News Headlines     |     


North America gets walloped, Europe melts
Wednesday February 29, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

The tables have been turned. In Europe it had been endless snow with a drought in the USA. Now it is the opposite with huge falls in America and a worrying thaw in The Alps. PlanetSKI reports from where the biggest falls have been; California.

It has been the snowiest week of winter 2011-12 in much of North America with resorts reporting up to 90cm of snow in 48 hours and as much as 1.7m over the full week. 

There's been snow right across the continent with up to 1.2m  reported in New England on the eastern side.

In contrast the Alps have seen temperatures rise up to 30 degrees on a few weeks ago and conditions are now reported to be mostly 'Springlike' with little fresh snow in the past week.

Others describe it as more like summer.

There was some snowfall last week but some of it turned to rain as the temperature warmed up.

PlanetSKI, in the shape of our content editor James Cove, has had the good fortune to be in California where the most snow has fallen.

See his video snow report below.

It's been a powder day!It's been a powder day in Heavenly













However the new snow has led to tragedy in the area.

A man died in an avalanche near Alpine Meadows in the Lake Tahoe area.

The 29-year old was skiing in the backcountry in a group of three when he was buried. He was dug out by his friends and one stayed with him while the other went for help.

He died before help could arrive.

Meanwhile in Austria a member of the ski patrol died in Obertauern, in the Austrian province of Salzburg.

A huge wet snow avalanche destroyed a lift in France with people still on it. See this PlanetSKI story for further details.

Piling up high in NorthstarPiling up high in Northstar













Not needed anymoreNot needed anymore













For a detailed look at conditions see our report below compiled with help from our friends over at

We start where the best snow is - North America.

flag_usaUSA: The past week has been the snowiest of winter 2011-12 across the USA with resort's from Alaska to new Hampshire reporting huge snowfalls. 

As we reported above PlanetSKI is in California visiting Northstar, Kirkwood and Heavenly where some of the biggest falls have taken place.

In New England huge snowfalls have included 1.2m for Stowe including 60cm in 48 hours, and 1.36cm  at Sugarbush.

"For Stowe skiers and riders, this is the storm everyone has been waiting for!" summarised a statement from the resort.

Utah claims well over a metre inthe past week. See the promotional video below.

There have been big falls reported in all the major ski regions including Colorado and Utah with Jackson Hole in Wyoming, which has been having a good snowfall season already, adding another 90cm of snow in the past seven days.

Waist deep powder in HeavenlyWaist deep powder in Heavenly













flag_canadaCANADA:There have been big snowfalls in Canada once again with British Columbia's great snowfall season already receiving a further boost with several resorts reporting up to 90cm,of fresh snow falling over a 48 hour period in the past few days.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort received 82cm of snow this past week with the peak of the storm hitting just in time for Saturday skiers and delivering 34cm in just 24h hours.

"Incredible powder conditions were enjoyed all weekend long as the storm finally tailed-off on Sunday, opening the skies to some beautiful sunshine for the past two days.  More snow is in the forecast for this week with the heaviest portion predicted just in time for our weekend visitors again!" said Sarah Windsor from the resort.

For a change though there has been almost as much snow in Eastern Canada as in the west. 

Mont Sutton has had the most in Quebec in the past 7 days with 82cm.  Big falls have been reported too by Le Massif, 70cm, and most other resorts in the region have had at least 30cm over the same period.

Tremblant reports 39cm and Mont Sainte Anne 27cm.

One of our partners, the British Alpine Ski and Snowbaord School (BASS),  has been heliskiing in British Columbia.

Its director, Hugh Monney, has just sent us in these pictures and video.

Canadian TracksCanadian Tracks













Hugh in his natural environmentHugh in his natural environment













Here's a list of all snow depths in Canada.

flag_austriaAUSTRIA: Resorts in Austria had some of the best snowfalls in the Alps at the end of last week.

Fieberbrunn received 40cm while 15cm  fell in  Sölden, Stubai and Flachau.

The top snow depths can now be found in Zugspitzplatt Ehrwald  with a reported 4.9m  and St Anton, 4.65m.

You can find furhter new shere on the snow depths in Austria.


SWITZERLAND:There has been limited snowfall recently although conditions are still reported to be good. 

Resorts like Arosa, Laax and Disentis 3000 reported 10cm in total for the last seven days.

The deepest snow can be found in Engelberg (5.4m), Laax (3.8m), Champex-Lac (3.8m) and Crans Montana (3.6m).

summerSummer has arrived in Verbier













This is where to find all snow depths in Switzerland.

flag_italyITALY: There's been little fresh snow in Italy in the past week with some of the country's deepest snowpack (3m/10 feet) in the south of the country near Rome at ski areas like Campo Imperatore.

Hardly household names in the UK! 

However most of the major resorts across the north of the country still have healthy snow depths on upper slopes of 90-150cm.

flag_franceFRANCE: Warm weather has moved in to the French Alps, impacting the huge snow pack that built up over the past three months.

The snow depth recorded by ski resorts remain high with 4.5m at Chamonix, 3.5m at Alpe d'Huez and 3.4m at Flaine.

Rain is forecast at the weekend that will be snow at the high altitude resorts.

The snow line should be at about 1,800m - 2,000m.


ANDORRA: After several very snowy weeks there's been little new snow in the Pyrenees in the past week.

Most resorts remain in good shape because of those earlier accumulations.

Find live information on all snow depths in Andorra.


flag_-_scotland_01SCOTLAND:It's been another week to forget for Scottish skiing with what may have been the warmest ever February day in the country this week.

The double digit temperatures have wiped out the remaining snow at Glenshee and The Lecht .

There's only limited terrain open on upper runs at Cairngorm, Nevis range and Glencoe with warm temperatures continuing. 

To rub salt in the wounds strong winds have stopped those three centres from offering snow sports on most days in the past week in any case.


NORWAY: Scandinavian ski areas have seen some of the best snowfalls in Europe over the past week. 

Snowy Jolster in Norway has added another 70cm to its huge 2011-12 snowfall tally and coastal Voss has reported the same amount of new snow. 

The forecast is that it will remain warm in The Alps though there is the chance of some snow in the early part of next week.

Fingers crossed.

For the last video report from James Cove in Northstar then see this related story and he has also been blogging - see his latest one here.

For the spirit of the mountains

Related Articles

SKI RESORTS OPEN (Thursday May 24, 2018)
WINTER RETURNS TO EUROPE (Friday May 18, 2018)
FIRST SNOW DOWN UNDER (Monday May 14, 2018)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners