Blimey, Snowfiends, if you’re stuck at home wishing you were skiing this half-term week, you’d better look away now.
Here’s the view from the top of Mont Fort in Verbier. Currently, the Swiss resort reports 80-163cm of settled cover on its pistes, depending on altitude.
Meanwhile, pictured below is the French resort of Serre Chevalier, which reports 115-295cm of cover on its pistes.
Below, is how Meribel is looking this lunchtime. Here, the settled cover is 130-154cm deep, on piste.
Pictured, below, is the hamlet of Findeln, above Zermatt, where there’s 80-330cm of cover on the pistes.
Below is the Engadin valley – home of St Moritz. There was around 15cm of fresh snow in south-eastern Switzerland yesterday, and in the valley settled snow depths range between 165-212cm.
Below, is how it was looking in Lech, which also had 15cm of fresh snow yesterday. Here, the snow is 115-130cm deep.
Pictured below is the scene in Obergurgl, Austria. There was a dusting of fresh snow here yesterday, and the cover is 79-174cm deep.
Finally, this is how it was looking in Madonna di Campiglio today. Not much sunshine here – but at least there’s plenty of snow: 240-270cm of settled cover on the pistes, in fact.
There’s more snow to come in the western half of the region tomorrow. Here’s the snow forecast for the Alps for tomorrow, February 21.
Generally speaking, conditions are very good across most of the Alps – especially above 2000m. The exception is the area north and north-east of Innsbruck in Austria. Here the lower resorts are still missing out on most of snow storms, and are suffering at the hands of the mild temperatures which have been an enduring feature of the season. In fact, the repeated thaws are affecting the snow almost everywhere. In France, for example, Meteo France avalanche service reports that the snow is often heavy and humid below 2300m, despite the deep cover.
As a result, the rule of thumb is to aim high whenever you can. The forecast is for cooler weather over the weekend, but the sun is beginning to gather strength now, so whenever it comes out, it’s going to affect the quality of the cover. It’s time to start retuning our thoughts to the pleasures, and pitfalls, of spring skiing as a result.
One other feature to note about conditions at the moment is the way the weather seems to be favouring the north-western Alps with snow. This is a change from the pattern of storms in December and January, which saw the southern Alps get the lion’s share of the white stuff.
Big snow comes to Canada
The big story this week from across the pond has been the welcome return of heavy snow to the resorts western Canada. Whistler reports 114cm of the white stuff in the last week, Fernie 86cm, and Revelstoke 77cm.
There’s been fresh snow in the American Rockies too. In Utah, The Canyons reports a 13cm top-up overnight, Jackson Hole in Wyoming 15cm, Breckenridge in Colorado 13cm and Aspen in Colorado 22cm. More snow is expected in the region over the next two days.
|France: it’s a spectacular day in the French Alps, and the snow is deep in most places too. The only drawback is the warmth, which is making the snow wet and heavy on the lower runs. Tomorrow will bring more snow, and there’s the chance of further snow showers at the weekend. Currently, Val d’Isere reports 118-175cm of settled snow on its pistes, Val Thorens 120-220 and Montgenevre 180-230cm.|
|Switzerland: as in France, conditions are superb this morning in most Swiss resorts. Currently, little Andermatt has cover 107-400cm deep on its slopes. Meanwhile, in the west, Verbier reports cover 80-163cm deep, and in the north Laax has snow 35-150cm deep. Most Swiss resorts are due for a decent top-up on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, too.|
|Austria: There was fresh snow at altitude across many Austrian resorts yesterday. Some, such as Obergurgl, had just a dusting. Others such as Lech, picked up 15cm. Currently, the Skiwelt reports cover 35-65cm deep. By contrast, in Nassfeld in the south, the snowpack is 150-450cm deep. Meanwhile, in the west St Anton reports 65-135cm of settled snow on its pistes.|
|Italy: there’s been less snow lately in the Italian resorts than in the north, but the cover is still deep – little Madesimo, for example, is reporting a settled snowpack of 300-500cm. Meanwhile, in the Aosta Valley, Cervinia has 190-300cm of settled snow, and Canazei in the Dolomites 95-275cm.|
|Andorra: it’s a warm day in the Pyrenees, with the temperature at Soldeu expected to reach +8C this afternoon. There is, however, plenty of snow – 120-230cm on the pistes, according to the snow report. Across the border in Baqueira in Spain, the cover is 215-305cm deep.|
|Western USA: there’s been fresh snow across many Rocky Mountain resorts over the last day and a half, and more is expected before the weekend. In Wyoming, Jackson Hole has 233cm of settled cover, mid-mountain, Breckenridge in Colorado has 226cm, and in Utah, The Canyons reports 157cm.|
|Western Canada: see our main report. The Snow Gods have made a welcome return to the region. As a result, Whistler now has 232cm of settled cover mid-mountain, and Fernie 262cm. In Banff National Park, Lake Louise has had 39cm of new snow in the last week and reports 163cm of settled cover.|