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J2Ski Snow Report - March 28th 2024

J2Ski Snow Report - March 28th 2024

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski Snow Report - March 28th 2024

Admin posted 28-Mar

Chamrousse, France, with 30cm of fresh yesterday.

Late season snow keeps coming; Spring skiing is looking pretty good from here!

The Snow Headlines - March 28th
- Great late-March snowfalls across many North American ski areas.
- Cold temperatures and fresh snowfall return to the Alps, Pyrenees, Eastern Europe.
- Huge snowfalls in southwestern Alps send Avalanche Risk Levels up to 4(High).
- Scottish ski centres struggle to open terrain beyond beginner slopes for Easter.
- Swiss, Austrian and US areas overtake French for deepest snowpack in the world.
- New Zealand ski areas see early-autumn snowfalls.

More heavy falls of Spring snow forecast, at altitude...

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.

World Overview
As Easter arrives, the ski season is starting to wind down with the first of the big ski regions, including Austria's Skiwelt, closing as early as Easter Monday and most others over the following two weekends. But Mother Nature hasn't quite got the memo with lots of snowfall reported this week across Europe and North America, albeit with temperatures more typical of Spring than Winter.

Base depths on higher runs continue to grow and are close to the 5-metre mark in places; the deepest bases since early January.

The Northern Alps and Eastern Europe, as well as the US East and West coasts, reported some good snowfalls over the weekend, but the past few days have seen huge falls in the south-eastern Alps with French, Swiss and Italian areas posting up to 80cm in 24 hours and 140cm in 48 hours, sending the avalanche danger leaping from a moderate '2' to a high '4' on the scale to 5 in the region.

So all in all, in terms of fresh snow and open terrain, things are looking pretty good across European and North American slopes, albeit with the caveat that it's nearly April so expect conditions to get heavy by lunchtime, even where there's fresh snow, the best at high altitude and northerly latitudes.

Ski areas in the southern hemisphere have been reporting some early pre-season snowfall, with the 2024 season still 10 weeks or more away. Ski areas in New Zealand had snowfall down to resort level on Wednesday.

Austria has had a snowy week since the final Men's World Cup Downhill race of the 23-24 World Cup season in Saalbach was cancelled on Sunday with 15cm of snow on the upper half of the track.

There have been snow showers through the week but the heavy snowfall forecast at the start of the week which was expected to peak around Wednesday/Thursday did not really materialise.

The country's lower-lying ski areas continue to suffer with the warm temperatures and the end of the season is here really, with the Skiwelt due to close after the Easter weekend and many others next weekend (8th April).

However, Austria does have more glacier ski areas than any other country, where the snow is lying up to 4.7 metres deep. High areas like Ischgl and Obertauern will be open to the start of May.

The Southern French Alps have seen some big snowfalls over the past 48 hours, with some fresh snow for the Northern Alps too.

Most of the country's ski regions are between 85-100% open for the Easter holidays, although some lower centres like La Clusaz have announced they'll be shutting sectors down soon after Easter Sunday.

The biggest falls (several feet/60cm in 24-36 hours, then up to 140cm in 48 hours to Thursday) were reported in more southerly areas in Serre Chevalier, Risoul-Vars, Les 2 Alpes, Alpe d'Huez and Isola 2000.

Here the avalanche danger has shot up to a 'high' 4.

The forecast is for more snow showers, but lighter, through the Easter weekend and gradually warming temperatures.

Italian ski centres have seen a big mix of weather over the past week, with valley temperatures touching +20C at the weekend, but much colder weather and for some, heavy snowfall, over the past few days, which will continue into the Easter weekend.

Some ski areas in the western Alps, including the country's largest, the Milky Way (Via Lattea) with Sestriere and Sauze d'Oulx linked to Montgenevre in France, saw some of the biggest midweek falls.

Pila in the Aosta Valley posted a 45cm accumulation on Thursday.

The snow is expected to keep coming, in showers, through the Easter weekend but with valley temperatures gradually rising as we enter April – so rain to increasingly higher levels.

The (in)famous Foehn wind was back bringing snowfall to Swiss areas, particularly in the south and west of the country and especially on higher slopes this week.

However, it was the common scenario of the snow being welcome, the wind not so much and Glacier 3000 near Gstaad was among the areas closed by the weather for several days.

Davos Klosters posted one of the biggest accumulations, with 40cm in 48 hours at the start of the week.

Switzerland now has two areas in the world's top 5 for deepest snow, the only country with more than one; Saas Fee with 4.7m up high (another area getting a big fall this week) and Laax with 4.75m, the most in the world at the time of writing.

Conditions, in terms of fresh snowfall and low temperatures, remain good across much of Scandinavia.

Most of the region's big resorts have reported 10-20cm snowfalls in the past few days with Norway's Geilo posting a 30cm fall on Tuesday.

Most ski areas remain fully open with many planning to be open to the start of May.

Winter has been back in the Pyrenees again with plenty of snowfall down to low levels.

There have been periods of warm weather in the valleys, so the thaw continues at low levels, despite the snow sticking around higher up. Thus the amount of terrain open has dropped, Grandvalira (Soldeu, Pas de la Casa), is back down to about 70%/150km of its slopes open, still the most in the region but down about a quarter on a week or so ago.

Freeride centre Arcalis posted 15cm of fresh snow on Wednesday.

The usual weeks of ups and downs on Scottish slopes with Cairngorm and Glencoe managing to open the most terrain, mostly on their upper mountains, mostly only suited to good skiers and in Cairngorm's case still requiring a hike up due to the funicular being out of action.

Both areas, along with The Lecht and Glenshee, also have beginner slopes available, maintained with all-weather snowmaking systems. Glenshee has a little more terrain open. Nevis Range is unable to offer snowsports at present.

It was cold with fresh snowfalls in the first half of the week, but now temperatures are rising a little as we go into the Easter weekend.

Eastern Europe
For the last full week of March, it's been a good one for the bigger, higher ski areas still open in Eastern Europe.

Ski areas like Spindleruv Mlyn in Czechia and Jasna over the border in Slovakia both reported sub-zero temperatures and fresh snowfall to start the week, and Bansko in Bulgaria got snow up high from Monday.

It is the final week or two of the season for most areas in the region. Even with the new snow, it's very much spring conditions with the best up high and not much left on lower runs.

Bansko's long run back to base is now closed.

North America
Definitely one of the better weeks of the season for Canada with low temperatures and snowfall from coast to coast.

Ski areas in Eastern Canada claimed the weekend was THE best of the season, despite arriving close to the end of it, with every slope open for some for the first time this often-challenging season, and a foot or more of powder snow on top.

A similar story on the West Coast where the snow fell too, also delivering powder days through this week. Whistler Blackcomb and the ski areas around Banff, several of which still have nearly two months of season left, reported every run open for the Easter holidays.

It has been a very snowy week from coast to coast in the US. Among totals claimed were 55cm in 72 hours by Aspen in the Colorado Rockies, 80cm in 48 hours by the Palisades in California and then over on the East coast multiple ski areas posted up to a metre of fresh snow through the last seven days.

So, it's a case of powder at almost every open centre in the country and some of the best conditions we've seen all winter, particularly for the East Coast.

That said, temperatures have warmed up over the past 48 hours so it's freeze-thaw time for most US slopes for Easter although another big snowfall is just coming in off the pacific coast and is expected to last all through the weekend.
The Admin Man