It may be Spring, but fresh snow has fallen at many European resorts this week. The heaviest snowfall has been reported in France and Austria, with up to 10cm of new snow landing on slopes above 2,000m. Unfortunately wet weather has affected areas below the 2,000m mark. On Thursday 10th April the weather was much improved with bright sunny skies providing excellent visibility to enjoy the Spring riding conditions at most ski areas.
It's looking a lot more Spring-like in America now with higher temperatures and sunnier skies. Breckenridge were reporting great conditions across the mountain on Thursday. Fresh snow has been reported at a number of Canadian ski areas this week, although the Skeena heli-ski area takes the prize with 70cm of fresh providing excellent skiing for their closing week.
Fresh snow has fallen on the higher slopes at a number of Austrian resorts this week, although below about 2,000m the precipitation has fallen as rain. The Kitzsteinhorn glacier skiing area at Kaprun (100/210cm) was in superb shape on Thursday 10th April with 10cm of snow on the ground for skiers in the morning and more falling through the day. The visibility was somewhat limited by the snowy conditions though. The cloudy weather is expected to last throughout the weekend and into next week across Austria, with the freezing level expected to rise to over 2,500m over the weekend.
Bright, sunny weather dominated the French skiing scene on Thursday 10th April, although cloudy skies dominated earlier this week. The clouds brought snow to some resorts, although rain fell below about 2,000m. Fresh snow was reported this week in the Three Valleys, Espace Killy, Chamonix, Paradiski and Grand Massif ski areas as well as at Alpe d'Huez (71/200cm) and La Grave (30/160cm). This was not a huge amount, but 10cm landed at some locations. Cauterets (340/420cm) in the Pyrenees reports the deepest snow base of our featured French resorts. While fresh snow may not have fallen this week, Cauterets still holds the title for the most new snow received over the last seven days in France: 50cm fell on 4th April. Cloudy skies are expected in France across the weekend and into next week. With the freezing level exceeding 2,500m at times over this period, rain will affect many slopes. The higher mountain areas should see fresh snowfall over this period, with Val d'Isere (63/142cm) forecast over 30cm of fresh at 2,700m by Good Friday.
Sunny weather has dominated for the majority of the week in Switzerland, aside from a few dustings of snow earlier this week in higher resorts. Lower slopes have Spring snow, being firm early on but quickly turning softer and then slushy as the afternoon goes on.
It's been quite a varied week in Italy, with some resorts in the west receiving rain or fresh snow, while others in the east have had almost constant blazing sunshine. Skiing is becoming more limited now in the Dolomites, with Cortina (36/100cm) only operating 14 of its 44 lifts on Thursday 10th April. The snow conditions are good though, with typical Spring conditions across the mountains. In the west there was a dusting of snow at Sauze d'Oulx (60/120cm) on Thursday but only up high. Below 2,200m the precipitation fell as rain but 3cm of snow on the upper slopes made for great skiing.
Fantastically sunny weather on Thursday 10th April, combined with high temperatures, provided lovely Spring riding conditions across the Andorran resorts. Further sunny spells are expected as we move into the weekend although clouds will be present too. Arcalis (150/280cm) in the Vallnord ski area reports the deepest base in Andorra with a metre and a half on the lower slopes and well over two and a half metres up high.
More fresh snow has fallen across many Norwegian resorts this week, with up to 20cm in some places. Hemsedal (160/175cm) received an impressive 21cm of fresh snow on Wednesday 9th April, which is excellent for the time of year. It's a bit heavy lower down but higher up the snow cover is of nice, dry powder. A few more centimetres of snow fell at Salen (90/105cm) in Sweden on Thursday 10th April. Their whole ski area is still open and the fresh snow means there's excellent skiing across the whole mountain.
Light snow was falling at some German resorts on Thursday 10th April but only two were open for skiing. Garmisch (0/240cm) has the best of the snow conditions with fresh snow on the upper slopes and Zugspitze Glacier too. Feldberg, Reit im Winkl, Spitzingsee, Berchtesgaden and Lenggries are all closed for skiing until next winter.
There were only four runs open at Borovets (30/100cm) on Thursday 10th April, and no runs were open back to base level. Pamporovo (25/50cm) also only had limited terrain available, with four out of 13 lifts running. Cloudy weather reduced the visibility at both resorts. Bansko is closed for the winter ski season.
Spring conditions dominate in Scotland but the remaining open resorts all have plenty of snow still, especially the further up you go. Glencoe (80/385cm) and Nevis Range (50/300cm) were both open for skiing again on Thursday 10th April having been closed on Wednesday due to high winds. Glenshee has now closed for the season and The Lecht is awaiting more snow to reopen. It remains to be seen as to whether they'll be able to open again this season or not.
Spring has finally arrived in Colorado, with much higher temperatures at resorts such as Breckenridge (241cm) and Vail (185cm). They've both got excellent Spring snow on their slopes now but as it's only recently warmed up there. There are still areas of good powder off piste, especially on north facing areas. It's similar at Big Sky (191/290cm) in Montana. They too have a lot of snow and a base depth that will see them through to the end of the season very nicely. All 19 of their lifts were running on Thursday 10th April. Conditions in California are fairly good too. Mammoth (114/191cm) has good Spring snow on its mountain and while nowhere near as much snow as normal, there is great skiing to be had.
Fresh snow has fallen at many of our featured Canadian resorts this week. This may be the last week of operations the Skeena heli-ski area but with 70cm of fresh snow reported this week, it is a great closing week. This is the largest amount of fresh snow reported in Canada, but the light dustings that have fallen elsewhere have helped to freshen up the cover on the slopes. Skeena and Fernie report the deepest base depths in Canada at the moment, with 350cm snow reported at both ski areas. A number of Canadian resorts have already closed for the season, including Kimberley, Red Mountain, Revelstoke, Silver Star, and Sun Peaks.