J2Ski Snow Report - December 11th 2014


J2Ski Snow Report - December 11th 2014

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J2Ski Snow Report - December 11th 2014

Admin posted Dec-2014

J2Ski Snow Report - December 11th 2014

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

While we continue to wait for decent snow to some parts of Europe, conditions are improving due to much colder weather and the onset of serious snow-making in parts.

This Week's Headlines
- Snow depths build in the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees as temperatures drop.
- After early Dec cancellations, FIS gives go ahead for first World Cup races in the Alps.
- Heavy snow in New England.
- Rain in NW North America.
- Scottish mountains turn white thanks to 'weather bomb.'
- Big snowfalls in Scandinavia.

Alpbach, 8th December 2014

The panic over poor snow conditions in Europe has eased over the last week as fresh, albeit generally light, snowfall has been reported daily across the Alps as well as in the dolomites and Pyrenees. Whilst the accumulations are not huge, they're healthy, and crucially have been accompanied by low temperatures allowing snowmaking guns to fire up and build bases for runs.

Resorts that had delayed opening have begun doing so, including big names like Courchevel.

There's also been fresh snow in Scotland and Scandinavia.

Across the Atlantic conditions remain generally great across the continent, although the good news is not quite universal with the north west corner suffering from warm temperatures again. The latest heavy snow has been reported in New England with the deluge in Colorado and Utah finally over for the time being.

In the forecast

Alpine temperatures are likely to ease a little from the deep cold this week, with the Eastern Alps a little warmer than December averages for a few days. The weather models continue to hint at a change to un-settled (snowy!) conditions around the middle of next week, but they've been teasing us with that change for a week now and keep putting it back... and we're all getting a bit grumpy about that to be frank!

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The Alps
Austrian ski areas are 'much improved' compared to a week ago with the country's huge snowmaking arsenal now fully operational and natural snow falling too allowing most areas that planned to open this weekend to do so as they hoped. The glaciers do still continue to offer the best conditions however with the Pitztal glacier Austria's highest slopes) reporting the biggest snowfall this week – 30cm in the last 72 hours. But most other resorts have had 10-20cm in the same period.

Most French areas are due to open this weekend if they have not done so already. Thankfully conditions have been improving all week at many French resorts with light to moderate snowfall and temperatures low enough for snowmaking so it looks like most will manage to open at least some terrain, some more than others. In a positive sign yesterday the FIS gave the go ahead to the woman's World Cup racing in Val d'Isere in a week's time having cancelled the planned men's race this weekend a week ago. Courchevel opened limited terrain on Tuesday, four days later than its scheduled opening last Saturday, but a day earlier than the fall back opening day of Wednesday they gave then. Four lifts were initially open (Verdons / Saulire / Vizelle / Marmotte) and three pistes (Verdons / Saulire / Creux) with more ski runs and ski lifts expected to open through the remainder of this week.

The snow cannons have been going like crazy all week in Italy, as temperatures have finally dropped low enough, there's also been some natural snow which resorts have been rapidly getting up on social media feeds. In fact the country has some of the best snow depths in Europe, including the deepest, at Passo Tonale, at 3.5m. But another half dozen areas are claiming 2m snow depths on upper slopes, including Cervinia which also has a foot of snow at resort level it says, allowing for top to bottom descents. Madesimo, the Val Senales glacier, Macugnaga and legendary Alagna in Monterosa are all looking very good too. Looking forwards, "A 'good number' of lifts and slopes will open in the next days in all 12 skiing areas of Dolomiti Superski," said sa statemenmt from the huige area, where snowfall is forecast on Sunday evening.

Swiss resorts have not, so far, been reporting the snowfalls of other parts of the Alps, although more snow is expected over the next few days. Andermatt, with a 290cm base, has the deepest snow in the country on its mountain peaks, but as with most Swiss areas, only has a few centimetres so far at resort level. It's a similar picture at Saas Fee, another of the snowier Swiss areas with a 2.1m base. Nearby Zermatt has an 80cm base at the top of its year round ski slopes, Europe's highest, but nothing in resort. Verbier has only 37cm up top. But generally its higher slopes that are syill looking the best bet across the country with resorts like Engelberg, Glacier 3000 and St Moritz boasting the best base depths. Most areas that have not already opened should be doing so this weekend, and most should be able to open at least limited terrain.

Scandinavia continues to report the biggest snowfalls in Europe with Norway's Voss reporting one foot snowfalls every day for three days this week. Snow depths there have now reached 1.5m (five feet) on upper slopes. World Cup races which should have been staged in Courchevel and Val d'Isere this weekend after the Tour returned across the Atlantic will be staged over the next 72 hours at Are in Sweden instead (despite the fact it is not reporting big snow depths – in fact only 5cm on its slopes, possibly as it is not fully open/reporting properly yet – hopefully...).

It's a slowly improving picture with some resorts reporting as much as 30cm of snow in recent days, plus temperatures have been low enough for snow making. Vallnord reported it has 40% of its terrain open so far and says it will open more this weekend.

Eastern Europe
Snow reports from Eastern European resorts remain even more limited than they always are, largely as many are not yet open. Bansko in Bulgaria has had limited terrain open for some time however and reports a 15cm base, up 5cm from last week.

There's been heavy snowfall on Scottish mountains, but as a year ago these have been part of violent storms which saw 110mph storms reported on Cairngorm and pictures of waterfalls being blown back uphill appearing on social media. The road to Glenshee was closed by snow and extreme weather yesterday. So while it is not yet known if there has been 'enough' snow, if there has, when conditions become less extreme it seems likely that at least some Scottish areas will be able to begin opening quite soon.

North America
Canadas 2014-15 season continues to look good across almost the entire country. It is still snowing in Alberta and British Columbia building on very healthy conditions, and there's been new snow in the East too. Quite a few BC resorts have now passed the 1m accumulated depth mark, with Revelstoke, home to the continent's biggest vertical also boasting the deepest snow pack in the country at present, it got another 23cm of snow in the last 72 hours to reach a 1.2m (four foot) base. But it's looking good at all inland BC and all Albertan ski areas. Whistler's base is slightly smaller at 15-70cm and locals report that in common with other resorts along the NW coast of north America it has been too warm and raining, however it has officially reported more than six inches of new snow in the past few days – presumably up on the glaciers at the top.

After a great start to the season right across the US most resorts are now open with the deepest snow depths (up to 1.5m) actually being reported by resorts in the Midwest. Resorts around Lake Tahoe got a good snowfall over the weekend with Squaw Valley claiming 90cm of new snow in the storm. There's not been much snow in the West since then this wee though and the biggest snowfalls in the USA of the last 24 hours have been in New England where up to 40cm has been reported at resorts in Maine, Vermont and New York State with Sugarloaf in Maine claiming the biggest accumulations, but Stowe and Killington each reporting 25cm in 24 hours. Despite the generally positive news from the US it's not all good news. The NW corner is, as last season, suffering from little snow cover and resorts in Oregon are delaying opening until more of the white stuff. Crystal Mountain in Washington state, famed for its long season, has reportedly closed again due to limit cover and warm temperatures and Diamond Peak in Nevada has also delayed opening.
The Admin Man

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January 29, 2022

Snow is next forecast to fall in France over the next week, in at least 50 Ski Resorts including Combloux, Méribel Les Hauts, Notre Dame de Bellecombe, St Gervais Mont-Blanc and Vallorcine.

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