Re-publication :- our Snow Report Summary, being the text up to "Europe - Alps and Dolomites", is free to re-publish, but must be clearly credited to www.J2ski.com with text including "J2Ski Snow Report" linked to this page - thank you.
Snow Report Summary
More snow arrived in The Alps this week, and this looks set to continue with widespread - light to moderate - snowfall. Some significant local accumulations are possible over the weekend, particularly in the Pyrenees, and further snow is in the forecast for next week. Temperatures will be significantly colder than of late too.
This Week's Headlines:
* Heavy snow in Norway.
* Up to a foot of snow in 24 hours in New England.
* Swiss resorts post some of the biggest snowfalls of the last seven days.
* High avalanche danger in parts of the Alps.
Snow levels in many of Europe and North America's leading ski regions have continued to rise over the past week, thanks to more significant snowfall in parts of the Alps, the Dolomites and the Rockies.
Once again the southern side of Europe has generally seen the best of the snow with the biggest falls in the southern French Alps, parts of Switzerland and across Italy where base depths are as high as four metres. Zermatt has posted one of the biggest snowfalls at 70cm in the past seven days.
In northern Europe conditions remain generally very good at most Scottish centres and Norwegian resorts have seen their snowiest week of the season so far.
In North America the snow has continued to build in the Rockies with more healthy falls in Colorado and Utah, with Banff in Alberta, Canada to the north reporting 90cm of new snow in the week up to the weekend. However in recent days the snowfall focus has moved East with some big snowfalls in New England.
Conditions remain challenging at lower resorts in Austria (although fine on higher slopes), and in Eastern Europe.
Snow depths at Olympic alpine venue Rosa Khutor keep on rising dramatically (about a foot a week since we started checking three weeks' back) although oddly there's not much snow reported falling from the skies. However the web cam images are showing a reassuringly snowy scene. Although only a few centimetres of fresh snow has been reported, snow depths have risen above 1.5m ( over five feet) and more is expected over the next few days.
You can keep an eye on the snow there with our Snow Report for Rosa Khutor.
Europe - Alps and Dolomites
Conditions continue to be challenging at some Austrian areas, although perhaps not quite so dire as a week ago as even the most low lying areas reported 5-15cm of fresh snow at the weekend. However cover is scant at lower elevations at low lying resorts with just white ribbons of machine made snow in places like the Skiwelt. Bad Kleinkirchhiem which has had 'snow cover issues' reported 20cm of fresh snow in 24 hours. BUT higher elevation Austrian resorts are doing much better and are normal-to-good in terms of cover and rather anxious to distance themselves from the 'poor snow in Austria' rap.
The Stubai glacier fired off a press release to J2Ski.com on Monday advising the snow is lying two metres deep with a foot of fresh in the past week and similar claims are true for high elevation areas like Pitztal and Solden and Obergurgl.
There is snow and cold in the forecast for most Austrian ski areas too.
It's been another good week for snowfall in the French Alps with, once again following the January 2014 pattern, the southern half of the region doing a little better than the northern half ...but that said there's been plenty of new snow across the country.
Some of the bigger falls were reported over the weekend when winners in the southern Alps included Risoul and Vars with 30cm each, Pra Loup with 40cm and Isola 2000 with 50cm of snow.
In the Northern Alps the biggest falls were reported at the end of last week (Thursday – Saturday) when the Portes du Soleil reported 25cm of new snow in 24 hours.
Italy has also had another good week of snowfall with ski areas from the East to west sides of the country doing well. World cup action has been moved from Garmisch up on the Austrian/German border to Cortina this week due to the lack of cover on the north side of the alps compared to the south. That was after events in Cortina at the weekend first had to be cancelled due to too much snow falling.
On the East of the country Monterosa reported 20cm of new snow at the weekend and there was up to 40cm in the Milky Way. Moving west, San Martino reported 40cm of fresh cover and Madonna di Campiglio reported a fresh foot of snow and further in to the Dolomites there was another foot of snow at Val Gardena, which has had a very snowy January indeed. Over on the East at the Slovenian border there was a foot of snow too at Sella Nevea.
It has been a snowy week in Andermatt which claims the deepest snow in the world at present for a non-Glacier resort at 3.9m (13 feet) and has clocked up more than 60cm of fresh snow in the past week. Most Swiss resorts are looking good however and many have had 1 – 2 feet of fresh snow. Generally conditions are good across Switzerland and cover has improved a lot even where it was most needed, in the West of the country, where resorts like Leysin and Villars had been a bit short on snow cover. Following three feet of fresh snow in the past seven days at Leysin for example that's no longer the case and both now have upper slope bases above the metre mark.
The Pyrenees continue to enjoy one of their best winters since – well, since last winter's record snowfall to be honest, but the past two seasons are certainly the best of the last five or so. This year the regular top ups of fresh snow on top of a deep base has meant the southerly mountain range's 50 or so ski areas in Andorra, France and Spain have had some of the most consistently good conditions all winter of just about anywhere. Bases in Andorra are 1.6 – 2 metres on upper slopes and most areas have had another 10-15cm of fresh snow over the last 48 hours.
It has been the snowiest week yet in Scandinavia with several Norwegian resorts repeatedly posting 20-30cm snowfalls every 24 hours or so. Among the beneficiaries have been Beitostolen, Geilo, Hafjell, Hemsedal and Vradal.
Eastern European ski areas continue to rely largely on snowmaking with little or no fresh snow since Christmas week at most areas. So in other words, not good – but that said most of the ski areas in Bulgaria for example are managing to keep pistes open thanks to snow management techniques - not ideal but better than nothing.
Scottish ski areas continue to have largely good conditions – except at the Lecht which does not have enough snow. Glencoe reports good snow top to bottom whereas Cairngorm,, Nevis Range and Glenshee all say very good snow at top, thinning lower down. Strong winds bringing blizzard conditions closed several centres on Tuesday but they're largely back to normal now.
There's not been a huge amount of fresh snow in Canada in the past week although interestingly it's Mont Ste Anne in Quebec (six inches of fresh snow) that claims the deepest snow base of the entire north American continent at present with 215cm on upper slopes – just over seven feet of snow. Out west, Banff reported 90cm of snow during the seven days to last Friday, but hasn't reported much since. Indeed most fresh snow in recent days has been on the eastern side of the country with Blue Mountain in Ontario also reporting 2cm. Nothing new at whistler but it does have a 1.5m (five foot) base now.
Snow has continued to fall in most of Western USA but the rate has slowed in the past week to just a few inches of fresh. However in the last 48 hours there's been heavy snowfall in New England with Stowe reporting a foot of snow in 24 hours and its Vermont neighbour Smugglers' Notch not far behind with 25cm. Other big name resorts in the area like Killington and Sugarbush have had 10-15cm of fresh snow. The country's deepest bases are out west with Snowbird in Utah, Steamboat in Colorado and Jackson Hole in Wyoming all now with more than five feet of snow lying on upper slopes. But conditions remain 'challenging' with no fresh snow in drought hit California, where bases are 75cm at best at resorts like Heavenly, Squaw and Mammoth – very far from the norm, sadly.