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SPRING IS HERE
Thursday April 12, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI is out enjoying some of the best April skiing for many years. The temperatures have shot up as spring takes hold but there's still great skiing to be had. UPDATED

 

 

 



THURSDAY 19TH APRIL

The latest images we have come from Val Thorens in France.

PlanetSKI is hoping to be in the resort next week - flights are booked and we are just sorting out accomodation. Cool

One of our readers, Jo Vizard, is in Val Thorens this week.

"There are huge amounts of snow still in the the resort.  It's the last week for seasonaires so night life is still good!" said PlanetSKI reader, Jo Vizard.

"The warm weather means it's a bit slushy at end of day but all round it is excellent for time of year."

And here's the evidence:

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France



























Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France



























And if you want to squeeze in a few final turns in Val Thorens the UK operator Erna Low is offering a great deal:

Departs 28th April

High altitude Val Thorens stays open until 8th May giving a full week of skiing possible in one of the best season's snow for many years.

1 x studio for up to 4 persons in the Silveralp Residence in Val Thorens costs £587 including return Eurotunnel crossing.

Just £147 per person   -
see here for further details.

WEDNESDAY 18TH APRIL

It could hardly be better in much of the Alps as spring takes hold just as the season is ending for many resorts.

PlanetSKI is in Flaine in France where it's been warm and sunny for the last two days and the spring snow off piste is fabulous if you choose the right slopes and the right time of day to ski them.

"We've have some fantastic turns in soft snow and a lot of hot but enjoyable ski touring," our chief reporter Jane Peel said.

Flaine, FranceFlaine, France





















"Even when you venture back on piste there's no one around.  It's the last week of the season here and I'm told the occupancy rate of the accommodation in town is just 15 per cent."

MONDAY APRIL 16th

The weather has turned distinctly spring-like across the Alps.Only a handful of resorts remain open but those that are running their lifts have exceptional snow cover for the time of year and there is some great skiing on offer.

Our editor, James Cove, is in the glacier resort of Stubai in the Tirol in Austria.

Stubai, Tirol, AustriaStubai, Tirol, Austria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's his report from today.


James is on a city and ski break staying in Innsbruck and sampling some of the surrounding resorts.

See here for his first blog:

Elsewhere in the Tirol a number of resorts close this weekend: Obergurgl, Pitztal and St Anton.

Others remain open until May 1st: Molltal, Ischgl, Zugspiste and Soelden.

Stubai itself is planning to be open until June 3rd and Hintertux in the Tirol offers year-round skiing on its glacier.

Our chief reporter Jane Peel is in Flaine in France where it has also been warm and overcast today.

Flaine, FranceFlaine, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Unfortunately it rained a lot overnight which didn't do much for the snow conditions," Jane said.

"It's been really heavy going, particularly off-piste and it's very warm."

We will be hearing from more of our readers and reporters still out in the mountains later today so do check back...

In the meantime we urge anyone out in the Alps at the moment to be especially careful off piste with the rising temperatures and the huge amounts of snow on many slopes.

This is what we saw on the way up the first lift in Stubai today:

SUNDAY APRIL 15th

Last week, as you will see below, we were in Zermatt in Switzerand and now one team from PlanetSKI has moved round to the Tirol in Austria.

The resort of Kuhtai to be precise.

So, why have we chosen Kuhtai?

It is one the highest resorts in Austria and today is its last day of the season.

It's now or never (well for the season anyway).

Meanwhile PlanetSKI's chief reporter, Jane Peel, is in Flaine in France, part of the Grand Massif ski area.

"There's only a week of the season left in Flaine and it's quiet on the slopes. Perfect spring skiing in warm sunshine," said Jane this morning.

Flaine, FranceFlaine, France

 

 










 

"The resort has started to wind down already with some lifts shut but the snow cover is impressive and it's still possible to ski most of the terrain except down to Sixt, which is at 760 metres," Jane added.

Flaine, FranceFlaine, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"This afternoon the runs were slushy and very hard work but that's to be expected at this time of year."

Jane is about to do a bit of ski touring on a Ski Club of Great Britain Freshtracks trip and will be reporting on the experience soon.

Many resorts are closing this weekend and shortly we will have the details of which ones remain open and where is best to for some last season skiing.

They are open for the next three weeks

It is already one of the best in a generation and here at PlanetSKI we will be making turns to the bitter end.

So, with Kuhtai now closed where is James off to next?

Stubai of course - check back later for his reports from the glacier resort.

FRIDAY APRIL 13th

We have our full weekly snow report below, but first Zermatt.

Thick flakes were falling on Thursday evening in Zermatt.


It follows snow earlier in the week but also, finally, some sunshine.

The downside though has been the wind.

It has been ferocious at altitude.

Neighbouring Cervinia in Italy was closed on Wednesday and again on Thursday.

The Kleine Matterhorn area of Zermatt has now joined in on the, er, inaction.

Zermatt and Cervinia, Thursday 12th AprilZermatt and Cervinia, Thursday 12th April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


But other parts of the resort have been in very good shape.

See a video report on Thursday from our editor, James Cove.

Zermatt has seen huge amount of snow this winter.

More than 5 metres and one local who has lived in the resort for 34-years, Sparky, says it is the most he can remember.

One place to see the evidence is the Riffleberg station of the Gornegrat side.

Huge amounts of snow remain as we approach mid-April.

Zermatt, SwitzerlandZermatt, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zermatt, SwitzerlandZermatt, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zermatt, SwitzerlandZermatt, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the trains still need snow blowers as we approach the middle of April.

