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IT'S BEEN SNOWING AGAIN!
Thursday November 23, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

More snow is falling in places, but what impact will it have on the approaching ski season? Check out our updated snow report. UPDATED

 

 

The early season conditions across Europe and North America are some of the best in recent years.

It looks like it could be an excellent start to the season for many resorts.

Some are already open but the majority open in a few weeks time ahead of Xmas.

As we have reported the snow fall over the past few weeks we have been careful not to over-egg the pudding  - the last few seasons in the Alps have seen good November snow, but this has not translated to good skiing over Xmas and the New Year.

However the snow keeps on coming, the temperatures remain cold and the season is getting close and closer.

The key thing now is not so much more snow, but rather that the temperature remains cold.

And the forecast is for it to do so. Cool

Zero and below temperatures are expected in Switzerland this weekend.

Above 1,500m could experience temps around -9°C

Good news for ski resorts waiting to turn on the snow machines.

The past few years have not seen much snowfall before Christmas in Switzerland with last year seeing the driest month of December in a long time.

Snow has already fallen across the country and this cold spell could be a sign that it's about to change...

Crans Montana Snow Angels Facebook photoA cold day up at altitude in Crans Montana earlier this week




















Last weekend more snow fell at some resorts in the Alps - not so good if you were in a resort hoping to ski as the clouds came in, but good as more snow is always welcome.

The image below comes from the Rothorn area of Zermatt at 3,000m and was taken on Saturday.
Zermatt, SwitzerlandZermatt, Switzerland



















And here was the scene in Val Thorens on Sunday morning - with a small break in the clouds.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last weekend PlanetSKI's senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, was in Val Thorens in Les3Vallees for its official opening.

The weather improved as the day wore on and the images below come from the neighbouring resort of Meribel and were taken by our friends from Meriski, the Meribel chalet specialists.

Meribel, FranceMeribel, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meribel, FranceMeribel, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meribel, FranceMeribel, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to be balanced & fair to the resorts in Les3Vallees here is the scene at Courchevel on Monday morning:

Courchevel, FranceCourchevel, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further south in the Alps the sun is also out.

The image below was sent to us by Katie Waddington from Zenith Holidays.

Alpe d'Huez, FranceAlpe d'Huez, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We may be seeing an excellent start to the 2017/18 ski season.

And what about over in North America?

The PlanetSKi editor, James Cove, has been in Mammoth in the US this week with some good conditions.

And across other resorts in the USA and Canada it is looking just as good though warm temperatures have hit parts of the USA in recent days.

As the Alps remains cold in the USA the opposite is happening with some resorts closing some slopes as the warm temperatures bite.

It has been good across the Alps as we have tracked the resorts opening.

Our full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 23rd November, comes from Fraser Wilkin at www.weathertoski.co.uk.

Snow conditions in the Alps remain pretty good for late November, despite the milder weather this week.

This weekend it will turn colder and snowier again, and colder still next week with even more snow, so all in all it’s a very encouraging start to the winter season.

There are inevitably still some areas of the Alps that don’t have much snow right now, even at altitude.

Once such area is the Aosta valley in north-western Italy (e.g. Cervinia, Courmayeur) where cover remains very patchy.

Some southern French resorts away from the Italian border are also very short of snow (e.g. Les Orres, SuperDévoluy, Serre Chevalier).

However, for the majority of the Alps there now a decent base at altitude with plenty more snow on the day over the next 7-10 days.

Across the pond, the big news is the vast quantity of snow that has fallen in the Pacific north-west, in resorts such as Whistler and Mt Baker…..

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Austria

Milder weather is thawing some of the lower lying snow in Austria right now but, generally speaking, snow conditions are good for November with an increasing number of non-glacial options to choose from.

The most prominent of these is Ischgl (60cm upper base) where 166km of runs are now open, the most extensive amount of skiing in the Alps for now.

Other recommended resorts include Obergurgl (60/169cm) with 99km of pistes, Sölden (5/180cm) with 91km and Obertauern (60/80cm) with 50km.

More snow is due over the weekend and at times next week.

