It snowed a lot last week in the French mountains with 13 powder alarms in the French Alps on Friday.
Le Grand Bornand was one of the big winners with 75cm (2.5 feet) of fresh snow accumulated over seven days.
Hubert Bon-Bétend Le Grand Bornand ski patrol chief told Skiinfo. “It had not snowed a lot in the beginning of the season but since early January, the resort has received regular snowfalls of 15 to 20cm.
The snow coverage is very good with 100cm at 1200m and 170cm at 2300m. The snow depths are measured twice a day, once at 7:30am and again at 12:30. The avalanche risk is moderate now, but it was at maximun on Sunday because of mild temperatures. It was cold in the night from Sunday to Monday which helped stabilize the snow coverage. We trigger avalanches artificially when there’s 10-15cm of new snowfall when it is windy, otherwise we wait until 20cm. We now hope that the temperatures will not be too high so we can have a good end to the season.”
Other big accumulations of 45- 52cm (18-21 inches) were re4ported by La Clusaz, Val Thorens and Alpe d’Huez. Chamonix Mont-Blanc has the deepest snow in France with 4.2m (14 feet).
By Virginie Bernat
Courtesy of skiinfo.co.uk
It has snowed a lot on the French mountains throughout the past week, with the heaviest snow leading up to the weekend. The snow is continuing today and is expected to continue for the next few days. Up to 60cm (2 feet) has been reported over the last week with resorts like Meribel, La Plagne and le Grand Bornand all reporting big falls.
The Vosges region, one of the lower mountain area for ski resorts in the country has received a particularly notable covering of up to 50cm (20 inches) at 1,200m. At Gerardmer, one of the region’s leading ski areas, Fabrice Clair, manager of the resort, told Skiinfo,
“It has snowed more than 50cm on one day, greatly increased the snow depth which had been very thin at the beginning of winter. It’s now 1.2m (4 feet) in place thanks to artificial snow, but there is an average layer of natural snow from 50 to 60cm over the entire ski area.”
Across France as a whole Chamonix Mont-Blanc has the top snow depth of 4m (13.3 feet) with Oz en oisans and Vaujany below Alpe d’Huez at 3.2m (10.6 feet), Flaimne and La Clusaz have 2.9m
By Virginie Bernat
Courtesy of skiinfo.co.uk
By Sally Brookes
In France the cold temperatures have kept the snow in excellent condition for skiing. There’s been little new snow, except for a big snowfall recorded on Monday in the country’s Vosges region. Otherwise resorts have received 10 to 20cm (4-8 inches) through the week. However new big snowfalls are expected for tomorrow, Thursday.
Laurie Martin Communications Officer of Montgenèvre told Skiinfo, “Snow conditions are optimal in Montgenèvre with 220cm at the top of the slopes and 160cm at the bottom. The whole area has been open since the end of December and the connections with the “Voie Lactée” (Milky Way) are also open, which is not always the case at this time of the year. The coming February holidays will be good for skiers. It has been snowing steadily since mid-December and we have a very good season, with skiers happy. The snow cover is good and stable and we expect new snowfall on Friday.”
Chamonix will host the Nissan Freeride on Saturday and then stage the postponed opening event on the next suitable day afterwards. The Russian event was due to have been staged in the 2014 Olympic venue of Sochi last week but had to be cancelled due to strong winds and heavy snowfall there.
Chamonix currently has the deepest snowbase in France with 3.9m (13 feet) on upper slopes. Flaine has 2.65m (nine feet), La Clusaz 2.6m (8.7 feet) and La Grave 2.5m (8.3 feet).
Snow began to fall again in Austria and Germany in recent days with more new snow forecast for tomorrow and in to the weekend – especially in the western Vorarlberg, Tirol and Salzburg provinces. Temperatures have been as low as – 20 degrees and colder in some parts. The deepest snow is on the glaciers (Mölltal 330cm/11 feet, Kaunertal 209cm/7 feet on upper runs). Sölden got the most snow in the country this week with 25cm (10 inches) with Kleinwalsertal reporting the biggest single fall of 17cm (six inches). Maria Alm/ Hochkönig and Alpbach had 10cm (4 inches) each.
It’s a similar picture in Switzerland where Elm reported the most new snow of the past week, with 30cm (a foot) accumulated. Disentis, Davos and Saas Fee got 12-15cm (5-6 inches) each. Andermatt has the biggest snow depth with 210cm (7 feet). Saas Fee and St Moritz have only a few centimetres/inches less.
Italy has also had a quiet week although low temperatures have brought some snow at low altitude in the North of the country and also in the central Appennine mountains. It’s snowing there now with Limone and Prato Nevoso in the north west reporting 20-25cm (8-10 inches) so far today. The Presena and Marmolada glaciers both have the most snow with about 3.9m (13 feet) on upper slopes, Bormio has 3 metres (10 feet).
In Germany there were powder alarms on Monday and Tuesday when 15cm (six inches) of new snow fell in Oberstdorf yesterday. The Zugspitze got 8cm (three inches) of new snow too and has the country’s greatest snow depth of 185cm (just over six feet).
The cold weather has extended as far as Belgium where recent fresh snow fall (10cm/4 inches on 24 Jan), combined with the cold temperatures (-5°to -15°C) has led some nordic resorts in the East of the country to re-open their tracks. Baraque Michel, Mont Spinet and Losheimergraben are offering Nordic Skiing on 10cm of snow. Other resorts, and hopefully also the Alpine resorts will follow as more cold and snow is predicted for next week.
(Snow report courtesy of skiinfo.co.uk)