 

Our full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 12th April comes from Fraser Wilkin at www.weathertoski.co.uk.

It may be the middle of April but snow cover remains very impressive right across the Alps, at altitude at least.

There is even some fresh snow in places, especially in the southern French and Western Italian Alps, where resorts such as Isola 2000, Prali and Bonneval sur Arc could be forgiven for thinking it was the middle of winter today!

It hasn't been cold though, which means that natural snow cover is now patchy at low altitudes, especially in the northern and eastern Alps where it has particularly mild this week.

Across the pond, some big name resorts are already closed (or about to close) for the season, but good skiing is still possible both in Canada and the US…

flag_austria

Austria

Austrian ski resorts have not seen any significant snow in the last week, and spring has taken hold in the lower resorts.

There is still plenty of piste skiing on offer in the likes of Kitzbühel (5/135cm), but there will be plenty of slush later in the day and little or natural snow lower down.

For better snow conditions, you need to head to resorts with plenty of skiing above 2000m, such as Obergurgl (85/191cm), Ischgl (50/150cm) and Hintertux (180/375cm).

Spring skiing in Lech – 12 April 2018 – Photo: lech.comSpring skiing in Lech – 12 April 2018 – Photo: lech.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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France

Snow conditions remain impressive across most of the French Alps for mid-April, with lots of fresh snow in the south, especially close to the Italian border from about Val d’Isère southwards.

Val d’Isère (200/330cm) is as good a bet as anywhere right now, with as much as 70cm of fresh up on the Pisaillas glacier.

In the far south, Isola 2000 (155/265cm) is another great option, with nearly 1m of new snow at altitude this week!

It should be noted that most of the northern Alps have seen little if any new snow, with many low resorts now in full spring mode.

You can still find some very good piste skiing in Châtel (40/210cm), for example, but natural snow cover is now patchy lower down.

Masses of new snow in Auron in the southern French Alps – 12 April 2018 – Photo: facebook.com/auron.officelMasses of new snow in Auron in the southern French Alps – 12 April 2018 – Photo: facebook.com/auron.officel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_italy

Italy

Many western Italian resorts have seen new snow this week, especially in the Piedmont, with more to come tonight and tomorrow.

Sestriere has now closed for the season (despite masses of snow) but nearby Prali has amazing conditions right with deep powder and base depths of 200/240cm depending on altitude.

Of the better known western Italian resorts, Cervinia (205/400cm) is probably the best bet for a combination of snow and available terrain (at least once the weather clears).

Further east, conditions are less spectacular, especially in the lower resorts.

You can still find some reasonable piste skiing in the morning in the Dolomites, but the atmosphere is definitely more spring-like and many resorts have already closed.

Kronplatz is still open and has 10/70cm of settled snow, depending on altitude.

Big snowfalls in the southern Piedmont. This is Prali – 12 April 2018 – Photo: nuova13laghi.comBig snowfalls in the southern Piedmont. This is Prali – 12 April 2018 – Photo: nuova13laghi.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_swiss

Switzerland

There is still some excellent skiing to be had in Switzerland, particularly at altitude, where the south-western resorts of Zermatt (80/360cm) and Saas-Fee (110/290cm) have both had a little snow spilling over the border from Italy.

The atmosphere is more spring-like lower down, but you can still catch some good piste skiing in resorts such as Wengen (0/171cm) and Klosters (70/249cm), especially in the morning.

Note that Engelberg now claims settled depths of 710cm up on its Titlis glacier, a figure we are not sure we have ever seen before in the Alps! 

Great late season snow conditions in Zermatt – 12 April 2018 – Photo: zermatt.comGreat late season snow conditions in Zermatt – 12 April 2018 – Photo: zermatt.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest of Europe

Many Pyrenean ski resorts have now closed, despite ample snow at altitude, however Andorra’s Arcalis (270/290cm) and France’s Cauterets (100/250cm) are both still open and saw 10cm of new snow today.

There is plenty of good skiing still available in Scandinavia, especially on-piste, where Norway’s Hemsedal has upper base depths of 190cm and Sweden’s Åre has 120cm.

All five main Scottish ski centres also still up and running, with spring snow conditions in Glencoe where snow depths are a very impressive 190/285cm.

Cairngorm, meanwhile, has a more modest 20/70cm.

Masses of snow still at altitude in the Pyrenees. This is Piau Engaly – 12 April 2018 – Photo: piau-engaly.comMasses of snow still at altitude in the Pyrenees. This is Piau Engaly – 12 April 2018 – Photo: piau-engaly.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

flag_canada

Canada

Whistler (303cm upper depth) has seen bits and pieces of new snow over the last week, rather than any significant falls, but there is a moderate dump forecast on Friday and conditions remain impressive for mid-April.

Good skiing can also be found further inland in the Banff/Lake Louise (147/232cm) area, where a little snow is also forecast this weekend.

Good skiing still available in Whistler – 12 April 2018 – Photo: whistlerblackcomb.comGood skiing still available in Whistler – 12 April 2018 – Photo: whistlerblackcomb.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag_usa

USA

Many western US resorts are starting to wind down for the season but there is still some good piste skiing to be found both in Colorado, where Breckenridge has upper base depths of 191cm, and in Utah, where Alta has 224cm.

Jackson Hole (Wyoming) has now closed for the season but California’s Mammoth (406cm upper base) will continue for some weeks to come.

 

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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