There’s not much sign of summer in the Alps at the moment. Check out today’s Welove2ski snow forecast.
In the western Alps, the week started sunny, and it’s stayed that way today – with the daytime freezing point at a spring-like level of 2400m. But in the east, there’s been snow, and it’s chillier. Compare conditions today in Tignes, in France, for example…
…with the scene in Lech in Austria.
Both resorts are closed, and both will be hoping to shed their winter coats quickly so they can start tempting us with thoughts of summer. (Tignes offers skiing on its glacier between June 25 and August 7, but even so its programme of summer sports is a bigger part of its “off-season” business.)
But they’ll have to wait a while longer for a proper thaw. On Thursday, a cold front is due in, and temperatures will drop significantly. “Almost winter” is how French forecaster Meteo Chamonix describes the outlook, with the freezing point down to 1900m, and snow settling at 1500m for a time.
Here’s Thursday’s snow forecast.
From the look of the forecast, it seems as though three of the most important glaciers for late-spring skiing – the Stubai, Hintertux and Kitzsteinhorn glaciers – will miss out on most of the white stuff. But that’s okay: regular followers of our snow report will know they’ve had lots of snow this spring. Nevertheless, anyone who fancies skiing May powder at altitude might want to head to the Kaunertal glacier instead, or Zermatt and Engelberg in Switzerland.
Thereafter, the weather should finally warm up. There might be a cooler moment next Monday, but generally sunshine and late-spring temperatures are on the cards. The locals will be delighted – and will no doubt be dusting off their mountain bikes, and digging out their trail-running shoes in anticipation.
By contrast, summer skiers will be hoping there will be a few more cold spells yet before they get back to the mountains. If you fancy joining them, check out our guide to the best resorts for summer skiing: and don’t worry – you won’t have to make like Candide Thovex…
Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere…
This was The Remarkables ski area in New Zealand this morning. It’s still a month away from its opening day (June 18): but after an extended summer, the first snow of autumn has got everyone buzzing. It’s part of a spell of wild weather that brought around 31,000 lightning strikes to NZ yesterday, and will continue with southerly gales, spells of heavy rain and snow in the ski fields.
In the Andes they’re expecting snow too. There, the pre-season got off to a good start with snow in late April, and there was more last week. The next fall should favour the resorts near Santiago, such as Valle Nevado, tomorrow. Valle Nevado is due to open on June 24, although they may start sooner than that if the snowy trend continues.
Oh yes, and this was Perisher, in the Snowy Mountains of Australia, last week. Perisher is due to open on June 11.
|France: see our main report. Tignes and Val Thorens both closed on May 8 at the end of their long winter seasons. Tignes will be open for glacier skiing between June 25 and August 7, Val d’Isere between June 12 and July 15, and Les Deux Alpes from June 18 to August 27.|
|Switzerland: Zermatt’s glacier should get moderate amounts of fresh snow on Thursday. So too will Engelberg. Zermatt is open all year. Engelberg closes on Sunday, May 22.|
|Austria: Austria’s glacier ski areas are in good nick at the moment, thanks to several heavy snowfalls since April 8. Hintertux is open all year, while the Stubai glacier closes on May 29, the Kitzsteinhorn on July 24 and the Kaunertal on May 29.|
|Italy: Cervinia is opening its lifts to skiers each weekend through May and reports up to 225cm of snow on its slopes.|
|Andorra: in Andorra, the shutters have come down on the ski season. All eyes are now on the summer…|
|Western USA: in Colorado, Arapahoe Basin had about 8cm of news snow over the weekend. If it doesn’t get too warm, the resort will stay open into June. Meanwhile, in Utah Snowbird (weekend openings until May 30) has 228cm of settled snow, and in California Squaw (closes May 30) has 307cm.|
|Western Canada: in Whistler, Whistler Mountain has now closed, although on Blackcomb they’re hoping to keep skiing till May 30. The mid-mountain snowpack is now 149cm deep, and they’re expecting a high of +11C on the mountain.|