The PlanetSKI Snow Report
3rd March 2022
Last modified on March 21st, 2022
The clear weather and blue sky is back in the Alps after the sand from the Sahara passes. There’s precious little snow in the forecast with temperatures remaining mild. We report from the Austrian Alps and on recent conditions in Scotland. UPDATED
Good Snow In Scotland
The temperature is warming up but there has been some excellent recent snow and skiing conditions in Scotland.
“In the Nevis Range last week we had the day of the season on Wednesday; fresh snow, blue skies and empty pistes,” said the PlanetSKI Scotland reporter, Rod Frazer.
Here are some further images from Rod.
This weekend sees what is claimed to be the first on mountain ski & snowboard festival in the UK – The Mighty Coe.
Temperatures are rising this week, but lets hope the snow holds out.
The weekend-long festival takes place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th March on Scotland’s original ski hill.
It’s being hailed as the UK’s first ever ski and snowboard and festival weekend and the first to take place on the mountain.
There’ll be the usual music, bar, food, stalls, family activity and skills sessions – and snow.
There’ll be some emphasis on the growth in ski and snowboard touring and on close-to-home snow adventures that emerged during the Covid lockdown.
There’s free avalanche safety training and advice and ski testing.
Many of the industry’s big brands are involved, including North Face and Salomon.
Saturday 19th March
More to follow…
Thursday 17th March
The slopes continue to have a ‘sepia’ feel to them, though perhaps less so than yesterday.
More to follow…
Wednesday 16th March
The latest PlanetSKI ‘snow’ report comes from James Cove who is in Alpbach in the Tirol in Austria.
And if James gets out the way we can see what he means about the sand on the car.
The car washes must be doing a roaring trade today across the parts of the Alps affected.
In the village of Alpbach the colours were somewhat surreal.
While up on the slopes the sand from the Sahara was in evidence, even if fresh snow wasn’t.
So, how has it arrived?
The prevailing winds are coming from the south.
Strong storms in the Sahara have lifted sand into the air and they have coincided with pressure systems creating strong air flows to the north.
The sand is then carried away and drops to the ground in Europe as it hits land mass.
The Pyrenees and the western Alps that includes France and parts of Switzerland and Italy are the most affected.
More images have been posted on social media of the strange-coloured snow as Saharan sand continues to make its way across Europe.
🇫🇷 Storm Celia brings dust from the Sahara Desert, coating French ski slopes in orange.
According to Meteo-France, the dust was set to remain in south western France overnight, before moving north towards Brittany. pic.twitter.com/FFilLQLCdZ
— euronews (@euronews) March 16, 2022
Photograph: Bastien Arberet/AFP/Getty Images pic.twitter.com/AhPl4Y94Ub
— 🇺🇦Christopher Cartwright🇺🇦 (@chriscartw83) March 16, 2022
On termine la journée sur de belles images, on vous confirme que les poussières sahariennes ne nous ont pas empêché de rider sur notre belle quantité de neige 😎🏂❄️🌴
— Piau-Engaly (@Piau_Engaly) March 15, 2022
Un nor de praf saharian umblă slobod prin Europa. În poze este Grindelwald, din Elveția, pe 14 și pe 15 martie.#SaharanDust #sahara #dust #ski #resort #switzerland #slope #snow pic.twitter.com/uIAUQyVCI6
— robin (@robinsimion) March 16, 2022
Incredible footage of dust from the Sahara desert covering the ski slopes of the Sierra Nevada today pic.twitter.com/GwlLT1DCt8
— Jorge 🇺🇦 (@nftjorge) March 15, 2022
Tuesday 15th March
There is a change in the weather underway in parts of the Alps as a weather front moves in.
Our editor, James Cove, is in the Tirol in Austria.
As the day progressed the clouds moved in – and changed colour.
There was soon a yellow hue over the mountains.
One of our reporters, Justine Gosling, is in St Moritz in Switzerland and has noticed the same weather feature.
It was in stark contrast to the previous day in St Moritz.
“Another beautifully sunny and great ski day,” said Justine.
“It snowed a little over night, but there was no piste grooming last night, so the slopes were a little churned up, but still no moguls really.
“Much warmer today too, around 4 degrees. As on Monday, the slopes were even quieter than at the weekend. I had many runs completely to myself.”
It seems we are not the only one to have noticed the Saraha Sands.
— Johanns (Alpen)weer (@Alpenweerman) March 15, 2022
🇨🇭 Ce mardi matin, le #sable du Sahara se dépose sur la neige dans les Alpes Suisses !
(15/03/22 📹 Nicolas Bideau)pic.twitter.com/oNkeyZ3Aj1
— Alexandre (@alex_le_bars) March 15, 2022
More to follow…
Sunday 13th March
Well, there’s not much new to report from the Tirol on the snow conditions.
We have moved on from St Johann to some of the resorts in the Ski Welt – Soll, Scheffau, Elmau and Going:
- The sun is out.
- There is no fresh snow.
- It’s icy in the morning.
- Slushy later.
Er, that’s about it.
It remains utterly fabulous simply to be out on snow.
We had lunch in the highest revolving restaurant in Austria.
We are not sure where the second highest one is, or if it even exists.
And we experienced a ‘poo with a view’.
Oh, and we met a couple of witches today.
See more here:
Saturday 12th March
Our latest video snow report comes from St Johann in the Tirol in Austria.
The temperatures have risen sharply in recent days according to our editor, James Cove, who is in the resort.
And, though it is warm, we are not quite sure how this measurement was taken at the mid-mountain point on Friday.
We checked, and it was +10 Celsius.
Warm, but not 24.9c warm.
On Friday the slopes were pretty deserted in St Johann.
That all changed on Saturday as the weekend crowds came in, many from across the nearby German border.
Here at PlanetSKI we have never skied in St Johann before and James Cove will shortly be posting a full resort feature.
“I must confess I wasn’t expecting too much, but boy how wrong I was,” said James.
“It delivers Austrian charm in spades and is a simple, authentic and genuine ski area.”
Look out for his report shortly….
Meanwhile PlanetSKI reporter, Justine Gosling, is in St Moritz in Switzerland.
“The resort is very, very quiet, as are the pistes,” she reports.
“There’s no off piste skiing and the snow coverage is too thin with a lot of exposed rock.
“Pistes are crusty but soon soften and are great to ski on.
“I skied until 4:30 today and did not see a single mogul.
“Until after lunch, dense cloud sat on the the lower slopes, meaning visibility was really awful and I was going to give up until a guide told me to go up higher.
“Above 2,500m it was beautifully sunny and awe inspiring to see the cloud inverted, sitting in the valley.
“Most skiers stayed up high all morning repeating a couple of runs until it cleared. There was a light dusting of snow last night and temperatures remain low at around -2/-5.”
More to follow…
Friday 11th March
As forecast, the weather has begun to change.
This was the view from PlanetSKI’s base in Les Menuires in the French Alps first thing this morning.
“There’s definitely a different feel about the weather,” our Chief Reporter, Jane Peel, said.
“It wasn’t all cloud today – there were occasional sunny spells and visibility was good – but high winds closed some lifts and it was not a day to risk travelling across Les3Vallees.”
There have been a few snow slurries in parts of Italy.
PlanetSKI reader, Martin Dennant, sent us this from the Sestriere/Sauze d’Oulx ski area.
Thursday 10th March
Our snow report today comes from our Chief Reporter, Jane Peel, who’s in the huge French ski area of Les3Vallees.
“I should have said that the milder weather was coming from the west and heading eastwards, rather than from the east, but the point is that it’s gradually getter milder,” Jane says.
“It’s really got the feel of spring and there’s no need to wrap up for a spot of outdoor lunch.”
Wednesday 9th March
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Scotland.
Here’s an update from PlanetSKI’s Scotland reporter, Rod Frazer:
“I’m happy to report there’s plenty of snow cover across all 5 Scottish ski areas just now.
“Last weekend saw some great weather, plenty of blue skies and no wind allowing lots of events to be held.
“Over at Nevis Range the Freeride Competition ‘The Corrie Challenge’ went ahead.
See here for further details.
“It was picture postcard stuff but challenging snow conditions for even the most skilful riders.
“The last leg of The Scottish Freedom Series will be the Coe Cup 2-3 April.
“There was ski racing on Cairngorm with “the Bairns Bucket” providing a taster of ski competition for plenty of local kids.
“We skied on Cairngorm on Friday: great spring snow to enjoy if a bit overcast.
“I headed west to Glencoe on Monday to enjoy the sunshine.
“The temps stayed low so no spring snow to enjoy but the main runs had been well groomed providing plenty of sugary stuff to provide grip on a hard base.
“Mixed bag of weather this week with a mix of snow, rain, windy and settled weather.
“As usual with Scottish skiing grab the good days when you can! ”
Rod runs the self-catering accommodation provider, Where Stags Roar, with his partner Dianne.
He is a fully qualified instructor and the couple are great friends of PlanetSKI.
Tuesday 8th March
Our editor, James Cove, is in Kuhtai in the Tirol.
‘The crowds of the past few weeks have gone as the holidays have ended in Holland, Belgium and other countries,” said James.
“The slopes are one again pretty empty and you can even get a table on the terrace for lunch without too much trouble.”
And as for the weather, then guess what?
Yup, the sun is still out.
And he did indeed get to test the Volkl Race Tigers and the Elan Wingman.
Check out some other images from Kuhtai today:
And guess what?
The sun is also still out over in the Tarentaise in France too – La Plagne to be more specific.
