Snow Report, May 30 | Welove2ski
Snow Report

Snow Report, May 30

It's nice weather, if you're a husky. For nearly a week now the Alps have been hit by heavy snow - falling right down to resort level on several occasions.
Snow Report, May 30 | Welove2ski
Nice weather if you’re a husky. This was the Stubai glacier, between snowstorms, on Tuesday. Photo: © Freeridecenter Stubai

In six years of writing snow reports for Welove2ski, I can’t remember a week in May like this one. Of course, occasionally you get spring dumps: but they’re usually one or two-day wonders. This time round, however, we’ve seen almost a week of snow – so much, in fact, that for a while this week Verbier was considering reopening some of its lifts and pistes for a spot of June 1 skiing.

Sadly, Téléverbier (the lift company) has now decided against the move: because the weather will be warming up at the weekend.


All the same, the accumulations at altitude have been impressive. In the Tirol, the Stubai glacier had 35cm over the weekend, and another 15cm yesterday. In Switzerland there’s been even more. In Zermatt, the snow report claims 40cm of fresh snow on the glacier in the last 24 hours and locals are saying “maybe as much as a metre” has fallen up there since last Friday.

Snow Report, May 30 | Welove2ski
Zermatt reports 40cm of fresh snow in the last 24 hours. Today, 15km of piste were open on the glacier. Photo: ©

In Engelberg, they’ve had plenty of snow too: “We don’t know exactly how much: we just wish it would go away,” was the word from the tourist office this morning, where they’d dearly like to have their spring back.

Snow Report, May 30 | Welove2ski
The Stand ski hut at 2,450m, above Engelberg, where there’s currently 2.1m of settled snow. Photo: ©

There’s been heavy snow in parts of the French Alps too. This was the scene yesterday above Les Carroz in the Grand Massif.

Snow Report, May 30 | Welove2ski
Les Carroz, May 28. Photo: ©

Of course all this snow is fantastic news for the glacier ski areas. Maintaining good cover throughout the summer skiing season is near-impossible task these days, and they need all the help they can get. The new snow is going to ensure good skiing up there for some time to come.


Currently, you can ski up on the Zermatt, Hintertux, Stubai, Kaunertal, Kitzsteinhorn and Presena glaciers – although the Presena, Kitzsteinhorn and Kaunertal glaciers shut on June 9. In the summer glaciers above several other ski resorts will open – notably, Les Deux Alpes, Tignes and Saas-Fee.

Elsewhere, the resorts are letting out a collective groan. They need to persuade the city slickers of Europe to holiday in the Alps rather than on the beach – and that warm, sunlit meadows await them this summer if they head into the mountains. It’s always a tough sell: and photographs of one-metre snowdrifts in late May don’t exactly help. They’ll be relieved to know that the weather will be calming down and warming up a little next week. Although there’s still no sign yet of anything you’d call summer.

On the other side of the planet, it’s been snowing too

Of course, in New Zealand, Australia and South America they’re praying for snow – and in both New Zealand and South America they’ve got it. The biggest dump this week has been in the Andes, where Valle Nevado reported half a metre of fresh snow. Portillo a little further north, and Las Lenas across the border in Argentina, both had heavy snow too. The forecast suggests there’ll be a top-up tomorrow.

Snow Report, May 30 | Welove2ski
Las Lenas, Argentina, in the wake of the most recent storm. The resort opens on June 20. Photo: ©

Meanwhile, on the South Island of New Zealand there was fresh snow at the start of this week. It’s particularly welcome at Coronet Peak, near Queenstown, which is due to open on June 9, and now has 40cm of settled of settled cover on its upper slopes. The immediate forecast is for mild and wet weather – with more snow to come at the start of next week.

Snow Report, May 30 | Welove2ski
25cm of fresh snow on Tuesday at Coronet Peak, which opens on June 9. Photo: ©



France flag France: the regular ski season is now done and dusted in France, although the glaciers above Tignes, Les Deux Alpes and Val d’Isere will all be opening soon for skiing in the summer. All have had welcome top-ups of snow as a result of the recent unseasonal weather.
Switzerland flag Switzerland: You can still ski on the glacier above Zermatt, although the links over to Cervinia have now closed. Saas Fee’s glacier will be open from July 27.
Austria flag Austria: Austria has now flipped to summer-skiing with all resorts now closed apart from the glaciers. These include the Hintertux, the Stubai glacier and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier. Heavy snow over the last week has done wonders for the cover, although the visibility has been non-existant on some days. d
Italy flag Italy: the ski season is all but done in Italy – and we note that the glacier above Val Senales will not be opening for summer skiing this year. However, you can still ski on the Presena glacier above Passo Tonale.
Andorra flag Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are now closed for the summer.
Western USA flag Western USA: The last of the American resorts will be closing soon. Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, will be running straight through till June 2, and then opening for one more weekend after that: June 7-9. Mammoth in California will stay open until June 1.
Western Canada flag Western Canada:  The ski season is now done and dusted in Canada – although the glacier on Blackcomb mountain, above Whistler will be open from June 22 to July 28 for summer skiing.


About the author

Sean Newsom

As well as founding Welove2ski in June 2007, Sean has written about skiing and snowboarding in the British press for 28 years. For the last 20 of them, he’s also been the ski travel editor at The Sunday Times.

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