ANOTHER SNOWSTORM POUNDS THE ALPS
1st March 2020
Last modified on March 6th, 2020
The powder is piling up as the second big storm of the week has swept in. There have been significant falls over a 24 hour period. PlanetSKI reports from the mountains. UPDATED
Friday 6th March
The snowstorm has eased and here is the scene in the Aosta Valley first thing on Friday morning from our balcony in Aosta.
Looks like it could be rather special.
The big question is whether we head to Pila above the city or over to the Chamonix valley and a powder day on the Grand Montets.
Decisions, decisions, decisions…
So, Chamonix it is.
Our snow report comes from the Argentière:
Thursday 5th March
As forecast, it’s coming down.
It’s heaviest in the west.
It started in the French Alps last night and is still going.
Verbier in Switzerland is also getting a big dump and it’s still falling.
“This morning the bad weather has extended across much of the western Alps and is starting to push into Austria,” said Fraser Wilkin of Weather To Ski.
“The rain/snow limit is all over the place across the Alps today.
“It is still mostly quite low (600-1200m) in the central and southern Alps but is in the process of rising to between 1600m and 2000m in the more exposed mountains of the northern and western Alps (e.g. Portes du Soleil).”
“It will peak this afternoon, before a cold front lowers the snow once again in the western Alps.
“By the end of the night the rain/snow limit will be between 600m and 1000m across most parts of the Alps.”
The Portes du Soleil, which includes the French resorts of Morzine and Avoriaz, was already looking good, before the latest snowfall.
Resorts in the northern French Alps could see between 30cm and 50cm above 2,000 metres by tomorrow morning.
Resorts in the far north west of the Italian Alps, for example those in the Aosta Valley, where our editor James Cove is currently based, are likely to see around 20cm to 40cm by Friday morning.
This is the view from his office this afternoon…
And in the centre of Aosta?
The snow is also falling in the Dolomites further to the east in Italy.
This was how it looked just before the latest storm in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
WEDNESDAY 4th MARCH
There is snow falling in the USA, Canada and across many parts of the Alps.
PlanetSKI is in Pila, in the Aosta Valley.
Our breakfast balcony view looked tasty first thing.
Up on the slopes the morning saw gorgeous blue sky with the powder snow kept in good shape by temperatures that were below freezing.
Pila, Aosta Valley, Italy
Though chopped up there was plenty of off piste to be had and the locals say these are the best conditions of the season so far.
Then by mid-afternoon signs of the approaching storm, with more snow on the way.
And talking of snow, lets not forget Scotland.
It is looking superb with the best conditions of the winter.
PlanetSKI is in Scotland currently reporting on some ski testing.
And here’s what it is like:
TUESDAY 3rd MARCH
It looked good in the Aosta Valley in Italy this morning from the PlanetSKI base in Aosta.
The rain and snow of yesterday was but a distant memory and a blue sky, powder day awaited.
And so it turned out – what superb conditions.
So, what about the snow in Pila and round the rest of the Alps?
Our editor, James Cove, gives his assessment from Pila:
Now James mentioned Livigno in his snow report.
Well, this is what it currently looks like in town.
And La Plagne got a name-check in the video snow report.
One of our regular readers and occasional reporter, Simon Wilson, is in the French resort.
“Excellent conditions throughout the Paradiski area as you might imagine at the moment. We had 35 cms of fresh snow last night up at Plagne Bellecote,” said Simon.
SUNDAY 1st MARCH
The temperatures have dropped from this time last week when it was exceptionally warm across the Alps.
Some places in the Alps had their warmest February day on record.
Now snow has been falling in places.
Overall though it is a mixed picture as we start off a new month.
“The weather in the Alps remains unsettled, with further storms set to rattle in off the Atlantic over the next few days,” said the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin, on Sunday.
He runs the respected web site weathertoski.co.uk
“Most parts of the Alps can expect significant snowfall at some stage during the coming week, including the southern Alps (especially on Monday), which had previously largely missed out”.
See here for the latest detailed snow report he filed for PlanetSKI.
Our editor, James Cove, is now back in Aosta in Italy after an extended stay last week in Zermatt.
The alpine weather was all over the place and led him to get back to Italy the unorthodox way.
See here for the full details: Zermatt or bust
And this week?
James will be skiing in the resorts of the Aosta Valley and surrounding areas, enjoying the good March ski conditions.
It’s the little-known resort of Crevacol on Monday where there will likely be some powder snow and no-one around.
Mid-week he’s testing the new 2021 Elan ripstick skis in Courmayeur – one of his favourite skis.
Then he’s heading over to Chamonix in France on Thursday or Friday.
Maybe both days depending on the conditions
He will also be writing a full length report on the impact of the Coronavirus in the Italian Alps.
No hype, just the facts on what is actually happening and the possible outcomes, so check back for that.
Our chief reporter, Jane Peel, wrote about it earlier.
Suffice to say there is deep concern, but is it warranted and what is actually happening on the ground in the Italian Alps and beyond?
And he will be looking out for some of that snow…