2/3rds of Resorts Closed for Season but fresh snow

Wed 14 April 10

Heavy snow in Alberta, British Columbia, California, Utah, more Than 50 resorts still open in France, Fresh snow in the Alps

2/3rds of Resorts Closed for Season but fresh snow

2/3rds of Resorts Closed for Season but fresh snow © Photo: Steve, WSG

www.Skiinfo.co.uk reports that most of the world’s northern hemisphere ski areas have now closed for the winter, but that resorts in Western North America and the Alps have continued to report some low temperatures and heavy snowfall over the past week. Dozens of ski areas expect to remain open through in to May.

In the USA it’s still snowing in California with Sierra and Mammoth both reporting another 45cm (18 inches) in the past few days. Mammoth says it'll keep skiing to the 4th of July. After receiving seven feet (210cm) of fresh snow in seven days, Squaw Valley USA is once again offering the longest and most complete ski season in Lake Tahoe region with plans to stay pen to at least May 9th.

Resorts in Colorado, Utah and Oregon have also reported big snowfalls, although many have now closed. Aspen Mountain is currently closed midweek but opening at weekends.

To the north Whistler Blackcomb is now declaring 2009-10 its second snowiest-ever season, with over 14.3m (47 feet) of snow fallen. Almost all of the ski area is currently open with the chance to ski the Olympic downhill runs. Whistler Blackcomb is open for skiing and riding through to May 24 – Whistler Mountain through April 25 and Blackcomb Mountain to May 24.

Back in Europe, in France 35 more ski resorts are scheduled to close in France this weekend but others will be open for two or three weeks more. Bonneval sur Arc will close on the 1st of May, Val d'Isère on the 2nd and Chamonix Mont-Blanc, where the upper slope snow depth is currently the deepest in France at 3.8m (12.6 feet), as well as Tignes, Val Thorens and La Grave la Meije are open another week to May 9th.

Next Monday there will still be fifty ski resorts open. The snow remains very good for the season and it is below freezing in many resorts still, so the snow is good quality snow. It snowed yesterday in the Alps where there were three powder alarms for up to 40cm (16 inches) of new snow in the southern resorts of Devoluy /La Joue du Loup which has France’s second greatest snow depth at 3.3m (11 feet). It has re4ceived 60cm (two feet) in total in the past week, the most in the country, however they reported that the avalanche risk is high.

Although most Italian ski resorts closed at the weekend, there has been fresh snow reported for many of those that have remained open.

In the Monterosa ski region resorts including Champoluc and Gressoney received up to 35cm (14 inches) of new snow. Some lifts will continue to operate there to early May.
In the Aosta Valley, Pila will close this weekend on 18th of April with an event called “Desarpa bianca”, a giant slalom to celebrate the end of season.

In Lombardia, Santa Caterina and Madesimo (with almost two metres/seven feet of snow) will also close on 18th of April thanks to heavy snowfall of this winter. Bormio and Livigno will keep their lifts open until the 2nd of May however. Livigno is currently offering free skiing to those booking an accommodation package with participating hotels and apartments while Bormio has some of the deepest snow in Italy with a three metre base. It has been open since October so will celebrate a seven month season this winter!

In Trentino, the official closing of Madonna di Campiglio is on the 20th of April, with special ski pass prices as only the 50% of the slopes are currently open. In Alto Adige, thanks to its glacier Val Senales will close on 2nd of May.

In Austria there has been some fresh snow this morning in Sölden and Zauchensee (10cm/4 inches each). These ski resorts have also reported the biggest snowfalls of the last seven days (20cm/8 inches). Sölden consequently has one of the biggest snow accumulations in Austria with 252cm (8.4 feet).

The Mölltaler Gletscher had 15cm (six inches) of new snow in a week and Ischgl reported 10cm (4 inches), having a total snow depth of 90cm (3 feet) on upper slopes now. Many Austrian ski resorts still have more than a metre of snow lying on their slopes and 10 of them have a snow depth of at least two metres, including St. Anton and Bad Gastein.

In Switzerland where the avalanche danger had been high at the beginning of spring this has lowered to a level of 1 (low) in most areas. Saas Fee had the most new snow in the past week with 32cm (13 inches). Of the 22 lifts they have there 20 are still open. The total snow depth in the ski resort adds up to 294cm (10 feet). Zermatt also got some fresh snow last week (10cm/4 inches) and has about one and a half metres (five feet) on its slopes. The biggest snow depth of the country is still claimed by the ski resort Andermatt-Gotthard with 350cm (12 feet).

In Germany Oberstdorf and the Zugspitze have the most snow left. The upper slopes of the latter are reported to have a snow depth of 295cm (10 feet). Some fresh snow just fell there today.

In Andorra the season is coming to a close with a few final snowfalls, ski areas there will close for the winter this weekend.

In Spain only Astun, Candanchu, Masella and Sierra Nevada remains open. Sierra Nevada is still offering the best conditions for the next few weeks until May 2nd as well as cheap ski passes, four metres of spring snow and 84 kilometres of pistes.

The ski season is also now largely over in Eastern Europe, Borovets in Bulgaria will be one of the last ski areas in the region to close, tomorrow Thursday 13th.

In Northern Europe, Scotland saw very warm weather over the weekend with temperatures reaching 18C in the cities. This had had an effect on the snow base at the country’s five ski areas and Glenshee has decided to close for the season, while Glencoe, The Lecht and Nevis Range are all still open with patchy cover on lower slopes. Cairngorm still has nearly three metres of snow on upper slopes and is sticking to its plan to stay open for the rest of the month and at weekends through May.

In Scandinavia it has been warmer but more snow is forecast and most of the leading resorts, including Are in Sweden, will be open in to May.

In Finland, Ruka, which endeavours to keep at least one run open to June, is currently nearly 100% operational with a 62cm (2.1 foot) base.

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