Published on Friday, March 9, 2018

Snow report says conditions are mixed

See where the best skiing is this week with the latest snow report from the Ski Club.

There has been a real mix of conditions across Europe over the past few days into Thursday, with new snow over some Austrian resorts on Tuesday and Wednesday, before leading into sunny almost spring like conditions on Thursday - similar to what could be found in Italy. The majority of French resorts also saw snowfall overnight, more heavily in the northern regions. Mild temperatures are contributing to an unsettled forecast with cloud and new precipitation arriving over the weekend, though the risk is this may fall as rain if the temperatures continue to stay high.

Spring has arrived for much of North America, with the western Canadian resorts as well as those further south in the American Rockies and California seeing mild weather and mostly sunny skies, with only light cloud and minimal precipitation. The exception to this was the East Coast resorts in the United States, which were in line for some stormy conditions providing good amounts of fresh snow.

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

Zermatt, Switzerland , 170cm
La Grave, France, 130cm
Passo Tonale, Italy, 126cm

After a sunny Monday, some Austria resorts saw cloud and snow on Tuesday and Wednesday. Though this did not fall in huge quantities, some worthwhile amounts include 15cm over Obergurgl (100/265cm) on Tuesday and 20cm on the summit of Finkenberg (5/170cm) and Hintertux (165/325cm); while a number of other resorts saw 5-10cm, enough to freshen up the slopes and continue to allow plenty of enjoyable skiing. However, others areas, such as the Gastein Valley have yet to see new snow since the last major fall on the 20th/21st February, leading to firm slopes from regular grooming, and minimal enjoyable off piste conditions.

For the most part the weather has gone full circle, with Thursday delivering another bright day. This provided a great opportunity to take advantage of the new snow, with the pistes not looking too crowded. There was the risk however that the slopes would once again risk becoming slightly soft, especially those facing south in the sun as the temperatures creep above freezing in many areas. The forecasts continue to indicate the risk of rain this weekend due to high temperatures, with Sunday looking like a day to potentially avoid the lower slopes in the vast majority of resorts. Until then it looks as if the bright, spring like days will continue.

What a great way to start a Thursday, with plenty of fresh snow and glorious sunny weather.~ The majority of our featured French resorts have recorded a good amount of snowfall, and predominantly sunny weather with the odd cloudy spell. Argentiere (100cm/405cm) and Chamonix (100cm/405cm) woke up to 60cm of fresh snow overnight, and with sunny weather to compliment the snowfall and most lifts being open it has resulted in fantastic skiing conditions. La Clusaz (45cm/370cm) recorded 35cm of fresh snow which refreshed the slope quality, and led lovely skiing conditions. The only exception in terms of weather was in Font Romeu (150cm/150cm), as the resort is experiencing overcast skies. This sunny weather is expected to continue through today (Friday), with snow then starting to fall again on Saturday. Orcieres (160cm/220cm) is forecast the largest amount from our featured French resorts, with 36cm of fresh snow expected by Sunday. Isola 2000 (200cm/300cm) and Puy St Vincent (165cm/220cm) have both forecast 26cm by the same date.

A great days skiing was on offer in Switzerland on Thursday, where clear or partly cloudy skies dominated the scene, and fresh snow over the last 48 hours provided some nice turns.

Saas Fee (120/440cm) and Zermatt (145/350cm) looked particularly nice; basking in the sun with temperatures of around -5C at resort level. However, at the latter only 21/52 lifts were spinning in the area.

Around Davos/Klosters (125/259cm) there has been a welcome 18cm of fresh snow, whilst near by the conditions at Arosa (130/200cm) have been greatly improved by 20cm in the last 24 hours.

For the majority the weather is expected to stay fair through Friday. A band of low pressure is expected to move in over Saturday, leaving some sizeable accumulations of snow in wake through next week.

Less snow has fallen across Italy across the western resorts in the past few days than in the week or so before though there should still be plenty of soft snow to be skied away from the busiest slopes. Elsewhere, The Dolomites have seen some light dustings to keep the pistes fresh; as well as moderate amounts in Northern Italy, such as 15cm of snow in Passo Tonale (60/250cm). This has not fallen everywhere however, with resorts such as Bormio (40/60cm) and Val Senales (150/260cm) missing out.

As with much of the rest of the Alps, Thursday was a gloriously bright sunny day with barely a cloud in site across the country; with today looking like it will be much the same.

Temperatures are on the rise again around freezing, and look to stay that way right through the weekend where large snowfall is forecast. This is primarily expected over eastern and northern Italy, with 30-50cm of potentially quite wet snow expected to come down most heavily on Sunday.

Thursday saw some nice skiing in Andorra under largely overcast skies. Conditions remain very good, with little change but for around 3cm of fresh snow in the Grandvalira area at resorts such as Soldeu (130/210cm) and Pas de la Casa (150/200cm). Light snowfall/rain is expected to start to fall over the weekend, building to larger accumulations of snow on Wednesday 14th March.

