J2Ski Snow Report - 21st March 2013
Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports 21-Mar-2013
Admin posted Mar-2013
* Free to re-publish in whole or part so long as clearly credited to www.J2ski.com with the words "J2Ski Snow Report" linked to
Following another week in which impressive falls of snow blessed much of The Alps, there's a bit of a split in the weather coming up... but there's also likely to be more snow!
The Eastern Alpine region is entering a distinct cold spell, with temperatures up to 10C below the seasonal average, whilst the North and Western Alps will be relatively mild for the next few days before also cooling into the last week of the month.
Although Spring is on the calendar, snow and cold are likely to prevail as we move into April. Spring conditions are likely at lower altitude, with great skiing higher up - now likely to the end of the season.
Take Care Out There
Snow packs remain impressive at altitude and you should be aware of the risk of large avalanches from slopes destabilised by recent weather.
There have been a number of fatalities already this month, so take particular care - and seek local advice - before venturing off-piste.
This Week's Headlines
- Big Snowfalls Return to The Alps as resorts in Austria, Italy and France post up to 80cm in 24hrs.
- Heavy snow at Scottish areas, access road temporarily blocked by snow.
- Big snowfalls in Western Canada, up to 80cm in 75 days.
- A foot of new snow in New England.
- Snow depth reaches 5m at Europe's most southerly mountain resort; Sierra Nevada in Spain.
There have been big snowfalls in Austria with up to 75cm of fresh sow reported in the past seven days with the biggest falls from Sunday to Tuesday. A large number of ski areas received at least a foot of new snow on Sunday/Monday. Kaprun had that biggest snowfall, with 40cm of it falling over Sunday/Monday. Lech Zurs reported 45cm and a large number more resorts reported 30-40cm of new snow including Filzmoos, St Anton, Solden and St Wolfgang. Pitztal has had 35cm of new snow and still has the country's deepest snow base at 365cm. The snow is still falling but has slowed to 5-10cm per day.
French resorts have reported the biggest snowfalls of the past seven days, with Alpe d'Huez claiming the biggest snowfall in the world this week – 135cm (4.5 feet) over seven days and 80cm of that falling in 24 hours on Sunday/Monday. Although that accumulation was double nearly everywhere else in the country (and indeed the world), other resorts did report huge accumulations too, 90cm at La Plagne for example, 85cm at Les Arcs and 80cm at Val Thorens. But nearly every major resort in the French Alps has had 30-40cm of new snow, and the snowfall has been healthy right down to the south in resorts like Pra Loup and Vars. The deepest snow is around the 4m mark at Alpe d'Huez (420cm) with Flaine and Tignes on 390cm.
There have been big snowfalls right across northern Italy with Arabba in the Dolomites reporting a huge 124cm (four foot) accumulation and on the opposite side of the country, La Thuile on the French border, reporting just a few cm/inches less with 115cm over the past week. In common with the rest of the Alps, the biggest snowfalls for many resorts were on Sunday/Monday but Arabba reports another 80cm of snow on Monday/Tuesday. Other reports with big snowfalls include Cervinia (80cm over the week, 50cm of that on Sunday/Monday; Cortina 75cm over the wee k, 45cm of that on Sunday/Monday and Bardonecchia (70cm during the week, 50cm of that on Sunday/Monday). However as with the rest of the Alps, most ski areas have had at least 30cm of new snow and often as much as 50ccm in recent days. Passo Tonale has had the deepest snow in the country all year and after another 25cm this week its base is up to 4m.
Gstaad has overtaken Engelberg as having the deepest snow in Switzerland for the first time this year after receiving 70cm in the past week. Much of the new snow has fallen in the past 72 hours with Sunday/Monday a particularly snowy 24 hour period. Numerous Swiss resorts reported at least 30cm (a foot) of new snow in 24 hours to Monday and Tuesday, with St Moritz, Villars, Les Diablerets and Adelboden among those reporting big falls. Along with Gstaad, resorts reporting big snowfalls over the past seven days (although in fact mostly in the past 72 hours) Zermatt has received 60cm (two feet), Murren 65cm, Klosters 45cm and Adelboden 48cm.
There have been excellent snow conditions in Scotland following heavy snow at all five areas. The snow which hit the westerly resorts of Glencoe and Nevis Range at the weekend caused some operational problems due to strong winds and then consistent heavy snowfall in the East at the other three areas from Sunday to Wednesday (and still on going) led to the closure of access roads to The Lecht and Glenshee, but once open conditions are reported to be excellent with fresh snow on the well established bases at all five areas.
Although the focus of snowfall may have been in the Alps to the north this week, the Pyrenees have been the snowiest mountains in Europe in 2013 so far and that hasn't changed this week with resorts on the French and Spanish sides of the mountain as well as in Andorra in between reporting 30-60vm of new snow in the past seven days, albeit mostly more evenly spread through the week than the larger-falls of Sunday/Monday in particular which made up the majority of the past seven day's snowfall figures in the Alps. Baqueira Beret reported 60cm of new snow and has a 4.5m base – one of the 10 deepest in Europe, while Cauterets with a foot of fresh snow this week is still claiming the world's deepest at 5.9m (nearly 20 feet) as it has for nearly two months now. To the south-west of the Pyrenees, Spain's Sierra Nevada, Europe's most southerly major resort, is claiming a 5m base now.
There's been fresh snow in Eastern Europe too if not in quite the same volumes so far as in the Alps. Bansko and Kranjska Gora both reported 10cm of fresh snow and have healthy bases of 1.8 and 1.2m respectively on upper slopes. Other areas reported smaller falls and smaller bases but as these are typically still 90cm-1.2m (3-4 feet) it's not bad for the time of the season.
Although a lot of the snow that has arrived in north eastern Britain over the past week is reported to have come down from Scandinavia, resorts in the region have not been reporting more than a few centimetres of fresh snow from northern Finland to southern Norway. Most resorts in the region do have good base depths however – typically in the 80-120cm range, so there's no snow cover shortage. Are in Sweden, the largest resort in the region with 35% of the total market, has a 115cm (nearly four foot) base and Hemsedal, Norway's biggest ski area, has a 1.1m base.
There's been some serious snowfall again in Western Canada. Fernie has had the most new powder and has the deepest snow in the country still with a 2.8m base and 75cm new snow in the past seven days. But other resorts including whistler in NC and Banff/Lake Louise and Marmot Basin in Alberta have reported 40-50cm of new snow too and also have bases well over 2m. The snow is still falling but has lessened and smaller accumulations of 10-30cm are more likely over the coming week.
No huge snowfalls in the US over the past week, but plenty of smaller falls still, helping accumulations to build to 30cm or more. The biggest falls in the past 48 hours have been in the Eastern states where resorts in Vermont including Killington and Stowe are reporting a foot of new snow since Tuesday. It's still snowing in Colorado too where resorts have added another foot of snow too, although over a longer period – Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Aspen have had 20-25cm in total. Mammoth's 4.8m base is still the deepest of a major US resort if down a bit on last week.