After a particularly cold start to the week in Europe’s ski resorts, pistes were left hard packed, but some resorts are now getting some fresh snow. The real star, though, is on the other side of the icy pond. Here’s the latest snow report from the Ski Club.
The early part of the week was exceptionally cold across Europe, with minimal snow for the North of the Alps, though the southern French Alps and the Italian Piedmont saw heavy snowfall. Thursday saw rising temperatures which will go some way to mitigating the otherwise hard packed pistes in those areas without snow. Looking ahead, the heaviest snowfall will be found in the south west of the Alps across the French Italy border.
British Columbia currently offers the best conditions for skiing in Canada, having seen noticeably more recent snow than neighbouring Alberta. California is grabbing headlines in the United States at the moment, with huge snowfalls expected beginning on Thursday and carrying on at least until Sunday, delivering up to 150cm of snow. Unfortunately New England continues to underperform, with spring like conditions leading to hard snow in the morning, getting slushy as the day progresses.
Based on current weather forecasts for the next nine days, the top three resorts for expected snowfall are:
Sierra Nevada, Spain- 278cm
La Grave, France- 239cm
Zermatt, Switzerland- 219cm
Very cold weather dominated Austria from Monday till Thursday, with recorded temperatures as low as -25C, with -15C to -20C common across the country. This resulted in very hard packed pistes, with much off the off piste becoming hard, cruddy and unenjoyable to ski expect where fresh snow had fallen. This was only a small subsection of our featured resorts, and even among those it tended to only be a light dusting of snow falling on otherwise solid, packed snow. Those that saw small amounts of light snow include Obergurgl (115/246cm) and Silvretta Montafon (20/197cm), in each instance 7cm.
Thursday saw a significant rise in temperatures which led to the pistes becoming somewhat less hard packed. However don’t expect much skiable off piste other than in isolated areas. There was light snowfall in the Tyrol, including in St Anton (125/360cm). Elsewhere, there were variable amounts of sun and cloud, with flat light across many of the cloudy resorts. Though there is the potential for light flurries, Austria is unlikely to see any of the new snow arriving in the Alps over the coming days. Instead, expect temperatures rising further while cloud persists until Sunday, at which point the sun will come out across the majority of the country.
During the early part of the week our featured French resorts experienced largely sunny weather. However, since the early hours of Thursday it has been snowing non-stop in the vast majority of resorts. Puy St Vincent (155cm/230cm) has the largest fresh snowfall so far with as much as 50cm, providing fantastic skiing conditions. Other notable snowfall was recorded in Serre Chevalier (120cm/280cm) and Chamonix (100cm/405cm) with both resorts receiving 40cm of fresh.
With all the recent snow, some resorts have experienced restricted lift operation. Montgenvre (305cm/315cm) and Villard de Lans (60cm/180cm) have both been affected.
Weather wise, the rest of the week is set to be more of the same. The largest amount of snow forecast up till Sunday will be in Le Grand Bornand (50cm/250cm) with 50cm, whilst Les Carroz (61cm/300cm) and Chamrousse (95cm/215cm) are predicted 47cm and 36cm respectively.
The weather in Switzerland was sunny with cloudy spells in the early part of the week, with snow then starting to fall on Thursday. In the 4 Vallees, the neighbouring resorts of Nendaz (20cm/340cm) and Verbier (95cm/340cm) recorded 25cm of fresh snow, allowing for great riding conditions.
However, it seems that the cloudy and snowy weather hasn’t affected every resort, with Saas Fee (125cm/245cm) and Zermatt (150cm/350cm) both enjoying clearer skies.
The largest amount of snow forecast until the end of the week can be found on the Swiss/French border; in the Portes de Soleil at Champery (100cm/350cm), who are hoping for around 20cm by Sunday. In the Jungfrau region, Murren (111cm/410cm) is expecting 15cm, whilst the Val d’Anniviers resorts of Grimentz (135cm/316cm) and ZInal (135cm/316cm) are forecast for 14cm.
As with much of the rest of the Alps, Italy saw a very cold first half of the week, with of -15C to -20C common across much of the country, leading to hard packed pistes in the north western and Dolomite resorts. Further south however the Vialetta continued to see good skiing conditions across the area due to the heavy snow that fell over the weekend.
New snow was falling across the majority of western Italy on Thursday, with light snow further north while substantially higher quantities further south, with Bardonecchia (70/200cm) seeing 30cm overnight with snow continuing to fall mid-morning. Elsewhere, Bormio (40/60cm) saw its first snowfall in an extended period, with 5cm having been recorded and more coming down during the day. There was limited visibility across the Dolomites despite no new snow. It also remained somewhat colder than the much of the rest of the Alps, sticking below -10C for the most part.
