Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports 21-Apr-2016
Ok, so this really is the last weekly round-up for the 15/16 Northern Hemisphere season... even though it's still snowing. We'll be back at the end of next week with the first of our monthly guides of where to ski, which we'll publish until the snows come again to the North.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you have a great summer unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere; in which case your fun is yet to begin!
This Week's Snow Headlines
- 50cm of snowfall in 24 hours on the Hintertux glacier.
- April snow storms bring up to three feet of snow to North American ski areas.
- 60cm of snowfall in 48 hours on the Stubai glacier.
- Chamonix claims base (world's deepest) now 7.3m after another 60cm of fresh snow.
- Heavy pre-season snow reported at La Parva at Chile.
We're pleased to report that we're going out on a high with heavy snow in Europe, North America and even the Andes to report in the last few days!
In fact, we haven't done any actual maths, but it's looking like April is much snowier than December was in Europe!
In The Alpine Forecast
Further significant snowfall is forecast for the final week of April with up to a metre of new snow expected on higher runs in the Alps, with falling temperatures likely to produce some fabulous conditions.
Although many ski areas have now closed in Europe, those that remain open continue to offer great skiing at altitude so get there if you can!
Re-publication :- our Snow Report Summary, being the text above this line, 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.
The number of areas still open in Austria continues to decrease but for those still open it has been a snowy week with almost all areas reporting 30-70cm of fresh snow since Sunday. The glaciers have seen the biggest snowfalls – most getting 60 – 70cm and topping up their bases at around the 3m/10 foot mark so things are looking good for late spring and summer skiing. Most snow has now gone from the valleys but resorts like Kitzbuhel are still reporting a metre of snow on upper runs. Ischgl, which is building up to its big closing weekend at the end of the month still has top-to-bottom snow cover boosted by a foot of fresh snow this week. There's more snow forecast for the week ahead too, possibly as much as a metre up on the glaciers.
French slopes too – with around half of the country's ski areas still open – have seen significant fresh snow this week. Avoriaz and la Clusaz both reported 25cm of snow in the previous 24 hours on Monday morning and Chamonix says it has had two feet of snow up top in the past seven days, it's open for one more week. There was 25-40cm at many resorts including Val d'Isere, Flaine, Tignes and Val Thorens – the latter two scheduled to stay open the longest in France, for another fortnight yet. Most have great bases, for example 1.3-2.6m at Val Thorens, so could actually stay open rather longer if it wanted.
Some big snowfalls on the Western side of Italy this past week too with Val Senales (open to 8th May) seeing 70cm in total and snowy scenes at resorts including Livigno and Cervinia. Only around a dozen Italian areas are still open as the snow didn't reach as far East as Cortina in the Dolomites although base depths (40cm up top) look good enough to see it through to the end of the season. Macugnaga now has the deepest reported base in Italy at 2.4m.
Some big snowfalls in Switzerland too, year round Zermatt reported 40cm of fresh snow and has a 2m base up top (nothing left at resort level). There was a foot of snow at Samnaun and at Andermatt and 15-20cm of snow at the other still open Swiss resorts. Engelberg, which is open for another month and still has the deepest base (upper) in Switzerland at 375cm, had six inches of fresh on Monday and Verbier got 20cm of new snow too.
There's a definite thaw underway in Scandinavia with bases which hovered around the metre mark for four months now down to 30-40cm, a distinct drop on a week ago. There's not been much fresh snow either, just a few inches, but it should see most areas through to the end of the season, generally the weekend of April 30/May 1st. Voss on Norway's coast continues to report the most impressive snow depth with a metre of snow at the base, over double that up top.
There are no areas in the Andorran or Spanish Pyrenees still open, but Cauterets on the French side got 5cm of fresh snow this week and reports a 290cm (nearly 10 foot) base. Sierra Nevada in southern Spain will remain open to May 1st and this weekend has a ski-in-your-swimsuit festival with low priced lift tickets on the go. However it received 10cm of fresh snow on Wednesday leaving things looking decidedly chilly for the planned weekend in bikinis and boxers ahead.
Virtually all ski areas in Eastern Europe including all centres in Bulgaria have now closed for the season. Jasna in the Slovak Republic is still operational however and reports a 10-60cm base with no fresh snow.
Nevis Range became the third Scottish area to end its 2015-16 season on Sunday, leaving Cairngorm and Glencoe the two still open options remaining. There was some fresh now at the weekend and optimism that the probable arrival of a 'Polar Vortex' will mean still more fresh snow next weekend. Glencoe says it will stay open for another week and close May 2nd, Cairngorm has not yet announced a closing date.
Almost all Canadian ski areas are now closed and the resorts that are still open will remain open in to May. They are the three Banff resorts and Marmot Basin in Alberta plus Whistler in BC with skiing on Blackomb Mountain. There's been 12cm of fresh snow at Whistler which still has over 2m of snow on its upper runs.
About three quarters of all US ski areas are now closed and it's the final weekend coming up for a sizeable chunk of those still open; although several dozen are planning to stay open in to May. The good news is that it keeps snowing, with the highest resorts in Colorado like Loveland (Open to May 9th), and Arapahoe Basin (usually open in to June) both receiving several feet of new snow. Other still-open areas like Copper and Breckenridge got a foot of snow too. Further north there was around 25cm of snow for Snowbird in Utah too. There was no new snow in New England but a number of areas there are still open including Killington in Vermont which often stays open to late spring, it has a 20-60cm base.