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Snowfall eases a little around the globe but hits Jackson Hole, Whistler and Courchevel

Jackson Hole reported a big dump of snow this past week... Wax up the skis and get out there the mountain is calling!

Jackson Hole reported a big dump of snow this past week… Wax up the skis and get out there the mountain is calling!

 

Heavy snowfalls of the last seven days have eased off in most areas, although the podium medals are awarded to  Jackson Hole, Whistler and Courchevel this week for recording the largest amount of fresh new snow this past week.  Elsewhere, there has been more fresh snow, just not the huge volumes of previous weeks.

Snowbases across the board  are still accumulating and remain in good shape for the remaining 5-10 weeks of the ski season. The base at Mt Baker (Washington), officially the world’s snowiest resort, is passed the 4m (15 feet) marker, not far behind the current world number one for depth, the Passo Tonale glacier in Italy which has more than five metres (18 feet) lying.  The forecast is calling for more snow on both sides of the Atlantic as we head into the final weeks of winter.

Alps and Paralympics

Sochi - Getting honest snow reports from Sochi can be challenging.  Or at least reports that tell the whole picture.  They’re currently reporting about 5cm of fresh snow and a 2.2m base with the Paralympics due to startin a week’s time. But with all the balmy spring weather during the Olympics are the Paralympics going to be known as the ‘Summer’ Games?

Austria - Most ski areas in Austria reported a 10-20cm (5-8”) top up of their snow cover in the past week although Ischgl (which along with Lech reported 25cm (10”) in 24 hours at the weekend) and the Stubai have done a little better with about 30 and 40cm (15”), respectively.  Snow depths are impressive on the country’s glaciers – good news for spring summer 2014 – with most, including Hintertux, Stubai, Kaunertal and Pitztal on 2.7 – 3.5m – 9 – nearly 12′.  Across the country things continue to look much better than one to two months ago, although the lowest depths remain in the Skiwelt 30-60 cm (1-2′) and Mayrhofen (5” – 2.5′).

France - It’s been another snowy week in France, with many areas in the alps and Pyrenees receiving up to a foot of fresh cover, and some as much as double that.  The resorts of La Clusaz, La Rosiere, La Plagne and Meribel are among resorts reporting 20-25cm of snow as well as resorts  like Puy St Vincent and Serre Chevalier reportedly received similar amounts of snow accumulation.  This follows on from similar falls reported at the weekend by resorts like Chamonix and Tignes, the former reporting more-than-half-a-metre of fresh snow in the past seven days. All major French ski areas now report at least a 1.2m (4′) base on upper slopes, some as much as 3.3m (11′) – so all are looking good for the remainder of the season.

Italy - It has been one of the quietest snowfall weeks in a while in Italy although the usual suspects – Alagna and Cortina – who have had at times dangerously excessive snowfalls this winter – were among the bigger beneficiaries of the last week each receiving around a foot of new snow – most other Italian resorts have reported 10-20cm (5-11”).  Passo Topnale on 5.1m (15′) and Madesimo on 5m continue to claim the world’s deepest snow bases.  A fresh wave of snowfall is currently moving across the country with Asiago in the West reporting a 20cm fall yesterday.

Switzerland  - 20-40cm (10-15”) of fresh snow has been reported across Swiss slopes over the past week with Verbier topping the fresh snow tally – 40cm this week, half of it in the past 24 hours. Others recently posting 20cm or so of new powder in 24 hours include Les Diablerets and Champery.  Andermatt still has the country’s deepest snow base, stuck around the 4m mark, with Saas Fee and Zermatt only a few feet less.

Pyrenees - Conditions remain good in Andorra and across the Pyrenees.  There was 10cm of fresh snow on Wednesday at the region’s largest area, Grandvalira, where the snow there is more than seven-and-a-half feet deep (230cm), although it’s deeper still in parts of Vallnord at 2.6m, meaning the region looks set to complete its second epic winter in a row.

Scandinavia - In common with most of Western Europe, conditions remain good in most of Scandinavia, although there’s less fresh snow this week, a 20cm overnight fall at Voss over the weekend one of the biggest reported.  Lillehammer still has the deepest snow in the region at 2.5m (9.5′), while ski centres in Sweden, such as Are, and in Lapland, are closer to their usual 50-70cm, with a couple of inches of fresh snow reported at the weekend to freshen things up.

Eastern Europe - Parts of Eastern Europe have seen only received their first significant snowfalls for a month, dramatically improving conditions.  In Bulgaria snow reports have reported 15-30cm (6-12”) of new now over the past week. Snow depths are around the metre (3′) mark with Bansko seeing the biggest accumulation (30cm) and deepest base (1.2m).  Poiana Brasov in Romania has also had 5cm of fresh snow but depths remain a scant 3.0cm on upper runs.

Scotland - More astonishing snow reports from Scotland where it just keeps snowing as it rains everywhere else in Britain.  Most of the runs that can be open, are open, and where they’re not its usually down to too much snow overwhelming lift systems rather than too little cover.  Glencoe’s reported base of nearly 5m is almost world beating.  There are the usual Scottish issues of changeable weather, with those strong winds a recurring problem, but stunning days in between so as usual if you can make it, check ahead on the day before setting out.

North America

Canada - Fresh snow has been reported across Canada with 20cm (8”) of snow at Le Massif in the East on Sunday, the same day as Grouse mountain above Vancouver in the west reported 30cm (12”).  Over the past week as a whole though it has been Western resorts that have continued to play catch up with Whistler BlackComb one of the snowiest resorts on the planet clocking up more than two feet of fresh snow.   Most Western areas now have, or are close to, two metres of snow on their upper slopes but Mont Ste Anne in Quebec, which added 15cm (6”) of cover this week, continues to have the biggest base at 275cm (just over nine feet).

USA - More fresh snow in the US in recent days, though not huge falls, with one exception.  The snow has been falling in Colorado all week – on and off – and Crested Butte just posted a 23cm accumulation earlier this week, following similar falls reported at Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain sand many others over the last week.  However the near metre of snow that has been accumulated by Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the most reported anywhere in the world this week and more than double the next biggest snowfall in the US, is the stand out tally for the past seven days.  On the east there’s been some new snow too, with Stowe reporting 15cm/six inches.

With files from the J2ski news report


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