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
Welcome to what will be, barring unforeseen major snowfall, our final Weekly Report for the 2014/15 ski season. Starting next month we'll revert to our usual Monthly round-up of worldwide conditions until the snows come again to the Northern Hemisphere.
This Week's Headlines
- No snow reported in the Alps this week - first time this year!
- Over a foot of new snow at Whistler.
- Heavy pre-season snowfall in New Zealand.
- Mt Baker re-opens.
- Powder snow conditions in Riksgransen
- Over two feet of snow in past 48 hours in Utah.
As we enter the latter half of April the rate of closure of northern hemisphere ski areas is gathering pace and by the end of this weekend more than 90% will have ended their 2014-15 ski seasons.
The past seven days have been the first when no snow at all has been reported in the Alps, after a few centimetres were recorded in the high Swiss Alps at the end of last week. Some fresh snow is forecast for the coming week however.
But that's not to say the season is over if you want to keep skiing. Plenty of areas sill have a month or more of the season left and of those, heavy snow has been reported in the past few days at Whistler, Snowbird in Utah and Riksgransen in the Swedish north, for example. Excitement is also starting to build for the 2015 ski season in the southern hemisphere where, following a snow covering in Australia, the snow was deep enough to make a few turns on slopes in New Zealand this week (for those prepared to walk up).
In The Forecast!
After the warmth of the last week, temperatures will cool dramatically in the East of the Alps for a few days, with several wet-weather systems crossing the region. Expect fresh snow at high altitude (Zermatt, we're looking at you) and good Spring conditions elsewhere.
Check the J2Ski Forecasts regularly for the latest updates, and remember to check with the local Tourist Office before traveling, as many ski areas are now shut, or about to do so (and they don't always tell us!).
There's been no fresh snow in Austria this week where three quarters of ski areas have now closed. On higher runs and the country's glaciers however snow depths remain very healthy and there are great on piste conditions under blue skies most days. Kaunertal has the deepest snow in the country at just under 4m (over 13 feet) but it's looking good too even at non-glacier resorts like St Anton which still reports 3.5m on upper runs and 60cm (two feet) down at resort level.
Although many will close on Sunday, France still has the highest number of ski centres still open of any of the major ski nations with around 80% of resorts currently operational. There's been no fresh snow this week but most report good spring snow conditions and deep bases. Avoriaz still has 3m (10 feet) deep snow on its upper runs and 130cm in resort. Base depths are good at other French resorts planning to stay open in to May – for example 2m on upper runs in Chamonix, 1.8m in Tignes and 2.3m in Val Thorens.
Just under a third of Italian ski areas are still operational with the deepest snow reported at Passo Tonale – which typically keeps a couple of red runs open on the glacier in to June – which has a 4.2m (14 foot) base. The snow is also still deep on the Val Senales glacier and along the Aosta Valley at resorts like Cervinia and la Thuile. There's not much open in the Dolomites now but Cortina is soldiering on with 50cm left on the mountain tops.
Andermatt is continuing to claim the world's deepest snowbase at 5.5m, although that's down from the peak 6m of the past few weeks – it looks like that will be the snow depth high point of 2015 now. Just under a half of the country's ski areas are still open and although there's been no fresh snow depths remain good on upper runs at those areas that are still operating although few have anything left on their pistes at resort level. Exceptions include Saas Fee with 25cm and Davos with 30cm.
Almost all Scandinavian ski areas remain open and most will remain so to the start of May. Bases are mostly holding out although there has been a marked thaw at a few areas such as Norway's Geilo, where it has dropped below 50cm for the first time this year. A few inches of fresh snow have been reported and there's been 20cm up at Riksgransen in Northern Sweden, which is open for two more months and had powder skiing at the weekend.
All ski areas in Andorra and most of those in the Spanish Pyrenees have now closed for winter 14-15. There are however some areas on the French side and smaller centres on the Spanish side that are still operating – relying on the big snowpack built up through the winter, rather than any fresh snow, as there has not been any since March. With a 305cm (over 10 feet) base, Cauterets in the French Pyrenees still boasts the country's deepest snow base.
The season is reaching its natural end in Eastern Europe with most areas now closed or closing this weekend. Bulgarian ski areas are still reported to be open however, although there's been no new snow in the past few weeks the large falls of a month ago mean depths are still good on mountain tops – up to 3m deep in places still.
There's a definite thaw under way on Scottish slopes although Glencoe, Nevis Range and Cairngorm remain open with diminishing cover on lower runs. Conditions are generally very pleasant with blue skies and calm weather. Nevis Range says this weekend may be their last of the season.
Most Canadian ski areas have now closed but there's been fresh snow on Western slopes with Whistler reporting a foot of fresh on upper runs (rain down below) and a 2m base, Banff 20cm – both areas are open for another month to mid-May. Marmot basin – open to early May – has had a few inches of fresh snow too. Elsewhere Mont Ste Anne and Tremblant remain open in Quebec although there's been no fresh snow this week.
A mixed week across the US. In common with the rest of the northern hemisphere most areas are now closed, or will this weekend, but there was heavy snow in the North West of the country leading to powder conditions on still-open Utah slopes and for Mt Baker in Washington State, famously the resort which in an average year gets the most snow in the world but this year had to close in March for the lack of it, to re-open this weekend. Elsewhere Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Killington in Vermont both say they expect to stay open to June whilst Timberline in Oregon which is usually open nearly 11 months of the year has had a foot of fresh snow.