Re-publication :- our Snow Report Summary, being the text up to "The Alps", 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
For about the first time this winter, recent snows look to be giving way to clear and sunny high pressure conditions for the next week or so... so pack your sun-cream and get out to enjoy the impressive snow depths over most of The Alps!
This Week's Headlines:
* Huge snowfalls in Western USA, parts of the Western Alps and Pyrenees - up to 155cm in 7 days.
* Scottish ski area claims more than a 5m base.
* First snow of 2014 reported in New Zealand.
Yet another week of moderate to heavy snowfall was reported from many parts of the ski world; with much of the Alps getting sizable fresh snow falls and bigger falls still reported in Western North America. Many resorts in the French and Italian alps posted 60-90cm (2-3 feet) and in some cases even more fresh snow in the last seven days.
However the Pyrenees have come out top for big falls this week with Cauterets in the French Alps, often a "powder pocket" each season, reporting 30-40cm falls every 24 hours for several days over the weekend resulting in a remarkable 155cvm (over five foot) accumulation in the last week.
Most other areas looks good; the Dolomites, Scotland, Eastern North America and Scandinavia in particular all continue to maintain good cover.
And in the Southern Hemisphere reports have also come in of heavy snowfall on ski slopes in New Zealand more than three months before the season is due to kick off there, turning the mountains white.
Paralympics - Sochi
With the Paralympics beginning on Friday there does not appear to be a lot of difference to the conditions Paralympians will face compared to the weather at the Olympics themselves. It's been a dry-ish week with just 5cm of snow reported. The base up top is still just over 2m but at base level it has largely gone and there's about 10cm maintained snow.
Another mixed week for Austria with, once again, big snowfalls on higher slopes (another two feet/60cm reported by Obergurgl) but little or nothing at lower elevation resorts. So as has been the case for much of the season there's a big variety in snow conditions and depths across the country.
At the upper end snow depths at glacier resorts like Hintertux and Pitztal have climbed further past the 3m mark to around 3.5m with 30-40cm accumulations this week, while at the bottom St Wolfgang had 5-30cm with no fresh snow for nearly a fortnight, Igls 20-60cm although it did have 5cm of fresh this week.
It's been a very snowy week across France and although the biggest accumulations were in the Pyrenees (See intro and Pyrenees section), there were some huge falls in the Alps too, with Courchevel a stand out at 90cm/3 feet of fresh stuff, but many other resorts reporting 2-3 feet – including Val d'Isere, Val Thorens and La Rosiere each with two feet of fresh. Snow depths look ever more healthy with more and more resorts in both alps and Pyrenees passing the 3m/10 feet base depth on upper slopes so looking great for the remainder of the season.
Italy is back to the huge snow falls it saw in December and January but this time the snow is a little more northerly and westerly – well the heaviest of it anyway, with Cervinia posting a metre of snow and other resorts in the Aosta Valley claiming 90cm (three feet) of fresh snow fallen. The snow decreases the further East you go though and in the dolomites it has just been 5 – 10m of fresh at most areas. Not a problem with the huge bases they've built up.
Passo Tonale continues to claim the world's deepest snowbase atr 5.5m and reports and extra 50cm of snow this week,. Although this does not seem to have changed its depth tally. Madesimo remains (with Glencoe in Scotland) one of the other three in the world to currently claim 5m+ base.
Big snow in Switzerland too, especially at Saas Fee which has reported 90cm (three feet) of fresh snow and to have taken over the 'deepest snow in Switzerland for 2014' title from long-standing leader Andermatt, moving up to 4.43m while the latter stays in 4m. Saas Fee's snowfall total was also double that of neighbouring Zermatt at 45cm. Andermatt, resorts in the Jungfrau, Anzere and Villars were other winners with 30cm/a foot of fresh snow this week. In most of Switzerland bases are healthy at 2-4m+ on upper slopes so looking good for the rest of the 2014 season.
A huge snowfall week in the Pyrenees with Cauterets in France in particular topping the world's chart for the last seven days with its 155cm. But most other ski regions in the southerly mountain chain reported massive falls too – albeit in the 60-120cm (2-4 feet) bracket. Andorran resorts all scored that with Soldeu in Grandvalira at the top end with 115cm.
A quiet week in Scandinavia with little fresh snow reported – the biggest accumulations 10cm or so in western Norway. Finland has not reported any new snow in a fortnight and could do with some, in Sweden too the base at Are has not moved much from its 60cm standard all year. Lillehammer with 2.5m has the deepest base in Scandinavia still.
Competitions were cancelled in the Czech Republic this week due to too little snow to build terrain parks. It's similarly lacklustre in Slovenia but Bulgarian areas have reported a foot of fresh snow in the past week and are looking much better with bases typically around the metre mark.
Scotland's remarkable 2014 continues. It just won't stop snowing and Glencoe is now claiming the second deepest snow pack in the world – and the deepest for a non-glacier resort, at 5.1m (17 feet). So the job of digging out lifts and runs remains ongoing. There's been 10-40cm of fresh snow across the country and bases at Cairngorm and Nevis Range are also above 10 feet/3m. The weather the usual mix of windy and snowy days or perfect blue sky days. Glenshee and the Lecht on the East both have good cover, the snow's just not as deep as in the West.
It has been another relatively snowy week in Western Canada with 30-40cm of fresh snow reported by moist resorts. Whistler was again one of the top scorers for new powder making up lost ground on the first half of the season. Big White, Fernie, Red Mountain and others all reported at least a foot too. As a result Fernie claims to have taken back the 'deepest snow in Canada' title from the Eastern resort of Mont Ste Anne, which had been tops for the past month or so. Fernie claims 280cm to Mont Sainte Anne's 275. There was fresh snow in Quebec too – just not so much, commonly 5-10cm.
Some huge snowfalls in western USA this week, with both Jackson hole and Mammoth reporting around four feet (1.2m) of new snow. In Jackson Hole's case it has been heavy snow all winter andf it now tops the US snow depth table at 3.4m although will no doubt close as usual in the first week of April. Mammoth had a terrible start to the season with little snow until February but is rapidly gaining lost ground and may stay open well into spring as usual. Many other resorts in western North America reported big falls of 60-90cm too. On the east and in the Midwest there's been yet another super freeze with very low temperatures and not a whole lot of new snow with Stowe posting the most in New England at 22cm but for most areas it was just an inch or two this week.