Historic Levels of Snow Falls in Parts of the Alps

Up to 3m has fallen in parts of Italy and Austria.  The huge storm started on Friday and though it has eased, it is still falling in places with a further 1m expected. UPDATED

Winter has struck with a vengeance in some parts of the Dolomites in Italy and in southern Austria.

Here is the snow coming down in Madonna di Campiglio:

In the East Tirol the avalanche danger went up to Level 5 on a scale of 5 earlier in the week.

In neighbouring Tirol Up to 3 meters of snow has fallen in 5 days,

Here is the Kockberg region (Tyrol-Austria) where the thickness is 2.25 meters.

The weather situation in Tirol has calmed down but many roads are still closed and some households without electricity.

The Austrian Electricity provider Tinetz said 4,000 homes lost power after several electrical lines were snapped by snow or fallen trees.

“As announced, unusually large quantities of fresh snow have fallen in the Alps. In many places we are no longer talking about several centimetres, but several metres,” said Elena Protopopow from the Tirol Tourist Board to PlanetSKI.

“Of course it is great to see the snow fall, as we have been waiting for it the last weeks and the snowfall has reached record levels.

“But despite all the joy about the masses of snow, in many places in Tirol were avalanche warnings. But at the moment it has calmed down a bit in many regions in Tirol.

“We strongly recommend that anyone thinking about skiing checks the avalanche level and conditions with their local ski area first,” she added

Here was the scene over the weekend at the height of the storm in the Tirol in Austria.

We reported over the weekend as the storm struck.

It is of course not much use for us skiers and snowboarders as the ski resorts remain closed in both countries.

Resorts in Austria are allowed to open on December 24th and this storm will have set some of them up very nicely.

The resorts with the most snow from this storm include those in Carinthia (Nassfeld), and East Tirol (Lienz-Zetterfeld), while Obergurgl in the Tirol has reported 1m of fresh snow.

One of our regular readers, Toby Fishel, is a ski instructor in the Tirol.

He skinned up to make a few turns in the fresh snow.

There have been a few flurries in France and though the lifts may be closed this didn’t stop another of our good friends, Nadine Chevalier, putting on her skins and hiking up.

She lives in the Isere region of the French Alps.

“I did ski touring yesterday in Vercors and it was just amazing with sweet deep snow,” said Nadine.

And she sent us these pictures to prove her point.

Vercors, France

Vercors, France

Vercors, France

Vercors, France

Vercors, France

Vercors, France

And the snow didn’t stop the Xmas tree going up in Meribel in Les3Vallees on Monday.

There is danger of avalanche across the areas hit by the snow.

There has been the first avalanche death in Switzerland in the heavy snowfall.

A skier died near Engelberg in central Switzerland after being caught in an avalanche.

The person was in a group of five skiing off piste.

Two managed to free themselves and called the rescue services.

The 23-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

There are avalanche warnings of 3 and 4 across parts of Switzerland.

A statement from the International Ski Federation said there was a “high danger of avalanches” in St Moritz due to the unrelenting snowfall.

Fears over potential avalanches in St Moritz led FIS to call off two women’s super-G races at the weekend.

The snow though has brought disruption with travel chaos.

There has been some flooding at lower levels with power lines down in places.

The regions of Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, has been hit by severe floods and heavy snow.

On Sunday, about 60 families were evacuated in the vicinity of Modena, in the Emilia-Romagna region, as the Panaro river burst its banks.

Firefighters in northern Italy have reacted to more than 2,200 incidents in the past 48- hours.

And let’s not forget the Pyrenees.

Resorts in Andorra and France will not be opening, but it looks like some in the Pyrenees will.

Here at PlanetSKI we’ll be keeping an eye open as the snow continues to fall and updating this article with more pictures and information.

Do check back…