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Snow overview - our twice-weekly round up of the latest snow conditions in the mountains

Snow Overview

Our twice-weekly round up of the latest snow conditions in the mountains

Get the latest snow and weather conditions in all major ski areas updated on Monday and Thursday afternoons by the Ski Club's information department.

Thursday 08 October 2015


Once again there were excellent skiing and boarding conditions in the Alps on Thursday. The glaciers appear to recovering fast after the exceptionally warm and sunny summer, thanks in the most part to consistent autumn snowfall. More fresh snow was picked up on Wednesday in the west and Thursday in the east, leading to some great piste conditions. More ski areas are opening up, especially in Austria so it’s a great time to be heading for a pre-season ski or board.

Whilst the countdown to the season has begun in the Alps, down in the southern Hemisphere it is very much winding down. There is now no skiing on offer in Australia and come Monday 12th October there will be no further skiing in South America. That being said, the final weekend in South America is set to be a cracker following yet more snowfall to cap off an excellent winter. Meanwhile down in New Zealand, once Mt Hutt and Cardrona shut on Sunday, only Turoa and Whakapapa on North Island are set to remain open through October, with a closing date scheduled for October 26th.


The Austrian glaciers caught yet more snowfall throughout the week, with all of our featured resorts picking up fresh snow on Thursday 8th October. Between 5 and 10cm fell across a wide area, resulting in fresh and powdery conditions both on and off piste.

Both the Hintertux (50/90cm) and Stubai (40cm) glaciers were open and were reporting around 5cm of fresh snow, giving some excellent turns for those up in the mountains for a pre-season ski. Sadly the Molltal Glacier (60cm) was closed due to the bad weather; it was suffering from stronger winds and heavier snow than our other featured areas.

The changeable theme is set to continue through into the weekend, with further light falls of snow forecast. In the slightly longer term a real cold blast, with freezing levels dipping to around 1500m, is currently predicted from Wednesday onwards – bringing the first real taste of winter for the valleys.


The Grande Motte glacier in Tignes (50cm) was the place to be on Thursday, thanks to a combination of sunny skies, cold temperatures and 25cm of fresh snow. This mostly fell on Tuesday night and through into Wednesday. As a result the on piste conditions continue to improve and it looks likely that three more lifts are close to opening on the glacier.

Some further snowfall is expected on Friday night, although this is forecast to be mostly light in nature. After this however sunny skies are predicted for the weekend, accompanied by temperatures hovering just below the freezing mark.


The Swiss ski areas of Saas Fee (130cm) and Zermatt (149cm) were both in fantastic condition on Thursday, with sunny skies and fresh snow to play in. Firm and chalky winter snow was to be found on piste and a few small powder stashes were on offer off the sides in the crevasse-free areas. At Zermatt there is almost 1000m of vertical on offer thanks to the opening of piste 73 down to Gandegg, In addition, the latest webcam images suggest the Furgsattel lift and runs were being prepared for opening soon – perhaps as early as Saturday 10th October.

Some good falls of snow are forecast on Friday night, with up to 20cm possible before the sun comes out once again for the weekend. Temperatures should remain low enough to keep the snow powdery - great news if you have a trip planned this weekend.


Summer skiing season in Cervinia has now ended, with the lifts set to reopen once again on October 18th to access the Plateau Rosa Glacier. Some great skiing is however possible at the small Passo Stelvio ski area and also on the glacier at Val Senales. 

North America

The summer ski season has ended at both Timberline in the USA and at Whistler in Canada. The first snow of the winter has fallen however, ramping up the excitement for the approaching ski season.


Skiing has now ended across Australia and all of our featured resorts are now closed. However some large snowfields remain in Kosciuszko National Park for those looking to earn their turns.

New Zealand

Sadly poor weather has blighted ski operations across New Zealand this week, with high winds severely limiting the amount of skiing on offer. The winds were still an issue on Thursday, forcing the closure of Whakapapa (296cm) and resulting in Turoa (281cm) only being able to offer beginner skiing at the base of the mountain.

Following several days on wind hold, both Cardrona (35/160cm) and Mt Hutt (90/130cm) were open again on Thursday. When the wind was blowing the temperatures were well above freezing which has unfortunately stripped quite a bit of the snow cover from the hill, but the main pistes are still complete. Sticking to the groomed pistes was the best option as Thursday’s colder temperatures resulted in a strong overnight freeze and icy conditions off piste.

The good news is that spring sunshine is set to return as we head into the weekend and mercifully the high winds are not forecast to return for a little while. Keep an eye out at Turoa and Whakapapa early next week however, as the wind speeds are set to increase.

This weekend is the last of the season for Mt Hutt and Cardrona, whilst Turoa and Whakapapa are set to continue right through to October 26th.

South America

The final week of the Argentinian season has been fantastic, with all our featured resorts reporting fresh snow right down to the base area. Up high some great powder conditions have been reported, particularly at Cerro Catedral (0/180cm) following 20cm of new snow on Wednesday 7th October. Most of the lifts on the upper mountain were running and with some great lift pass deals on offer it was a great time to be shredding the mountains above Bariloche. Nearby Chapelco (0/150cm) was also in good nick on Thursday, thanks to 10cm of fresh snow resulting in some great powder stashes across the hill. Finally Las Lenas (45/125cm) also saw some fresh snowfall and with most slopes still open, the last weekend of skiing is likely to be excellent.

Expect some changeable weather in the Argentinian Andes as we head into the final weekend of the season, with all resorts set to receive further snowfall. Sadly for those looking for spring t-shirt skiing you’ll be disappointed as temperatures are set to remain below freezing.

Across in Chile, only Valle Nevado (50/280cm) was open on Thursday. The great news was that 14 of 18 lifts were turning and most of the slopes were still open, even in the last week of the season. 9cm of fresh snow was also reported on Wednesday 7th October, bringing some great late-season powder turns. Neighbouring El Colorado (50/100cm) has decided to open up for one final weekend on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October, in part due to the excellent snow conditions from this week’s cold and snowy weather conditions.

The sun may pop out for the final weekend of the season which is great news and should give skiers and riders the perfect opportunity to carve through the fresh snow.
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