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
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)