Thursday, March 24, 2011

Excellent Spring Skiing On Both Sides of the Atlantic

Most ski areas around the northern hemisphere are in good shape as we enter spring, in the case of the Alps conditions at many resorts are now the best they’ve been for around three months following healthy snowfalls. In the case of Western North America the incredible season continues, particularly for California where resorts in North Lake Tahoe including Northstar are reporting the most precipitation recorded for more than 50 years. The latest storms brought metres more snow there in the past week, and it’s continuing to fall now and is projected to continue in to next week.
Austria has had some good snowfall in the last week. Many resorts received snowfall from 20cm to 50cm. Some big resorts and the glaciers got even more. The most snowfall was reported on the Zugspitzplatt with 80cm, Stubaital glacier 60cm and Solden 59cm. The weather is sunny at the moment so skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the good conditions. Many ski resorts registered new snowfalls at the weekend at Saturday and Sunday. Warmer temperatures are expected for the next days. But more new snow is possible for the upcoming weekend in parts of Austria even under 1000 meters.
Conditions are some of the best they’ve been for months in France at last with many resorts receiving healthy snowfalls across the country. Cauterets in the Pyrenees reported the most with 50cm, in the Alps though many top resorts got at least 30cm in the past week, Val Thorens the most with 40cm.
Conditions remain good across most of Italy. Arabba in the Dolomites reports the most snow in the past week with 70cm. Madonna di Campiglio has also done well with 40cm of new snow.
There’s been no snow in the past few days but many resorts in Switzerland got fresh snow during the last week and skiers are reporting excellent powder conditions. The main new snowfalls were last Saturday when most resorts got snow. Saas Fee got 60cm during the last week, Arosa, Davos and Engelberg measured 25-30 cm. Engelberg continues to have one of the deepest snowbases in the Alps with 340 cm and Saas Fee now also has a snow base over 3 meters (303 cm). Temperatures are mild in Switzerland until the end of the week but snow is expected to fall on slopes over 1600m at the weekend.
Conditions are generally good in Spain and Andorra with up to 50 cm of new snow reported in the past week.
It’s been snowing today across Scandinavian ski areas. Are in Sweden reported the biggest fall in Europe in the past 24 hours with 12 cm, Hovden in Norway also got fresh snow. Folgefonn (picture attached) is preparing the slopes to open the summer resort on May 14th.
The snow is still good in Canada which is good news for resorts like Banff and Whistler where the season still has two months to run.
There’s been still more incredible snowfall in the US specially in the western side of the country. Four resorts in California and Washington state now report snow depths of over 7 metres (23 feet) and snowfalls, which are continuing, have added up to 2.4 m (eight feet) to bases around Lake Tahoe in the past week. Squaw Valley has now received over 50 feet of snow since the season began, a tally it has only reached in three other seasons in the past 40 years, and it still has six weeks of the season, at least, left. The snow is still falling on the East Coast too with Sunday River in Maine reporting another 20 cm.

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