It’s been cold but generally excellent at ski areas across the Alps and Dolomites over the past week. Snowfall has been limited but skiers and boarders have been able to enjoy the great accumulations to date. 

In the south of the continent heavy snowfall has continued in the Pyrenees and in the north, fresh snow in Scotland and Scandinavia has improved conditions there. In the east, base depths in Bulgaria are looking very healthy indeed following the latest snowfalls.

In North America there have been some of the biggest snowfalls of the season so far in southern Colorado and good accumulations in Utah as well as western Canada too.

For all the latest 'where is the snow' pictures, go to our gallery: Recent Snowfall


The snow has returned to most of the big ski areas in the French Alps in the past 38 hours. Of the recent snowfalls in the Alps, AvoriazFlaine, La Clusaz and Val Thorens reported 25cm; Les Arcs and La Plagne 15cm; and Val d’Isere got 20cm of fresh powder. The Chamonix Valley currently has a 3.5m base - the deepest in the Alps - followed by La Clusaz with 3m. The French Pyrenees resorts continue to be dumped on: Cauterets has had 1.3m in the last week and now has the deepest snowbase in the whole of France with 4.3m.


Kitzbuhel hosted the famous Hahnenkamm race last weekend and 80,000 ski fans and celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the legendary event. This is normally the biggest event of the ski world each season, although this winter Austria also hosts the Alpine Skiing World Championships at Schladming next month. 

Conditions have been great in Austria but not much new snow was reported over the week. On Tuesday there was a few centimetres of fresh snow in the region around Innsbruck (8cm), Fieberbrunn (5cm) and Solden (4cm), which now has a snow depth of 2m. Overall in the last three days many Austrian resorts got 5cm to 15cm of fresh snow.  The Pitztaler Glacier reported 8cm at the weekend and is still the resort with the best snow depth with 294cm. In general the leading resorts now have base depths from 120-180cm and 20 resorts report more than 2m snow depths.


A dry week in Italy after the accumulations earlier this week with only the Milky Way region bordering France reporting any new snow – 25cm – up to last Friday. It has 1.2m now on upper slopes although the glacier skiing at Passo Tonale has the deepest base of 2.7m. Elsewhere most of the major ski centres on both sides of the country are in relatively good shape with typical 1-2m snow depths on upper runs and 50cm-150cm on lower slopes. For example, Arabba in the Dolomites has 78-152cm and Courmayeur in the Alps has 75-175cm.


There have been good snowfalls in Switzerland in the last few days. Most resorts reported 20-40cm over the past three days: Gstaad (20cm), Arosa (25cm), Champoussin (20cm) and Stoos (40cm). The deepest snow depth can still be found at the leading Swiss ski resorts. At the top remain Andermatt with 4m followed by Engelberg (390cm), Gstaad (330cm), Laax  (235cm), Crans Montana (225cm), Verbier (220cm) and Zermatt with 205cm.


The heavy snowfall of the previous fortnight has continued for a third week in  the Pyrenees with another 60cm of snow at Baqueira Beret by Saturday taking its base up to to 3.4m. Accumulations have been smaller in Andorra with 10-35cm reported through the week but base depths are among the best they’ve been there in the past decade with 130-270cm, the deepest at Ordino Arcalis (Vallnord).

Europe's most southerly major ski resort, Sierra Nevada, which had been struggling for snow up to the new year, has been seriously dumped on now and has a 3m base with 1.5m of snow in the past week, a third of that on Sunday alone.


Snow is back in Norway finally. While only the northern part of Norway has received any significant snowfall for almost a month, good preparation for the upcoming ski touring season, this weekend it finally started to snow also in the south of Norway where conditions in major resorts have gone from good to excellent. Røldal got 40cm in the last 72hrs and is now leading the race with a 120-170cm base, Voss got 35cm and is now at 45-155cm and Hemsedal got 30cm and has 85-100cm.

Little change elsewhere in Scandinavia compared to a week ago with most runs open at most resorts and established bases largely in the 60-90cm region across the region. There’s been no new snow reported in Finland.

Eastern Europe

Snow depths in Bulgaria look excellent with typically at least a metre at resort level and up to 1.8m on upper slopes.  Resorts including Bansko and Pamporovo reported 10-15cm of new snow at the end of last week to freshen up the runs.  No new snow reported in Romania or Slovenia however where depths are 40-80cm at Poiana Brasov and Kranjska Gora.


It’s looking relatively good in Scotland with all five centres still open and with bigger base depths and more terrain open than a week ago. The main issue of the past few days has been strong winds leading to centres having to close for the day (Glencoe and Nevis Range were both closed on Monday and the funicular wasn’t operational at Cairngorm) so as always the advice is to check ahead.


There’s been a return of the big snowfalls in Western Canada with Revelstoke and Fernie reporting 49cm and 66cm accumulations over the past week respectively. Most other resorts across Alberta and British Columbia have reported at least 20cm of new snow, including Big White, Kicking Horse, Whistler, Lake Louise and BanffRed Mountain, which got 16cm of new snow over the past 7 days, continues to have the country’s deepest snow base at 204cm. On the east of the country there’s been little or no fresh snow but Mont Ste Anne (1.5m) and Tremblant (1m), in Quebec each expect around 30cm more in the coming week.


There’s been heavy snow in southern Colorado with Crested Butte and Telluride adding 30cm of snow each. There’s only been a few centimetres so far further north in the state but with 30cm more expected right across Colorado its possible base depths will at last pass a metre. Bigger falls have been recorded in Utah, Alta has had 45cm of powder in the past week, most of it in the last few days and Mammoth in California has had a similar accumulation and is now just 10cm below the 5m mark for upper slope snow depth. There’s been virtually no new snow in New England, where it has been very cold at some areas, but most resorts have relatively healthy 70-110cm snow bases.

The week ahead

Weather in the Alps is expected to be warmer and more unsettled over the next few days before cooling again at the weekend. Austria is likely to particularly notice the warm front which will bring temperatures above freezing up to 2,000m. This is clearly not good news but most ski resorts have a good base built up over the recent weeks to deal with this weather. In Switzerland too mild temperatures will be felt through the week but colder temperatures are expected for the weekend again.

Significant snowfall is expected in Norway over the next few days, the biggest dump expected within next 24hrs and at Røldal, Voss and other resorts close to the west coast, but with borderline temperatures nearest to the coast (ironically, after weeks of very cold weather).

In North America more snow is expected in the west of the country, including, hopefully, up to a foot of badly needed snow for the big-name resorts of northern Colorado.

For all the latest 'where is the snow' pictures, go to our gallery: Recent Snowfall

Our next 'Where is the snow in Europe and North America' report will be published Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013.