SNOW OVERVIEW FOR 22nd January 2018

The second huge storm of 2018, Evi continued to deliver extremes of both snow and weather conditions across the Alps. Fresh snow blanketed much of the Alps, with the northern French resorts as well as those across much of Switzerland and Austria benefitting the most – in some instances figures as high as 120cm in 48 hours have been recorded. However, as is often the case this was accompanied by partial or full resort closures due to wind and avalanche risks. The new week looks to be calmer however, at least until Friday where more new snow is expected.

Great skiing conditions are on offer across much of North America. The central Rockies ski resorts saw very welcome snowfall over the weekend, with many resorts in Utah and Colorado seeing 30-45cm. Much of Canada has seen consistent light snow, which looks to remain in place for the rest of the entire week – though Whistler stands head and shoulders above all else, with 79cm falling in the 24 hours till Monday morning.

Conditions in Japan are also on the up- Monday heralded the start of a snow filled week, which looks to end a somewhat dry January (at least by Japanese standards).


Based on current weather forecasts for the next 9 days, the top three resorts for expected snowfall are:


  1. Timberline, USA- 226cm
  2. Hakuba, Japan- 192cm
  3. Whistler, Canada, 180cm


Much of Austria continued to be under the effects of Storm Evi on Monday the 22nd January with heavy snow continuing to fall, as well as have various disruptive effects on skiing within the region. Some examples of substantial snowfall include 75cm over Hintertux (130/285), and 50cm over Alpbach (80/210cm) on the 22nd, while Lech / Zurs (185/280) saw 100cm fall on Sunday.

A number of resorts are seriously impacted by extreme weather, including full resort closures in Axamer Lizum (130/170cm), Gultur (125/230cm), and Kaunertal (275/415cm) among others due avalanche risks. Other areas saw parts of mountains closed, for example Sportgastein was closed within the Gastein region, while limited lifts ran within connected ski areas – for example the connections between Saalbach Hinterglemm (120/225cm) and Fieberbrunn (100/200cm) is currently not open, and significantly curtailed lift operations elsewhere, for example Ischgl (100/160cm) only spinning 11/45 lifts, and 37/88 in Arlberg. Beyond these examples, significant avalanche risks are in place across almost all resorts, meaning any riding should remain restricted to pistes until conditions improve.

Luckily the rest of this week, at least from Tuesday till Friday looks to significantly improve conditions, with calmer skies and conditions that should hopefully help bond the snow layers and provide some improved skiing options. Following that point however, a new storm looks set to arrive on Friday, potentially bringing more disruptive weather.


There was some heavy snowfall over the weekend to provide great snow conditions in the French Alps, with Meribel (125cm/330cm) and La Plagne (230cm/380cm) recording 37cm and 40cm respectively. Notable overnight snowfalls were recorded in Samoens (126cm/302cm) and St Gervais (122cm/280cm) with totals ay 42cm and 55cm respectively. However, the largest snowfall recorded was in La Rossiere (298cm/400cm) with 60cm of fresh allowing for fantastic skiing conditions.

With all the heavy snow, this has led to resorts closures. Val D’Isere (270cm/350cm), Tignes (270cm/350cm), Bonneval Sur Arc (260cm/360cm) and Vallorcine (30cm/183cm) have all closed for the day due to extreme weather, and there is also restricted lift operation in the Chamonix ski area.

More snowfall/rain is forecast for today, with Chamonix (30cm/220cm) forecasting as much as 70cm.


This past weekend has been very snowy in Switzerland, with all of featured resorts reporting good snowfall. Notably, Champery (0cm/350cm) recorded a huge 100cm in the last 24hours, to provide fantastic powder skiing. Other notable mentions were in Films/Laxx (85cm/435cm) which recorded 70cm of fresh snowfall, and in Davos/Klosters (171cm/300cm) with 47cm of fresh.

The resorts which have closed their lifts due to extreme weather include Zermatt (180cm/310cm), Saas Fee (150cm/480cm), and Anzere (30cm/300cm). The neighbouring resorts of Nendaz (20cm/260cm) and Verbier (100cm/400cm) have had limited skiing due to high winds.

The forecast for Monday 22nd January is for overcast skies with a chance light snow in most places. However, in Champery a further 50cm of fresh snow is expected to fall before the day is out.


For the most part, our featured Italian resorts have seen substantial snowfall across those resorts in the west of the country, with several resorts seeing over 50cm over the weekend, for example Courmayeur (160/260cm) and La Thuile (80/290cm), giving some excellent fresh snow. The only limitation to take advantage of this however is the avalanche risk, which remains considerable. Cervinia (125/405cm) closed due to avalanche risk, as is Val Senales (150/260cm). However, resorts further south, for example the Milky Way ski areas did not benefit from any of the weekends snow.

The east of the country saw snow over the weekend, with approximately 5-20cm of snow falling across the Sella Ronda area. However, while heavy cloud remained over much of Europe, resorts in the Dolomites saw pleasant sun with only light cloud dotting the sky. For those looking to ski under some more mild weather, as well as a greater opportunity to ski off piste, it offers better options than in the Western resorts currently.

Welcome snow for Bormio, which saw 25cm on Sunday, while Passo Tonale (60 /250cm) saw 20cm, usefully refreshing otherwise previously worn slopes.

Tuesday and Wednesday look to be great bluebird days across the board as the winds die down while temperatures remain mild. Thursday will see the start of a new weather system.


Sunny skies dominated the Vallnord area on Monday 22nd January, where there has been a slight decrease in the base depth at both Arcalis (65/135cm) and Pal/Arinsal (80/100cm). Still, there was good skiing across the area, with the vast majority of lifts running.

