Melia Pro

Published on Friday, January 12, 2018

After the storm, comes the skiing

By Linsey McNeillFollowing the almost unprecedented levels of snowfall in the Alps in the early part of this week, there are amazing powder conditions in many resorts, including Tignes/Val d'Isere in France, Zermatt in Switzerland and the Monterosa and Milky Way area of Italy.

Here is the full snow report, courtesy of the Ski Club.

Based on current weather forecasts for the next 9 days, the top three resorts for expected snowfall are:

By Linsey McNeill

1. Argentiere, France - 290cm
2. La Rosiere, France - 282mc
3. Chamonix, France- 277cm

Some resorts have not seen any snow since new year and so are becoming increasingly firm, although though excessively icy conditions are at least being prevented by mild temperatures and due to the substantial early season snow, most have a good foundation of snow.


Among those to have received fesh snowfall this week are Gultur and Gargellen. There was heavier snowfall in Obergurgl, which currently offers some of the best riding in Austria due to 20cm of snow that fell on the January 6. Kaunertal glacier is offering similarly promising conditions now it has reopened; while the 10cm of fresh snow in in Kuhtai (105/115cm) is looking comparatively untracked.

The forthcoming weekend is not likely to bring any noticeable change in conditions, with temperatures creeping up slightly. Current forecasts show snow for next Tuesday.

It has become more settled following the heavy snowfall earlier this week. In the Tarentaise, Val d'Isere and La Plagne had 70cm and 80cm respectively, providing great skiing conditions. Tignes recorded 100cm of fresh on Tuesday, which caused all lifts to be closed, as well as roads leading to the resort.

There was some snowfall overnight on Wednesday in the French Pyrenees, with both Font Romeu and Bareges/La Mongie offering fresh turns.

Much like France, Switzerland has seen more settled weather since the big snowfall on January 9, which caused a number of resorts, including Zermatt, to shut down their lift operations. The coming weekend is forecast to be sunny with clouds. Expect some crowded pistes, with guests flocking in to enjoy all the new snow of late.

Truly fantastic riding conditions were on offer across Italy on Thursday, with almost every resorts receiving substantial fresh snow, followed by clear skies and sunshine.

Resorts in the Monterosa and Milky Way reopened after their huge snowfalls that came down earlier this week, with up to 250cm of snow falling between Sunday and Tuesday. This snowfall has massively increased the base in resorts that have, until now been slightly lacking in snow. The only limiting factor is that lift operations are still currently limited in many resorts, as they clear excess snow and return to normal functionality. For example only 46/69 lifts are in operation in the Milky Way, though Macugnaga is the sole resort that remains completely closed.

The Dolomite resorts in the east, despite not seeing as significant a dump, also offer fantastic riding opportunities. Not insubstantial snowfall of 20-30cm, accompanied by relatively mild temperatures and glorious sunshine offer plenty of opportunity to ski the huge connected areas. In addition, these slopes are substantially less crowded than those that have grabbed the headlines in the west.

Not all resorts have benefitted however, Bormio (40/50cm) and Passo Tonale (60/250cm) in central northern Italy are outliers in having not seen fresh snow since new year, with slopes starting to suffer slightly.

Generally clear skies look set to continue through till Sunday, at which point fresh snow is forecast. It is expected to follow the same pattern, falling more heavily in the west than the east, abate somewhat lighter than has fallen this week.

Around 7cm of fresh fell in the Grandvalira area on January 9, and conditions up high at the likes of Soldeu and Pas de la Casa remain very good. Equally, Vallnord remains in good nick, and with heavy snow predicted to fall on Sunday across the Andorran Pyrenees, there are likely to be fresh tracks to bring in the new week.

The main resorts in Finland have not seen any fresh snow this week, leading to quite hard pistes.

Conditions have been equally uneventful in Sweden, with only Are seeing new snow, and only an 8cm dusting at that. One silver lining is that temperatures are not as bitterly cold as earlier this year.

A light dusting of fresh snow has fallen over Lillehammer in Norway, though it looks like this will be limited to the single resort. No new snow is expected in the next few days.

Probably the best skiing can be found at Garmisch. Lower slopes at both Berchtasgaden and Feldberg are not looking quite as good, but for the latter there is the chance of some fresh snow

Current forecast for the weekend ahead show a band of high pressure and sunny skies across the board. Temperatures are likely to remain around freezing or below.

There was good news for our Bulgarian resorts, with fresh snow forecast at Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo. Sunday could see as much as 26cm fall at Borovets. Elsewhere, the ex-Olympic resort Sochi, Russia, is offering great skiing conditions on its upper slopes.

There are hard packed and firm pistes in the mornings at Cairngorm (5/40cm), that are likely to give way to spring- like snow in the afternoons.

It was an absolutely beautiful day on Thursday at both Nevis Range and Glencoe where the best conditions were on the groomed runs. Access into the Back Corries was not recommended, as the snow is wind scoured and there was significant rock hazards.

There was a slight thaw overnight at Glenshee (10/35cm), and a few patches of brown showing on the slopes. Still, there were eight lifts running on Thursday, and nice quiet slopes for those that managed to get there.

From Sunday there could be fresh snow again, that may well lead into the new week and continue right through till Thursday. Temperatures are likely to remain below freezing, which is great news.

Rain was forecast for resorts in Vermont this week, with Smugglers Notch, Sugerbush and Stowe among others already reporting wet conditions at the base and even the risk for quite substantial downpours. Following that, a forecasted substantial drop in temperature to -20C overnight risks turning many of the slopes to ice.

There's a better story in the central Rockies resorts, which have seen moderate amounts of new snow over the past two days. Substantial snowfall in Utah, 15cm in Snowbird, and 25cm in Solitude are some of the highlights. In neighbouring Colorado, 28cm fell in Telluride.

There has been a huge snowfall in Timberline, with up to 50cm more expected. This looks to be followed by clear skies for a great bluebird weekend. There is a similar situation in Jackson Hole.

Conditions across western Canada look mainly cloudy, with substantial fresh snow having fallen on Wednesday night. In Alberta this came down most heavily in Lake Louise with 11cm measured, and lighter dustings elsewhere. In British Columbia, 9cm of fresh snow overnight added to the continuing snowfall in Big White, but Fernie (189cm) is the real standout, with 37cm of fresh snow.
The coming days look mixed across the region, with fluctuating temperatures, and the risk of rain falling across some resorts including Whistler.

Conditions are less promising in Eastern Canada, with temperatures substantially higher and a risk of rain falling over both Mont Sainte Anne and Tremblant. This looks set to continue on Friday, though this may be followed by a swift change as a new low pressure system moves in over the eastern seaboard.

Fresh, dry snow fell across Hakuba and Niseko, with both likely to see continuing top ups of snow over the coming days. Barring high winds or visibility impacting lift operations, excellent riding will be on offer.

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