This Week’s Headlines
Niseko, Japan is the snowiest resort in world.
Colorado snowiest in US, at last.
Nearly 6m (20ft) of snow in the Pyrenees, the world’s deepest snowbase.
Engelberg hits 5m base depth – first in the Alps.
The snow is starting to fall again in Austria after a fairly dry week which saw limited flurries at most areas – not a problem though, with temperatures low and bases deep throughout much of the country.
Most Austrian resorts have healthy bases of 1.5-2.5m and are expecting more snow in the next few days.
Fresh snow has been reported in the Arlberg in the past 48 hours (20cm for Lech on Wednesday) and more is expected in the coming days as the country’s skies turn snowier.
St Wolfgang has also reported 20cm and Waidring 25cm.
The Pitztal glacier, which incorporates Austria’s highest lift and is open until mid-May, still has the deepest snow at 3.4m.
Lech isn’t too far behind, on 305cm (10.2 ft).
There’s been little fresh snow in France over the past week but cold weather and a few centimetres of fresh stuff at many resorts, if not big dumps, has made ski conditions excellent, particularly on piste. Base depths remain very good.
The biggest reported falls were at Meribel (15cm/6 inches) and Val Thorens and Tignes (10cm/4 inches each).
Along with being home to the resort with the deepest snow base in the world at present (see Pyrenees entry), French ski areas in the Alps have massive bases that will easily see them through to the end of the season. Among the biggest are La Clusaz (3.5m) and Flaine (4.2m).
There has been very little fresh snow for Italy in the past week. However, like much of Europe, low temperatures, sunny days and a good accumulated base depth at most ski areas (generally 1.5-2.5m) meant that skiing on the pistes has been excellent. For those not obsessed with powder, it was probably much more enjoyable than if it was dumping down.
The biggest reported fall of 12cm (5 inches) was at Cervinia, where the upper slope depth is just above 2m.
There’s a fairly even cover across the country at ski slope level, at least with Cortina in the Dolomites to the East on 1.7m and Courmayeur on the Western border in the Alps on 1.8m (both around 6 ft). Passo Tonale has passed the 3m (10 foot) mark.
Swiss resorts have seen some of the biggest snowfall accumulations in the Alps over the past week, enabling Engelberg to be the first resort north of the Pyrenees to hit a snow depth of 5m on the upper slopes.
Several top resorts reported at least 25cm/10 inches of new snow including Davos, Grindelwald, Saas Fee and Wengen. St Moritz and Zermatt each added around 50cm/20 inches to their tallies.
Base depths remain good to excellent, across the country.
The huge snowfall in the Pyrenees has slowed, at last, after a month of heavy snow deposited more than 12m (40 feet) of snow across most resorts in the region. Only 30cm of new snow has fallen this week.
Cauterets on the French side has the deepest snow in the world, at present, at 5.8m (over 19 feet). Depths in Andorra are typically 2.5-3m, the best for a decade
There’s been some fresh snow in Eastern Europe, where base depths are looking good. This is particularly the case in Bulgaria, where ski areas reported another 10cm of snow in the past few days and bases as deep as 2.4m (8 feet) at Bansko.
Kranjska Gora in Slovenia has a good base of 1.2m, with all runs open and all lifts turning.
There’s been little change in conditions across Scandinavia, where typical base depths are 60-120cm (2-4 feet). The snow is in good condition, thanks to low temperatures. Nearly all runs are open and lifts operating at every area.
There hasn’t been much action to report in Canada. Most resorts, East and West, have added 1cm or so of new snow over the last seven days to keep cover fresh.
However, the stand-out resort has been Banff-Lake Louise with over a foot (36cm) of new snow and powder conditions reported at all three ski areas.
Whistler has only had a few centimetres of new snow but a return of the big dump is expected imminently.
Three months in to the ski season and with only six weeks to go for some US resorts, Colorado has regained its position as the snowiest state in the USA. It is posting the biggest accumulations of light powder in the past week.
Breckenridge, Vail and Steamboat all reported the biggest accumulations – around 40cm each, but most other Colorado resorts had 10-20cm, to keep the slopes in good shape.
With 80cm of fresh snow recorded this week, on top of a 5m base, Niseko, becomes the snowiest resort in the world.