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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.

Monday 24 November 2014

latest Ski Club Snowcast

Summary

Austria enjoyed a good day for weather on Monday 24th November. It started out slightly overcast but the weather then cleared by midday. More resorts plan to open this week too, followed by the vast majority in early December.

Despite the increase in overall temperature across the open French resorts the skiing on offer is very good. La Clusaz and Alpe d’Huez opened for weekend skiing on Saturday 22nd November. Val Thorens also opened but here it is possible to ski during the week too. Tignes already offered good skiing on the higher slopes. More resorts will open in France next weekend although the Pyrenean resort of Font Romeu has postponed their opening due the lack of snow.

Switzerland also saw sunny weather on Monday, following up from a sunny and mild weekend. There has only been a limited number of resorts open for skiing in Switzerland but this has been enhanced as Verbier, Wengen and Andermatt are now open for weekend skiing.

Italy had a mixture of weather patterns on Monday with quite a lot of cloud being reported with the odd patch of sunshine. The skiing at the open glacier skiing resorts is very good and the available terrain should increase in Italy as up to 12 resorts plan to open this weekend if the conditions are suitable.

The skiing at many North American resorts continues to improve as new snow falls and resorts open more terrain.

The pick of the conditions are over in Utah, where over half a metre of fresh snow has fallen at Alta and Snowbird during the current storm. Colorado has not missed out either as up to 15cm of new snow has fallen. The weather is forecast to clear by Tuesday 25th November in these areas leaving behind excellent early season conditions.

Further north in Canada, Whistler opened early for the season this weekend, although rain is forecast to fall on the lower slopes this week.

Over on the east coast, the cold and snowy weather gave way to mild and rainy conditions on Monday 24th November. Fortunately, temperatures are set to drop on Tuesday, allowing for snowmaking systems to restart.

Austria

Monday morning, 24th November began with a little cloud cover but the sunshine broke through the clouds when the afternoon arrived.

The majority of our featured resorts in Austria are expected to open in early December. That being said Ischgl, Saalbach, Schladming, Kuhtai, Kitzbuhel and Zauchensee are all planning to open in time for the weekend.

Kaunertal (135/164cm) was open for business on Monday and had a total of eight lifts in operation. As it is the early stages of winter, there are still parts of the ski area closed until more snow falls. Of the runs that are open they’re in a good state and there are even pockets of powder to be found off the piste.

The week ahead is looking quite sunny with the mid–mountain temperature averaging 5C. There could be some cloudy starts but the sun should break through in time for the afternoon.

France

The conditions warmed up across the French resorts over the weekend, but this did not stop Alpe d’Huez (10/100cm), La Clusaz (0/100cm) and Val Thorens (50/90cm) opening lifts for visitors on Saturday 22nd November. This was only a temporary weekend opening for Alpe d’Huez and La Clusaz, while at Val Thorens the lifts are now open daily for their season.

Tignes (15/70cm) was already open and again this week you can enjoy great skiing up on the Grande Motte glacier. The linked resort of Val d’Isere (15/50cm), which together with Tignes forms the Espace Killy ski area, will open for the winter season this coming Saturday 29th November.

Serre Chevalier (0/156cm) plans to open for weekend skiing on 29th November too, as a season pre-opener. They are saying this is the first time they’ve opened for a pre-opener in November.

Chatel (0/10cm) plans to open for weekend skiing in the Pre-la-Joux area from 29th November. The resort will only be open at weekends until they open daily from 13th December. Les Deux Alpes (0/90cm), Bareges/La Mongie (0/20cm) and Cauterets (15/25cm) all plan to open on Saturday too, although the Pyrenean resorts have not received as much fresh snow as the Alpine destinations. Font Romeu, a Pyrenean resort, has unfortunately postponed its opening from this coming Saturday due to the lack of snow cover.

Switzerland

A mild and sunny weekend was felt by all resorts across Switzerland. Temperatures reached +10°C at mid-mountain level and are predicted to stay well above average throughout the start of the week.

Good skiing was however still available on the upper areas and glaciers of many resorts across the country. Zermatt (5/155cm) had 22 lifts open on Monday and the skiing conditions on the Plateau Rosa were great under sunny skies.

The glaciers at Saas Fee (15/237cm), Flims/Laax (0/125cm) and Engelberg (0/118cm) were also open for skiing, although it was not possible to ski back to the resort at any.

Several resorts opened a few lifts and pistes over the weekend, but will remain closed during the week. This includes Wengen (0/30cm), Andermatt (10/230cm) and Verbier (0/60cm) who all plan to open again for the weekend of 29th and 30th November.

If conditions permit many resorts, including Adelboden, Arosa, Lenzerheide and Samnaun, are scheduled to open on Saturday 29th November.

Italy

For many Italian resorts it was quite a cloudy day on Monday 24th November but some fared better than others, with sunny skies being seen in the afternoon but on the whole it was mostly cloudy.

Madesimo (20/230cm) has opened for its winter programme and on Monday there were four out of twelve lifts open. There was cloud cover above the resort but overall visibility was good. There is still a large proportion of the ski area still yet to open but it’s only a matter of time before it’s all up and running. The best runs are certainly at the top of the mountain with the resort runs being less covered. The off piste is still fairly limited so do take care if you venture off piste.

