News Headlines     |     


Thursday January 11, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

More snow has started to fall in parts of the Alps after a clear period of weather. Winter is well and truly upon us in the Alps. UPDATED


The next round of snow is starting to fall in the Alps in this epic winter.

First hour of fall in La Plagne 1800 on Monday evening with much more to follow through the night.

It is set to continue through to Wednesday according to the forecast.

Let's see how much we get...

La PlagneIt starts

La PlagneLa Plagne

The snow has also started to fall once again in Zermatt in Switzerland too and other areas that saw the huge snowfalls of last week.

"The clouds came in again on Monday afternoon after a sunny morning.  On Tuesday morning light snow began to fall and there is more in the forecast," said our editor, James Cove, who has just arrived in the Swiss resort.

"On arrival it was blue sky with some light cloud. The Matterhorn was at its magnificent best."

The Matterhorn, ZermattThe Matterhorn, Zermatt

The Matterhorn, ZermattThe Matterhorn, Zermatt




"And as I moved from Sunnega to Gornegratt and then the Klein Matterhorn area the forecast cloud came in."

The Matterhorn, ZermattThe Matterhorn, Zermatt

The Matterhorn, ZermattThe Matterhorn, Zermatt

And by Tuesday afternoon.

The Matterhorn, ZermattThe Matterhorn, Zermatt

"Over the coming week it will continue to be very unsettled with lots more snow (and wind) in the northern French, Swiss and western Austrian Alps, and a rain/snow limit fluctuating between about 500m and 1500m," said the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin, from

"Generally speaking any precipitation in the southern Alps will be lighter and patchier, with the possible exception of the far north-west of Italy (e.g. parts of the Aosta valley) which may also see some significant falls of snow."

Another PlanetSKI reporter, Christian Ferree, is in Serre Chevalier in the southern French Alps where the weather is also changing.

"This morning brings a different picture to the mountains and with it comes the snow. On the higher slopes there is better visibility and excellent conditions," he said on Tuesday.

"There is about 15-20cm of fresh snow.. Very light and forgiving.  Here you can see the empty pistes and here the tree skiing is amazing... Skiing in January at its very best... True Winter."

Serre Chevalier, FranceSerre Chevalier, France


It has been a glorious weekend with some resorts reporting record numbers.

Deep snow last week + sunshine on Saturday and Sunday = bumper skiing conditions.

And it's still pretty good after the weekend.

Our chief reporter Jane Peel is in Les3Vallees in the French Alps.

"This photo shows clearly the conditions on Monday," she said.  "Fabulous snow cover, some cloud, some blue sky and sunshine.

"It all made for a perfect day's skiing in the Meribel, Les Menuires and Courchevel valleys before the snow that's forecast to come in over the next several days. It looks like there could be 50cm fall above 2,000 metres between Monday night and Wednesday morning."

Les3Vallees, 15th Jan 2018Les3Vallees, Monday
















Our editor, James Cove, is continuing in his Swiss road trip (more of that lower down this article) and has just arrived in Nax.

He has been in the Val d'Anniviers area.

"It's fair to say that in the Val D'Anniviers we are currently enjoying some of the best January ski conditions for many years," said the mountain guide, Nick Parks, who lives in the valley.

"Following the heavy snowfalls of the beginning of January the snowpack has in general settled quickly, in part this was due to the retour d'est weather pattern and here in Anniviers the last snowfall arrived with insignificant wind effect.

"Caution still needs to be exercised on some aspects particularly south and south-east facing slopes above 2400m.

With more snow expected this week we are looking forward to more fresh tracks and praying it arrives without wind!"

Val d'Annivieres, SwitzerlandNick Parks, Zinal, Val d'Anniviers
















In Nax on Sunday was a mixture of sun and cloud, plus the temperature dropped markedly in the afternoon.

The area, above Sierre and Sion, in the Valais has seen huge amounts of snow this winter.

Nax, SwitzerlandNax, Switzerland








Nax, SwitzerlandNax, Switzerland
















So, what did James make of Nax on his first visit?

Our senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, is in the Paradiski area of France with Inghams  - La Plagne and Les Arcs.

The sun has vanished and the clouds have returned, with some great skiing to be had.

It is at the centre of the main ski resorts of the French Alps as she explains.

Here's the latest from the southern French Alps.

"A little bit overcast here in Serre Chevalier, but the sun endeavours to push through," said PlanetSKI reporter, Christian Ferree, from the French resort.

"It's not cold here, about minus 2. Snow is tremendous, precise and fast."

Serre Chevalier, FranceSerre Chevalier, France

"The weather is changing with clouds coming in, but it is great to see snow down to the valley floor"

Serre Chevalier, FranceSerre Chevalier, France

And in the village too.

