Well as the Alpine season nears it’s end in the lower regions, snow is still falling in many areas despite a slight rise in temperatures.
Although there have been some good snowfalls, the rise in temperature means that it does get a bit sticky a bit earlier. With temperatures set to hit 20C in some places this weekend, the situation can only deteriorate.
There’s been little snow in France with 5cm in La Plagne and 10cm in Chamonix. There may be some snow on the very highest slopes but increasingly the valley runs are closed.
Austria has had some good snowfall recently with Pitztal, Zugsoitzplatt and Solden getting falls of between 15 and 25cm. Most popular resorts are still open but with weather forecasts pointing to warmer temperatures this weekend there could be limited snowfall left. having said that, the Molltaler Glacier has the deepest snow in the country at around 3.1m with Kaprun-Kitsteinhorn having a snowbase of 2.1m
Although more than a dozen resorts in Italy have snow levels in excess of 2m, there has been now new snow in the last 7 days, with warming temperatures. Bormio, Livigno and Madesimo are still looking good though with the Presena Glacier having 5.5m coverage – possibly the deepest in Europe!
Switzerland still has 6 resorts with snow levels aver 2m, including Engelberg with 360cm. Several resorts received 30cm over the last week and the 20C temperature still allows for some good skiing on the upper slopes.
Switzerland also witnessed snowfalls last weekend. Arosa and Klosters in Grisons were among those issuing powder alarms on Saturday. Even more snow fell in the Valais with Champoussin receiving 60 cm (two feet) in only 48 hours. The resort issued just another powder alarm this morning because of a further 30cm (one foot) snowfall, as did its neighbour in the giant Portes du Soleil ski region, Morgins.
The Swiss WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF expects 10-20 cm of new snow for Switzerland’s’ northern slopes and for Lower Valais this afternoon – but also “widespread considerable avalanche danger”.
The deepest snow depths in Switzerland are at Lötschental and Engelberg with 262cm/245cm (8-9 feet) respectively . Andermatt, Saas Fee, Laax and St. Moritz each have two metres or more. All of them had some new snow in the last week.
By Pascal Bovee
Courtesy of skiinfo.co.uk
There has been limited fresh snowfall in the Alps over the past five days, but that is expected to change in the next few days and the first few powder alarms for 20cm (8 inches) of new snow in the past 24 hours have been issued this morning by several Swiss resorts.
On Thursday last week heavy snowfalls of up to 60cm (two feet) were reported from Austria. Since then the high avalanche risk has been lowering again (though still considerable in some regions like Tirol or Steiermark) and today lucky skiers and boarders across the country are enjoying good skiing conditions with sunny slopes in many places.
Last Thursday brought 30 powder alarms to Austria. The biggest snowfalls took place in Carinthia where 60cm (two feet) was reported from smaller resorts like Flattnitz or Petzen. Bad Kleinkirchheim and Dachstein West also had 20-30cm in 24 hours.
The Mölltaler glacier has the most snow in the country at 3.5m (nearly 12 feet), with St. Anton am Arlberg second with 240cm (eight feet).
In Switzerland the most snow was reported from Eigenthal with 90cm (three feet) in seven days. Beatenberg also had 60cm (two feet). Bigger resorts like Laax, Saas Fee, Zermatt and Davos usually had 8-15cm (3-6 inches) during the week.
Today there’s a dozen Swiss resorts reporting snow depths of two metres or more, including Saas Fee, St Moritz and Laax. Engelberg is on top of the list with 255cm (8.5 feet).
In Germany many resorts have seen 20-35cm of new snow in seven days. The resorts in the uplands of the East, Southeast and the Centre were reporting bigger snowfalls than the German Alps. Grasgehren and Oberstdorf – Nebelhorn in the Allgäu both have 190cm (over six feet) of snow on their upper slopes though and the top snow depth is at the Zugspitzplatt with 205cm (6.5 feet).
By Pascal Bovee
Courtesy of skiinfo.co.uk
Following a massive storm that hit central Switzerland on Sunday (29th Nov) dumping over 90cm of fresh snow, Engelberg has been practically cloased down.
The village is in total chaos, with roads in and out being closed and all lifts being shut down due to avalanche danger. The ski area was supposed to be opening again today (2nd Dec) after a couple of hectic days of snow-ploughing and avalanche bombs.