Avoriaz Apartments for rent 2011/2012

August 28th, 2011

AvoriazAvoriaz 1800, the high altitude snow sure resort at the heart of the Portes du Soleil has been completely renovated for winter 2011/2012.

Existing properties have been refurbished, and there have been a number of new residences built, many with spa facilities and indoor pools.

As always, in Avoriaz there is something to suit all budgets, so properties range from luxury 5 star residences to more affordable 1 or 2 star residences. Whatever level of property you opt for, you are guaranteed great snow, and the ability to ski in to/ski out of your apartments.

Follow this link for more information about apartments in Avoriaz.

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Avoriaz Apartments

Ski the French Pyrenees

June 13th, 2011
Ski the French Pyrenees

Ski the French Pyrenees

When you say “skiing in Europe”, most people think the Alps…but there’s a little secret that’s slowly leaking out: the Pyrenees offer great skiing too.

Receiving more snow annually than the Alps, due to their maritime position near the Atlantic coast, the Pyrenean weather conditions are ideal – stable high pressure systems bringing clear blue skies, interspersed with heavy snowstorms to refresh the slopes.

Therefore, the largest Pyrenean resort, Tourmalet (sometimes known by the two villages it encompasses, Bareges-La Mongie) has a long season from the end of November through to the middle of April. There has also been recent heavy investment in snow-making equipment, to guarantee snow for the whole season on the main pistes.

With  70 pistes and 42 ski-lifts, there’s over 100km of on-piste skiing available. The Tourmalet resort is excellent for beginners and intermediate skiers, with gentle nursery slopes and beautiful, wide runs giving access to every area of the resort. The resort has 24 green and 20 blue pistes, making it possible to visit all of the five interconnected ski areas without straying onto anything too challenging. Not forgetting the advanced skiers though, there are 21 red runs, and 5 blacks… and have we talked about off-piste and ski-touring yet?

The Pyrenees are one of the few unbroken mountain chains in Northern Europe. Unlike the Alps or Dolomites, there are very roads few cutting across them. While this is a nuisance for travellers wanting to easily hop between France and Spain, it means you have wild peaks, where bears still roam, wildlife is in abundance and you can truly get lost. For the adventurous and expert skiers, you can try the the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, one of the most celebrated off-piste routes in Europe. Ski-touring is also a dream here. It’s possible to spend a day skiing down virgin snow without seeing any other person and get that “me and the mountains” feeling.

Hurry though. There’s now a revamped ski station at Bareges, including a new ticket office, toilet and cafe area, a new 4-man lift to replace the Coume Lounque button tow above the Col du Tourmalet, three super-fast six man chairs that can whisk you across to La Mongie in no time and rumours about re-opening the funicular that takes you straight from the village of Bareges onto the pistes… this area is starting to buzz. A newly renovated 3 star hotel in Bareges, Hotel Du Tourmalet, due to open Winter 2011, has encouraged the local hoteliers to spruce up their hotels too.

Pyrenean skiing might still be a well-kept secret, but not for much longer.

Many thanks to Kara Stanford from Mountain Bug for the article.

Search for independent ski chalets in the Pyrenees.

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Ski the French Pyrenees

All Mountain Holidays site update

June 1st, 2011
All Mountain Holidays Site Update

All Mountain Holidays Site Update

You may have noticed we are in the process of updating our site. Our aim is to make All Mountain Holidays faster, more Web 2.0, easier to navigate and of course easier on the eye.

We haven’t taken the site offline, we want to keep it live as we update. For that reason you will see that some pages are new, some are old. We are working to get all the pages updated as soon as possible.

As always, we would love your feedback. If you have any comments about the new look site, please feel free to contact us.

We hope you are have an enjoyable summer, and before we all know it, snow will be falling again.

All the best from the All Mountain Holidays team.

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Beautiful selection of apartments to rent in Courchevel

May 30th, 2011
Courchevel

Courchevel

New for summer 2011, we are proud to offer a wide range of apartments for rent in Courchevel 1550, 1650 and 1850.

The flagship “Les Chalets du Forum” in the chic Courchevel 1850 is one of the most luxury apartment residences in the resort, offering improved services such as a bakery delivery service, Wi-Fi access in all apartments, a heated ski room and much, much more.

