Sz Ski Switzerland

Welcome to the Ski Switzerland page, providing a regular round-up of the skiing conditions and current snow reports for the main ski resorts in the Swiss Alps. Over recent years some of the most consistent good piste conditions have been reported at Saas Fee, Davos, Zermatt, Klosters, Andermatt, Verbier, and Engelberg showing a mix of high glacial resorts and those most exposed to the prevailing north westerly storm tracks. However, in any given week or season the best slope conditions may be found at any of the numerous other high Swiss resorts or at lower elevation ski stations in poor weather amongst the trees.

For off-piste powder, resorts such as Zinal, Grimentz, Davos, Les Diablerets, Arosa, Andermatt, and Engelberg have proven among the most consistent over several seasons either because of regular heavy snowfalls, favourable sun aspect, or in some cases because they are high and quite so they don't get tracked out quickly. In terms of accumulating snow depth throughout the season, Andermatt and Engelberg excel and are a regular match for anywhere in Europe, however every season is different and there are no guarantees. Slope conditions change day by day so check out the reports summaries below for the latest news and of course the snow forecasts we produce for summit, mid-station and resort level elevations at every major ski station in Switzerland.

Switzerland is for many people the country most immediately associated with skiing. Known for its spectacular mountain scenery, efficient infrastructure, high quality and yes, high prices, the country does have the world’s longest history as a winter sports tourism destination – with the very first holiday taking place in St Moritz one and a half centuries ago, shortly before downhill skiing was invented in Norway, in the Telemark style.

The Kulm Hotel St Moritz was the first hotel to be built in St Moritz, the Kulm opened its doors in 1856 and immediately became popular for summer spa and painting holidays, particularly among the British who comprised around 75% of the hotel guests.

The owner of the Kulm Hotel, Johannes Badrutt, initiated winter holidays to St Moritz from 1864, when he laid a bet with his last departing summer guests that the local weather was so good they could sun themselves on the hotel’s terrace even in deep December; if not, he would cover the cost of their holiday himself. He won the bet and within two years, the hotel was fully booked with guests staying for the entire winter season. The Kulm Hotel St Moritz can, therefore, take credit for starting the trend for winter sports holidays which developed in to Swiss ski holidays and the Kulm itself is now a huge five star hotel – one of five in the famous resort – is still in business to this day.

Since then around 400 Swiss ski resorts have opened in every canton including many of the world’s best known destinations. Europe’s highest ski lifts are here at Zermatt, 3899m up, which is one of only two resorts in the world open 365 days a year. As well as St Moritz there are glitzy resorts like Verbier, Crans Montana and Gstaad; resorts with long histories and particularly stunning mountain scenery like Grindelwald, Wengen and Murren in the Jungfrau – a favourite British destination for more than a century - or Davos, where Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a ski pioneer.

Architecture can be more problematic in Switzerland’s ski resorts. Although there are none of the entirely concrete-block developments that have blighted some areas in the French Alps, many of the bigger Swiss resorts contain a few similar ugly buildings as they do not have the same building restrictions as Austria, where a traditional chalet style design is normally required for all new buildings. There are however unspoilt villages to be found such as Grimentz.

Switzerland offers skiing in resorts in the West of the country where French is spoken, the East where it’s German and in the southerly canton of Ticino, Italian. There are ski areas of all sizes including the 350km cross-border area shared by Zermatt and Italy’s Cervinia and the 400km of the 4 Valleys. Thanks to the glaciers and high altitude skiing of many resorts including Engelberg and Laax, snow cover is rarely a problem and sunshine is a strength, particularly for St Moritz again, which claims more than 300 days of it each year.

Another idea pioneered by the Swiss is car-free ski resorts. There are about a dozen including Saas Fee, Wengen and Zermatt. In some cases they have been so successful that permitted hotel electric buggys throng the streets making them almost as busy as they would be with motor traffic, but the noise isn’t there, nor the polluting fumes, making these very special and relaxing places to stay.

Spectacular mountain restaurants are yet another forte, be they the revolving restaurant built with money generated by the James Bond film crew that filmed On His Majesty’s Secret Service at Murren in the late 1950s, or similar establishments above Leysin and Saas Fee, or the ultra-cool Botta restaurant at Les Diablerets.