Over the next few days more clouds are expected to develop but there is a very good chance of fresh snow falling on Thursday. This should benefit a lot of resorts that are scheduled to open this weekend. If the conditions are suitable Alagna, Bormio, Cavalese, Champoluc, Chiesa, Cortina, Courmayeur, La Thuile, Madonna, Pila and Santa Caterina will all open this coming weekend.

Andorra

All of the Vallnord and Grandvalira resorts in Andorra are yet to open for the winter season.

Norway/Sweden

New snow fell across Norway this weekend, although currently only Lillehammer (25/45cm) is open for the winter season. Thanks to 25cm of fresh snow, the Gala area was also able to open with two lifts providing access to four groomed runs. A massive 50cm of snow fell overnight at Hemsedal which plans to open this coming weekend.

Both Are and Salen, Sweden did not open as planned over the weekend due to a lack of snow. However, the lake below Are froze for the first time over the weekend indicating cold conditions, which are perfect for snowmaking. The latest webcam images suggest that lots of snow has been made, so hopefully skiing might start this coming weekend.

Germany

All of our featured German resorts are yet to open for the winter season.

Bulgaria

All of our featured Bulgarian resorts are yet to open for the winter season.

Scotland

All of our featured Scottish resorts are yet to open for the winter season.

USA

Excellent early season conditions were seen this weekend across the USA and some resorts were reporting huge snowfalls on Monday morning, 24th November.

The most snow is falling in Utah, with the linked resorts of Alta (99cm) and Snowbird (99cm) reporting 56cm and 46cm of fresh snow respectively. Park City (74cm) has not missed out either and has seen 28cm of dry powder fall in the second half of the weekend. The skies are forecast to clear by Tuesday 25th November, providing incredible skiing conditions for this time of year.

Colorado is also reporting lots of fresh snow to start the week. Aspen (33cm) and Vail (56cm) both opened this weekend with good on-piste conditions. New snow fell at both resorts on Sunday 23rd and another 20cm could fall at Aspen by Wednesday 26th, improving conditions further.

Both Heavenly (46cm) and Mammoth (36/46cm) are now open for the season although skiing is limited at both to a few slopes covered by artificial snow.

Last week’s new snow on the east coast provided excellent opening weekend skiing at Stowe (13/91cm) and Mount Snow (41/46cm). Unfortunately warmer weather has brought rain to all of our featured east coast resorts on Monday, but colder weather is forecast to return by Tuesday. 

Most of our featured resorts, including Jackson Hole, Snowbasin and Telluride are scheduled to open this coming weekend.

Canada

Several resorts in Canada opened this weekend for the winter season, including Whistler (44cm) in the west and Tremblant (50cm) in the east.

Five lifts were spinning on Whistler Mountain, providing access to seven groomed runs and stashes of early-season powder thanks to 20cm of new snowfall over the weekend.

Across in Alberta the excellent early season conditions continue, with Lake Louise (39/52cm) now open top to bottom. Preparations here for the upcoming FIS World Cup races are well underway and with cold and snowy weather forecast this week conditions for race day on Saturday 29th November should be fantastic.

Unfortunately on the east coast the weather has warmed significantly and rain was falling at both Mont St Anne (15/25cm) and Tremblant (50cm). Colder conditions are however forecast to drop back below freezing by Tuesday.

Big White, Revelstoke and Silver Star are scheduled to open this coming weekend.

European Weather Outlook

The weekend brought high temperatures to many resorts across Europe with some seeing as high as 10C. The high temperatures are expected to continue throughout the week so do take this into account when heading out to the slopes.

The forecast across Europe this week is quite varied with Austria expecting lots of sunshine, with the odd patch of cloud early on. It should be a great week for skiing in Austria with great visibility and don’t forget the sun cream.

On the other hand a large weather front is predicted to develop over Italy, France and Switzerland and as a result each country is expecting clouds to move in over the next couple of days. This emergence of cloud cover is expected to bring light snowfall, with the glacial resorts of Italy forecast to receive the most, particularly in Cervinia with up to 7cm being predicted.

North American Weather Outlook

The cold and snowy weather across Utah and Colorado is forecast to continue through the early part of this week, potentially adding 15cm of new snow to the current totals. Sunny conditions forecast in the middle of the week will provide excellent riding for those lucky enough to already be in the mountains.

There are currently no signs of the warm and dry conditions changing across California, with temperatures predicted to remain above freezing even during the night.

A large storm is forecast to hit Canada from Tuesday 25th onwards, bringing with it large amounts of precipitation through the middle of the week. Unfortunately much of this is likely to fall as rain on Whistler’s lower slopes. However further east in the cooler interior of BC and across Alberta, at resorts such as Big White and Lake Louise, up to 40cm of snow could fall by Thursday 27th November.

Cold conditions are predicted to return to the east coast of the USA and Canada by Tuesday, allowing for the resorts to repair the slopes following Monday’s rain and to make snow on those slopes that are not yet open.
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