The PlanetSKI snow report
It has been billed as one of the best half term weeks in many seasons with huge snow depths, fresh powder and cold temperatures in The Alps. The USA has finally seen some fresh snow too. So has it been the best? Check out our snow overview with a special video report from the USA.
Friday February 17, 2012 - Email this article to a friend
Whether it has actually been the best depends on your point of view and, of course, where you have been.
In Europe it has been cold, very cold, so it has been good for the snow but not so good for keeping warm. However the really cold snap faded as the week wore on.
Many slopes were less crowded than in previous holidays week so good for the skiers and snowboarders out, but not so good for business with less people around.
There has been fresh snow in parts of the Alps, but also white out conditions.
It has been very cold further north in Finland.
A PlanetSKI reporter, Christian Ferree, was there and says it was -38c.
He was travelling with one of PlanetSKI's partners, Inghams, and below is a picture of Lisa Tyrrell from Ighams - complete with frozen eye lashes!
A PlanetSKI reader in St Anton in Austria reports very little open and she says she could barely see the ends of her skis as the weather closed in.
The new snow and high winds led to an avalanche that came across a piste and killed a man in Ischgl as we have reported here.
In Verbier it has been somewhat subdued for half-term week.
"Snow great. Resort very quiet," said a message we have received from PlanetSKI reader, Andrew Storey, who is in the Swiss resort.
Over in the USA the snow drought has finally come to an end with fresh snow in California, Colorado and - at last - Utah.
25 cm of much-wanted snow fell in Deer Valley, Park City, Snowbird and other Utah resorts at the beginning of the week.
Check out the special video snow report below from our content editor, James Cove, in Utah.
As well as the snow he gives an insight into what the resorts are like. He talks about the food and how it is quite possible to get an alcoholic drink in the Mormon state.
It was recorded at the weekend just before the fresh snow fell.
For a couple of blogs from Utah see the first one here as he questions Utah's claim that it has The Greatest Snow on Earth and the second blog as he skied round the major resorts in a single day on The Interconnect Tour.
For a detailed look at the snow across the world then see our country by country round up, that comes with the help of our good friends over at Skinfo.co.uk
AUSTRIA: Austria's ski slopes are all in a great shape with the low temperatures and some small snowfalls from time to time.
Several resorts in the Austrian Tirol have received up to 50 cm fresh snow over the last few days, including St. Anton, Ischgl and Galtür, Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Kühtai and Mayrhofen.
Sölden and Obergurgl as well as Alpbach received up to 40 cm. The Wilder Kaiser, including the resort of Söll in the Skiwelt and Wildschönau have had up to 20 cm.
The best snow depths can be found with 4.7m at Dachstein Glacier and St Anton that has a base at the top of over 5m. 40cm fell in St Anton overnight earlier in the week.
"The lower slopes of St Anton are open but hugely crowded owing to the closure of the upper runs in the resort so its problematic and not fun. I avoided. Lots of blasting however all day on upper slopes," said PlanetSKI reader, Helen Gillespie, in St Anton.
You can find here all snow depths in Austria.
SWITZERLAND:There are excellent ski conditions across Switzerland at the moment with small falls of snow most days keeping the pistes fresh.
That means slopes can be well groomed each day.
Engelberg still has the deepest snow depth of 476cm, followed by Champex-Lac, and also Laax, both with 380 cm.
It has though been cold, especially in high altitude resorts like Zermatt.
"On Sunday it was so windy and cold at -22c, that after our day of skiing we had to go into town to buy balaclavas, glove liners, hand warmers and extra socks! And today the sun has finally come out and we happily ate lunch up in the mountains on an outdoor table. But it's incredibly windy," said PlanetSKI reader, Edward Pivcevic, in Zermatt.
That's him in the picture below!
We have just received this weahter update on Friday 17th from one of our partners in Zermatt, European Snowsport.
"It looks as though this warmer weather is here to stay. Temperatures are set to increase slightly over the rest of the week which should include a few blue bird days. Due to strong winds some of the lifts on the Klein Matterhorn side of the resort have been closed but hopefully they will re-open again soon so we can take full advantage of the clouds clearing leaving the Matterhorn in full view once again."
This is where to find all snow depths in Switzerland.
ITALY: Resorts in Italy have posted the most snowfall in the past 7 days of any country in the world.
In the Aosta Valley it has been good for the UK half-term week.
In the Aosta Valley resort of Courmayeur on Valentine's Day love was in the air.
The resort has St Valentine as a patron saint and the town goes to special efforts for courting couples as we reported in this story.
The Dolomites have done well too; 60cm for Arabba and 45cm at neighbouring Alta Badia.
Here are all snow depths in Italy.
FRANCE: With very cold weather predominant in France over the past week there has been little fresh snow, with the biggest falls of 40cm over the past seven days coming at small resorts in the south of the country and in the Pyrenees.
There has been some fresh snow - Avoriaz reported 10cm on Wednesday and La Rosiere 5cm.
The deepest snow in the country is in the Chamonix Valley with 4.3m - for a recent PlanetSKI report on how the loclas have been coping with the snow this season then see here.
Here's a list of all snow depths in France.
ANDORRA: Cold conditions prevail across the Pyrenees with some snowfall.
More snowfall is likely over the coming days.
Find live information on all snow depths in Andorra
SPAIN: Baqueira Beret had 30cm of snow overnight on Tuesday.
PlanetSKI reporter, Xavier Adam is in the resort of Val de Nuria in Catalunya.
"Most resorts have a good coverage. But lower down the mountain may be patchy and icy in places. Un-seasonally cold weather has preserved the snowfall to date and skiing conditions are good," he said.
Here are all snow depths in Spain.
SCOTLAND: Although England was gripped by sub-zero temperatures last week, in an unusual contrast Scotland was not, and temperature were up to 20 degrees higher than the -15C reported in South East England.
This has had some affect on snow cover at the five Scottish ski areas with The Lecht particularly hard hit with only very limited terrain open.
The other four areas have between 25 and 50% of their terrain open.
NORWAY: Røldal has the deepest snow levels at 3.85m.
SWEDEN: Are, the country's biggest resort, had 20cm+ falls for two successive days.
USA: There have been some decent snowfalls in the USA over the past week, good news with a holiday weekend for Presidents Day in the country.
As we reported in the video snow report above there is some snow finally falling in the USA.
"We had 25cm of fresh snow in Park City over the last 24 hours," said Caroline Corfield-Rose from Utah on Tuesday. She works for the Ski Utah Tourist office.
"After a bit lacking the fresh snow Utah is famed for, we had a surprise harvest of light fluffy powder today covering the bumps and stumps with a fresh carpet of soft, groomed pistes and some nice new virgin snow. The slopes were deserted - lifts empty and even in the early afternoon we found fresh powder runs and untouched, perfectly combed 'groomers'!"
Below is a picture that has been tweeted to us from Solitude in Utah.
Resorts in California, which has had a particularly challenging winter with snowfall typically a third of the average rate in contrast to the previous record breaking winter, have reported healthy accumulations of up to 25cm.
Resorts say conditions are now great. PlanetSKI will be in California in 10 days or so and we will let you know what it has been like this winter.
One of our partner resorts in the USA, Vail in Colorado, has just posted this promotional video of the recent snow on You Tube.
Sit back and enjoy!
The deepest snow in the country is still in the NorthWest with Mt Baker in Alaska living up to its title of the world's snowiest resort with 4.7m.
This list details all snow depths in the US.
CANADA:Canada remains buried deep in snow but the cold temperatures of January have eased to make the experience of skiing or boarding it all ever more pleasurable.
"Warm ski temperatures and impeccable grooming have made for great cruising from top to bottom on all mountain faces while soft snow awaits in the 15 gladed areas around the mountain," said a statement from Revelstoke in BC.
"Additional top-ups of snow over the last few days over a deep base of 208cm has enhanced the soft snow surface and groomed conditions."
The deepest snow in the country is in BC with Powder king deepest with 401cm, however Mont Sainte Anne over in Quebec is not far behind with 368cm.
Here's a list of all snow depths in Canada.
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