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Snow round up - our weekly look at conditions
Saturday January 3, 2009 - Email this article to a friend

The heavy snowed has eased off but many places in the Alps had a fresh fall on New Year's eve.

Here's the latest from our friends at

After the huge snowfalls in the Alps and Pyrenees in November and December, conditions have eased a little however smaller, but still significant, falls of snow have been reported across the
continent in recent days.

For the biggest falls, the emphasis has shifted to Western North America
where, after little snow prior to mid-November, huge falls are now being
reported leading to excellent conditions, but also high avalanche risk with
a dozen fatalities in recent weeks, most of them skiers who ventured off

British Columbia has been especially blessed with new powder. Red Mountain
reported 120cm (four feet) of fresh snow falling over 72 hours prior to New
Years day and is expecting another foot or two. A little to the south
Jackson Hole in Wyoming was closed due to avalanche risk as a result of the
huge falls there. Avalanches had caused one fatality and in a separate
incident, damage to a mountain restaurant.

In Europe, Swiss resorts continue to offer excellent conditions with fresh
falls topping up levels at Andermatt, Saas Fee and Zermatt, all with more
than three metres (10 feet) of snow. The Eastern side of the country has
reported record lows for this time of year hitting -27C in the past week.

Austria has seen modest falls of 5-10cm at resorts like St Anton and
Schadming in the past week, with more snow falling there now. The Muolltal
has the greatest snowdepth in the country with 330cm (11 feet),
Obergurgl has 265cm (nearly nine feet).
ary in recent days with Limone receiving 30cm (a foot) of new snow earlier
this week.  Arabba Marmolada  in the dolomites continues to top the
country’s snow depth table with 480cm (16 feet) of snow on upper slopes.

In France the most snow has been falling on resorts in the south of the
country with up to 80cm (32 inches) of new snow reported over seven days.
Top snow depth in the country is report at Abriès (Three metres/10 feet)
whilst Montgenèvre  250cm (over eight feet) has the leading snow cover of
the major resorts.

In the Pyrenees powder conditions continue in the main resorts. On the
French side Les Angles got the most fresh snow in the country over Christmas
week with 70cm (28 inches) more powder.  However the avalanche risk is high
here too. There’s a holiday atmosphere in Spanish ski resorts where the
holidays continue until January 6th. Baqueira Beret has the best snow depth
with 225cm at the top of its runs.  To the south Sierra Nevada now has three
metres (10 feet) of snow on its upper slopes.

Conditions are also good in Scandinavia with most ski areas open and more
snow expected this week. In Scotland there’s limited cover but Glenshee has
managed to reopen, joining Cairngorm and The Lecht. Eastern Europe has had
some snow with Bulgarian areas reporting 40-80cm, a great improvement
following a lacklustre start.  Japan saw heavy snow with warm temperatures
at leading resorts but conditions are reported to have improved there too
with temperatures falling.  Niseko reported a metre (40 inches) of fresh
snow falling in the last 72 hours of 2008.

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