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WARM, WET & WINDY IN THE ALPS
Thursday March 29, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

It's mild across the Alps and remains unsettled with some snow at altitude and high winds. Snow depths remain exceptional for the time of year. UPDATED




WEDNESDAY 4TH APRIL

It hasn't been an ideal day in many parts of the Alps with warm temeratures and high winds in places.

Our reporter, Ross Young, is in Les2Alpes and has send us the details of his day.

"With heavy winds blowing through the resort, most of the chairlifts and cable cars were out of action, with the upper slopes again closed all day.

The best bet in the morning was to head to the more sheltered Vallée Blanche area, although the runs up top were icy."

Les2Alpes, Vallee BlancheLes2Alpes, Vallee Blanche


























"Lower down, the snow was softer and slushier, with even the run down to Mont de Lans at 1,300m still in halfway decent nick before lunchtime." 

Les2Alpes, Vallee BlancheLes2Alpes, Vallee Blanche



























"Midway through the morning, the Belle Étoile and Village 1800 chairlifts to Crêtes opened.

Conditions up there in a word?

Windy.

In two words?

Very windy.

When snow started falling around noon, it became decidedly unpleasant - all the more so lower down the slopes, where the warmer temperatures turned the snowfall into rain.  

We headed back to our hotel hoping for better luck tomorrow.

A decent snowfall is expected tonight: if the wind drops by the morning, conditions above 2,000m should be excellent."

Les2Alpes, Vallee BlancheLes2Alpes, Vallee Blanche



























And sadly the weather put paid to the plans of Ross and his son Fynn:

The best laid plans...

Here at PlanetSKI we will bring you further details from around the Alps later so do check back...

TUESDAY APRIL 3RD

It is turning into a good week for all those out in the Alps for Easter.

The blue skies of the weekend are mostly gone as the clouds move in, but it remains very warm with the lower slopes turning slushy in many places as the temperatures take their toll.

Our reporter, Ross Young, is currently in Les2Alpes in the southern French Alps.

"Tuesday's promised snowfall failed to materialise (apparently it's now coming on Wednesday), which led to a mixed bag of conditions. Spring finally hit the lower slopes, with higher temperatures meaning slushier - but still perfectly skiable - snow," said Ross.

"Higher up, it was a different story. Snow conditions were good, but skiers had to put up with stiff winds to enjoy them."

"The highest slopes (above around 2,400m) were closed due to the blustery conditions, as were some of the lifts out of the main resort - but while queues for lifts were a little longer, they weren't excessive. "

"For those who did brave the winds up top, the less exposed slopes still provided some great skiing, especially above the 2,000m in the Crêtes and Diable areas.

The next few days will bring mixed blessings. More snow is on the way, but the winds are likely to strengthen on Wednesday before dropping in time for the weekend."

Morning conditions in Les2AlpesMorning conditions in Les2Alpes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon conditions in Les2AlpesAfternoon conditions in Les2Alpes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here at PlanetSKI we will be hearing from other resorts in the Alps later so do check back.

MONDAY APRIL 2ND

PlanetSKI's chief reporter has just arrived in Laax in Switzerland.

"Gorgeous Easter Monday in Laax, Switzerland, but very busy at the lifts. It's still winter up top but very much spring at the bottom," said Jane Peel.

Laax, SwitzerlandLaax, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laax, SwitzerlandLaax, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"A lot of people were out and about from early on which made for some long, frustrating queues at the lifts.

"I managed only two runs in an hour an a half this morning," she added.

Lift queue in LaaxStuck in the lift queue in Laax, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"When I eventually got some skiing in the snow up on the highest slopes was pretty good but firm, though in the warm sunshine after lunchtime, it was very heavy and lumpy on the lower slopes down to the Flims and Laax base stations."

Laax, MondayLaax, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jane is in the resort for the BRITS where the UK's best and up-and-coming freestsylers are in competition this week.

And it is none too shabby elsewhere in the Alps.

Our reporter, Ross Young, is in Les2Alpes.

"Conditions today were again excellent. The morning was pleasantly warm with plenty of blue sky and the freshly groomed pistes were soft and forgiving," said Ross.

"The slopes held up well throughout the day across the whole mountain, but in the afternoon the wind picked up a little as some clouds rolled in. Nobody here is complaining though - snow is expected on each of the next three days."

Lunchtime in Les2AlpesLunchtime in Les2Alpes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning, Les2AlpesMorning in Les2Alpes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon in Les2AlpesAfternoon in Les2Alpes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


And here is his son, Fynn.

The youngest PlanetSKI snow reporter. Wink

And what are the two doing in Les2Alpes this week?