Ischgl kicks off today with healthy snow cover – 23 November 2017 – Photo: ischgl.comIschgl kicks off today with healthy snow cover – 23 November 2017 – Photo: ischgl.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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France

Of the French ski resorts, Val Thorens (50/60cm) offers the greatest extent of skiing right now.

However, this is likely to be eclipsed by L’Espace Killy this weekend as Tignes adds significantly to its current offering of seven runs and is joined by neighbouring (and linked) Val d’Isère (20/45cm).

While there isn’t a vast amount of snow in L’Espace Killy, there is plenty to get a decent number of runs open, and more snow is expected to fall both this weekend and at times next week.

Other resorts in the French Alps that are partially open include Montgenèvre (30/40cm) and Isola 2000 (50/56cm).

Isola 2000 has seen good early snowfall – 23 November 2017 – Photo: isola2000.comIsola 2000 has seen good early snowfall – 23 November 2017 – Photo: Isola2000.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_italy

Italy

Snow conditions are quite mixed across the Italian ski resorts, with good snow cover for the time of year in both the eastern Italian Alps (e.g. Dolomites) and far south-west (e.g. Prato Nevoso).

The Aosta valley, however, has less snow for now. Indeed snow cover in Cervinia (0/110cm) - often among the better options in the Alps at this time of year - is very patchy and skiing is still confined to the glacier.

Better options include Prato Nevoso (60/100cm), Kronplatz (10/40cm) and Val Senales (10/105cm).

Snow is expected across some Italian resorts this weekend but not, generally speaking, as much as in the northern Alps.

Kronplatz has a good number of runs open thanks to a combination of natural and man-made snow – 23 November 2017 – Photo: kronplatz.comKronplatz has a good number of runs open thanks to a combination of natural and man-made snow – 23 November 2017 – Photo: kronplatz.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_swiss

Switzerland

Snow cover in the Swiss Alps is generally pretty good for late November.

The most impressive snow depths are in the northern Swiss resort of Engelberg (20/215cm), where nine slopes are open and (as of today) you can ski back to resort.

Two other good options are Zermatt (5/60cm) which has 41km of pistes open, and Saas-Fee (20/80cm) where there are 26km.

Fresh snow is expected across all Swiss ski resorts this weekend and at times next week.

Arosa is one of a number of eastern Swiss resorts that are now partially open – 23 November 2017 – Photo: arosa.comArosa is one of a number of eastern Swiss resorts that are now partially open – 23 November 2017 – Photo: arosa.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest of Europe

A number of ski resorts are now partially open in the Pyrenees but Spain’s Baqueira Beret still leads the way with 23 of its 104 runs in operation.

Most other non-Alpine European skiing is currently in Scandinavia, where dozens of resorts are now open, albeit on a very limited basis. Finland’s Levi, for example, has four prepared pistes and snow depths of 10/50cm depending on altitude.

Baqueira Beret remains the best option in the Pyrenees at the moment – 23 November 2017 – Photo: baqueira.esBaqueira Beret remains the best option in the Pyrenees at the moment – 23 November 2017 – Photo: baqueira.es

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

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Canada

Whistler (120cm mid-mountain base) has seen a huge amount of early snow though in recent days milder weather has affected the snow quality, especially lower down.

Further inland, snow conditions are more consistent right now in the Banff/Lake Louise area where they have also had plenty of early snow and the upper base is around 100-120cm deep.

Deep snow at altitude in Whistler, though it has turned much milder this week – 23 November 2017 – Photo: facebook.com/WhistlerBlackcombDeep snow at altitude in Whistler, though it has turned much milder this week – 23 November 2017 – Photo: facebook.com/WhistlerBlackcomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_usa

USA

Recent snow in California has made for a decent early base in Mammoth (50/152cm) though warmer weather is now affecting the quality of the snow.

A number of ski resorts are also open in Colorado, though it is currently very mild here too.

Breckenridge and Vail both have settled upper snow depths of around 45cm.

Further north, Jackson Hole has more natural snow (around 130cm up top) and will open on Friday. 

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.

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IT'S SNOWING AGAIN! (Friday December 15, 2017)
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