Another period of low temperatures without new snow across Finland, with the same bright skies over solid pistes in Levi (85cm) and Yllas (100cm), while Ruka (78cm) was somewhat cloudier. Beyond news the temperature and visibility, the conditions are disappointingly underwhelming with hard slopes all round.

Both of our featured Swedish resorts saw more new dustings of fresh snow, with 16cm over the past 3 days in Are (114cm), while 7cm over Salen (135cm). These have kept the pistes looking fresh, aided by ideal temperatures - cold but not too cold.

New snow over Hemsedal (175cm), the upper slopes of Lillehammer (60/223cm) and 6cm over Tyrsil on Tuesday. Weather wise, there were cloudy skies over much of the country with limited visibility in most instances limiting any attempts to take advantage of the modest snowfalls. Be especially hesitant about those resorts who have not seen new snow though, where you're more likely to stumble across very solid snow.

As we enter the latter stages of the winter season the slope conditions in German featured resorts has been getting slightly getting worse. Oberstdorf (15cm/210cm) had recorded 10cm of fresh snow overnight, which has gone a long way to refresh slope quality, but this will only temporarily help as mild temperatures are creeping in. Other snowfalls were recorded in Feldberg (28cm/74cm) and Garmisch Partenkirchen (220cm/380cm), with both seeing 5cm. This current mild and sunny weather until the end of the week.

In our Bulgarian featured there has very unpleasant weather with overcast skies. However, through the thick clouds there could be some snowfall, which is the only silver lining at the moment.

In the Czech Republic, Spindleruv Mlyn (50cm/80cm) has enjoyed 15cm of fresh snow over the past 2 days with the snow continuing into Thursday. Sochi - Rosa Khutor (45cm/424cm) seems to be having the best season so far in terms of snow conditions from our featured Eastern European resorts. Another 19cm of fresh was recorded overnight. However with slightly warmer temperatures, this has led to a mixture of rain and snow today which in turn will harm slope conditions. A further 2cm of snow is expected over Saturday.

The weather has settled down a bit in Scotland, allowing for some lovely skiing on Thursday. Glencoe (180/290cm) is offering a superb base depth, but visibility is somewhat limited in the west due to current snowfall. In the east the groomers at Cairngorm (80/130cm) have been doing a fantastic job to provide great on piste skiing, which is a tad icy or hard packed in places. The Lecht (90/125cm) was looking really nice on Thursday, with some nice breaks in the weather to enjoy the snow of late. Expect some fresh snow up high or rain at times lower down over the weekend.

Our featured New England resorts look to be on the up again, with a new weather system that was forecast to deliver substantial fresh snow over Thursday and Friday, just in time for some great weekend skiing. This had begun to fall overnight into Thursday, with 10cm already recorded in Stowe (61/122cm), a more impressive 20cm in Sugarbush (40/130cm) and plenty more on the way there and elsewhere.

In contrast, it seems as if spring has well and truly arrived in the Rockies, with sunny skies and temperatures well above freezing. It's a good job the recent snow fell prior to the temperature rise, though with the forecast showing it continuing to stay above zero, it may result in increasingly icy conditions in the morning and soft snow in the afternoon as it goes through freeze thaw cycles. Equally, the recent snowfall certainly attracted its fair share of skiers, with much of the off piste heavily tracked, especially in Utah where the snow fell the heaviest.

The massive snowstorm over California had completely moved off by mid-week, and while its effects are still being enjoyed, brighter skies were increasingly common, as are heavily tracked out conditions off piste thanks to all the weekend visitors who came to ski the storm of the season.

Sunny skies and increasing daylight is giving some great skiing in Canada, with all the benefits spring brings including warming temperatures (though not to warm - don't fear any slushy slopes). Though there has been minimal new snow than the past weekend saw, the pistes will still be in great shape, though you will increasingly struggle to find untracked off piste without venturing quite a distance from established trails.

Further east in Quebec, there were cloudy skies over Mont Sainte Anne (50/251cm), with new snow having been recorded over Tremblant (60cm), though only 3cm. However, it does look like both resorts can expect continuing light snowfall over the coming days.

Hakuba (95/390cm) while having plenty of snow still on the ground continues to have a majorly lacklustre March in terms of new snowfall, having recorded only 11cm. Instead there has been a mix of warm bright days, while when clouds do arrive they unfortunately deliver rain. It's a somewhat happier story in Niseko, who while despite not seeing massive new amounts of snow still outpaces Hakuba while also luckily staying colder. There is also a more limited selection of trails available in Rusutsu (250/280cm), with Mt Isola currently offering limited skiing opportunities.


Story Image

Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:

Email other comments made to this story

NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
2019 ABTA Travel Convention in Japan - Good Idea ?
YES 53.63 %
NO 46.37 %

Thank you for your vote

Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!

Sponsored features

Wow, it's a game changer!

Welcome to the world of Stuba!

Stuba is the unified brand following the merger of getabed and roomsXML. is a brand new website, showcasing the very best product and technology  from the combined business