The Deepest Snow Depths in the World so far This Season - The Whiteroom
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The Deepest Snow Depths in the World so far This Season

As we enter February this week it has been snowing hard again, this time with the Pyrenees and the Western Alps, particularly France, seeing the biggest falls.  But where is the snow lying deepest so far?

Nine resorts (dominated numerically by Austrian entries, although with Swiss resorts at the very top) are reporting they have more than 4.5 metres (15 feet) of snow lying on their upper slopes.

6 Metres (20 Feet), Andermatt, Uri, Switzerland

Andermatt saw huge snow accumulations during the three-week deluge on the eastern Alps between Christmas and mid-January.  It was cut off by road for periods with the only access via a rail tunnel.  

5.2 Metres (17.3 Feet), Engelberg, Central Switzerland

Engelberg also saw huge snowfalls at the start of the year, also causing it problems opening terrain and making the area avalanche safe.  Pretty much everywhere is now open, despite another 30cm (foot) of snow in the past few days.

5.05 Metres (16.9 Feet), St Anton (above), Arlberg, Tirol, Austria

Austria’s largest ski area has had a very snowy start to the season, with huge snowfalls setting it up for the rest of the winter.

4.9 Metres (16.3 feet), Kaunertaler Glacier, Tirol, Austria

Austria’s Kaunertal glacier has one of the world’s longest ski seasons but it has struggled to open in January for periods due to the weather extremes.

4.62 Metres (15.4 feet), Soda Springs (above), California, USA

After a bit of a dry December California has seen some massive snowfalls this month and little Soda springs has more than a metre more snow lying than the continent’s usually snowiest spot at Mt Baker in Washington State further north up the Pacific Coast.

4.6 Metres (15.3 Feet), Hochkar (above), Lower Austria

Hochkar made media headlines earlier this month when not only tourists but all residents were evacuated due to the extreme avalanche danger. It’s fully open again and operating normally now.

4.6 Metres (15.3 feet), Dachstein Glacier (above), Styria, Austria

Another Austrian glacier which had to close for periods in January due to all the snowfall, cold and strong winds is up there with one of the world’s deepest bases

4.5 Metres (15 feet), Pitztal Glacier, Tirol; and the ski area on Loser by the village of Altausee (above), Styria, Austria

Two more Austrian areas, including a third glacier, make up the list of nine over 4.5 metres (15 feet) up top, giving the country six of the nine deepest upper slope base depths in the world as we enter February.

18 Comments
  1. Tania

    30th January 2019 5:47 pm

    Are we talking about cumulative or base? Thank you.

    • Andy

      7th February 2019 1:04 pm

      Base

  2. Ronald Maclean

    6th February 2019 10:49 pm

    Surely it’s the skiable depths that are relevant.Not 5 metres of drifted snow in non accessible areas.

    • Patrick Thorne

      8th February 2019 7:21 am

      Very true – these are the official stats published by the resorts concerned.

    • John

      8th February 2019 10:34 pm

      So true

  3. Kieran Poole

    7th February 2019 12:06 am

    Where are the Hokkaido, Japan resorts? Definitely accumulated more than some of these resorts.

    • Patrick Thorne

      8th February 2019 7:27 am

      The feature is about snow depths (depth of snow currently lying on the ground) claimed by resorts not snowfall (volume of snow falling out of the sky over the previous 2-3 months). Didn’t spot any Japanese areas up near 4.5 metres/15 feet of snow depth at the time the piece was written but please advise if you know of any.

  4. Frame

    7th February 2019 6:35 am

    Base. Says right up the top. Also it’s what the ski area reports, so they pick the measurement spot. Take it with a grain of salt

  5. Ray Keighley

    7th February 2019 8:16 pm

    I’m only interested in the top 40 cm.

  6. Steve Johnson

    7th February 2019 9:39 pm

    Where does Mammoth Mtn’s 16.25 feet rank??? Why isn’t Mammoth listed?

    • Patrick Thorne

      8th February 2019 7:30 am

      Good point! The first thing is this piece was written a week ago before Mammoth’s latest huge snowfall – it is now reporting nearly a 5 metre base so would be around number 5 (as few of the others have increased since then too) if we wrote the piece today. Second thing is we did do a separate story on all the amazing snow there a few days ago: https://www.snow-forecast.com/whiteroom/4-day-3-metre-10-foot-snowstorm-hits-us/

  7. A

    8th February 2019 12:38 am

    How about Japan?

    • Patrick Thorne

      8th February 2019 7:28 am

      The feature is about snow depths (depth of snow currently lying on the ground) claimed by resorts not snowfall (volume of snow falling out of the sky over the previous 2-3 months). Didn’t spot any Japanese areas up near 4.5 metres/15 feet of snow depth at the time the piece was written but may have missed some so please advise if you know of any?

    • Nic

      10th February 2019 9:58 pm

      509cm at Lotte Arai Resort

  8. Yvan Lapointe

    10th February 2019 2:06 pm

    Please do not forget to add my favorite place on your list, Mammoth CA. Thus far this year;Season snowfall 419 inches, Base depth 210 inches. Amazing 2019. Skiers, Enjoy the ride and be safe. .

  9. Nic

    10th February 2019 9:57 pm

    Lotte Arai Resort near us in Japan was reporting 509cm on Saturday. Would be 540cm by this morning after the weekend snow.

  10. Nic Klar

    11th February 2019 6:38 am

    Officially 521cm at Arai Ski Resort this morning

  11. Weerchris

    13th February 2019 4:05 pm

    These snow depths usually don’t make any sense. In my experience, once you get to the mountain, the overal snow depth is way below the reported snow depth. There might be some spots where the snow is meters deep but in other spots it can be closer to 1/3 of it. Extreme snow depths are unpractical anyway from a transportation and safety point of view. 1 meter is enough.

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