Switzerland is expensive although just how expensive depends on the strength of the Franc against other currencies. In the 1990s its strength made Switzerland the most expensive destination in Europe for skiers, but through the first decade of the current century prices gradually dropped below those of the Euro, and the French 3 Valleys around Courchevel became more expensive than the Swiss 4 Valleys around Verbier. That changed with the global economic collapse in 2008 when investors seeking a safe haven invested in the Franc and by autumn 2011 the currency was riding so high that one version of Zermatt’s international pass became the most expensive lift ticket in the world – overtaking the usually ‘most pricey’ in Western USA for the first time in decades. The Swiss national bank intervened to limit the strength of the franc and prevent the collapse of Swiss tourism.

Many fans of Swiss skiing do say that the higher costs are worthwhile anyway, so long as they are affordable, for the higher quality experience. Swiss Airlines provide a high quality service to skiers which is continually recognised in user polls and industry awards and, once you land in Geneva or Zurich, many resorts are accessible by an ultra efficient rail and bus network direct from the airports.

It’s also worth noting that, although lift tickets for adults can be expensive, Switzerland offers the best prices in Europe for children. Indeed more than 50 resorts don’t charge for children at all until age 8 or 9 and then offers at least 50% off until adulthood at age 16 or 18 and even then there’s usually a 15-30% discount for young adults or students to their early 20s. This compares to France where children usually pay from age 4 or 5 and then 60-80% of the full adult price, which is payable in total from age 11 to 13. So some family configurations may find that, even with a higher adult lift pass cost, overall they pay less.
read more...

Switzerland: latest snow conditions round-up


SWITZERLAND There were sunny and very cold conditions in Switzerland on Monday 16th January. The weekend bought large snowfalls, making for excellent albeit cold ski conditions today. Conditions have improved enough that resorts in the Gstaad Glacier 3000 area have now opened: Les Diablerets (50/105cm) and Villars (50/105cm) are now open and are looking in amazing condition. Flims Laax (32/105cm) is also looking fantastic thanks to almost one metre of new snow over the weekend. Broadly speaking conditions are excellent right around Switzerland. In high altitude resorts like Saas Fee (35/160cm) and Zermatt (10/125cm) the snow is heavily wind affected up top. Powder pockets can still be found off piste for those who know where to look. In the forecast, strong sunshine is expected to make a return this week. Sunshine is expected to become the main feature weather wise well into the weekend.

read more...

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Switzerland. Fresh snow is forecast at 83resorts. Powder is reported at 26 resorts and 118 are reporting good piste conditions.

Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for Switzerland

A–C

D–G H–K L–M N–R S–U V–Z Best powder (26)Best piste conditions (118)

Ski resorts in Switzerland from A to C

Bottom Mid Top
Resort Webcam Top
snow depth
top and bottom
Good piste
on-piste
Powder
off-piste
Fresh snow depth
last snow
Fresh snow depth
next 9 days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Weather Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

(1350m — 2400m)

snow report yesterday

60
36
Powder
Patchy
10 cm
2 days ago
2
1
9
light snow
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1875 m
0m 300m 550m 600m 550m

(999m — 1626m)

snow report yesterday

Aeschi webcam
30
30

Good
2
1
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1312 m
0m 200m 550m 600m 650m

(1175m — 2249m)

snow report yesterday

Airolo webcam
40
10

Good
1
2
2
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1712 m
0m 400m 650m 600m 600m

(1045m — 2627m)

snow report yesterday

100
70

Good
10
3
light snow
clear
clear
snow showers
clear
Mid station 1836 m
0m 0m 150m 400m 450m

(1103m — 1956m)

snow report yesterday

80
40
Powder
Powder
2 days ago
12
2
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 1530 m
0m 0m 250m 450m 450m

(1436m — 2963m)

snow report yesterday

Andermatt webcam
135
40
Powder
Powder
5 cm
yesterday
4
3
4
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2200 m
0m 350m 500m 500m 600m

(1423m — 2462m)

snow report yesterday

Anzère webcam
140
30
Packed powder
Powder
15 cm
2 days ago
7
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1942 m
150m 600m 800m 750m 800m

(2000m — 3000m)

snow report yesterday

Arolla webcam
119
42
Powder
Powder
2 days ago
1
25
31
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2500 m
250m 550m 800m 750m 750m

(1750m — 2650m)

snow report yesterday

Arosa webcam
90
50

Fresh

Fresh
5 cm
yesterday
Light snow forecast // 16 Jan
2
1
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2200 m
0m 400m 600m 600m 600m