Expect continuing snow across those resorts where it has already been falling as well as developing over the dolomites. It will continue over the weekend and well into the coming week. Monday especially looks to be a promising day Dolomites.
20cm of fresh snow in the Grandvalria area for the likes of El Tarter (130/190cm), Pas de la Casa (150/190cm) and Soldeu (130/190cm) allowed for a day of powder skiing, albeit with limited visibility. Arcalis (145/250cm) and Pal/Arinsal (140/200cm) also experienced restricted visibility, with snow falling on Thursday.
Today (Friday) is forecast to be a day of sun and clouds, and a chance to enjoy the fresh snow. Thereafter, snow is likely to fall into the middle of the next week.
In contrast to much the rest of Europe, Thursday saw very mild temperatures for Finland, only a couple of degrees below freezing for the most part. It was cloudy though was not snow at midday.
Bright sun continued over both Are (102cm) and Salen (134cm), though both resorts are without fresh snow since the weekend. Despite this, there looks to be continuing excellent on piste conditions across both resorts.
It was a similar story in Norway, with no clouds to be found in the sky at all, while the mercury was sitting as low as -19C. No new show has fallen, since the weekend for the majority of resorts, though now since the 10th for Geilo (120cm), resulting in hard pistes and no off piste skiing to speak of. Cloud is forecast to arrive over the weekend, with the potential for new snow in the early part of next week.
Thursday saw a largely overcast day across our featured German resorts, with very little change in skiing conditions. Temperatures remained low, between -1C at Lenggries (40/205cm) to -8C at Garmisch (230/380cm), and there was good skiing on the groomed trails. Feldberg (24/67cm) was the only resort to receive fresh snow in the last 24cm; 3cm in total, which was probably a good thing as it was the resort most needing a little touch up.
Light snow is expected to fall over the next couple of days, but don’t expect too much; maybe a maximum of 7cm in Reit am Winkl (73/215cm) Today. Sunday is forecast to be a fairly pleasant day, before the clouds then move back in for the start of next week.
In Bulgaria it was a sunny day on Thursday, where only a few scattered clouds allowed for a lovely day of fair weather skiing. However, this will change from today, with snow showers expected to move in. Bansko (100cm/270cm) and Borovets (125cm/190cm) are both expecting light to moderate accumulations of 11cm and 6cm of snow by Sunday.
In the Czech Republic there were lovely sunny conditions in Spindleruv Mlyn (50cm/80cm) which had a light dusting of snow on Wednesday to refresh the pistes.Sochi (45cm/365cm) are expecting a lot of fresh snow by Sunday, which has started to fall lightly on Thursday. 58cm has been forecast, so expect fantastic conditions on Monday should the snow arrive.
Scottish ski resorts are well and truly in the grasp of ‘the beast from the east’. Only Glencoe (160/265cm) was open on Thursday, where there was some lovely skiing on the groomed trails. The good news is that there has been plenty of snow, and conditions should be great once the weather allows lifts to spin.
The snow in California is without doubt the highlight of the skiing in the United States at the moment, with new snow improving conditions from the start of the week. The largest quantities are still to come however, with the potential for up to 150cm to fall by the end of the week. Mammoth (114/229cm) in particular will be in great shape, given the larger snowpack they already have compared to other resorts in the state.
Though the heavy snowfall has eased off somewhat in the central Rockies, good conditions continue across Colorado and Utah, with both states seeing lighter dustings of snow keeping the pistes fresh. There is however the potential for more substantial snowfall to return over the weekend, once again topping up the slopes before some bluebird days from Monday.
Fluctuating weather in New England led to hard and icy pistes in the mornings, with little to enjoy away from groomed trails. The weather is predominantly cloudy, though unfortunately with little prospect of it providing some to improve the conditions. Monday at least will signal the return of clear skies and probably spring like conditions.
The majority of Canada continues to see excellent conditions, with consistent snowfall across British Columbia, including 23cm in Fernie (331cm) on Wednesday night. This continued in some resorts on Thursday, while others saw a mix of sun and cloud. Temperatures were also on the up, with single digits below freezing across the two provinces. Those in Alberta may be looking on enviously, having not seen more than light dustings for going on two weeks now, diminishing any opportunities for serious powder riding.
Both Mont Sainte Anne (50/250cm) and Tremblant (70cm) saw new snow overnight, with 16cm and 11cm respectively. Conditions were spring like, with temperatures only very slightly below zero.
There was good news for Hakuba (125/395cm), where temperatures have dropped and allowed around 8cm of fresh snow to fall. The snow is not exactly light powder, but it is better than some of the heavier spring snow earlier this week. Nisseko (250/515cm) was experiencing some milder weather than that of late, and high winds on Thursday meant that all lifts were on hold at the time of writing. Over at Rusutsu (280/300cm) 14cm of snow is expected to fall over the course of the day, with a further 15cm then expected tomorrow.