Perisher, Australia, with an early 15cm (6 inches) this week.
More snow in the Andes... and the European Alps!
The Snow Headlines - 4th May
- Heavy snowfall on high slopes in France for the start of May.
- Pre-2023-season snowfall reported in the Andes, Australia and New Zealand.
- High avalanche danger from wet snowpack in the Alps and Western North America.
- Around 60 northern hemisphere ski centres still open for the 22-23 season.
- Spring/Summer-only glacier ski areas begin 2023 openings in France and Norway.
Still snowing in Europe...
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We're into May now and the number of ski areas still open in the northern hemisphere has dropped to double figures as more centres ended their 22-23 seasons after the long May weekend.
Big weather fluctuations have been reported in ski regions in Europe and North America in the last 7 days with snowfall on high slopes in both continents, particularly heavy in the high French Alps at the start of the week, but also record high temperatures, for a time, in California and Utah before temperatures dipped again and fresh snowfall began.
One common factor in conditions at still-open ski centres on each side of the Atlantic is heavy, wet snow conditions, leading to considerable avalanche danger and sadly reported fatalities from avalanches in both Europe and North America in the last week.
May also marks the real countdown to the start of the 2023 season in the southern hemisphere and up to 15cm (6") of snowfall reported on high slopes in Australia, the Andes and in New Zealand have helped to raise anticipation levels.
Austria has the most ski areas still open of any country in Europe, with six glacier resorts still open and reporting good conditions from the recent snowfalls on glacier slopes, including a few centimetres more this past week.
Sunday will be the last day of 7-8 month seasons at the country's highest centre, Pitztal, as well as at Solden, host to the opening World Cup Alpine ski races of the season back in October last year and boasting the country's deepest snow all season.
Three more glacier areas at Kaunertal, Kitzsteinhorn and Mölltal plan to stay open through to the end of the month on May 28th - and the Hintertux glacier remains open year round.
Remarkably, there was about a foot (30cm) of snowfall on French ski slopes above 2,000m on Monday, 1st May.
Unfortunately most ski areas had already closed and the three still open – Val d'Isere, Val Thorens and Tignes could only offer white-out conditions to those in resort. Tuesday the 2nd was a different story with clear skies and remarkably good conditions for the start of May.
All three still-open French centres are due to end their seasons after this weekend, but Les 2 Alpes has re-opened for late-spring/early-summer glacier skiing planned to run through May and June so the French ski season continues.
Most ski areas have now ended their 22-23 seasons in Italy, with Cortina d'Ampezzo the last to close in the Dolomites on May 1st.
Livigno, Macugnaga, the Presena Glacier above Passo Tonale and Sulden am Ortler also ended their 22-23 seasons at the weekend.
That leaves just Cervinia still open through this coming weekend and reporting great conditions with fresh snow lying up high. Italy won't have any ski areas open for three weeks from Monday but glacier ski area Passo Stelvio is due to open at the end of the month for its 2023 season.
Half a dozen Swiss areas remain open into May, with most seeing some more fresh snowfall up high to start the week, with sunnier skies since.
Four of these, including Adelboden, the Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz in the Engadin, Engelberg and Glacier 3000 near Gstaad and Les Diablerets are expected to close on Sunday.
Europe's highest slopes, above Zermatt, will remain open through May.
There was sad news from Samnaun, which, along with Andermatt, ended its season on Monday, as two women skiing just off an open run having accidentally strayed off onto a cat track, were caught in an avalanche, leading to the death of one of them.
Scandinavia offered some of the best conditions in Europe through April, but although it remains cold with some areas posting 20cm of fresh snowfall in the past week, many of the region's big resorts including Sweden's Are and Norway's Trysil and Hemsedal, have now ended their seasons.
You can still ski until next Monday up in Lapland and Levi and Ruka which are coming up to the end of their 7-month ski seasons.
Sweden's northerly Riksgransen ski area will start offering skiing under the midnight sun shortly too, as it approaches 24-hour daylight up in the Arctic Circle.
Finally, Norway's three summer-only glacier ski areas begin opening for the season this weekend.
The 22-23 season is now over in the Pyrenees with the last area in the region that had still been open, Cauterets in the French Pyrenees, ending its season last weekend.
Scotland's ski season really ended at the end of the Easter school holidays over a fortnight ago when the last few runs still open at Cairngorm were closed. Despite mostly warm weather last week, however, fresh snow was reported on high peaks to start May with some ski tourers hiking up to earn their turns.
With Jasna and a few other ski centres that managed to keep terrain open to May 1st calling it a day on their 22-23 seasons, there's just one centre known to still be operating, at weekends, in Eastern Europe. There are about 6lkm of high runs open above Kanin in Slovenia, a centre famed for its spring skiing.
There are four ski areas still open in Canada after Marmot Basin and Mount Norquay bear Banff ended their 22-23 seasons at the weekend.
Lake Louise is due to be next to close at the end of the ski day on Sunday, but the third Banff area Sunshine in Alberta, as well as Blackcomb Mountain by Whistler on BC's Pacific Coast and (over in Quebec to the East – and at weekends only) Mont St Sauveur – are all aiming to stay open through to May 22nd.
Sunshine reported fresh snowfall at the weekend but also closed a lot of terrain due to high avalanche danger from the wet snowpack.
The US is the country with the most ski areas still open as we start May, and many of them have extended their seasons because of the huge snowpacks built up through the winter and spring.
About two dozen areas remain open, the majority in Colorado, California, Oregon and Utah.
The past week has been a bit of a weather rollercoaster with warm weather leading to fast thawing and flooding concerns into the weekend, but then a temperature drop bringing more snowfall to Mammoth, which plans to stay open to July and still has the world's deepest snowpack at more than 20 feet (6 metres).
In Utah, the Little Cottonwood Canyon was once again closed this week due to the latest high avalanche danger, cutting off access in and out of still-open Snowbird once more.
To add to the mix some ski areas in Colorado were closed earlier this week due to thunder and lightning storms.
The ski season on the East Coast is all but over with Maine's Sugarloaf deciding to call it a day on their 22-23 season at the weekend. However, Jay Peak, Sugarbush and Killington still have a white ribbon or two of snow on green hillsides to enjoy some final turns on.
Killington hopes to stay open later into May but it's looking like this coming weekend will be the last of 22-23 for the other two.