Meanwhile check out the video from Val Thorens in Les3Vallees:


And one of our readers, Mike Hooper, has sent us this picture from nearby Tignes.

Tignes, FranceTignes, France



























SUNDAY APRIL 1ST

The weather has been fairly tranquil over the weekend after the snow of last week and there is more in the forecast to come in some places.

One of our reporters, Ross Young, has just arrived in Les2Alpes in the southern French Alps.

"We arrived on a gorgeous sunny day, with the remains of an overnight snowfall still lining the roads in resort," said Ross.

"Temperatures in town were a little above freezing, but conditions on the mountain looked ideal. More snow's forecast for the coming days to build on what are already excellent conditions for the time of year."

Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And up on the slopes of Les2Alpes on the Easter weekend?

Another of our reporters, Rod Frazer, from the British Alpine Ski School, BASS, was out making some turns.

"Certainly didn't feel like Spring over the Easter weekend. Saturday was a powder day with 30cm of fresh in resort, and cold temperatures to keep the snow in good shape, making it one of the best powder days of the season," said Rod.

"We had another top up on Saturday night, and continued cold temperatures, so superb powder skiing again on Easter Sunday.

"Needless to say, with all the snow we've had this season, the hill doesn't look remotely spring-like, with fantastic snow cover top to bottom."

Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France




















Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France




















Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France




















SATURDAY MARCH 31ST

Will it never end?

Winter that is...

Yet more snow has been falling across parts of the Alps and Pyrenees accompanied by high winds.

And it is going to remain unsettled over the next few days with more snow in the forecast.

Strong winds in the Pyrenees - this is Andorra in the video below:

Meteo Andorra warns of strong winds from the Northwest, with gusts up to 90-100 km/h. Some 10cm to 15 cm of fresh snow is expected from 1800m.

The temperature will be 0ºC from 1500m, -10 ºC at 2,600m.

The sun is promised for Sunday and Monday.

Strong winds in the Alps - this is Chamrousse Le Recoin in the Isère region in the video below:

Meteo Villes reported powerful winds in the Alps in the Isère region around lunchtime on Friday.

The winds in the Isère, specifically at the Croix de Chamrousse reached 140km/hour; 111km/hr at Chamrousse Le Recoin, 104km/hr in Villard de Lans and 101km/hr in Lus la Croix Haute.


FRIDAY MARCH 30TH

"It's great to have all the snow but can we please see some sun in Stuben next week?" said one of our readers, Julie Plant, who is heading out for an Easter break.

Stuben, St Anton and Lech all have a forecast of snow, rain and cloud for next week.  It is the same across other parts of the Tirol.

One of our reporters, Vanessa Fisher, is in Les Menuires in Les3Vallees this weekend.

"Strong wind closed a lot of the lifts around the 3 Valllees on Friday.  The Roc 1 bubble out of Les Menuires was open first thing but soon shut down with the higher chairs, Roc 2, Mont de la Chambre, Les Granges plus the bubbles Bruyere 1 and 2 all closing by 11am.

"The lower chair lifts are open so the huge event, the 24th Coq d'Or with 1500 + children from racing clubs all over France continues to take place above La Croisette sector."

"The car park looks like a summary of French resorts with minibus' from racing clubs such as Le Grand Bornand, Manigod, La Clusaz, Meribel, Le Corbier, all out in force."

 The 24th Coq d'Or, France The 24th Coq d'Or, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"With all the fresh snow being blown off the pistes and chairlifts posting signs to 'return to your resort' plus the wind gusting we decided it was best to head back to the chalet and head for the nearest swimming pool," added Vanessa.

Earlier in the week we reported onthe snow falling and the approaching weather:

The poor weather has also forced the postponement of the culmination fo the Freeride World Tour - the Verbier Xtreme on the Becs des Rosses, but it is now scheduled for Monday.

Verbier XtremeVerbier Xtreme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verbier, SwitzerlandVerbier, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THURSDAY MARCH 29TH

Our full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 29th March, comes from Fraser Wilkin at www.weathertoski.co.uk.

Snow depths in the Alps remain impressive for late March, especially at altitude where bases of 3-5m are not uncommon above 2500m.

Snow quality is highly variable, however, thanks to the dynamic weather situation and fluctuating temperatures.

There is quite a bit of fresh snow at altitude, with more on its way over the next couple of days, for both the northern and the southern Alps.

There has been some rain lower down, however, which means you will have to expect the snow to be wet at times.

In short, weather and snow conditions in the Alps over the next few days will be fairly typical for spring!

Across the pond, the resorts of western Canada are offering the best overall late season conditions…...

