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J2Ski Snow Report - April 4th 2024

J2Ski Snow Report - April 4th 2024

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski Snow Report - April 4th 2024

Admin posted 04-Apr

Stubai, Austria, snow nearly 5 metres deep and open until 20th May

Warmer weather, and sunnier skies in the Alps but there's still a lot of snow on the ground.

The Snow Headlines - April 4th
- 5 metre+ snow depths reached by Alpe d'Huez, Laax and Saas Fee.
- Mammoth reports 3 feet of snowfall in 3 days.
- Cervinia, Kitzbuhel, Verbier and others part-closed by strong winds over Easter.
- Scotland's Lecht ski area closes on Easter Monday.
- Bulgarian resorts except Bansko announce early closing due to warmth.

A quieter week for snow in Japan, but more high altitude snow for Europe and America

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
Winter had what may have been its final hurrah for this season in the Alps as we went into the Easter weekend with huge snowfalls reported in the southwestern Alps, particularly southern France.

Unfortunately, that sent the avalanche danger up to "high" and gale-force winds driving the storm on led to many areas in the region having to close all or most of their lifts slopes at times through the Easter weekend.

Besides the big snowfalls in the southwestern Alps, the past week saw snowfall in the Pyrenees, Dolomites, Scandinavia, Scotland, the rest of the Alps and mountains across Western North America. Indeed the other big 1m+ (three feet) snowfalls of the last 7 days were reported in California, with a good late-season dump in The Rockies too.

This being April we're seeing more ski areas ending their season, some just after the Easter weekend with most of the rest due to follow over the next few weekends. But hundreds more do plan to stay open into the latter half of this month, some into May and a select group later than that, through to the start of the southern hemisphere's 2024 season in June.

After a cooler start to the week, at least on high slopes, with some snow showers reported, temperatures have been rising in Austria, reaching 20C in the afternoons in mountain valleys, and +10C on higher slopes.

So no surprise that the season has ended at one of the country's three largest ski areas, the Skiwelt, around Westendorf and Soll, with another Saalbach-Hinterglemm, due to close this weekend.

The biggest Austrian region, the Arlberg, is one of those staying open to the end of the month, as are resorts like Ischgl and Obertauern, with access to higher altitude terrain, and most of the country's half-dozen or so glacier areas. One of these, the Stubai, currently has the country's deepest reported base at 4.5 metres.

The snowfalls that were just getting started as we published last week's report carried on into the weekend and turned out to be some of the heaviest in the season in the southern French Alps.

Isola 2000 and Risoul were among resorts posting 2m+ accumulations in 72 hours whilst Alpe d'Huez posted for 24 hours that its upper base had hit 5 metres – a number only it had previously reached anywhere in the world, briefly, earlier in the winter. It's since dropped back to a "mere" 4.5 metres.

There was snowfall, with showers continuing into the start of this week, for most other French areas further north, just not so much.

Most of France's big ski areas remain open into the latter half of the month and currently say their slopes are still 80-98% open, including the biggest domain, the 3 Valleys.

Some smaller and/or lower areas including the slopes around Megeve and the Risoul-Vars area that had the huge Easter snowfall, are due to close for the season at the end of this coming weekend.

Snowfall and gale-force winds have been factors on Italian slopes this week, with Cervinia being one of the big scorers on both – receiving a metre of snowfall over the Easter weekend but also having large parts of its ski area shut down at the time by the gales. A bouncing chairlift there, buffeted by the winds in the process of being shut down as the last skiers were disembarking went viral on world mainstream media.

Rain was also an issue at times with Madonna di Campiglio giving it as the reason its slopes were closed on Monday.

It's been calmer and drier, and a little warmer, over the last few days.

As with the rest of the northern hemisphere, large swathes of Italian areas will shut down at the end of this coming weekend or the one after, but dozens more will continue into the latter half of the month.

Swiss centres had a rather mixed time through the Easter weekend with heavy snowfall (which began in the middle of last week) continuing to fall with gale-force winds thrown into the mix at times. That led to Verbier and the 4 Valleys announcing all slopes were closed at the start of Easter Saturday, although they began to part-open after only a few hours.

