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View Snow Roundup #65

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.
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Switzerland: latest snow conditions round-up


SWITZERLAND Swiss resorts have been among the big winners of the snowfall in the Alps this week. Arosa (50/120cm) reported 120cm (four feet) of fresh snow fell there over three days from Saturday to Tuesday and Andermatt (40/400cm) is now claiming the deepest snow base in the world and is the first to reach the 4-metre mark (or indeed the 3-metre mark).

Its stats are double those of closest Swiss rival Zermatt (20-200cm) which reported a 50cm snowfall in 24 hours on Sunday- Monday. It still has one of the world's biggest areas open at present with more than 200km of runs to enjoy across the Italian border. However Swiss areas are also posting high avalanche danger warnings in many areas off-piste and resorts including Davos (47/145cm) were closed by the extreme snow and wind combination on Sunday.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in Switzerland. Fresh snow is forecast at 162resorts. Powder is reported at 11 resorts and 31 are reporting good piste conditions.

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Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for Switzerland

A–C

D–G H–K L–M N–R S–U V–Z Best powder (11)Best piste conditions (31)

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)
Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon

(1350m — 2400m)

snow report today

Adelboden webcam
80
34

Good
131 cm
2 days ago
20
39
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1875 m
600m 850m 850m 1550m 1000m

(999m — 1626m)

snow report today

20
20
×
Closed
59 cm
2 days ago
4
19
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1312 m
600m 850m 950m 1700m 1050m

(1175m — 2249m)

snow report today

100
40
Packed 69 cm
2 days ago
21
25
snow showers
clear
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1712 m
250m 700m 650m 1400m 1200m

(1045m — 2627m)

snow report today

35
10
Open From Sat 135 cm
2 days ago
28
19
clear
clear
clear
light snow
moderate snow
Mid station 1836 m
350m 450m 350m 1300m 1100m

(1103m — 1956m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 9 days 9 cm
2 days ago
21
16
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1530 m
350m 450m 350m 1300m 1000m

(1436m — 2963m)

snow report today

Andermatt webcam
400
40
Powder
Powder
121 cm
2 days ago
33
32
snow showers
clear
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2200 m
300m 700m 500m 1500m 1100m

(1423m — 2462m)

snow report today

60
20
End Of Season 87 cm
2 days ago
12
37
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 1942 m
900m 1100m 1150m 1600m 1050m

(2000m — 3000m)

snow report 2 days ago

Arolla webcam
opens in 9 days 81 cm
2 days ago
2
44
72
snow showers
snow showers
clear
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 2500 m
350m 950m 1100m 1850m 1050m

(1750m — 2650m)

snow report today

130
90

Fresh

Fresh
80 cm
2 days ago
10
18
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2200 m
350m 650m 400m 1350m 950m

(975m — 1393m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 18 days 17 cm
2 days ago
8
10
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1184 m
450m 450m 550m 1500m 1000m

(1963m — 2601m)

snow report today

50
40
No Info 55 cm
2 days ago
11
27
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2282 m
350m 650m 500m 1250m 950m

(1200m — 1951m)

snow report 2 days ago

Beatenberg webcam
2 cm
2 days ago
6
20
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1576 m
650m 800m 1000m 1750m 1100m

(1322m — 3110m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 9 days 1 cm
2 days ago
27
40
snow showers
clear
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2216 m
500m 850m 900m 1650m 1150m

(1609m — 2559m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 2 days 55 cm
2 days ago
32
41
snow showers
clear
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2084 m
400m 800m 800m 1650m 1150m

(1594m — 3019m)

snow report 2 days ago

65 cm
2 days ago
14
31
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2306 m
300m 650m 400m 1350m 900m

(2288m — 3074m)

snow report 2 days ago

Bettmeralp - Aletsch webcam
26 cm
2 days ago
48
55
snow showers
clear
clear
heavy snow
light snow
Mid station 2681 m
400m 800m 800m 1650m 1100m

(2054m — 2973m)

snow report 2 days ago

Bivio webcam
opens in 8 days 43 cm
2 days ago
13
32
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2514 m
250m 650m 450m 1250m 950m

(1500m — 2301m)

snow report today

130
100

Good
53 cm
2 days ago
12
22
light snow
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1900 m
450m 700m 850m 1200m 1300m

(1510m — 2212m)

snow report today

120
50
×
Closed
123 cm
2 days ago
24
19
clear
clear
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1861 m
450m 650m 400m 1400m 1000m

(1684m — 2322m)

snow report 2 days ago

Brienz - Axalp webcam
74 cm
2 days ago
21
28
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2003 m
600m 800m 750m 1650m 1150m

(1497m — 2808m)

snow report today

Brigels-Waltensburg-Andiast webcam
110
45

Good
99 cm
2 days ago
25
21
clear
clear
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2152 m
450m 750m 450m 1450m 950m

(1210m — 2578m)

snow report 2 days ago

23 cm
2 days ago
1
27
62
clear
snow showers
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 1894 m
750m 1050m 1050m 1750m 1000m

(929m — 1707m)

snow report 2 days ago

1 cm
2 days ago
5
23
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1318 m
500m 700m 700m 1600m 1050m

(1069m — 1585m)

snow report yesterday

Bumbach / Schangnau webcam
End Of Season 41 cm
2 days ago
4
13
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1327 m
600m 750m 850m 1650m 1150m

(1718m — 2550m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 9 days 20 cm
2 days ago
14
25
clear
clear
clear
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 2134 m
600m 1000m 1100m 1700m 1200m

(1476m — 3303m)

snow report today

140
38

Good
75 cm
2 days ago
15
35
clear
clear
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2390 m
250m 500m 450m 1350m 900m

(1040m — 2277m)

snow report 2 days ago

Champéry webcam
31 cm
2 days ago
24
56
snow showers
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1658 m
800m 950m 900m 1600m 1000m

(1702m — 2671m)

snow report today

No Info 143 cm
2 days ago
1
40
89
clear
snow showers
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2186 m
750m 1050m 1000m 1750m 1000m

(1310m — 2150m)

snow report 2 days ago

Champoussin webcam
40 cm
2 days ago
25
58
snow showers
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1730 m
800m 950m 900m 1600m 1000m

(1650m — 3001m)

snow report today

Chandolin webcam
70
20
×
Closed
90 cm
2 days ago
13
29
clear
clear
clear
moderate snow
snow showers
Mid station 2326 m
800m 1050m 1150m 1650m 1100m

(1045m — 1893m)

snow report 2 days ago

10 cm
2 days ago
15
31
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1469 m
500m 700m 650m 1500m 1000m

(1000m — 2200m)

snow report 2 days ago

Château d'Oex webcam
123 cm
2 days ago
17
40
partly cloudy
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1600 m
650m 800m 800m 1500m 1000m

(600m — 2175m)

snow report 2 days ago

opens in 9 days 2 cm
2 days ago
3
7
clear
clear
clear
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 1388 m
400m 700m 450m 1450m 1000m

(1480m — 2210m)

snow report 2 days ago

53 cm
2 days ago
4
9
clear
clear
clear
light snow
snow showers
Mid station 1845 m
500m 750m 450m 1500m 1000m

(1797m — 3303m)

snow report today

140
45
Packed 54 cm
2 days ago
11
29
clear
clear
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 2550 m
300m 650m 500m 1300m 1050m

(1720m — 3057m)

snow report 2 days ago

46 cm
2 days ago
15
35
clear
clear
clear
moderate snow
light snow
Mid station 2388 m
250m 500m 450m 1350m 900m

(1500m — 3000m)

snow report today

Crans Montana webcam
70
30

Good
104 cm
2 days ago
15
39
clear
clear
clear
moderate snow
snow showers
Mid station 2250 m
850m 1050m 1100m 1600m 1050m