News Headlines     |     


Thursday January 25, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

There are record-breaking depths for January in a number of high resorts. However it's been mild in the Alps with rain on some lower slopes. UPDATED


Monday 29th January.

This week our editor, James Cove, and senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, are off to the French Pyrenees and Andorra. 

They're heading there by train.

And we're delighted to say the resorts in the French Pyrenees have just received some snow.

The new Pyrenees2vallees ski area received up to 50cm of new snow over the weekend: (Peyragudes 60cm+, St Lary 50cm+, Piau Engaly 45cm+, Val Louron 55cm+).

Already with great skiing conditions following fresh snow on the 6th January (20 -25 cm), these four ski resorts in the French Pyrenees are now in great shape: Saint Lary, Peyragudes, Piau Engaly and Val Louron.

And here they are:

French PyreneesFrench Pyrenees

French PyreneesFrench Pyrenees

French PyreneesFrench Pyrenees

French PyreneesFrench Pyrenees

Sunday 28th January

It is a rare thing for PlanetSKI to say that we welcome a lack of snowfall in the mountains.

But at the moment we do.

A break in the heavy storms of the last few weeks is more than welcome.

Lunch on the terrace at last and plenty of slopes open.

One of our reporters, Tord Nilson, has been in St Anton in Austria this weekend.

See here for his report:

And one of our readers, Michael Pettifer, is in Morzine in France.

"The weather is sunny and quite cold although  this morning cloudy and warm in the village. The pistes hard and quite icy but you can pick a line usually on the edge of the piste where snow is softer," said Michael.

"Off piste some springish snow when you can find it  but otherwise it is hard packed but skiable. In middle of the day quite a bit of slush on the lower slopes due to the warm temperatures."

Morzine, FranceMorzine, France

Morzine, FranceMorzine, France

Morzine, FranceMorzine, France

And what was Michael doing in Morzine?

His company, MPI Brokers, sponsors the annnual AJ Bell Alpine Challenge, that is run by the charity, Snow Camp,

One of the teams was the Red Devils.

Morzine, FranceMorzine, France

Meanwhile our chief reporter, Jane Peel, is in Jasna in Slovakia.

Check out her report if you want to here about the skiing out east.
At the top, JasnaJasna, Slovkia
















While the PlanetSKi social media editor, Kisia Cove, is currently in Pila in the Aosta Valley in Italy.

UPDATE:  Disaster for Kisia! She won't be telling us all about the skiing in Pila in the Aosta Valley. 

Before even getting on the slopes she slipped on stairs and now has a badly swollen ankle.  

See here for her tale of woe:  
Poor Kisia!Poor Kisia!














Meanwhile one of our roving reporters, Petra Shepherd, is in Les Menuires in Les3Vallees and will be reporting for us this week.

PlanetSKI's Petra ShepherdPlanetSKI's Petra Shepherd

Les3Vallees, FranceLes3Vallees, France

And the snow across the mountains?

See below for our weekly resport with all the details.

Thursday 25th January

Our full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 25th January comes from Fraser Wilkin at

Snow depths remain exceptional across many parts of the Alps, especially at altitude where a number of resorts now have upper base depths in excess of 4m.

Some resorts such as Crans Montana and Engelberg even have in excess of 6m!

Despite these astonishing snow depths, it has actually been very mild in the Alps and at low altitudes January looks set to become one of the mildest ever in parts of France and Switzerland.

This means that we have an unusual disparity between upper and lower snow depths in many areas.

Engelberg, for example, has 655cm up top on the glacier but just 5cm at village level.

Similarly, the Portes du Soleil has around 360cm at 2300m yet just 5cm at 1000m.

On Friday it will snow across some southern and western parts of the Alps but the fine and very mild weather will return on Saturday and last until the middle of next week. 

Meanwhile, across the pond, snow conditions (generally speaking) remain better in Canada than in the US…..




Generally speaking snow conditions remain excellent across Austria though the mild weather has led to variable snow quality on some lower slopes, especially off-piste.

High altitude Obergurgl has settled snow depths of 180/360cm while Obertauern has 200/250cm.

Lower down, Niederau still has an impressive 80/200cm while Söll has 70/165cm.

Austrian resorts will see little or no snowfall from the next storm and should stay dry and mild until the middle of next week.

Mostly sunny today in the southern Austrian Alps. This is Turracher Höhe – 25 January 2018 – Photo: turracherhoehe.atMostly sunny today in the southern Austrian Alps. This is Turracher Höhe – 25 January 2018 – Photo:
















French resorts have a huge amount of snow at altitude, especially in the northern Alps where Tignes boasts 244/400cm depending on altitude, and Flaine has 157/410cm.

Snowfall figures are a bit more “normal” lower down, but 120/260cm in Megève is still impressive for a resort where most of the skiing is below 2000m.

Generally speaking, the recent mild weather has meant that snow quality is just that bit more variable low down, especially off-piste.

Some areas will have a top up of snow on Friday, mostly in the southern French Alps (e.g. Isola 2000), before it turns fine and very mild again everywhere over the weekend and into the first part of next week. 

Very snowy in Val Thorens – 25 January 2018 – Photo: snowy in Val Thorens – 25 January 2018 – Photo:

















Snow conditions in Italy remain impressive though, as with everywhere else in the Alps, milder weather has led to some variability in snow quality low down, especially off-piste.

The very deepest snow is still at altitude in the west where Cervinia has base depths of 90/400cm, and La Thuile has 80/290cm.

Further east, snow coverage is also excellent with 125/155cm in Arabba and 60/250cm in Passo Tonale.

Some central and western Italian resorts (e.g. Champoluc, Sestriere) will see fresh snow tomorrow before the weather settles down again over the weekend.

Clouding over this afternoon in Madonna di Campiglio – Photo: funiviecampiglio.itClouding over this afternoon in Madonna di Campiglio – Photo:
















Snow conditions remain impressive across Switzerland even if the mild weather has led to a slight thaw in some low resorts.

Some high resorts such as Zermatt (120/345cm) are only just getting back up to speed following the recent massive storms.

Further north, Wengen has snow depths of 25/130cm while Flims has 72/465cm.

Some snow is expected in the southern Swiss Alps (e.g. Zermatt, Saas-Fee) on Friday, before it turns fine and mild again over the weekend and into the first part of next week. 

Massive snow depths at Glacier 3000 – 25 January 2018 – Photo: snow depths at Glacier 3000 – 25 January 2018 – Photo:
















Rest of Europe

There hasn’t been much snow in the Pyrenees in recent days but there is still some good piste skiing to be found both in Andorra, where base depths in Pas de La Casa are 70/90cm, and in Spain where Baqueira Beret has 105/160cm.

In Scotland, the wind has been playing havoc with conditions in recent days but generally speaking west is best with a respectable 90/130cm in Glencoe.

Glenshee, by comparison, is struggling with a rather paltry 5/50cm.

Recent snow in Norway means that conditions are excellent in most resorts, including Hemsedal where upper base depths are 120cm.

Decent pistes in Les Angles in the French Pyrenees – 25 January 2018 – Photo: lesangles.comDecent pistes in Les Angles in the French Pyrenees – 25 January 2018 – Photo:














North America



Whistler (274cm upper base) has seen a lot of snow recently - 154cm in the last seven days in fact – which means that conditions are fantastic right now.

There is also more snow in the forecast, heaviest on Sunday though it will turn to rain for a time lower down.

Further inland, new snowfalls have been more moderate but conditions are still excellent in both Fernie (235cm upper slopes) and Revelstoke (205cm upper slopes).

Good snow conditions in Lake Louise – 25 January 2018 – Photo: skilouise.comGood snow conditions in Lake Louise – 25 January 2018 – Photo:
















The deepest snow and best conditions continue to be found in the northern Rockies where Mt Baker has seen over half a metre of new snow in the last 24 hours alone, and upper base depths now stand at 452cm.

Jackson Hole (216cm upper base) has also seen significant new snow but many Utah and Colorado resorts have only seen bits and pieces and remain below par. Aspen has 64/109cm on its pistes depending on altitude, while Vail has 97cm up top. 

For daily weather bulletins  from Fraser then follow it all at

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

Related Articles

PLANETSKI HEADS SOUTH (Monday August 20, 2018)
ANDES BATTERED WITH SNOW (Friday August 17, 2018)
COLD SNAP ACROSS OZ (Friday August 10, 2018)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners