Lots of fresh snow fell across Europe over the weekend, with powder on and off piste in many resorts in France. Up to 20cm fell in much of Austria and Switzerland, with higher resorts offering the best of the fresh powder. The snow continues to fall in Italy, particularly the Dolomites. Another 20cm was reported at Cortina on Monday 10th February.
It's warmed up a little in Canada but it was still -21C at Banff on Sunday. The snow is in good condition but there hasn't been much fresh snow in a while, so it's quite packed away from the groomed runs. Almost a metre of fresh snow fell at Squaw Valley over the weekend. This almost doubled their snow total for the season as it's been extremely dry so far. UP to 40cm of fresh snow fell across Colorado too so there's plenty of powder to be found in the USA at the moment.
Many Austrian resorts enjoyed between 10 and 20cm of fresh snow over the weekend, which has significantly boosted their conditions both on and off piste. 10cm fell at Ellmau (40/70cm). The low resort doesn't have a huge snow base but the grassy runs mean their current base depth is more than enough to provide excellent skiing. The 10cm of fresh snow means off piste has improved, with a nice layer of soft snow on top of a firmer base. Obergurgl (95/200cm) reported 17cm of fresh snow on Sunday 9th February. The Ski Club leader skiing there on Sunday spoke of fantastic powder skiing on and off piste all day long. 20 of their 21 lifts were running on Monday 10th February so there is plenty of skiing available.
The conditions across the French resorts have dramatically changed with the heavy snowfall at the end of last week and over the weekend. Resorts across the Alps and Pyrenees have benefitted from new snow. In the Portes du Soleil connections between the various areas were affected by strong winds and snowfall on Sunday 9th February, but powder conditions could be enjoyed on most slopes, on and off piste. The deepest snow base on the upper slopes in France was reported at Foux d'Allos (240/330cm) on Monday 10th February although Samoens (115/320cm), Flaine (115/320cm) and Isola 2000 all report over 3 metres of snow on their higher slopes. The Ski Club Leader in Flaine reported run after run of powder conditions in Flaine on Sunday. It was a great weekend to be skiing in France further snowfall is expected is expected this week. The sun may make an appearance mid-week to provide improved visibility before the clouds move back in towards next weekend. A rise in temperature on Friday could see some rain affecting the skiing conditions.
The Swiss resorts did not report as much fresh snow as some other European locations on Monday 10th February, but the skiing is still very good at the moment. Strong winds at some locations did affect lift operations on Monday though. Sass Fee (107/342cm), Villars (30/130cm), Adelboden (50/60cm), Anzere (25/120cm), Arosa (70/100cm), Crans Montana (20/200cm), Grindelwald (45/127cm), Gstaad (58/240cm), Lenk (25/80cm), Lenzerheide (70/90cm), Les Diablerets (75/120cm), Pontresina (145/149cm) and Villars (30/130cm) all had significantly reduced lift numbers running on Monday and Engelberg (49/310cm) had all lifts closed. The wind is forecast to ease for Tuesday 11th February, and the sun should win through. Clouds will then move in again for Thursday 13th February, with further snowfall expected at the end of this week and over the weekend.
Italian resorts have arguably the best skiing in the Alps at the moment, especially in the Dolomites. Cortina d'Ampezzo (165/320cm) enjoyed another snowy day on Monday 10th February and their base depth is well above what it would usually be at this time of year. The whole ski area was open on Monday and although visibility was poor with the snowfall, the conditions made for an excellent day's skiing. Further west it's great too. Sauze d'Oulx (120/160cm) received 25cm of fresh snow on Friday 7th February and conditions are excellent on and off piste.
It was snowing in Andorra on Monday 10th February. Around 10-15cm fell at most resorts, giving excellent skiing on and off piste. It's also colder than usual, with a temperature of -7C at Arcalis (100/200cm). Nearby Soldeu (90/200cm) also received fresh snow. The Ski Club leader based there said the skiing was great on Sunday and the fresh snow on Monday only improved things further.
Another 10cm of fresh snow fell at Hemsedal (160/165cm). They have a fantastic base depth now with great snow on and off piste. The fresh snow fell on top of more snow late last week so there is great powder to be found. A few centimetres of snow fell at Are (45/54cm). They haven't had as much snow as neighbouring Norway have but conditions are good across the mountain.
The best skiing is available on the higher slopes at the German resorts. Garmisch (80/190cm) and Oberstdorf (40/155cm) both have more than a metre of snow on their upper slopes with excellent conditions. The lower slopes at Reit im Winkl (5/90cm) and Spitzingsee (49/89cm) suffered a reduction in base depth over the weekend although good skiing can still be enjoyed on their upper pistes. Changeable weather is expected this week across the German resorts, with the brightest conditions on Wednesday 12th February. Wet weather is forecast at the end of this week.
Our featured Bulgarian resorts are still enjoying the fresh snow that fell at the beginning of last week. There has been no new snow at Bansko (30/100cm), Borovets (70/80cm) and Pamporovo (70/110cm) this weekend. However, mostly sunny skies during the week and decent on-piste skiing was on offer.
The snow just won't stop falling in Scotland and most of the resorts now claim to have more snow than their recent record season of 2009-10. The snow at Glencoe (180/370cm) is fast approaching four metres deep now and many of the lifts are having to be dug out after each snowfall. Consistently cold weather has prevented the snow from melting much and it keeps piling up. Conditions are superb on and off piste so now is the perfect time to head to Scotland. It's very similar at Cairngorm (120/250cm). While the base depth isn't as great as Glencoe, the snow coverage is fantastic and powder can be enjoyed from top to bottom. Four of their 12 lifts were running on Monday 10th February, with heavy snow showers and squally winds preventing the running of some of the more exposed lifts.
Loads of new snow fell in many parts of the USA this weekend. Resorts from California right through to Vermont received big dumps of fresh snowfall including areas where it's desperately needed. Squaw Valley (51/178cm) received a truly huge 97cm of fresh snow on Sunday 9th February. Understandably this meant the resort was closed on Sunday due to a high avalanche risk but once they reopen there should be waist deep powder skiing and boarding on offer. This has almost doubled their base depth and snow total for the season so far and is a huge boost to their season. The storm didn't spare Colorado either, with many resorts reporting between 30cm and 40cm of fresh snow over the weekend. Arapahoe Basin (185cm) reported another 35cm of fresh snow on Sunday 9th February in what has been a superb 2014 so far. Big Sky (140/224cm) in Montana reported 43cm of fresh snow on Sunday too, so it's a great time to be skiing there.
There are extremely cold and sunny conditions at most of our featured Canadian resorts at the moment but little new snow. Temperatures on Thursday 6th February fell below -17C at Big White (163/208cm) and Sun Peaks (104/143cm). Both resorts enjoyed light dustings of snow on Wednesday 5th February and there are great conditions on piste. Off-piste conditions at most resorts are quite varied with little snowfall in the last couple of weeks. However, cool conditions and sunny skies made for great on-piste skiing throughout this week.
The forecast this week is for very similar weather across the European skiing locations. The weather is expected to brighten up for Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th February before clouds return for the end of this week. The good news is that the clouds should bring further snowfall to the higher slopes, although rain could fall lower down. The freezing level on Friday 14th February is predicted to sit above 2000m. The Scottish resorts are expecting cloudy and snowy weather for most of this week and here the freezing level will remain at around 500m. The sun may win through towards the end of the week.
NORTH AMERICAN OUTLOOK
Further fresh snowfall is expected across the American resorts, with some brighter spells at times. The heaviest snowfall is forecast for Timberline, where over 90cm could land by Tuesday 18th February. Whistler in Canada can beat that total though. Almost a metre and a half of new snow is forecast to fall over that period, to provide fantastic fresh snow skiing. All of our featured Canadian resorts are expecting new snow, from 15cm at Tremblant up to the 148cm at Whistler.