Serre Chevalier, FranceSerre Chevalier, France

Our chief reporter Jane Peel is in Meribel in Les3Vallees from where she reports that it was much cloudier on Sunday than on Saturday, although the sun made an appearance later this afternoon.

MeribelCloudy morning in Meribel, France

She's staying with PlanetSKI partner, Meriski, whose founder Colin Mathews has been showing her around.

Colin Mathews, MeriskiColin Mathews

"The conditions on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and today have been absolutely fantastic," he said. "Good pistes but very little off-piste that's worth skiing because it got warm after Storm Eleanor."

Some regulars are discussing changing their travel plans after hearing that more snow is due late Monday or early Tuesday.

"Because there was a huge storm 10 days ago, they think the next big storm will be the same," Colin added.

"I think it's unlikely.  It would be unusual for it to be as big or bad as the last one but these things do happen."


This weekend is the time to be out in the Alps with some of the best skiing of the winter.   

There is a bit of fog around and some low cloud but by and large it is excellent. 

It is though, as they say, the calm before the storm.  

Late on Monday it will all change as more storms arrive in the winter that just keeps on giving. 

"Next week's storms will bring further very significant quantities of snow to parts of the Alps, notably the north and west, including areas such as l'Espace Killy, 3 Valleys, Portes du Soleil, Verbier, Bernese Oberland and Engelberg, to name just a few," said the alpine snow expert, Fraser Wilkin, from

"The rain/snow limit will fluctuate between 500m and 1500m but will drop to very low levels by the end of the week," he said.  

The resorts of the Valais in Switzerland have some great snow, but the warm weather has led the snow to vanish in the valleys. 

The Valais, SwitzerlandThe Valais, Switzerland

It will be back next week.    

And we're pleased to say our reporters are across the mountains.

On Saturday our senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, took the daytime snow train from London. And check out a couple of her videos from the post:

Looks like the way to travel.

Our editor, James Cove, is in the Val d'Anniviers in Switzerland on one of his legendary road trips.

He has ben in the resort of Chandon/St-Luc to enjoy the pistes and the powder.

 Chandolin/St-Luc, Val d'Anniviers, Switzerland Chandolin/St-Luc, Val d'Anniviers, Switzerland

And the views:

See here for his latest blog:

Earlier he was across the valley.

Our chief reporter, Jane Peel, has been in Les Arcs and was set to head home on Saturday.
That plan has been binned (obviously) and she's made her way round to Meribel in Les3Vallees.  

Peel in the powderPeel in the powder

And this is what she found when she got to Meribel...

MeribelMeribel, Saturday

St Martin de BellevilleSt Martin de Belleville, Les3Vallees, Saturday

Good decision, right?

Here's her video snow report:

Our social media editor, Kisia Cove, is also on the move - she's arriving in Wengen today after her recent visit to the Pyrenees.
Meanwhile James Rampton has been in Nassfeld in Austria. 

Sunshine on NassfeldSunshine on Nassfeld

And next week he heads over to St Moritz in Switzerland.

And finally Christan Ferree has just arrived in Serre Chevalier in the southern French Alps.

He is travelling with Zenith Holidays.

But not without the usual transfer day chaos at Grenoble that put him into a grumpy mood.

"Our flight from Gatwick arrived 35-minutes early. Unfortunately the French team let the side down by going into melt down as four flights arrived at the same time... Chaos ensued." said Christian.

Usual Saturday scenes at GrenobleUsual Saturday scenes at Grenoble


But of course once Christian headed into the mountains his mood began to change.

The mountains beckonThe mountains beckon

And by the time he got to his resort (bar) he stopped being Mr Grumpy.

"How refreshing to be in a traditional French ski town. Villeneuve, it sits at 1420m, there are plenty of lifts within walking distance," Christian said.

"There's plenty of snow. It's cold, and bars and restaurants are warm and inviting... This is what the true French skiing experience is about," he added.

Back in the mountains (bar)Back in the mountains (bar)

 Mr Grumpy turns into Mr HappyMr Grumpy turns into Mr Happy

And after another beer (or 3) Mr Grumpy was soon mingling with the loclas and promoting Anglo-French relations.

Party time!Party time!

Here at PlanetSKI it looks like we're poised to enjoy and report on the current conditions so do check back over the coming days.

So, how is it across the Alps? 
The big story this week has been the extreme snowfall that has affected some western parts of the Alps, the heaviest of the snow falling close to the border regions between Italy/ France and Italy/south-west Switzerland.

Over a 48 hour period, these areas saw between 1.2m and 2m of snow at altitude, and in some cases even more, affecting resorts such as Val Cenis, Bonneval-sur-Arc, Val d’Isère, Tignes, Sestriere, Prali, Cervinia, the Monte Rosa region, Zermatt and Saas-Fee.

