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.

TITLIS NightRide

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Posted by Engelberg Titlis – official page on Freitag, 5. Januar 2018


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 who report much of the ski area closed in the milky Way region due in part to trees laden with snow breaking and falling on lift cables. Picture is from before the latest snow.) 

Resorts that were suffering access issues as resort of storm Eleanor including Cervinia and Val d’Isere were especially hard hit by the new snowfall.

The new snow led ski areas to close ski slopes again, which in some cases had briefly re-opened during clear weather over the weekend.  Access roads that had re-opened were closed again due to avalanches or avalanche danger.

The avalanche danger was at the maximum 5 out of 5 level in this area with the French authorities issuing an unusual additional ‘red’ avalanche danger warning.

One of the biggest avalanches reported occurred at Les Houches in the Chamonix Valley where several chalets were damaged by trees and other debris brought down on them.

Outside this central ‘heavy snow’ zone ski areas reported more moderate and manageable 20-30cm snowfalls on the whole, but some in Austria were closed anyway due to very strong winds.

Neck deep in Niseko POW

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Posted by Niseko on Dienstag, 9. Januar 2018


Elsewhere in the world ski areas famed for being amongst the snowiest, year-in, year-out, are a little behind Engelberg.  Niseko (above) has a 3.4m (11 foot) base and reports 6.3m (21 feet) of snowfall so far this season.

But its slopes were closed yesterday morning for similar reasons to recent closures in the Alps – stormy conditions bringing some rain at lower elevations and very strong winds.

In Washington State, USA, Mt Baker (above) currently has a 2.7m (9 foot) base and reported about 5 metres of snowfall by 18th December last year.  It has not updated its snowfall tally since then.

The forecast is for calmer weather in the Alps for the remainder of this week.