Our Chief Reporter, Jane Peel, has spent the day on the slopes under bright blue skies and with a clear view of Mont Blanc.
“What a day. It really could not have been better,” Jane says.
“It was cold in the shade first thing but we stuck to the sunny south facing slopes down towards Champagny and then headed over to Montchavin later.
“The pistes are in fantastic condition, though late in the day a few had some icy patches, especially on those slopes with artificial snow.
“Considering there were some very high winds and even rain a couple of weeks ago, I’d say the marked runs in La Plagne are doing OK.
“It’s looking settled here for the foreseeable future.”
Off the slopes, Jane has also been getting stuck into some high-adrenalin action.
More on that on PlanetSKI soon.
“I’ve been up to all sorts but let’s just say that this was seriously intense!”
More to follow…
Monday 7th March
PlanetSKI’s Chief Reporter Jane Peel has arrived in La Plagne in the French Alps.
She’s not been on the slopes yet but we are told the forecast for the rest of the week is sun, sun and more sun.
There’s been no recent snowfall but the temperatures are still on the cold side so it looks as if the pistes are in good shape.
We’ll let you know soon enough,
Certainly, the lunchtime skiers – and diners – have been making the most of the glorious spring weather.
It is the same further east in the Alps in the Tirol in Austria.
“It’s another blue sky day though the temperatures are at least remaining cold and it is below freezing in most areas,” said PlanetSKI’s editor, James Cove.
He has recently been in Kappl in the Paznaun Valley in the Tirol.
“The weather is set to continue in the same vein for the rest of the week and though more snow would be very welcome the pistes remain in pretty good shape.”
James is heading round to Kuhtai on Tuesday for the GB Ski Tests – the conditions should be ideal for testing out the carving skis on offer for next season.
Thursday 3rd March
PlanetSKI has now moved round to St Anton as we tour some of the finest resorts in the Tirol.
The weather has not changed much as our editor, James Cove, ponders which is the best linked ski area in the Alps.
The most important photograph we took today was this one in Warth-Shrocken as we skied the whole of the mighty Arlberg ski area.
Here are a few other images of our Arlberg experience today.
Whether it is, or is not, your favourite linked ski area in the Alps, it is perhaps one of the most stunning.
The off piste was not so tempting – all skied out.
We stuck to the pistes.
Which was good as we had a route to stick to with the clock ticking, so no powder temptation was probably for the best.
Then we did it all again in reverse and shorty after 4pm we were back in St Anton.
Time for a beer in PlanetSKI’s favourite bar in St Anton – The Underground.
More to follow…
Tuesday 1st March
There’s more sun and some welcome cold temperatures across the Alps.
The PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, is currently in Obergurgl in the Tirol.
For some more detail then here is the latest from Weathertoski.co.uk:
Another sunny and relatively cool day is expected across the Alps, with freezing levels typically between 1000m and 2000m.
Most places will remain dry and fine over the next few days, but the odd flurry is possible here and there later in the week, especially in the southern and eastern Alps.
It will turn colder on Friday and remain quite cold throughout the weekend and into next week.
This mostly fine but quite cool weather is good news for skiers in the Alps as, although the sun is now quite strong, any thaw will only be gradual.
That said, snow cover is very thin across some of the southern Alps, notably in the southern French Alps (e.g. Auron, Risoul) and south-western Italian Alps (e.g. Sauze d’Oulx, Bardonecchia), where it looks more like mid-April than late February.
The situation is better elsewhere though, with generally near normal snow cover across the northern half of the Alps.
PlanetSKI is moving round to St Anton on Wednesday for a couple of days, so do check back to see the latest on the snow conditions in the Arlberg ski area..
Monday 28th February
As f0recast (see report from Sunday) today in the Tirol has been sunny.
A couple of clouds have been spotted.
Sunday 27th February
As you may have seen already on PlanetSKI we have arrived in the Tirol in Austria for an extended stay.
So, what’s the snow and weather like?
It looked a bit worrying as we arrived in the Otztal Valley on the way to Obergurgl.
But there was no cause for concern – no fresh snow in resort, but good on piste conditions and plenty of sunshine.
And check out some images from across the day.
Now you may, or may not, be wondering what that building above is.
Part of it is a lift station and the artwork on the gondolas give a clue to what the rest of the building contains.
It’s the Top of The Mountain Motorcycle Museum.
It was tragically destroyed by fire in January 2021, but has risen from the ashes and has been re-built.
James had a private tour of the museum with its owner and inspiration behind it, Attila Scheiber.
James is a keen motorcyclist and spent two hours being shown round by Attila.
A full article will be coming shortly, but lets just say the virtual experience of riding on a mountain road is perhaps one of the best experiences James has in the mountains without skis on.
Looking at the view from the top of the resort earlier in the day was pretty darn good too.
What a fabulous day back in the Tirol.