After weeks of sunshine most of Europe is expecting cloudier days this week, which could bring new snow. Austria should receive light snow towards the end of the week with Obergurgl anticipating up to 10cm. The most snow however, is expected in France and Switzerland. Alpe d'Huez and Les Deux Alpes are expecting a much-needed dump on Thursday and could accumulate 25cm over the next week and a half. In Switzerland Verbier should receive the most snow with increasing cloud cover brining almost 20cm before this time next week.
The brilliant early-season conditions in North America are set to continue with scattered snowfalls through the week. After a slower start to the winter Alyeska is expecting almost 30cm to build up over next weekend, with Big Sky and Jackson Hole expecting similar amounts. Most Canadian resorts are expecting plenty of snow this week with the majority set to fall in British Columbia. Revelstoke and Kicking Horse are looking forward to over half a metre this week. On the east coast Tremblant and Mont Sainte-Anne will continue their excellent starts to the season, with over 10cm more fresh snow due before next weekend.
There was some much needed snowfall at some Austrian resorts this weekend but conditions are still mostly hard-packed. Kaunertal (90/135cm) received the most new snow on Friday 13th December with up to 15cm falling at high altitudes. The fresh snow, on top of a decent hard-packed snow base, provided excellent conditions throughout the weekend. Lech (55/65cm) and Zurs (55/65cm) both enjoyed 10cm of new snow on Friday to improve their on-piste conditions, while many other resorts received light dustings on the same day. The Ski Welt area had between 2cm and 5cm of new snow on Friday to give a soft covering to hard pistes at resorts including Westendorf (10/55cm) Scheffau (30/50cm) and Ellmau. Cloud cover is set to increase across Austria as the week goes on which hopefully will mean more snow is to come.
There was a light dusting of new snow at Bareges/La Mongie (70/145cm) and Cauterets (60/110cm) this weekend but most resorts are still in need of more snow. Both resorts received up to 5cm on Friday 14th December to slightly improve hard-packed conditions on piste. Most of the French Alps enjoyed more bright and sunny weather this weekend which continued across ski areas on Monday 16th December. Tignes (40/120cm) still has excellent on-piste skiing available at high altitudes. More terrain opened up in the Three Valleys this weekend with Courchevel (33/78cm) and Meribel (25/78cm) firing up more lifts. La Tania (25/78cm) also opened for the season this weekend. Patchy off-piste conditions are starting to spread to some runs in Les Deux Alpes (15/170cm) but moderate levels of new snow are forecast for later this week around the French Alps
It was another very sunny weekend in Switzerland with no fresh snow to report in the majority of places. The upper slopes at Saas Fee (23/225cm) have plenty of snow on them after a snowy November, but since the start of December there hasn't really been any fresh snow. They've been running the snow cannons though so on-piste conditions are still very good, but off-piste skiing is very limited at the moment. Fresh snow is expected on Thursday 19th December which should significantly boost conditions. Between 10cm and 15cm is expected at the majority of ski areas so while not a powder day, it will give a great boost to the skiable areas.
Light snow at some Italian resorts this weekend began to improve conditions after weeks of sunny weather. Arabba (45/118cm) received 8cm on Friday 13th December to make for an excellent weekend of skiing which was mostly sunny and clear. Cavalese (2/55cm) also received a light dusting on Friday but, like most European resorts, is still providing mostly hard-packed conditions.
The sun is still shining at most Andorran resorts. The snow is hard-packed both on and off piste as no new snow has fallen since the beginning of December. Pas de la Casa (90/160cm) and Soldeu (90/160cm) in Grandvalira both have excellent coverage thanks to heavy snow at the start of the season. In the Vallnord region the best skiing can be found on piste at both Arcalis (40/110cm) and Pal/Arinsal (50/80cm). The forecast is predicting increasing cloud cover as the week goes on for all four resorts which will hopefully bring some more snow.
Norway enjoyed good snowfall this weekend with Hemsedal (25/50cm) receiving the most new snow. The resort was hit by over 20cm across the weekend with 8cm falling on Monday 16th December. There were also excellent on-piste conditions at Geilo (31/50cm) on Monday. 14cm of fresh snow fell at the resort on Saturday 14th December and there was a light dusting the following day. Resorts in the Lillehammer area also received between 5cm and 10cm on Sunday, making for good skiing on Monday morning.
There was light snowfall in Germany over the weekend that slightly improved hard-packed early-season conditions at some resorts. Feldberg (25/35cm) enjoyed around 5cm of new snow on Friday 14th December. Lenggries (30/50cm) and Spitzingsee (48/48cm) received slightly less but still provided good skiing on groomed runs on Monday 16th December. Like much of Europe, resorts in Germany are all experiencing consistent bright, sunny weather.
There are good conditions at most Bulgarian resorts after the season got underway this weekend. Bansko (20/30cm) and Borovets (20/70cm) have good skiing on firmly-packed runs as there has been no recent snowfall. Pamporovo (20/35cm) however received a light dusting before this weekend to improve the pistes.
Cairngorm has enjoyed clear skies for the last few days and the weather has taken its toll on the snowbase. There is very little snow and conditions are being reviewed on a daily basis.
It's finally the turn of the east coast of America to receive the fresh snow and cold weather, after a warm winter so far. Sunday River (76cm) had a snowy weekend, with around 30cm falling over Saturday and Sunday. On Monday 16th December the temperature was a cool -17C so the snow is in superb condition. It's a similar story at Stowe (40/50cm) and Sugarbush (45/115cm). Their base depths are both significantly deeper than last week. In Colorado it was a reasonably dry weekend with no fresh snow falling. They've had a great season so far so this sunny weather is welcome for a change. At Breckenridge (86cm) there were 26 lifts running on Sunday 15th December and it should remain this way in the weeks running up to Christmas. The forecast is for a sunny and mild week but it will be turning a lot colder with some fresh snow by the end of the week.
Most Canadian resorts all continued to receive consistent snowfall this weekend with the most falling on the east coast once again. Tremblant (70/85cm) enjoyed powder skiing on Monday 16th December after 15cm fell on Sunday 15th December. The resort has been hit by over half a metre in the last seven days. On the west coast, Kicking Horse (87/87cm) and Red Mountain (85/85cm) kicked off their winter seasons this weekend and a light dusting of snow improved the pistes on Sunday. Kimberly is now also open after enjoying the best start to a season in 22 years. Banff (54/97cm) continues to provide excellent snow conditions and 8cm of new snow on Sunday at Sunshine Village improved the pistes further still.