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.
Following fresh snow in Norway and Sweden, spring skiing is at it’s best in Northern Europe at the moment.
Although this is officially the last week of the season, the recent snow fall of up to 70cm has meant that 18 resorts in Sweden are still open.
The worlds largest downhill competition takes place in Are this weekend (on April 24th) with the 3.5km course expected to see skiers of all abilities hoping to win the Audi A3 convertible prize.
In Switzerland, Davos issued a powder alarm on Saturday because of 20cm (eight inches) of new snow.
They still have a snow depth of 184cm (six feet) on upper slopes, but the official end of season is announced for April 25th.
Samnaun even reported 25cm (10 inches) of new snow on Monday. 35 of its 40 lifts are still open with 160 cm of snow on the mountain. Samnaun’s season will end on May 2nd.
In St. Moritz the ski lifts are still running, too. “Several mountain railways and lifts will be open through to May”, the local tourism association informs. “With a snow depth of 80 to 120 cm skiing conditions are still great on the mountains around St. Moritz.”
Gstaad as well as Saas Fee will allow skiing until a week on Sunday (May 2nd), but Engelberg with three metres of snow on upper slopes won’t close before May 24th. Zermatt offers 365 days of skiing and snowboarding, with its year long season officially ending on May 31st and officially recommencing on June 1st.
By Patrick Thorne
Courtesy of skiinfo.co.uk
35 more ski resorts are scheduled to close in France this weekend but others will be open for two or three weeks more.
Bonneval sur Arc will close on the 1st of May, Val d’Isère on the 2nd and Chamonix Mont-Blanc, where the upper slope snow depth is currently the deepest in France at 3.8m (12.6 feet), as well as Tignes, Val Thorens and La Grave la Meije are open another week to May 9th.
Next Monday there will still be fifty ski resorts open. The snow remains very good for the season and it is below freezing in many resorts still, so the snow is good quality snow. It snowed yesterday in the Alps where there were three powder alarms for up to 40cm (16 inches) of new snow in the southern resorts of Devoluy /La Joue du Loup which has France’s second greatest snow depth at 3.3m (11 feet). It has re4ceived 60cm (two feet) in total in the past week, the most in the country, however they reported that the avalanche risk is high.
By Virginie Bernat
Courtesy of Skiinfo.co.uk