It should be stressed that the really heavy snowfalls were relatively localised and that some areas, such as the far northern Alps, have seen very little snow this week.

What’s more, as it has generally been quite mild, snow cover is actually getting quite thin (at resort level at least) in some low resorts such as Morzine and Adelboden.

On the whole though snow depths remain above average across the Alps, and exceptional in some higher parts of the western Alps, including those resorts that saw the extreme snowfall earlier this week.

After the next few days of relatively benign weather, things are set to turn very unsettled again next week in the Alps with further heavy snow for many areas, especially from mid-week onwards.

Across the pond, snow conditions remain better in western Canada than in the western US.

Our full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 11th January comes from Fraser Wilkin at



Snow conditions are still excellent across most Austrian ski resorts, though the relatively mild temperatures (and some rain) this week have led to some variable snow quality low down.

High altitude resorts such as Sölden (30/280cm) and Obergurgl (70/180cm) offer the very best skiing right now, but there is still lots of fun to be had lower down in the likes of Söll (50/130cm) and Kitzbühel (20/105cm).

Excellent snow cover in the Austrian Bregenzerwald – 11 January 2018 – Photo: mellau.atExcellent snow cover in the Austrian Bregenzerwald – 11 January 2018 – Photo:


















Snow conditions are excellent across virtually all French ski resorts, even if the cover is getting a little thin at low altitude in the far north, as in Morzine (5/155cm).

Higher up, the recent storms mean that snow depths are exceptional, with 210/350cm in Tignes and 80/270cm further south in Serre Chevalier, for example.

After a couple more quiet days, expect plenty more snow next week, especially from Tuesday onwards.

Exceptionally deep snow in Val Thorens – 11 January 2018 – Photo: deep snow in Val Thorens – 11 January 2018 – Photo:

















The western Italian Alps have seen a lot of snow from this recent storm, especially in the Piedmont and north-eastern Aosta regions.

Sestriere now has settled snow depths of 100/200cm depending on altitude, while Champoluc has 130/250cm.

Further east, snow conditions are also very good, even if snow depths are more modest in places.

Cortina, for example, has settled snow depths of 50/110cm.

After another mostly fine couple of days, further snow is likely in the western Italian resorts later in the weekend and early next week– though not in anything like the quantities that we have seen recently.

Powder day in Prali – 11 January 2018 – Photo: day in Prali – 11 January 2018 – Photo:
















Snow depths are exceptional in the high resorts of the south-western Swiss Alps such as Zermatt (150/300cm) and Saas-Fee (80/300cm), which bore the brunt of the recent storm.

Elsewhere in the Swiss Alps there is also plenty of great skiing though mild temperatures have led to variable snow quality on the lower slopes of some northern resorts such as Adelboden (5/130cm) and Villars (40/135cm).

After a mostly dry weekend, further heavy snow is expected at times next week.

Amazing wintry scenes in Zermatt – 11 January 2018 – Photo: SwitzerlandAmazing wintry scenes in Zermatt – 11 January 2018 – Photo: Switzerland















Rest of Europe

The Pyrenees have also seen fresh snow this week with excellent conditions reported in Andorra’s Pas de la Casa (90/115cm) and Spain’s Baqueira Beret (125/180cm).

All five major Scottish ski centres are open though conditions are variable and snow depths remain modest, with just 5/40cm in Cairngorm, for example.

Most Scandinavian resorts are offering great skiing at the moment, with settled snow depths of 160cm up top in Norway’s Geilo and 95cm in Sweden’s Åre.

Beautiful wintry scene in Glencoe today – 11 January 2018 – Photo: wintry scene in Glencoe today – 11 January 2018 – Photo:















North America



Snow conditions in western Canada remain superior to most of the western US.

Whistler has seen 30cm of new snow in the last week and has upper base depths of 186cm.

It will turn milder for a time here this weekend before cooling off again next week.

Further inland, the Banff/Lake Louise area is also offering good skiing conditions right now, with 10cm of fresh snow yesterday and base depths of 108/145cm.

Good snow conditions in Sunshine Village near Banff – 11 January 2018 – Photo: resortGood snow conditions in Sunshine Village near Banff – 11 January 2018 – Photo: resort

















Recent snow has slightly improved conditions in most Colorado resorts but much more is needed to properly ignite what has been a very disappointing start to the season.

Vail has 74cm up top while Breckenridge has 91cm. Utah is also still well below par with just 99cm up top in Park City, much of it artificial.

For better overall conditions you still need to head further north, where Wyoming’s Jackson Hole has settled snow depths of 97/147cm and Montana’s Big Sky has 145/201cm. 

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

DUMPING DOWN UNDER...AGAIN! (Thursday July 12, 2018)
WILDFIRES RAGE IN USA (Wednesday June 20, 2018)
SKI RESORTS OPEN (Thursday May 24, 2018)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners