Spring conditions across Europe are offering hard packed slopes for the first run of the day and then softer conditions as the morning heats up. If you prefer more firmly packed snow then stick to sheltered, north facing and higher altitude slopes. Spring skiing can be great fun though and with good snow cover across most resorts, especially on the higher slopes this is a great time to be skiing. The Pyrenees has some superb riding on offer at the moment due to the amount of snow that has fallen there this season, so if you prefer deeper snow cover this can be a good choice. Lots of fresh snow fell in central and western areas of America. 25cm fell at Heavenly in California and the same amount fell on many resorts in Colorado. Most Canadian resorts have received fresh snow over the weekend too and as a result the skiing in Canada is very good at the moment.
As you may expect for this time of year, Spring riding conditions dominate across the Austrian resorts and some have already closed for the season. If you like Spring riding on hard snow at first that then softens as the day progresses, then this is a great time to be skiing or snowboarding. If you want more consistent conditions then focus your attention on the higher and north facing slopes. The higher altitude resorts, such as Hintertux (30/400cm), Kaunertal (327/363cm), Pitztal (263/315cm) and Solden (0/280cm), have the deepest snow bases in the country, along with the Stubai glacier skiing area at Neustift (35/350cm). The SkiWelt resorts, including Ellmau, Soll, Scheffau, Hopfgarten and Westendorf, all closed for the winter ski season on Sunday 30th March, as did Seefeld. A sunny start to the week is expected to move aside for cloudier skies as we move through the week, which could see wet weather especially below 2,600m.
Spring riding conditions exist across France, so if you do not want the snow to be wet and heavy in the afternoon, then head high and stay on slopes with a northerly aspect. It is normal to ski on hard packed snow for the first few runs, which then softens through the morning as the temperature rises, so it is no surprise that the conditions are like this and in general the skiing conditions are actually very good. Some of the best snow can be enjoyed at the higher altitude resorts such as Val d'Isere (91/160cm), Val Thorens (120/230cm) and Tignes (91/210cm) although the Pyrenean resorts such as Cauterets (330/430cm) and Bareges/La Mongie (150/325cm) have excellent conditions too, following a great season of snowfall. Resorts in the Southern Alps such as Isola 2000 (170/315cm), Foux d'Allos (100/280cm) and Pra Loup (60/245cm) are enjoying excellent riding conditions too for this time of year. This week could see wet weather hit the majority of ski areas as clouds are expected, combined with the freezing level rising to around 2,700m. It could then rise even higher than this level next week, exceeding the 3,000m mark
As with the rest of the Alps at the moment, Switzerland has some excellent skiing and snow conditions on offer. The fresh snow that fell last week means there's still some good powder around off piste. The higher the resort, the better the snow. Lower areas have slushy pistes and lots of bare patches off piste. The open runs still provide great snow through but it's becoming increasingly limited low down. Eastern Swiss resorts, such as Davos (37/149cm) received a good amount of fresh snow last week too and they're still enjoying the powder off piste. Lower areas down towards Klosters (17/149cm) are a bit thinner and more Spring-like but this is to be expected at this time of year.
Spring conditions dominate across the majority of Italy, after a sunny and largely warm week. Fantastic skiing can be found at most resorts, particularly in the Dolomites. Places like Cortina (80/200cm) have lots of snow and the whole ski area has fantastic skiing on offer. Most lower and south facing runs have slushy snow from the word go but this is to be expected as we're almost in April and this snow is still lots of fun to ski.
A dusting of snowfall landed at the Andorran resorts at the end of the weekend, although this was not enough to significantly change the skiing conditions. Spring riding conditions exist across the resorts, although this is no bad thing. The base depths are very good due to the snowfall that the Pyrenees has received this season, and you can still ski well over a metre of snow at most locations. The lower slope base depth at Soldeu (70/180cm) is below this measure though, and does get soft in the afternoon, but cover is still very good. The weather is forecast to remain predominantly sunny for the first half of this week before clouds move in, bringing a chance of wet weather.
Spring conditions dominate across the majority of Norway but there's still plenty of snow in most places, particularly inland. It was 2C at Hemsedal (160/183cm) on Monday 31st March, providing excellent conditions from top to bottom. The lower areas and bits exposed to the sun have softer snow but this is expected for the time of year. It's a similar story in Sweden, although there was a dusting of snow at Are (45/70cm). The whole ski area is still open, offering excellent conditions in the run up to the Easter period. They're expected to remain open until early May and Are is a great place to ski late season.
The mild weather is taking its toll on German ski resorts now and some areas are only open for weekend skiing. Berchtesgaden (60cm) is now closed for midweek skiing, partly due to dwindling snow levels and lack of demand. Higher resorts are better though and Garmisch (120/270cm) has an excellent snow base, especially higher up. The Zugspitze Glacier had all of its lifts running on Monday 31st March and is definitely the pick of the German resorts if you prefer your snow more wintry.
The riding at Bansko (0/150cm) is now limited to the top half of the mountain, although the cover up there is good and spring riding can be enjoyed. More complete piste cover can be enjoyed at Borovets (30/120cm) and Pamporovo (40/65cm).
A fairly murky weekend in Scotland meant that snow melt was kept to a minimum and snow conditions remained fairly good. There's still plenty of snow in the higher Scottish resorts. Glencoe (120/425cm) was open on Monday 31st March with generally good weather. It was windy higher up but the majority of lifts were open, unlike neighbours Nevis Range (40/330cm). The wind was too strong here and kept the ski area closed for the day. The Lecht is still closed due to a lack of snow but will reopen if they get sufficient fresh snow.
It's still snowing in Colorado, with up to 25cm of fresh snow to greet people on Monday morning in many of the resorts. Loveland (229cm) was one of these, with 23cm of fresh snow on the morning of Monday 31st March. It's been a fantastic month for them and they're in excellent shape as they head into the penultimate month of their winter season. It was also snowing down in California, giving much needed fresh snow to Heavenly (137cm) and Mammoth (127/203cm) with around 25cm at each. This significantly improves conditions and while they still have far less snow than usual, conditions are great across the whole mountains. The Montana resort of Big Sky (218/320cm) also received fresh snow. They've received almost twice the average snowfall for March and 41 of the last 50 days have had fresh snow. They're in superb shape as they head into April.
Excellent riding conditions exist across the Canadian resorts thanks to more wintry weather delivering fresh snowfall over the weekend. Blue Mountain (120cm) is reporting fresh snow, as well as Revelstoke (277cm) which reported 20cm on Sunday 30th March. The riding at the start of this week is superb as a result of the new snow. Fernie (402cm) received 2cm more than this on Saturday 29th and with a snow base in excess of four metres the skiing is superb. Further snowfall is expected this week too, although the precipitation may be wet at Blue Mountain. Whistler (295cm) could receive over 30cm by next week.
Quite a warm and wet week is expected in the majority of the Alps this week, with freezing levels ranging between 2,500m and 3,000m on and off. Resorts such as La Plagne and Val d'Isere are likely to get rain below about 2,400m from time to time but it will fall as snow higher up. It's similar in Austria and Switzerland too, although maybe a little more sunshine and less rain.
Snow is expected for the majority of the coming week in Colorado and Wyoming, although not amounting to more than around 20cm over the course of it. It will also be fairly cold, with freezing levels below the bases of most resorts, especially in Colorado. Breckenridge should have temperatures around -6C and is likely to pick up around 15cm of snow through the course of the week. Canada should be fairly snowy for the time of year too. 35cm is expected to fall over the course of the week at Whistler, with a temperature remaining low for the time of year. It should fall as snow down to around 1000m, which is only just above the base.