Verbier wasn't the only one; Saas Fee had only 5% of its slopes open on Saturday, and Laax 30%. Those two resorts are now posting 5m+ bases, the deepest in the world, on upper runs.

Switzerland has also suffered multiple ski tragedies this week, with three dying in an off-piste avalanche at Zermatt and three more in a heliski incident near Verbier.

Post-Easter, as elsewhere, open terrain is starting to drop and ski centres are starting to close, although plenty of Swiss areas plan to stay open to the latter half of April or into May.

Centres closing after this weekend include sectors of Adelboden, Andermatt, Davos and St Moritz and all/most of the ski areas at Leysin and Villars among others.

Conditions continue to be among the best in Europe up in Norway, Sweden and Finland, as is usual for this point in the year.

Temperatures have remained low, particularly in the north of the region, and there have been more snow showers reported.

Finland's ski areas remain open into May, and have reported temperatures in the -5C to -20C range this week, with light snowfalls refreshing cover with a few centimetres of fresh snow most days.

It's warmer further south in Norway and Sweden but still close to freezing and seeing rain rather than snow.

Big resorts like Hemsedal, Are and Trysil are open through April and currently have most runs open.

It was rather a white Easter in the Pyrenees after the rather green Christmas, on lower slopes at least.

The wintry conditions that began in early March continued with 25cm of fresh snowfall for the Easter weekend in the region's largest area, Grandvalira. Other centres on the French and Spanish sides of the border posted 10-15cm.

Most centres not already closed will be closing this coming weekend, including much of Grandvalira and one of the biggest on the Spanish side, Baqueira Beret. Some, including Arcalis in Andorra, plan to stay open one more week having extended their season.

Scottish ski areas saw the usual mix of glorious sunny days and days of snowfall, gales, sleet, hill fog and rain. Mountain temperatures have stayed close to freezing, valleys climbing towards +10C in the afternoons. We're down to three areas still open at the time of writing.

Glencoe and Cairngorm have the most terrain on offer on their higher slopes, best suited to advanced skiers, with Cairngorm's requiring a hike up with the funicular out of action.

Glenshee has three short runs open maintained by their all-weather snowmaking machines. The Lecht joined Nevis Range when it ended its ski season with a sudden Easter Day announcement that it was closing at the end of Monday.

Eastern Europe
Most Eastern European ski areas have now closed or will do this coming weekend or next.

Temperatures have been rising and snowsports are on the upper mountain at most areas that are still open.

Bulgaria's Bansko has announced a lift ticket price drop for the final fortnight of its season through to the 14th which it says it will stick to despite temperatures leaping into the 20s(C).

Borovets announced on Monday that it would end its 23-24 season on Wednesday due to warm weather, and Pamporovo and Vitosha joined it, so all are now closed until next season.

Some centres elsewhere, including Slovenia's Kanin and Slovakia's Jasna, are aiming to keep some high runs open into May.

North America
Many of Canada's ski areas will call it a day on their 23-24 seasons this coming weekend or the one after, but Banff's three ski areas will continue on into May, as will Jasper's Marmot Basin and of course Whistler Blackcomb.

The good news for these centres has been midwinter-like conditions for parts of the past week with temperatures down to -10C and accumulations of up to 30cm in 24 hours reported. So there's plenty of snow lying for the final 4-7 weeks of the season, at least on higher slopes.

After seeing coast-to-coast snowfall across the US in the penultimate week of March, the last seven days have seen a West/East divide with warm temperatures on the Atlantic coast but heavy snowfall on the Pacific side.

The Palisades passed 13 feet (nearly 4 metres) of March snowfall whilst at the height of the storm through the Easter weekend, Mammoth Mountain reported it had received three feet of snowfall in 2 days.

There was also significant snowfall across the Rockies.

Most US resorts will close this weekend or next but dozens will continue to the latter half of April or later into spring.
The Admin Man

Edited 1 time. Last update at 04-Apr-2024