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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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Heavy Snow Returns To Europe

December 2nd, 2009

www.Skiinfo.co.uk has issued hundreds of powder alarms in the past 72 hours as resorts across the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees report big and on-going snowfalls.  Hundreds of resorts are now planning to open for the coming weekend across the continent with superb conditions, although freeriders are warned to beware of high avalanche risk off piste in many locations.

As a result, www.Skiinfo.co.uk has now released more than 200 powder alarms for ski areas reporting more than 20cm (eight inch) falls in 24 hours, with Switzerland among the big winners.  St Moritz and the Engadin Valley have received 1.3m (4.4 feet) since the weekend.  Most other Swiss resorts have done well too, Sedrun, for example, got a whole metre of new snow in 24 hours on Monday (Nov 30th) – the road to nearby Disentis was covered with snow.

Engelberg was virtually closed down by snow at the start of the week too due to a massive storm that hit central Switzerland with over 90cms (three feet) of fresh snow according to Eric Spongberg an ex-freeriders based at Ski Lodge Engelberg (www.skilodgeengelberg.com).

 The roads in and out of the village where closed down on Monday, and all the lifts were closed on Tuesday due to high avalanche danger.

”There was rumours of snow coming in, but we have virtually been covered in snow in the past 24 hours” says Eric. ”It is total chaos here, with ploughs running back and forth trying to clear the streets and the avalanche bombs thundering in the background. The snowpack has been looking thin lately, but this definitely means a white Christmas in Engelberg”.

The ski area is open today and Eric is hoping to be on the slopes, ”It might be one of those days, I just might need to skip a couple of hours off work.”

Austria, which had great snow in late October and early November, but in common with the rest of the Alps, suffered a warm spell through the mifddle of last month, has also been receiving plenty of fresh snow,
The Mölltaler glacier got 60cm (two feet) of powder and now have one of the deepest snow depths in the world at present with a 220cm (7.3 foot) base.  Many other areas received between 20 and 50cm (8-20 inches) including Axamer – Lizum at Innsbruck, Sölden (52cm) and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl.

Lech Zürs has confirmed it will open lifts on Friday. Currently they have up to 55cm (22 inches) of snow on their slopes. Hochzillertal will open on the same day.

Silvretta Montafon (Nova and Hochjoch) now has 70cm of snow for their planned opening on Saturday. “There’s been heavy snowfall down to 800 metres and we hope to begin operating the Zamang Bahn (the ski lift for Hochjoch) and Versettla Bahn (for Nova) on December 5th.” said Frank Peters of Silvretta Montafon Mountain Railways.

It’s good news once again in France where more resorts are opening after good snowfalls across the country’s ski areas.

Lans en Vercors and Collet d’Allevard are opening their ski lifts today as a result and La Clusaz it’s Nordic ski area “Les Confins”

Many more plan to open thisweekend, at least partially, including Meribel, Alpe d’Huez, the Grands Montets at Chamonix, Montgenèvre, Les Arcs and probably Courchevel 1850, Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz (only this weekend and just the “Massif de Balme”).

Val Thorens, which is already open, has reported  40cm of fresh snow and has one of the deepest bases in the country with a metre of snow lying. 

It’s a similar picture in Italy where the powder alarms continue to be issued.  Bormio has the deepest base in the country at 1.9m (6.6 feet), much of it fallen in the past week.  Other resorts reporting big falls include Madesimo with 90cm (three feet) and Alagna, Cervinia, Livigno and Monterosa resorts reporting at least 50cm (20 inches of new snow each).

Italy’s ski resorts enjoy a long ski weekend to December 8th so it’s great timing. This weekend many ski resorts will officially starts the season including Monterosa Ski, Dolomitri Superski, Limone, Courmayeur, resorts on the Milky Way pass like Sestrire and Sauze d’Oulx, Adamello (some lifts open at Passo Tonale and Pontedilegno).

Forty-eight hours of heavy snowfall over the Pyrenees has left Formigal more than ready to open this weekend.  Spain’s largest resort has 160 cm of snow on the higher slopes, around a metre on the lower pistes and more is predicted to fall over the next few days.

For bookings made before 15th December there is free ski or board hire for everyone and throughout the season there is a free child lift pass for every pre-booked adult lift pass.

There’s fresh powder too at Baqueira (40-70 cm), Cerler (20-125cm), Panticosa (70-130cm) and Sierra Nevada (10-30 cm). All the main ski resorts will open on Friday for a four days holiday (December 8th is a local holiday in Spain too). For Spanish skiers and boarders, this ‘Purísima Feast’ is a must every year and represents the official opening of the winter season.

Snow has also been snowing in Andorra, where resorts first opened early in mid-November after heavy snowfalls at the start of the month, but then had to postpone opening on the scheduled season start date last weekend due to a thaw.  It’s now looking goods for this weekend.

On the French side La Mongie and Bareges reported 60cm (two feet) on Tuesday, Piau Engaly 30cm (a foot). Piau-Engaly expects to open this weekend with its “Rock on Snowboard Tour” event.

Although the focus of recent snow reports has been on mainland Europe, conditions remain good in most Scandinavian ski areas to the north. Resorts in Norway reported up to 50cm (20 inches) of new snow in the past week and this weekend there will be 38 ski resorts open  including the big ones of Trysil, Geilo, Hafjell, Kvitfjell, Skeikampen and Hemsedal which has the most snow in the country with a 94cm (3.2 foot) base.  There are also a lot of opportunities for people who want to go cross country skiing, with 13 ski resorts that have more than 30km of tracks groomed.

There´s been some fresh snow in Sweden too where Lindvallen reports 15 cm and Tandådalen 7cm of new cover. In addition, the cold weather over large parts of the country makes ideal conditions for snowmaking. Further up north the resort of Kittelfjall has opened with a snow depth of 46cm. Dundret, 100km north of the polar circle, has opened too with a snow depth of 35 cm.

Elsewhere in Europe the ski season began in Scotland on Saturday when Cairngorm Mountain opened runs at the top of the ski slopes, attracting about 600 hardy souls who enjoyed the first turns of winter despite 45mph winds and a much stronger wind chill factor.

There’s no information on ski areas opening yet in Eastern Europe, however temperatures have dropped at last in that part of the continent with Bansko in Bulgaria reporting several days of sub-zero temperatures and snow falling.

Across the Atlantic the prolonged warm spell that stopped virtually all of New England’s ski areas opening for Thanksgiving weekend has finally ended and many resorts are reporting some snowfall and temperatures cool enough for the region’s mammoth snowmaking arsenal to dire up. Sugarloaf in Maine and Whiteface in New York State are among those planning to open at the weekend.

Further north in Eastern Canada, where Toronto recently declared last month the driest November in 70 years without a snowflake, conditions have improved greatly too.  Mont Ste Anne in Quebec expects to open after several postponements this weekend with at least four runs available.  It reported 12cm (5 inches) of snow at the weekend.  Mont Sutton received 43cm (17 inches) of snow at the summit over the weekend.
In the west of course it is a different story and Whistler’s November snowfall total officially passed 5.6m (18 feet) by the month end, with a 1.92m (6.5 feet) base, by far the biggest ever for this early in the season and indeed the biggest ever monthly snowfall for the resort.

The good snow news isn’t just restricted to the 2010 Winter Olympic host however, most of Western Canada’s resorts have great snow cover, and several more resorts opened early at the weekend, or announced they’d be opening earlier than planned in coming weeks including Fernie and Kicking Horse.

Revelstoke, which now has North America’s largest vertical, as well as the only heli and cat ski operations running along-side regular ski lifts from one base, opened upper slopes for a ‘taster weekend’ and will open permanently from next weekend.

Silver Star has also opened, “To the delight of us all, the winter skies have opened up and delivered over 40 cm of the white stuff needed to make the jump from Nordic skiing to alpine. With the alpine base now over 100 cm the Comet Express, Silver Woods Express, and the Silver Queen Chair. “ said a resort spokesperson.

The world’s attention has however been on Alberta over the weekend with Lake Louise Ski Area hosting its annual Winterstart World Cup Races. The men’s races took place November 28 and 29 and the women race this coming December 4 through 6.

 The WinterStart Festival takes place over the two weekends and includes the World Cup Alpine Ski Racing followed by a festival within a festival; Christmas in the Rockies, which runs December 5 and 6.
All the lifts are open at The Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village, with more available at Mt. Norquay today! The North American chair is open morning offering access to the infamous Lone Pine run.

“This is the best snow we’ve seen in 30 years, allowing the backside of Lake Louise and Goat’s Eye at Sunshine Village to be open already, offering tons of terrain, fresh tracks and a lot of powder.” Said a spokesperson
On Thursday, December 3rd, the newly renovated Sunshine Mountain Lodge at Sunshine Village will open 30 new eco-luxurious rooms.

Back south of the border in the Western US states temperatures are low for snowmaking but precipitation has been rather limited meaning that bases remain modest and open terrain is little changed from last week.

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Heavy Snow in North America, More In The Alps, 30+ Resorts Now Open

October 29th, 2009
Fresh Snow October 2010

Fresh Snow October 2010

Continents With Resorts Open For Skiing: 3
Countries With Resorts Open For Skiing: 10
Ski Areas Open (Approximately):  35

* Heavy snow in Western Canada
* A dozen ski areas open in Scandinavia.
* Bormio opens this weekend.
* Still skiing in New Zealand.
* Les 2 Alpes opens for a big party.
* Diablerets Glacier opens.

There is heavy snow in western Canada and a week of fresh snowfalls in many northern hemisphere ski areas including Colorado, parts of the Alps and Japan.

With Kitzbuhel’s earliest ever opening at the weekend, following the Planai above Schladming the week before that, as well as seven glaciers areas to choose from, Austria continues to offer the biggest choice of skiing in the Alps.  The heavy snowfall there last week has set up some great conditions with most areas reporting a 90-150cm (3-5 foot) base. The other ski centres to choose from include Dachstein, Hintertux, Molltal, Kitzsteinhorn (Kaprun), Pitztal, Solden, Stubai, Tux).

In Switzerland the latest ski area to open is Glacier 3000 above les Diablerets near Gstaad. Currently the Dôme ski lift and the snow park are open where there are several lines of a different level with tables, rails as well as boxes ready for use. The area joins the Engelberg, Saas Fee and Zermatt glaciers which are all already open.

Exciting news from Italy too as Bormio has announced it will open early from this weekend, Halloween, too and the country has reported some of the best new snow this week, Livigno, not yet open, noting more than 30cm of fresh snow accumulated.

Bormio will run a cable car and a high speed chair serving 18km of slopes between 2,500m and 3,000m altitude.

It joins Cervinia (20cm) which will now be open daily after weekend opening through October, and still open summer ski areas Passo Stelvio and Val Senales.

In France les 2 Alpes is open this week for its new festival week, but will close again on Monday for four weeks until opening for the winter on November 28th.  It has 20m of snow, a little more than Tignes, the other French resorts that has now been open for six weeks this season but is currently suffering from a snow shortage and needs more.

In the Pyrenees there are no areas open yet but the first heavy snowfalls have been reported. Formigal in Spain has reported the first snow of the season on their ski mountain’s slopes. The 5cm dusting at Spain’s largest resort is a good sign for the coming season and forecasters are predicting a further 15cm tonight. The Pyrenees received some of the best snow in decades at many resorts last winter, and it all began in Autumn last year, so the region is hoping for a repeat of winter 08-09.

There are more than a dozen ski areas currently open in Northern Europe. Sweden currently has five   ski areas to ski or board – Funäsdalen, Kåbdalis, Tänndalen,  Tärnaby and Hemavan. Tänndalen is the only area that is open daily. 

The country’s biggest resort, Sälen, is waiting for colder temperatures along with all other resorts. One that is standing by is Åre as under the right conditions, temp, humidity etc Åre can produce a 50cm snow layer on its main down hill slope in just 150 hours.  However Sweden needs colder temps to open new areas and the weather forecast don’t look so promising for the rest of the week.

In Norway skiers have six different ski resorts to choose from the upcoming weekend. Gaustablikk and Bjorli opened already at 17th of October, and Gålå has announced their season starts this weekend. A ski season that starts in mid October is early, even in cold Norway, and this means that the first winter ski resort opened before the last summer ski resort closed (Galdhøpiggen Summer ski resort closed on 25th October).  Kvitfjell, Trysil, Hafjell, Geilo, Kongsberg and Uvdal all aim to open on November 7th.

Several areas are also open in Finland, including the first to open there, Ruka.

In Western Canada the Canada Olympic Park near Calgary in Alberta is already open and resorts across Alberta and British Columbia have been reporting heavy snow falls ahead of planned opening dates in the next few weeks.

The first due to open is Mount Norquay at Banff, which plans to open at weekends from this Saturday, Halloween weekend, onwards.  Other resorts in the region including Nakiska and Marmot Basin, both of which have new quad chairlifts, as well as Sunshine mountain will open within the next few weeks.

Resorts in British Columbia have been reporting heavy snow in recent days. “Sun Peaks Sports Director Alain Brunelle tested the powder up at Sun Peaks this morning. The last couple of days have brought 40cm of snow, bringing the base at Sun Peaks to 70cm. More storms are on the way, with snow expected Wednesday night, Thursday, and Saturday this week.” resort spokeswoman Melanie Simmons told Skiinfo.co.uk.
Fernie and Marmot Basin have also reported big snowfalls.

In the east of the Country Mont Saint Sauveur in Quebec was the first to open, thanks in part to an expanded snowmaking system, but has since had to close again because of warmer weather.

South of the border resorts in Colorado and Utah are amongst those announcing fresh snow.  In the case of Loveland, Colorado, which has already been open for three weeks, that means more new terrain has opened as a “Halloween treat” for its guests. Its neighbours, Copper and Keystone plan to open within weeks.

Arapahoe Basin remains open although there’s no  beginner terrain at the moment. Anothere two inches (5cm) of snow has fallen there is the past 24 hours and there’s an 18 inch (45cm) base mid mountain).  Three runs including Ramrod are now open along! Visit the High Divide Terrain Park with 5 features.

On the east Coast Sunday River in Maine remains open with the resort’s full vertical skiable with two weeks of the season clocked up so far.

In the southern Hemisphere New Zealand’s Mt Ruapehu is about to open its ‘Snovember’ opening schedule.  Turoa reports a base toll at over 2.4m (8 feet) so it’s anyone’s guess how long it can stay open, but the current plan is for another few weeks at least. The centre has re-opened for Christmas in recent years and more snow is expected in the next few days.

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Fresh Snow Falls Bringing Powder Top Up To The Alps

January 21st, 2009

*  Lowest temperatures for more than 20 years in Germany.
*  50cm / 20 inches of fresh powder across the Alps In Past 48 Hours.
*  Snow and ice lead to a further spate of deaths in Europe.
*  North America warm in the West, freezing in the East.

www.Skiinfo.com reports that after a dry and sunny start to the year in
large parts of Europe, large snowfalls have returned to the Alps, and
continued in the Pyrenees.  North America is experiencing unusually warm and
unusually cold temperatures on west and east coasts respectively and there’s
been heavy snow in Scandinavia, plus all five Scottish ski areas are open
today for the first time this winter.

Heavy snow is dumping down in France, where Skiinfo released 43 powder
alarms to subscribers yesterday – the free service that alerts Skiinfo users
when fresh snow is falling to excess in their favourite resorts. It’s good
news for resorts like Chamonix which has been blessed with a great base from
pre-Christmas falls but had not seen any fresh powder for nearly three weeks
since New Year.

The biggest snowfalls have been in the North Alps (up to 50 cm/20 inches) at
resorts including Chatel and Avoriaz.  The latter is claiming the biggest
accumulation in the country over the past week with 55cm, (nearly two feet)
of fresh powder.

The good snowfall has led to high visitation numbers according to Laurence
Girard, manager of the  Taninges – Praz de Lys – Sommand tourist office who
told skiinfo.com, “This year we’re benefiting from an exceptional quality
and quantity of snow and  conditions have been perfect since the end of
November.   The resort has seen excellent visitor numbers, the best for
December and January for a long time. ”

In Switzerland it’s resorts in the French-speaking west of the country that
have seen the best of the new snow although there has been plenty of fresh
across most of the nation with the Flims Laax Falera – Alpenarena reporting
28 cm (11 inches) of new snow.  Anzère has claimed the most new powder with
55 cm (22 inches) whilst Les Crosets, lift-linked over the border to the
afore-mentioned avoriaz on the  Portes du Soleil pass, has 40cm (16 inches).
Zermatt reports the most snow with 660cm (22 feet) on Europe’s highest ski
slopes.

There were ten PowderAlarms in Austria yesterday with the Montafon Silvretta
area posting the most fresh powder with 60cm (24 inches).  Other
beneficiaries include Solden with 36cm (14 inches) Lech Zürs with 20cm
(eight inches) of new snow, St. Anton am Arlberg with 18cm (seven inches)
and Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang both with 15cm (six inches). It’s still
snowing in Austria and up to 40cm (16 inches) of fresh snow is expected
through the current 24 hours.

Although it has warmed up a little recently, Germany to the north is
reporting its coldest January to date for 22 years with average temperatures
of minus 5.3 Celcius.

Rolf Köberle of Kleinwalsertal Tourismus said, “Although there has been a
lot of sunshine during the past few weeks, we’ve had the best conditions for
winter sports.  Last night the snow started falling again making the valley
a dreamlike winter scene and bringing up to 35cm (14 inches) of fresh snow.”

Italy has also had some healthy snowfall, especially in the Alps, with
Skiinfo.com issuing dozens of powder alarms for the country.  Passo Rolle
and San Martino Di Castrozza  both reported 50cm (20 inches) of new snow
yesterday with Aprica , Bardonecchia and Livigno also adding more than a
foot (30cm) to their bases.  Arabba still has the most snow in the country
with 480cm (16 feet) on upper slopes. The FIS cancelled training in Cortina
D’Ampezzo for world cup racing later this week due to the heavy snow, they
hope that training will be possible tomorrow and that the races will go
ahead as planned.

The extreme conditions have led to more deaths in Europe with four Italian
climbers dieing on the French side of Mont Blanc following a thousand metre
fall, they were the latest to die after four other climbers died in two
separate incidents at Chamonix the previous week.  A young woman died in Val
d’Isere after falling in to the resort’s river after getting dis-oriented
and in Spain a 24 year old man died in an avalanche whilst snow shoeing in
mountains close to Madrid, the first avalanche death ever recorded in the
area.

It’s still snowing in the Pyrenees continuing the great season for Andorra,
Spain and the French Pyrenean ski areas.  Baqueira Beret on the Spanish side
which has some of the greatest snow depths in the region (225cm/7.5 feet)
reported another 20cm (eight inches) of snow yesterday.  Sierra Nevada has
Spain’s greatest snow depth with 350cm (nearly 12 feet).

In Eastern Europe conditions are continuing to look up with Bansko announced
as the replacement venue for the cancelled World Cup races from St Moritz.

Snow conditions are reported to still be good in the Czech and Slovak
Republics despite warmer weather bringing rain to lower slopes (Snow on the
higher ones)  with more than 230 ski areas operating across the two
countries. Maximum snowfall has been 10cm (four inches) over the past week
with the deepest snow at Chopok in the Low Tatras in Slovakia (180cm/six
feet). A long Polish holiday period has started which the two countries hope
will boost business which was slow in January.

In Scandinavia there have been huge snow falls in the eastern and southern
part of Norway this week, resulting in over 20 powder alarms in the last two
days. It has been snowing a lot in the country’s capital Oslo the last two
days bringing a snow depth of 40cm (16 inches) to the city’s streets,very
good news for ski resorts close to the city.

10 skiresorts have over a metre (40 inches) of snow, see Snowfinder for
Norway forecast more snow in the eastern part of Norway the four next days:
www.skiinfo.com/Snowreport-Snowfinder/Norway-ENO-7711-en.jhtml
In Sweden after a really warm period there has been more snow, with up to
19cm (eight inches)  reported snowfall in the last days in 15 resorts across
the country with the most snow in Tandådalen and in Kittelfjäll with 15cm
(six inches).  The forecast for the weekend promises even more snow so good
powder conditions for the weekend.

To the west all five Scottish ski centres are open as heavy snow in Western
Scotland allowed the two remaining centres yet to open for 2008-9 – Glencoe
and Nevis Range – to open for the first time.
A glencoe spokesman said, “Heavy snow over the last couple of days has
improved the overall situation on the mountain. All runs are now complete
although some are narrow in places.”

There has been less fresh snow in the East of the country where the other
three centres are located, and have been operating intermittently since back
on Halloween 2008.  However all three remaining centres there (Cairngorm,
Glenshee and The Lecht) are open with limited terrain.

In North America very low temperatures across the east have been the norm,
witnessed by all the warm winter clothing at President Obama’s inauguration
ceremony.  Further north that meant that temperatures hit -40F below in
Maine, and in Ohio -27F was reported to be the lowest recorded temperature
for more than 35 years.  At Bolton Valley ski area in Vermont the lifts were
closed on Friday evening for fear skiers would freeze if there was
malfunction.

To the north Canada’s snow season continues to be largely good with Banff
reporting another 30cm (12 inches) fell in the past week taking depths well
above 180cm (six feet).  This marks something of a dividing line as Western
North America has been experiencing very warm “Spring like” conditions with
temperatures as high as +10C on the slopes in California and British
Columbia.  Heavy snow over the past months means this isn’t a complete
disaster, yet, but a drop in temperature soon would be welcome.

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