can still find some decent piste skiing in the likes of Vail (152cm upper) and Breckenridge (127cm upper), even if conditions have been rather spring-like this week.
Further west and south, the snowpack is deeper with upper base depths of 130cm in Aspen. Conditions are set to improve right across Colorado over the weekend as colder and snowier weather moves in.
Snow is also forecast further north in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole (173cm upper) where snow depths are also below average for early March.
Snow conditions continue to impress in the interior of western Canada with fresh snow in the Banff/Lake Louise area, where snow depths are now 155/225cm depending on altitude.
Further west there is also some excellent skiing to be found in Whistler where significant snow has fallen in the last few days and there is an upper base of 275cm.
Our next full snow report will be on
Friday 11 March 2022
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