Greetings, Snowfiends! I thought I’d drop in a quick snow update before I hit the road to Val Thorens this morning…
After more than a week of snowy weather across the northern Alps, the weather is settling down – and switching back to Mild and Sunny mode. There’s still some white stuff expected in Austria today, which will continue falling, off and on, tomorrow too. But even here, the skies will eventually clear.
Here’s how it’s looking on the Tovière, between Tignes and Val d’Isere this morning. The links between the two resorts are now open, and as a result of all the snow in the last nine days, Tignes reports a metre of white stuff at the top of ski area, and 30cm down at 2100m.
Meanwhile, below is Val Thorens at sunrise this morning. The resort opened last Wednesday, and they’ve got even more snow here: 90cm in the village and 120cm up top. 28 of 81 pistes will be open today.
Other resorts which opened this weekend include Verbier, Laax, Alpe d’Huez, the Grandvalira ski area in Andorra and Cauterets in the French Pyrenees. La Clusaz and parts of the Chamonix Valley also opened for a weekend winter preview. On the Grands Montets near Chamonix, snow depths are particularly impressive: there’s up to 150cm bedded down at 3275m.
Meanwhile, pictured below is the much snowier scene in Ischgl, Austria, today.
And here is today’s snow forecast, showing the snow that’s expected in Austria.
In Austria, the Arlberg resorts are the ones that have had the most snow – they get going on Friday – but Ischgl has a superb snow-making system, and barely needs any help from Mother Nature at this time of year. The resort had around 80km of pistes ready when it opened on Saturday, although today it’s scaled back operations a bit. 57km of pistes are skiable, and there’s around 30cm of snow packed down on the pistes.
The outlook now is for a much milder turn in the weather. By the middle of the week, the daytime freezing point across the Alps will be above 3000m. That’s going to send the snowline scurrying back uphill, and will affect the quality of the snow on all but the highest pistes. There is the chance of a snowy interruption to this pattern on Friday night or Saturday morning, but we can’t be sure of that yet. If you’re planning to ski in the near future, aim high!