The same could be said for resorts in Grandvalira, where temperatures reached as high as around +7C at Soldey (40/70cm).

The sun is expected to linger till Wednesday 24th January, with snow then predicted for all our featured resorts from Thursday 25th onwards.


It was bitterly cold in Finland on Monday 22nd January, with the temperatures at about -19C at both Levi (90cm) and Yllas (85cm). There has been some fresh snow in the last week in Finland, which has helped to ease the state of the hard packed slopes.

Likewise, fresh snow over the weekend in Norway has imporved skiing conditions at Voss (75/135cm) , and in particular Lillehammer (60/150cm) who received 20cm of fresh on Saturday 20th January.

Over in Sweden there hasn’t been a great deal of change in skiing conditions over the weekend. Temperatures remained low with partly sunny skies, and Salen (123cm) looked the better option with good skiing conditions and all 88 lifts running.


New snow fell over our featured German resorts over the weekend, each seeing good quantities of fresh snow. Lenggries (200/80cm) saw 40cm of fresh snow overnight till the 22nd January, more broadly ever resorts added good quantities to their bases. As with much of Europe, adverse weather is impacting some resorts. Within Garmisch (200/440cm), the access to Zugspitze was closed on the 22nd; with other resorts were warning that wind was liable to impact lift operations.

These recent additions continued an increasingly positive conditions across our German resorts, which have seen plenty of new snow in since mid-January. The only drawback is extremely mild temperatures which risked rain, especially at lower altitudes.

Tuesday 23rd January will bring clearer skies, as well as ever warmer temperatures, continuing at least until Friday, at which point substantial new snow is currently forecast.

Eastern Europe

The resort of Bansko (30cm/180cm) is experiencing great snow and weather conditions today following a light dusting of snowfall to freshen up the pistes, and sunny weather today to provide picturesque views and good skiing. Both Spindleruv Mlyn (50cm/80cm) and Jasna (15cm/50cm) recorded 10cm of fresh snowfall over the weekend to add a fresh layer to the slopes. More cloudy weather with sunny spells is expected today in our featured Eastern European resorts. 


Glencoe (95/130cm) was hit with another 35m of fresh overnight, but high winds on Monday 22nd January led to the closure of all lifts. Once the weather allows, skiing conditions should be very good on the upper slopes. Cairngorm (40/80cm) managed to get 4/11 lifts spinning, and the groomers have been out preparing all the snow from the weekend’s drifts. Some patches of brown were visible on morning images of Glenshee (20/30cm), and nearby at The Lecht (20/30cm) some of slopes were similarly narrow in places. Nevis Range (40/60cm) had an epic powder day in the Corries on Saturday 20th January, but Monday 22nd saw all lifts closed, and rain below 500m.

Current forecasts show for temperatures to remain low, and for the chance of more snow up until the coming weekend, at least up high anyway. Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January may bring rain across all resorts, so best to get some turns in while you can.


The Midwest of the United States were offering great skiing on Monday the 22nd January. Colorado and Utah saw welcome snowfall over the weekend, providing some good quantities of snow to improve the skiing opportunities. Telluride, one of the standout resorts saw 45cm in the past 48 hours, while resorts such as Snowbird (175cm) recording 40cm on Sunday, and 30cm in Vail (99cm) over the weekend. Other resorts which have previously been struggling, such as Purgatory (64/91cm) also benefitted with potentially smaller but more beneficial new snow. Even Taos (51cm) in New Mexico saw 18cm of desperately needed snow. This fresh snow has provided the necessary coverage for several resorts to expand their lift and trail offerings. The weather has now cleared, giving blue skies and sunshine – the kind of snow filled bluebird day that much of the USA thus far this season.

California also saw welcome snow arrive at the tail end of last week, with 28cm falling on the 19th, also allowing enough to open up some new terrain within the resort. Further up the west coast, Timberline (145cm) is on course for a snow filled week, with 60+ cm forecast to come down in the next 72 hours alone.

By contrast, the pendulum has swung the other way for resorts in the North East, with more rain unfortunately possible due to rising temperatures on Tuesday. Hopefully this is short-lived, and does not have as significant a detrimental impact as the previous rainfall in January did. Regardless, it is best to keep to the upper slopes where possible in these resorts, where the precipitation is more likely to fall as snow.


Cloudy and snowy conditions remained in place on Monday 22nd of January, having provided fresh snow for much of the weekend and look to continue to do so for the coming week. This recent snow has allowed for some ample riding opportunities both on and off piste across the majority of resorts. Banff (138cm) and Lake Louise (122/152cm) have seen 25cm and 23cm in the past week respectively, numbers which look to continually improve throughout the week.

Lighter accumulations came across much of British Columbia, keeping the slopes fresh, with plenty more coming in the week. Whistler however remains somewhat in a league of its own, with 79cm of champagne powder falling over the last 24 hours – the only thing to consider before jumping on a plane however are the huge lift queues this is likely to bring. Elsewhere, windy conditions continue to impact lift operations in Big White (194cm).


Conditions in Japan are certainly taking a positive turn, with Monday 22nd January bringing the beginnings of a week of increasingly heavy snow. Among our featured resorts, Hakuba (80/340cm) saw a lighter dusting of 3cm, while it was already falling more heavily across Niseko (175/375) with 16cm coming down. Rusutsu (200/220cm) also saw a larger snowfall of 20cm, across its three mountains. These snowfalls, along with the consensus among the forecasts indicate this week will noticeably improve conditions across Japan. This looks to make up for a slightly lacklustre early January, especially when compared with December.