It was a snowy start to the New Year in Europe, especially in many French and Italian resorts where more than 20cm has fallen and more is on the way. Fresh powder skiing is also on offer in North America.
In the Three Valleys, Val Thorens woke up to 20cm of fresh snow last Friday – and it was snowy across the ski area throughout the rest of the day. La Plagne and Les Arcs also enjoyed between 10 to 20cm fresh snow; Avoriaz in the Portes du Soleil was hit by a 10cm fall overnight.
The new snow has improved conditions at many resorts in France but warm temperatures mean some rain has affected lower slopes. Many resort-level runs are wet and soft with the best snow at higher altitudes. Sunny skies are forecast today.
Ski Club Leader Andy Monks, in Tignes, reported: “There was fresh snow on the pistes and, although conditions were quite difficult in the morning due to poor visibility, we had a great day skiing. The snow is good all around the Tignes area. We still aren’t skiing off piste because of the dangerous conditions.”
In Italy, Cervinia provided excellent conditions on Thursday after approximately 10cm fell overnight. Bardonecchia and Madesimo also received 10cm of fresh snow on Thursday and many other resorts, including La Thuile and Passo Tonale, experienced light dustings..
Switzerland had light snowfall, and more is expected this weekend – the heaviest at Saas Fee and Zermatt, which could both receive more than 30cm of fresh snow at mid-mountain level by this morning.
Austria has had no new snow so far this year but increasing cloud cover at St Anton and Lech could bring some soon. Most Austrian resorts are still offering good skiing on piste.
Elsewhere, there has been no new snow since 28 December in Andorra when there was moderate snowfall in the Vallnord region at Arcalis and Pal/Arinsal. Conditions are best on piste at both resorts and there is similar skiing on offer in Grandvalira.
Next week, Europe is forecast to become warmer on the whole. Temperatures at resort level could climb to around 5C, with freezing levels rising to 2,600m by Wednesday.
The Ski Club of Great Britain (020 8410 2015; skiclub.co.uk) is a not-for-profit snowsports club which offers benefits to more than 30,000 members. Members receive discounts on travel, kit and holidays; access to industry-leading snow reports; information and advice; and access to the in-resort Ski Club Leader service. Individual membership costs £62 or £23 for beginners and members aged under 24.