(975m — 1393m)

snow report yesterday

70
50

Good
5
light snow
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1184 m
0m 0m 0m 350m 400m

(1963m — 2601m)

snow report yesterday

35
×
Closed
6
1
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2282 m
0m 450m 500m 500m 700m

(1200m — 1951m)

snow report yesterday

Beatenberg webcam
50
35

Good
2
1
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1576 m
0m 200m 500m 600m 700m

(1322m — 3100m)

snow report yesterday

105
20

Excellent

Powder
3 days ago
2
5
10
snow showers
clear
clear
snow showers
snow showers
Mid station 2211 m
100m 450m 600m 700m 750m

(1609m — 2559m)

snow report yesterday

50
50

Fresh

Fresh
yesterday
3
5
9
snow showers
clear
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2084 m
0m 400m 700m 700m 650m

(1594m — 3019m)

1
5
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2306 m
0m 450m 550m 550m 650m

(2288m — 3074m)

Bettmeralp - Aletsch webcam
3
8
18
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
snow showers
snow showers
Mid station 2681 m
0m 400m 550m 550m 650m

(2054m — 2973m)

snow report yesterday

Bivio webcam
50
30

Fresh

Fresh
2 days ago
8
1
snow showers
clear
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2514 m
0m 450m 700m 650m 700m

(1500m — 2301m)

snow report yesterday

80
50
End Of Season
1
1
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1900 m
150m 400m 650m 600m 600m

(1510m — 2212m)

snow report yesterday

105
80
Powder
Powder
yesterday
9
1
2
light snow
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1861 m
0m 150m 450m 500m 500m

(1684m — 2322m)

snow report yesterday

Brienz - Axalp webcam
60
20
×
Closed
3
3
7
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2003 m
0m 250m 500m 600m 650m

(1497m — 2808m)

snow report yesterday

115
42

Fresh

Fresh
yesterday
4
1
1
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2152 m
0m 350m 550m 550m 550m

(1210m — 2578m)

snow report yesterday

95
40

Good
3
15
partly cloudy
clear
clear
snow showers
snow showers
Mid station 1894 m
200m 600m 700m 700m 750m

(929m — 1707m)

snow report yesterday

35
25
Sat
2
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1318 m
0m 0m 250m 450m 400m

(1069m — 1585m)

snow report yesterday

Bumbach / Schangnau webcam
50
50

Good
4
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1327 m
0m 0m 400m 550m 650m

(1718m — 2550m)

snow report yesterday

50
40

Good
2
4
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2134 m
200m 600m 850m 800m 850m

(1476m — 3303m)

snow report yesterday

54
17

Good
1
8
1
light snow
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2390 m
0m 450m 750m 700m 700m

(1040m — 2277m)

snow report yesterday

Champéry webcam
55
20

Excellent

Powder
70 cm
2 days ago
1
1
14
snow showers
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1658 m
0m 250m 400m 500m 450m

(1702m — 2671m)

snow report yesterday

65
33
×
Closed
3
20
snow showers
clear
clear
snow showers
snow showers
Mid station 2186 m
250m 600m 700m 650m 750m

(1310m — 2150m)

1
1
14
snow showers
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1730 m
0m 250m 450m 500m 450m

(1650m — 3001m)

snow report yesterday

90
40
Fair
1
5
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2326 m
200m 650m 800m 750m 850m

(1045m — 1893m)

4
4
light snow
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1469 m
0m 0m 300m 450m 450m

(1000m — 2200m)

snow report yesterday

45
40

Good
2
10
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 1600 m
0m 200m 450m 500m 500m

(600m — 2175m)

snow report yesterday

55
22

Good
1
snow showers
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1388 m
0m 300m 550m 600m 600m

(1480m — 2210m)

1
clear
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 1845 m
0m 400m 600m 600m 650m

(1797m — 3303m)

snow report yesterday

40
8
Packed 4 days ago
7
1
snow showers
clear
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2550 m
0m 500m 750m 750m 750m

(1720m — 3057m)

1
8
1
light snow
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2388 m
0m 450m 750m 700m 700m

(1500m — 3000m)

snow report yesterday

Crans Montana webcam
140
40
Packed powder
Powder
35 cm
4 days ago
7
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2250 m
150m 600m 800m 750m 800m