First of all, congratulations Lake Louise! On Tuesday, the spectacular Rocky-Mountain resort broke its snowfall record – clocking up 758cm of the white stuff so far this winter. That’s a mid-mountain figure, by the way. Up top they’ve had 821cm. The previous record, 755cm, was set only two years back, in the 2011-12 season: and if they have another snowy season like this one in the near future maybe we an start talking about a trend…
Anyone who’s seen the recent video and photos coming out of the resort won’t be surprised to hear the news. Pictured below is the powder day on Saturday May 3.
However, it is worth pointing out that while 758cm is a welcome resort record, it’s a long way from being an industry-beating figure. The latest snow report from nearby Sunshine Village records 871cm of snow so far this winter, while down in Colorado Breckenridge notched up 1116cm before it closed its lifts on April 27.
Nevertheless, the fact that the record was broken thanks to 70cm of top-to-bottom snow in one week in May, does underline Lake Louise’s credentials as a reliable spring skiing destination. The last day of skiing there is on May 11.
In the Alps, there’s fresh snow at altitude this morning
Down at village level, in the handful of resorts still open, yesterday’s weather was pretty wet and miserable. But this morning, the skies have cleared, and there’s fresh snow at altitude: 20cm of it up on Grande Motte glacier above Tignes, for example.
The next three days are going to see a mix of sunshine and cloud, and the odd shower. It’ll be mild but not too warm. Then, on Monday, a new weather front will bring colder temperatures and quite heavy snow to the high Alps. Anyone out on a glacier next Tuesday could be in for a treat.
Here’s a quick survey of the morning webcams, starting with Val Thorens, which closes on Sunday and still has 80-190cm of snow bedded down on piste.
Pictured, below, is the Presena glacier, above Passo Tonale in Italy, where the cover is 400-450cm deep.
Below is the Stubai glacier, south of Innsbruck in Austria, where the snow is up to 360cm deep.
Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere…
In Perisher, in the Snowy Mountains of Australia, there was a dusting of snow at the weekend, and the snow cannons have been firing. There are still four weeks until the resort opens, but pre-season stoke is high…
Last Saturday there was fresh snow in the Andes, too. This was Valle Nevado, near Santiago in Chile. Officially, the season starts there on June 27 – but the lifts are sure to be spinning before then if the snow keeps falling.
|France: there’s fresh snow at altitude in Val Thorens and Tignes today – and sunshine too. Both resorts will be shutting down their lifts on May 11, bringing the season to an end in France. However, Tignes, Val d’Isere and Les Deux Alpes will all be opening their glaciers in June for summer skiing.|
|Switzerland: There’s roughly 2m of snow bedded down up on the glacier above Zermatt at the moment, thanks to several snowstorms which have really favoured this part of the Alps. The resort’s glacier is open for skiing all winter, weather permitting. Meanwhile Engelberg up to 395cm on its glacier. Engelberg shuts on May 25.|
|Austria: with Obergurgl now closed, the action has shifted to the glaciers in Austria – and they have fresh snow today. For example, the Kitzsteinhorn has 10cm of new snow and settled cover up to 260cm deep on the pistes.|
|Italy: with Cervinia now closed, skiing has now retreated to a few glacier lift systems in the high Italian Alps. On the Presena glacier above Passo Tonale, for example, there’s still 400-450cm of settled snow, after an exceptional winter.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are now closed.|
|Western USA: the season is winding down fast in America – although there’s no lack of cover in resorts still open. For example, Snowbird currently has 274cm of settled Utah snow mid-mountain, with 25cm of fresh falling overnight. Other ski areas still open include Timberline Lodge in Oregon, Mammoth in California and Loveland and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado.|
|Western Canada: see our main report for news of Lake Louise’s record-breaking season. Meanwhile, west-coast Whistler reports just 6cm of new snow in the last seven days. Its mid-mountain snowpack is currently 172cm deep. They’ll be skiing in the resort until May 26.|