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Great conditions for Easter
Thursday March 24, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

As the Easter break gets underway the temperatures have dropped and some snow has fallen in places. It follows some of the best conditions of the winter. NEW

March has proved to be an excellent month for skiing across the Alps and the Pyrenees.  

Earlier in the month there was heavy snow across many parts followed by wall-to-wall sunshine.

Here is the current scene in Val Thorens - the highest resort in the Alps where skiing continues into May.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France














And it is looking pretty good in neighbouring Les Menuires in Les3Vallees.

Les Menuires, FranceLes Menuires, France
















It seems to be similar across the Alps.

"I'm in Alpe d'Huez in France and the snow is superb," said PlanetSKI reader, Peter Driscoll, on Good Friday.

"Fabulous skiing today in Val Cenis in Italy with blue sky and good snow," added Katie Waddington from Zenith Holidays.

PlanetSKI's Chief Reporter Jane Peel is in Mayrhofen in Austria, where it's gone from spring back to winter again this week.

"Sunday and Monday were very mild and very sunny with typical spring snow conditions.  Early in the day the slopes were hard-packed and icy, but they soon softened in the strong sunshine.

"It was great picnic weather.  This was our view when we stopped for a late lunch on Eggalm on Monday," said Jane.

Picnic spot at EggalmPicnic spot at Eggalm













"And this was later the same day as we enjoyed a beer after our final run of the day down Ahorn to Mayrhofen."

Apres ski time in MayrhofenApres ski time in Mayrhofen













"There were signs of change on Tuesday with a few clouds in the sky, but on Wednesday it felt like winter had returned as we skied above Gerlos and Zell am Ziller.  There was poor visibility, much cooler temperatures with light snow falling for much of the day.

"The snow freshened the surface of the pistes, but the amount that fell wasn't enough to improve the off-piste".

Wintry above Zell am ZillerWintry above Zell am Ziller













The full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 24th March, comes from Fraser Wilkin at

Snow conditions in the Alps remain pretty good for late March, even if many areas haven't seen any significant snow for a while now.

One exception is the Austria Alps, particularly in the north and east, where around 10-20cm (locally a bit more) of snow has fallen in the last 36 hours.
Elsewhere in the Alps the inevitable freeze-thaw cycle has led to spring-like conditions on some lower and/south-facing slopes.

However, with freezing levels largely below average over the last couple of weeks, it has been easy to find more "wintry" snow on higher and/or shadier slopes.

In short, afternoon slush has not been nearly as bad in recent days as it can be at this time of year.



Some northern and eastern Austrian ski resorts are enjoying fresh snow - 15cm at altitude in Saalbach, for example, where base depths are 45/75cm.
The southern and far western Austrian Alps have missed most of the recent snow but conditions are still generally good, particularly at altitude, with 105/185cm in Lech and 10/310cm in Sölden.




Snow conditions in the French Alps remain quite good for late March despite a lack of significant new snow in recent days.
Not surprisingly, the very best snow quality is at altitude in resorts such as Tignes (143/240cm) and Les Arcs (117/287cm).
However, even lower down there is some enjoyable skiing to be had, especially if you chase the sun round the mountain.

Châtel has an impressive 85/175cm of settled snow depending on altitude, while Megève has 60/275cm.



Most Italian ski resorts are still in great shape for the time of year.
The very best snow conditions are at altitude in ski resorts such as Passo Tonale (70/250cm) and Livigno (60/133cm).
However, even lower down the cover is still good, with plenty of enjoyable on-piste skiing to be had in the likes of Selva (30/100cm) and Sauze d'Oulx (70/120cm).



There is still lots of good skiing on offer across Switzerland. The very best snow is in resorts with plenty of slopes above 2500m, such as Zermatt (15/225cm) and Saas-Fee (105/320cm).
However, even lower down conditions are good, so long as you expect a more pronounced free-thaw cycle, particularly on south-facing slopes. Villars has base depths of 50/185cm, while Wengen has 10/100cm.

Rest of Europe

Snow depths are reasonably healthy for late March across most of the Pyrenees.

Naturally though the best conditions are at altitude, with 80/130cm in Andorra's Soldeu, and 140/235cm in Spain's Baqueira Beret.
There has been a little snow in some Bulgarian ski resorts, including Bansko, where base depths are 80/90cm.
Up in Scandinavia, Sweden's Åre (97cm mid-mountain) is in good shape right now following 30cm of new snow in the last seven days.
Scotland, however, is struggling with only patchy snow cover, though new snow is expected over the Easter weekend.

The best conditions are currently in the west, with 30/60cm in Glencoe



Many western US ski resorts have seen significant snow in the last few days and are in great shape.
The recent storm hit California first before moving further east to affect many parts of Utah and Colorado. Telluride (168cm mid-mountain) has seen 30cm of new snow in the last 24 hours, while Alta (271cm mid-mountain) clocked over 40cm yesterday.



Whistler has had further modest top ups and is in fantastic shape on the upper mountain with base depths of 336cm.
Further inland, Banff/Lake Louise have also seen a few cm of new snow and are skiing superbly for late March, with base depths of 120/154cm depending on altitude.  

Sunshine Village, Banff, AlbertaSunshine Village, Banff, Alberta













A team from PlanetSKI is heading to Canada next week.

We will be staying in Banff and visiting the ski resorts of Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and Mt Norquay before going on a road trip taking in Jasper and Kicking Horse.

The snow looks pretty good. Smile

Kicking Horse, British Columbia, CanadaKicking Horse, British Columbia, Canada



















For daily weather bulletins then see

And here we bring you a few more pictures from around the mountains.

  Skiing in NorwaySkiing in Norway













Jasna, SlovakiaJasna, Slovakia














Beaver Creek, USABeaver Creek, USA
















See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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