 

flag_austria

Austria

Snow conditions are highly variable across Austria right now thanks to the relatively mild temperatures and mixture of rain and snow.

Low resorts such as Kitzbühel (80/146cm) still have plenty of snow, but conditions are wet, especially close to resort level.

For the best skiing, you need plenty of altitude, which is where the likes of Obergurgl (105/248cm) and Hintertux (165/340cm) come in.

Expect more showers over the next few days, with snow at altitude and rain lower down.

Changeable weather in the Austrian Vorarlberg. This is Schröcken – 29 March 2018 – Photo: warth-schroecken.comChangeable weather in the Austrian Vorarlberg. This is Schröcken – 29 March 2018 – Photo: warth-schroecken.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_france

France

There is still lots of snow in the French Alps but, with the relatively mild weather, snow quality is closely correlated to altitude.

Cover is still excellent in low resorts such as La Clusaz (30/365cm) and Les Gets (60/275cm), but expect the pistes to be wet at times, especially close to resort level.

For more consistent snow quality you need to aim high, where conditions remain excellent in resorts such as Tignes (240/375cm) and Val Thorens (270/360cm).

Expect further snow at times over the next couple of days, but also some rain lower down. 

Bright skies this morning in the 3 Valleys. This is Méribel – 29 March 2018 – Photo: meribel.netBright skies this morning in the 3 Valleys. This is Méribel – 29 March 2018 – Photo: meribel.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_italy

Italy

Snow cover remains excellent across most Italian resorts though, like everywhere else in the Alps, snow quality depends a lot on altitude, with fluctuating temperatures, some new snow but also a little rain lower down.

Two of the best bets at the moment are Cervinia (60/390cm) and Livigno (105/150cm) where there is some fresh snow, and more in the forecast.

Lower down, snow conditions are more uniformly spring-like in the Dolomites, where Selva has base depths of 50/130cm.

Expect some further snow over the next couple of days, especially at altitude.


Excellent snow cover still in the Milky Way. This is Sestriere – 29 March 2018 – Photo: vialattea.itExcellent snow cover still in the Milky Way. This is Sestriere – 29 March 2018 – Photo: vialattea.it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_swiss

Switzerland

There is still lots of good skiing to be had in Switzerland, but snow quality is variable right now thanks to the relatively mild temperatures.

The best snow conditions can be found in high altitude resorts such as Zermatt (195/395cm) and Verbier (92/350cm).

Lower down, cover is still good in the likes of Villars (40/270cm) and Grindelwald (0/270cm), but expect wetter snow at times.

The weather will remain unsettled over the next couple of days with further snow for many, but also some rain lower down.

Cloudy skies this afternoon over eastern Switzerland. This is Laax – 29 March 2018 – Photo: laax.comCloudy skies this afternoon over eastern Switzerland. This is Laax – 29 March 2018 – Photo: laax.com





















Rest of Europe

Snow depths remain very healthy across most of the Pyrenees. Just like the Alps, however, snow conditions are variable, with the best skiing at altitude.

Spain’s Baqueira Beret has 220/300cm depending on altitude, while Andorra’s Pas de La Casa has 140/230cm.

Scottish resorts can still offer plenty of skiing, with good on-piste cover in all five main resorts.

Glencoe currently has base depths of 175/195cm, while Cairngorm has 80/140cm.

Norway hasn’t seen much snow in the last week but snow depths remain impressive after what has been a bumper season in many areas.

Hemsedal has upper base depths of 170cm, while Voss has 275cm. 

Plenty of snow still in the Pyrenees. This is Les Angles – 29 March 2018 – Photo: lesangles.comPlenty of snow still in the Pyrenees. This is Les Angles – 29 March 2018 – Photo: lesangles.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

flag_canada

Canada

Impressive conditions continue in Whistler (306cm upper base), with a further dusting of snow today and relatively low temperatures forecast for the foreseeable future.

You can also find some excellent skiing further inland in Banff (165/217cm), where plenty of snow flurries are expected to continue to keep things fresh over the next few days.

Excellent skiing conditions still in western Canada. This is Kicking Horse – 29 March 2018 – Photo: kickinghorseresort.comExcellent skiing conditions still in western Canada. This is Kicking Horse – 29 March 2018 – Photo: kickinghorseresort.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_usa

USA

Utah has seen some significant fresh snow this week – with 25cm on Tuesday in Alta, for example, where the upper base is now 254cm deep.

Wyoming’s Jackson Hole (216/328cm) is also in good shape following heavy snow earlier in the week, but Colorado’s Vail (135cm upper base) again missed the heaviest falls, as has often been the case this season. 

For daily weather bulletins from Fraser then follow it all at www.weathertoski.co.uk.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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