Search Our News Hub

Patrick Thorne

Snowfall Returns to The Alps

Snowy conditions are set to return to the Alps (as well as the Dolomites, Pyrenees, Scandinavia and Scotland) after a relatively peaceful week where many areas were able to ‘regroup’ following the extremely heavy snowfall in the Western Alps and storm conditions in the first 10 days of 2018. Snow has already begun falling in many areas with a few dozen resorts, mostly in Switzerland, reporting up to 25cm of fresh snow in the last 24 hours, bringing to an end a period of blue skies for many. The snowfall will also be accompaniued by strong top gale force winds at times. Many areas are expected to get 40-60cm, in most cases with the heaviest snow on Wednesday and Thursday;

Deepest Base In Europe Passes 5 Metre Mark

The deepest reported snowbase in Europe has already passed the five metres mark – a total hardly touched on throughout last winter. Engelberg in Switzerland says it has 515cm (over 17 feet) of snow lying on its upper slopes following weekend snowfall.   The total comes as heavy snowfall returned to the Western Alps on Monday and Tuesday. Following Storm Eleanor last week this time there was a real focus of the especially heavy snow on the French –Italian border with resorts reporting up to 1.2 metres (four feet) of snow at Bardonecchia.  Pila reported 1 metre (40 inches) in the same period, as did ski areas like Sestriere and Sauze D’Oulx in the Milky Way. (Picture above credit

Fresh Snow after Worst Start to Season For 33 Years in Colorado

There’s been much needed fresh snow in Western states Colorado, Utah and California over the weekend. The states, and most of their neighbours, have seen very little snow all season and struggled to open much terrain over the crucial Christmas and New Year holiday period. With some people claiming the season is seeing its worst start in the area for up to 50 years, the consensus is that in Colorado at least, it has been the worst start to winter for 33 seasons. More fresh snow, typically 15-30cm, is expected over the next three days across the region.   Steamboat in Colorado claims to currently have the most terrain open in Colorado, at around 80% of the total, crediting

Third Ski Area Reported Open in North Korea

A third ski area is reported to have opened in North Korea.  Work on the new ski centre near the country’s northern city of Kanggye is reported to have only started in July but has been completed ahead of schedule according to the country’s media. They say it has two ski runs complete with snow making. North Korea’s ski ambitions are a matter of international political interest. The country’s second ski area, Masikryong or ‘Masik Pass’ (pictured) which opened in 2013 caused international controversy as there were concerns European companies had supplied lifts and snowmaking equipment against international sanctions, but it later transpired that equipment had been sold second hand via China where sanctions at the time on ‘luxury goods’

Super Storm Closes Leading Ski Areas in the Alps

A number of the worlds biggest ski areas are fully or mostly closed for skiing and boarding today as a severe storm hits the Alps. The Western Alps are particularly badly affected so far but the storm will affect a large area across Central Europe. Last night Europe’s highest ski area Val Thorens issued a warning that it expected extreme conditions of potentially up to 200kph (125 mph) winds and up to 2.4m (eight feet) of snowfall by Friday. A Chamonix spokesperson painted a similar picture saying, “The valley is experiencing extreme weather conditions with heavy snow periods interspersed by freezing periods and warmer periods with torrential rains.” Val Thorens warned against going outside alone in the resort, issued a

Snowy End to 2017 to be Followed by Snowy Start to 2018

The snow is lying deep and crisp and even over most ski slopes in Europe following two heavy snow storms in succession during the last five days of 2017. We at had already analysed the data to see that overall the start to winter 2017-8 has been the snowiest in Europe for more than 20 years.  That was before the latest big snowfalls. Pictured top is Lech yesterday.   72 hour snowfall totals from the latest storms have been as high as 1.2m (four feet) at Gstaad in Switzerland with Tignes in France claiming 112cm, Laax (CH) 105cm and many other areas between 60 and 90cm. Seven day totals with the accumulations from the two major snowstorms added

Huge Snowfalls For End of 2017 in Dolomites, Alps and Pyrenees

There have been some of the biggest snowfalls of the season so far in Europe over the past 24 hours and the snowy conditions are expected to continue for at least the next week. The biggest reported snowfall of 120cm (four feet) was reported in the Dolomites, but ski areas in the Alps and Pyrenees have also reported up to a metre of snow so far too. This was a typical ski resort scene this morning, in this case at Damuls n Austria.   The snow in Europe follows some big snowfalls in Western North America (Up to 90cm in 48 hours) over Christmas which greatly improved conditions at resorts in Colorado and Utah which had been suffering one of

New 8km (5 Mile) Long Ski Descent Opens in Switzerland

A new ski descent some 8km long has opened this week at the Glacier 3000 ski area near Les Diablerets and Gstaad in Switzerland. It’s believed to be the longest new groomed descent to be created in Western Europe for some years. Currently named simply ‘The Red Run,’ the piste – which links some existing sections piste together to make its full 1,670 vertical metre descent – descends from Scex Rouge (2,971m) up to the base of the lists at 1,300m.   The Red Run’s route takes it under the Oldenhorn lift station and below the Cabane station from where it then joins the existing Martisberg Run. It took Glacier 3000 three years to get approval to create the

Snowiest Resort in the World Passes 5 Metres Snowfall Season-To-Date Total

Mt Baker in Washington State which holds the record for the most snowfall in a season is now the first ski area in the world to post more than 5 metres of snowfall so far in the 2017-18 season. It’s snowing heavily their now but the most recent stats published last night report 26 inches (66cm) in the past 24 hours, taking the area’s season to date snowfall tally to 224 inches or 5.7 metres. The ski area is home to the world's greatest recorded snowfall in one season, 1,140 inches (95.0 ft; 29.0 m), recorded during the 1998–99 season. Mt. Baker also enjoys the unofficially highest average annual snowfall of any resort in the world, with 641 inches (53.4 ft; 16.3 m). The

Snow-Forecast Data Shows This is The Best Start to the Season in The Alps for 21 Years

Research in to early season snow stats has revealed that this is the snowiest start to the season for 21 winters “Although 1998, 2011, 2012 and 2008 were just as snowy in some Alpine resorts, we have to go all the way back to 1996 to find a ski season that was notably better in terms of early season snow depths across the whole of the Alps,” says Snow-Forecast’s Robert Davies, who adds, “Let's not forget that over that two-decade period we have suffered some disastrous seasons with hardly any natural snow below the Alpine glaciers until mid-January.” (Lech is pictured top) Why so good this year? Davies says that first, we avoided a weather event is usually the cause