Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fresh Snow News - Eastern USA Gets Best Of The Week’s New Snow

It’s East Coast North America particularly New Hampshire that’s seem the most snowfall of the past week, with Jiminy Peak topping the table with 1.65m (5.5 feet). In Western North America Kicking horse in BC, Canada reports the most with 1.15m (just under four feet). Nearby Revelstoke has had a metre of new snow.
Norwegian resorts, particularly Voss, have seen the biggest snowfalls in Europe again this week, adding a metre of new snow. Snowfall in the Alps has continued to be rather limited with little or nothing new in France and Italy. The biggest falls of around 40cm (16 inches) in seven days from the Zugspitz in Germany and Davos and Engelberg in Switzerland. More snow is expected in the next 48 hours however and as we got to print it’s reported to be snowing in Austria this morning.
Conditions in Eastern Europe remain challenging. Reports from Bansko in Bulgaria indicate only limited terrain is open and that more snow is needed. World Cup races in Slovenia were cancelled at the weekend due to too warm temperatures resulting in deteriorating snow conditions.
In Scotland temperatures have risen a little and the snow and ice that had gripped the Highlands down to valley level for seven weeks finally lifted at the weekend. However there has been more fresh snow on the hills, where temperatures remain generally below freezing, and all five ski areas remain open.
Since last weekend there’s been little new snowfall in Austria and this week began quiet in terms of new snow. The last big snowfalls in the country were reported on Thursday when Ischgl and Serfaus issued powder alarms for 20cm+ new snow. Many other popular resorts also reported 10cm of fresh snow then including Obergurgl, Montafon and Hochkönig. St. Anton and Lech Zürs got their last fresh snow on Saturday both resorts accumulating 20cm in the past a week. Only Sölden and Weißsee have reported more - 30cm/a foot.
There’s been almost no snow in the past week in France. Only half a dozen resorts reported any new cover, with Chamonix the most at 10m, Les Arcs say 5cm. La Rosiere, Flaine and Alpe d’Huez have the deepest snow depths in the country at around two metres (seven feet).
Like France, there’s been very little new snow in Italy over the past week, Folgaria reports 10cm, Val Gardena 3cm (an inch). The Presana Glacier has the most snow in Europe still with 4.5m (15 feet), Arabba has 3.3m (11 feet) then a dozen or more resorts have around two metres lying including Cervinia, La Thuile and Bormio.
In Switzerland Laax hosted Europe’s biggest snowboard event last weekend and had reported big snowfalls just before. Due to a 22cm-snowfall within 24 hours a powder alarm was issued on Thursday. On Saturday the snow fell again in the popular Swiss resort, leaving the overall snow depth at 160cm. Davos, the highest town on the continent, had 37cm of new snow in a week. The last snow in the famous winter holiday destination had fallen on Saturday (10cm). Engelberg had 40cm of new snow in seven days and claims the biggest snow cover in Switzerland (270 cm).
Just like the rest of the Alps, Switzerland has not seen much new snow yet this week but some snowfall is predicted for the next few days.
Snow cover in the Pyrenees remains challenging in places with most resorts in Andorra reporting an, at best, 60 – 90cm base, so it is not yet a vintage season. However two of Spain’s largest resorts, Baqueira Beret and Formigal, issued statements in the past few days, in the latter’s case saying that although conditions were challenging and not all terrain was open (around 80km in Formigal’s case), the slopes that were open were extensive and maintained in a good condition. "With current temperatures, Formigal still offers a great range of skiing to its clients by having 83 Km open today", said the resort’s commercial director, Jose Luis del Valle. Sierra Nevada in the south of the country is still reporting a four metre (13.3 feet) base.
Norway has once again seen some of the heaviest snowfall in Europe on its slopes, with Voss again reporting more than double the amount of snow any resort in the Alps has had, and the biggest accumulation in Europe this past week, with another 87cm (three feet). Geilo in second place has had 55cm (nearly two feet). Voss’s snowbase of 2.3m is not only now one of Europe’s deepest but also has the freshest snow and best powder. Here’s a list of all snow depths in Norway.
Western Canada has seen the most snow of the past week with Lake louise, Banff, Revelstoke and kicking Horse among the Alberta and BC reports reporting some of the world’s best powder conditions this week. Mount Washington on Vancouver island has the world’s second deepest snow depth with 5.08cm (17 feet).
There has been snow across the US this past week with every state except Florida getting some. The result was travel chaos in places but great skiing at many areas too. New England did especially well and in New Hampshire Loon Mountain (picture attached), recorded 19 inches (48cm) of fluffy stuff over 48 hours, with near neighbour Waterville Valley picking up 17 inches (43cm). Cannon Mountain, nestling amidst the stunning scenery of Franconia Notch, was another major beneficiary with 24 inches (well over half a metre) of snow falling on its slopes in just two days.Across in the Mount Washington Valley, Cranmore Mountain, very popular among ski holidaymakers due to its proximity to the hotels and shops of North Conway, reports 14 inches (35cm) over the same period, whilst just a short drive further north 20 inches (50 cm) has bedecked Wildcat Mountain in its beautiful National Forest setting.

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