Click on the relevant links to check availability and book.

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Courchevel Apartments

New for 2011 – ski apartments in Chamonix

May 27th, 2011
Ski apartments in Chamonix

Ski apartments in Chamonix

New for 2011, we are proud to offer a range of ski apartments in Chamonix.

Chamonix is arguably the alpine capital of the world. Under the shadow of Mont Blanc, the town has attracted tourists, mountaineers and extreme sports fanatics for years.

All our residences are well located and benefit from excellent facilities.

The La Ginabelle residence offers some of the most luxury accommodation in Chamonix, with indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, turkish baths, and cardio-training and relaxation rooms.

All these properties are owned by the most reputable property companies in France so quality, levels of service and attention to detail are guaranteed.

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Chamonix Apartments

Summer holidays in the Alps

May 27th, 2011

Summer in MorzineMany people only see the French Alps as a winter skiing destination but many resorts and particularly Morzine and the Portes du Soleil are just as busy in the summer, offering an array of exciting activities and events.

Once the winter snow has melted in Morzine and the Portes du Soleil there is a great choice of summer activities on offer for both thrill seekers and those wishing to take things at a more leisurely pace. Mountain biking (MTB), hiking, rock climbing and paragliding are just a selection of activities that are on offer in the beautiful scenery and fantastic weather. It’s unbelievable how different the French Alps look in the summer compared to the winter months and definitely worth visiting.

With the Morzine and Portes du Soleil lift system open during the summer, access to the high mountain trails and viewpoints is easy and gives access to 650km of well marked mountain bike trails, 850km of hiking paths and 10 mountain lakes. Pedestrians can take advantage of the Portes du Soleil multi pass starting from just 1e per day which not only gives you great value access to the lift system and 850km of footpaths but also to the swimming pools, tennis courts, ice rinks, tourist trains, 5 cultural sites etc

Mountain biking (MTB/VTT) is definitely the most popular summer activity in Morzine and the Portes du Soleil area and this is growing year on year due to the well marked mountain biking trails and spectacular mountain scenery. From kids and beginners to extreme riders, there are a great number of trails for everyone. With 24 Ski lifts open during the summer months, the Portes du Soleil offers easy access to over 1000kms of prepared mountain trails.

There’s also some fantastic cycling for road cyclists with classic Tour du France hill climbs namely the Col de Joux Plane, Col de Colombiere, and Col de La Ramaz.

Another great reason for Mountain bikers to visit Morzine in the summer is the Pass Portes du Soleil. This weekend event which takes place at the start of the summer mountain biking season in June offers cyclists of all abilities the chance to ride the great trails in the Portes du Soleil. There are 3 different categories either 75km, 50km and 30km for you to choose from which are all possible to be completed in a day. Your lift pass and food at refreshment points are included with your entry. Operating since 2004, this event is highly popular attracting over 3500 mountain bikers to Morzine and the Portes du Soleil over the weekend.

There’s something for the whole family on offer during the summer, so why not re consider your holiday to the beach this summer and try out Morzine, you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks to Hannah Alpine Ski and Golf Ltd for the article.

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How good was the skiing this season?

May 24th, 2011
Nick Ski Three Valleys

Nick Ski Three Valleys

With France Meteo saying the least snow in a generation and HAT (Henrys Avalanche Talk) saying the least snow since 1949…. Well, from 11th December until the beginning of April the 3 Valleys had at least 90% of pistes open but generally 95%.

What really happened?

As always we started to ski in November in Val Thorens and finished as planned 8th May. This season the snow and cold weather arrived about a month ahead of average and by the opening day of Courchevel 4th December and the 3 Valleys links there was far more snow than normal and what a great first day we had skiing back home to La Tania. Then, a huge temperature change with rain and very warm weather, you could almost see the snow melting in resort. However things picked up and the week of 11th December was fabulous with around 50cms at mid station and a few classic powder days. Then, on New Year week after some more snow the Grande Couloir opened the earliest I remember in 10 years. This indicated that we had a huge amount of snow base higher up as the steepest run in Europe is very rocky and normally opens at the end of January. We then had a medium powder day on Wednesday 12th January followed by rain up to around 2300 metres which put a crust on almost all the off piste. The pistes were pisted and we started to enjoy some fabulous piste skiing but the off piste was impossible to ski below around 2700mtrs, very cold and sunny days for week after week until the week of 19th February when the snow returned. By this time the pistes were becoming very hard packed, not icy though, but the best skiing was in the first couple of hours. The sunny slopes like Mur and the bottom of Marmottes started to close even though it was very cold the sun was melting these and similar facing pistes throughout the 3 Valleys. .

The season then seemed to be more normal with a few medium snowfalls which freshened the pistes and made the off piste much better but extremely dangerous on steeper slopes because the layers of snow had not and were not bonding.

So, March progressed and the final sting in the tail happened with temperatures reaching heights that had not been seen since the late 1800s. The snow then started to melt rapidly and many pistes were closing by the start of April. Folyeres kept going until 8th April and after then we were basically 2 weeks ahead of normal which would mean everywhere except Val Thorens would normally be closed. However, the outstanding work by the piste bashers continued to astound us and the Three Valleys links were kept open until Easter Monday with some downloading into Mottaret for the last week .

So, to sum it all up a season of extremes, generally cold and sunny season until the end of March and then very warm. Only a few snow falls after December but by then the base was well above average and helped tremendously by the snow making facilities and the skills of the piste basher drivers who took snow from everywhere possible at the sides of the pistes. Did we have fun? Of course what could be better than being in the mountains with lots and lots of sunny weeks. How about our guests? On a number of occasions when ski hosting the guests said it was one of their best days skiing ever. It was especially important to pick the best routes and pistes this season but there was lots and lots of fabulous skiing to be had. See you next season.

Many thanks to Nick Ski Three Valleys for this article.

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Snow Conditions

Stunning apartments to rent in Alpe d’Huez

May 19th, 2011
Alpe d'Huez

Alpe d'Huez

We are proud to be able to offer a wide range of properties to rent at the beautiful high altitude resort of Alpe d’Huez. Our wide range of apartments range from simple affordable studios to luxury serviced apartments with pool.

View our full range of apartment residences in Alpe d’Huez.

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Ski Season Begins To Wind Down But More Big Snowfalls Reported

April 8th, 2010

New snow over the Easter holidays has given a great powder base for many of the resorts still open in the Alps, while across the Atlantic the latest round of huge snowfalls on the west of the North American continent has left more resorts extending their seasons with waist-deep April powder. Conditions remain good in Scotland and Scandinavia too.

There were heavy snowfalls in the German speaking areas of the Alps over Easter with Andermatt seeing over a foot (35cm) of new snow. This was part of a total one metre (40 inch) fall in the past seven days, the largest in Switzerland. The Andermatt-Gotthard region also reports the biggest snow depth in the country at present with 3.5m (nearly 12 feet) on upper slopes.

St. Moritz also reported 15cm (six inches) of fresh snow on Sunday. Martin Berthod, the resort’s sports and events manager, said, “The snow conditions are still excellent all over the Engadin.”

The 4 Valleys has also reported good snowfall in the past week, with 75cm (2.5 feet) of new snow and Laax has had yet another 60cm (two feet) taking its snow depth to 220cm (7.3 feet).

Glacier ski areas currently have some of Switerland’s deepest snow with Engelberg reporting three metres (ten feet) and Saas Fee a few centimetres/inches less with 289cm.

The snow depth in the French Alps is very good for the end of season with 183.6cm (6.2 feet) average on the top of the slopes in the Northern Alps and 229.6cm (7.6 feet) average for the Southern Alps

It has snowed a lot the last week in the French Alps with Skiinfo posting 24 Powderalarms for snowfalls in excess of 20cm (8 inches) in 24 hours in Sunday.

Serre Chevalier reported 65cm (2.2 feet) of fresh snow and Puy St Vincent 40cm (16 inches) just on the one day.

In Austria sunny weather is forecast for the next few days and on many Austrian slopes there is still lots of snow – so conditions for spring skiing are fine.

Sölden, for example, got fresh snow again and issued a powder alarm for more than 20cm (8 inches) of new snow on Monday. 31 of the ski resort’s lifts are still running and the sky there is cloudless.
It received 40cm (16 inches) in total through the last week and currently has a snow depth of 251cm (8.3 feet). Lech Zürs am Arlberg has had 35cm (14 vinches) of new snow in the past week.
There are a dozen Austrian resorts with two metres or more of snow on their slopes. The Mölltal glacier has the biggest snow depth of 390cm (13 feet), Hintertux has more than three metres (10 feet), too.

In Germany to the north the Zugspitze got lots of fresh snow again with 20cm (8 inches) more on Monday and 35cm (14 inches) on Good Friday. Feldberg in the Black Forest also received another 20cm (eight inch) fall in the past week.

Many French ski resorts are still open during April and six will remain open into May. 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 went back above 4 metres (13.3 feet) this week, as well as Tignes, Val Thorens and La Grave la Meije are open another week to May 9th.

Over the past week Pelvoux-Vallouise and Puy St Vincent have both reported a metre (3.3 feet) of new snow, Le Grand Bornand 82cm (2.6 feet) and Serre Chevalier 80cm (2.6 feet).

Chamonix currently has the top snow depth with 405cm (13.5 feet), La Clusaz has 310cm (10.3 feet) and Alpe d’Huez and La Grave 300cm (10 feet). Serre Chevalier is just behind on 290cm (9.6 feet).

Italy has topped the table in Europe for the most snow in the past seven days with Madesimo reporting 1.2m (four feet) of new Spring powder. Arabba and the Marmolada Glacier was second on the continent withy another metre (3.3) feet and there was about 60cm (two feet) more in Val Gardena in the Dolomites and Monterosa in the alps.

Marmolada currently has the deepest snow in Europe too, with 5.2m (17.3 feet). Passo Tanale’s Presena glacier is second with 4.2m (14 feet).

In Northern Europe, despite warmer weather during the Easter holidays, skiing conditions remain good at most open resorts in Scandinavia. In Sweden there’s also been some small amounts of new snow in Tandådalen – 8cm (three inches) in the last seven days.

This week and next there’s a lot of attention at Åre since Jon Olsson Super Sessions started on Monday and will continue until the 17th of April. One of the highlights during the week will be the Big Air competition, as well as the Jon Olsson Invitational on the 15th with some of the world’s best jibbers in resort. The ten days are full of activities including parties, various competitions, a rail park in Åre town square and of course apres-ski.

In Scotland CairnGorm’s best season for decades continues with 40cm of fresh snow in the past week, one of the world’s biggest accumulations.

The Scottish ski area saw over 2000 skiers take to the slopes on Good Friday to check out the recent fall of snow, which was perfectly timed to provide excellent snow cover across the mountain for Easter skiing and boarding.

It is expected that skiing will continue to be available throughout not only the Easter holidays but right through April and into May. The resort will be open daily for snowsports until 3rd May (the bank holiday weekend) and thereafter every weekend in May, conditions permitting.

“Coming on top of the 117,000 skiers we have already had this season, Friday’s figures set us on course for a grand finale to double last year’s total of 65,000 skiers for the season by the end of April.” said spokesman for CairnGorm Mountain Colin Kirkwood.

A number of special Easter events are taking place. The resort has arranged to open for evening skiing on Thursday 8th April when a number of lifts will remain open from 4pm until 7.30pm. Rides on the resort’s piste-bashing machine and skidoos will be available for non-skiers.

Also for non-skiers on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th April Physics will be coming to the Mountain when a team from the Institute of Physics in Scotland will invite visitors to skewer balloons, make rockets with alka-seltzers and make water defy gravity as they highlight the relevance of physics to their lives.

The ski season is winding down in the Pyrenees with warmer temperatures bringing classic Spring freeze/thaw conditions and a relaxed vibe on the slopes.

One of the region’s largest resorts, Baqueira Beret in Spain, has already closed, but Formigal, the largest in the area still has 1221km (76 miles) to enjoy and snow depths of 220cm (7.3 feet). Andorra’s ski areas are also still open.

Europe’s most southerly major ski area, Sierra Nevada, still has five metres of snow on upper slopes and plans to stay open in to May.

In Eastern Europe it is generally ‘melt down’ with the snow gone, or mostly gone, from lower areas but on the other hand Poland’s leading centre of Zakopane reported 40cm (16 inches) of new snow on Tuesday.

North America and particularly California and Utah in Western USA have seen the biggest snowfalls of the past week, with particularly huge accumulations reported at Brighton in Utah with 228cm (7.6 feet) in seven days. Snowbird, Alta and Solitude have also reported more than two metre (6.7 feet) accumulations.

It’s almost as good in California where almost all resorts have reported between 1 and 1.5m (3.3-5 feet) of new snow over the Easter weekend. It’s a shame the majority of ski areas in the region have closed already or close in the next seven days.

There’s been new snow elsewhere in Western North America too, with Colorado resorts benefitting and Grand Targhee in Wyoming the latest to announce an extended season. 1.6m (63 inches) of snow have fallen there this past week, and another 35cm (14 inches) has arrived yesterday morning.
Grand Targhee will run Dreamcatcher chairlift for an extra week, through to Sunday April 18. The chair will run from 10 am to 3 pm, and offer limited facilities.

It’s a different story on the East Coast alas where extremely warm weather has caused a rapid thaw at most areas.

To the north Whistler Blackcomb has announced the decision to extend skiing and riding on Whistler Mountain by one week. Whistler Mountain’s last day of operations will be Sunday, April 25 while Blackcomb Mountain’s last day of operations will be Monday, May 24.

“With over 1,353 centimetres (533 inches) of snow so far this season and a current snow base of 363 centimetres (143 inches), this incredible season is far from over,” says Dave Brownlie, president and chief operating officer at Whistler Blackcomb. “The great snow was a key factor in deciding to keep Whistler Mountain open an additional week, but guest feedback about Whistler Mountain closing during the second week of the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival played a big role in the decision as well. We listened to the feedback, then reviewed and revised the required lift maintenance schedule, allowing us to extend Whistler Mountain’s winter operations by one week.”

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Ski & snow news, Snow Conditions

The Return Of The Big Snowfalls

March 1st, 2010

It has snowed a lot on all the French mountains in the past week, but it is the Southern Alps that have benefited most from the new snow. 85cm (almost three feet) of snow fell, for example. in Puy Saint Vincent last week. Serre Chevalier received 71cm (2.4 feet) and Isola 2000 70cm.

Olivier Saez chief operator of Puy Saint Vincent said, “The snow conditions are very good as we have had regular snowfalls since the end of December. The snow depth is 230cm on the upper slopes and 165cm on lower slopes. The 85 cm of fresh snow in the past week feel at a regular rate so were able to maintain the slopes without operating difficulties. The ski area is perfectly secure and the PIDA (Plan of Intervention Trigger Avalanche) is working. Avalanches are triggered using a CATEX – a cable which has explosives attached to trigger avalanches in zones where snow has accumulated. There is no risk to skiers who stay on the ski slopes, but we strongly advise against going off-piste because we have an avalanche risk of 4 /5.”

Chamonix Mont-Blanc currently has the deepest snow in France with 405cm (13.5 feet). Other resorts including alpe d’huez and Flaine have more than 2.5m (8.3 feet).

Italy has also seen some big snowfalls in the past week with powder alarms issued for 24 hour falls as big as 50cm (20 inches), Courmayeur, La Thuile and Val Gardena issued alarms for 20cm.

Limone Piemonte has received the most snow in Italy over the past 7 days with 110cm (nearly four feet) but Aprica and Arabba have both had a metre too. Arabba also has the country’s second deepest snow depth with 3.8m (13 feet) on the Marmolada glacier. The most is on the Presena glacier above Passo Tonale with 420cm (14 feet). Bormio has three metres (ten feet) of snow on upper slopes – the most of an Italian resort without a glacier.

Though snowfalls have been more moderate than a week ago in the German speaking ski areas of Europe, many important resorts in Austria have received respectable amounts of new snow in the past week days.

Sölden got 33cm (11 inches), Axamer – Lizum above Innsbruck as well as Nassfeld and the Stubai valley had 30cm (a foot) each. Similar snowfalls took place in Montafon and Kleinwalsertal. Many more resorts like Ischgl, Söll or the glaciers of Pitztal and Hintertux received at least 10-15cm (4-6 inches) of powder.

A dozen Austrian resorts including Sölden and St. Anton now have snow depths of around two metres (nearly 7 feet) or more on upper slopes. The Mölltal glacier stays on top of the list with up to 350cm(nearly 12 feet).

In Switzerland, Engadin – St. Moritz has accumulated 40cm (16 inches) of new snow over the past seven days and now reports two metres of snow on top of the mountain. Saas Fee and Klosters both also reported snowfalls of 23cm (9 inches) in seven days, Andermatt and Engelberg received 20cm (8 inches). As in Austria the avalanche danger has lowered a little in Switzerland and is generally at the mid-range level of 2-3.

In Germany the ski resorts of Oberstdorf received the most fresh snow issuing powder alarms because of 20-25 cm snowfalls on Saturday. Lots of other resorts in the central uplands as well as in the Alps reported at least some new snow.

Up in Scandinavia the last week has brought some serious amounts of snow in the southern parts of Sweden. Snowfalls up to 60cm (two feet) have been reported in some places. This has caused serious problems on roads and for the railways. The Swedish weather service have reported snowfall records for several cities and regions in the south of Sweden, some of which hadn’t been broken for over 30 years. For example the small ski resort of Mullsjö has a snow depth of 92cm (3.1 feet).

However most ski areas in Sweden are located further north where it hasn’t been snowing that much. In the north the small village of Gielas has had the coldest temperature of the winter with – 40.8C. For the north the most snow in the last seven days has been reported for Ski Sunne with 25cm (10 inches) followed by Kläppen with 24cm (10 inches) and Ramundberget with 15cm (six inches) which still has the biggest snow depth in Sweden, along with Vemdalen, both reporting 120cm (four feet).

There’s been some good snowfalls in Norway too, the coastal resort of Voss posted a powder alarm with 25cm (10 inches) of new snow on Wednesday.

Scotland’s remarkable ski season continues with more heavy snow this week, underling that for Cairngorm Mountain at least, this is probably the most consistant as well as deepest snowfall winters for three decades.

The resort plans to celebrate by setting a world record for the most people skiing in kilts on the weekend of 6/7 March, with a line of kilted 500 skiers and boarders descend the main run at once the aim.

In Spain Sierra Nevada continues to have the greatest snow depth in Spain with five metres (nearly 17 feet) on their upper slopes and is now opening a total of 101 kilometres of pistes. But also all Pyrenean ski resorts have reached snow depths close or over two metres (nearly seven feet).

Weather conditions have dramatically increased the avalanche risk in all Spanish ski resorts making off piste skiing especially dangerous. Top Spanish ski resorts have reported powder snow. Formigal has up to 240cm (8 feet) of snow and 136 km open, with Boi Taull on three metres (10 feet).

In Andorra it has been warmer and there’s no new snow but conditions are still reported to be reasonably good thanks to the snow base of more than a metre.

On the French side of the Pyrenees Cauterets has the deepest snow with 290cm (nearly 10 feet).

In Eastern Europe it has been warmer in the past week with little new snow reported anywhere. Conditions are reported to be holding up at most major centres, but colder weather and fresh snow is needed.

Resorts across the US have been firing off powder alarms over the past 48 hours. Killington reported 28cm (11 inches) of new snow and neighbouring Vermont resort Mount Snow, 32 cm (13 inches). On the other side of the country Homewood in California received 20cm (8 inches) of fresh powder yesterday while nearby Alpine Meadows had 33cm (13 inches) taking its base depth to 338cm (11feet).

Colorado’s resorts have also been receiving a lot of fresh snow. None more so than Silverton Mountain with 120cm (48 inches) during a weekend storm. It snowed three inches (7.5cm) an hour much of the weekend which left some extremely deep powder snow skiing.

Mt Washington in British Columbia has the deepest snow on the continent with 4.9m (16.3 feet).

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Ski & snow news, Snow Conditions

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