Latest snow report
Updated: 2.30pm Saturday 4 March 2023
Snow conditions in the Alps remain very mixed, with generally below average snow depths for early March, especially in the Swiss and northern French Alps.
One area that is doing better is the southern Piedmont (roughly south of the Milky Way, including resorts such as Prali and Prato Nevoso), and some resorts just over the border in the southern French Alps, such as those of the Queyras and Isola 2000. Having already fared reasonably well all season, these resorts also saw another round of heavy snow last week.
Aside from these favoured areas, natural snow cover is very patchy at low altitudes across most of Switzerland, France and Italy. There is still some good piste skiing to be found but, with many areas having not seen any significant snow since January, hard-packed or icy pistes remain an issue in places, particularly as the recent cold temperatures have not allowed much softening of the snow as the days wear on, at least on shadier runs.
Austria is the alpine country offering the most consistent snow quality right now, with decent piste-skiing at most altitudes (if a little hard-packed in places), and some good off-piste possibilities here and there.
As to the forecast for the Alps next week, it is currently chopping and changing, with snow still expected for some, but no longer to the very low levels that had been expected.
Across the pond, California and Utah continue to stand out, with the upper mountain base in Mammoth now well over 7m deep!
Austria continues to offer the most consistent snow conditions of the four main alpine countries thanks to having received more regular snowfalls and had colder temperatures in recent weeks.
Snow depths remain universally below average for early March though, but there is lots of good skiing on offer in the Arlberg where settled snow depths in St Anton are 80/160cm depending on altitude.
Decent piste skiing is also possible in lower resorts, such as the Ski Welt (30/70cm) and Alpbach (40/100cm), though more snow would obviously be welcome, especially if for those looking to ski off-piste.
Snow conditions are very mixed across the French Alps right now. The best conditions are in areas close to the Italian border, roughly south of Val d’Isère (90/270cm), including the likes of Montgenèvre (200/270cm) and Isola 2000 (100/130cm), both of which saw fresh snow last week.
Most French resorts haven’t seen significant snow for some weeks, however, meaning that natural snow cover is now patchy lower down in resorts such as Megève (20/65cm) and Les Gets (0/75cm). These areas can still offer some reasonable piste-skiing higher up, though more snow is urgently needed.
If you are planning a late season ski holiday in France, you should aim for much higher resorts, such as Val Thorens (90/145cm) and Tignes (90/270cm).
Italy still has a lot of decent piste-skiing available, despite most areas not having seen a huge amount of new snow in recent days, or even weeks. The main exception is the southern Piedmonte where over 1m of new snow fell in Limone Piedmonte (40/170cm) last week. Sestriere (50/110cm) and Bardonecchia (50/90cm) also did well and are skiing nicely right now.
Elsewhere in the Italian Alps, snow depths are generally very modest, but you can still enjoy the pistes in Livigno (30/60cm) and Selva (10/50cm), though more snow would be welcome.
Snow depths are universally below average across the Swiss Alps with only patchy natural snow cover lower down in the likes of Gstaad (5/40cm) and Grindelwald (0/35cm). It is still possible to find some reasonable piste-skiing higher up in these resorts, but more snow is urgently needed in order to keep them operational until the end of the season.
For better overall cover you need to aim much higher, but even resorts such as Zermatt, which boasts the highest pistes in the Alps, only has settled snow depths of 5/75cm depending on altitude.
Rest of Europe
The Pyrenees aren’t doing too badly at the moment, with fresh snow having topped things up nicely last week. Base depths are currently 40/100cm in Andorra’s Soldeu and 50/180cm in Spain’s Formigal.
Up in Scandinavia, Norway continues to offer good skiing in all areas, on-piste at least, with an impressive 135/170cm in Voss and 60/110cm in Hemsedal.
Scotland is still struggling though, with very little natural snow in any of its five main areas and only some very limited skiing available in Cairngorm, the Lecht and Glenshee.
California and Utah’s incredible season continues, with yet more snow falling this weekend. Alta now has mid-mountain snow depths of 410cm, while Mammoth has upper snow depths of 762cm.
Further east, things are more normal in Colorado, where Vail has 178cm mid-mountain, not far off what you would expect at this point in the season.
Whistler (236cm mid-mountain) has seen half a metre of snow in the last week, meaning that it has lots of good skiing on offer even if base depths are a bit below where they should be at this stage of the season.
Conditions have been improving in recent weeks further inland, after a slow start to the season, with the stand-out resort being Big White (265cm upper base).
Our next full snow report will be on
Thursday 9 March 2023
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