News Headlines     |     


SNOW IN THE ALPS - The PlanetSKI team
Monday March 11, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

The weather has been wild over the past days - snow, rain, sun & wind. PlanetSKI's in the thick of it.




The weather has been very unsettled over the last week or so with fluctuating temperatures and changing weather patterns.

And that is putting it mildly.

There's been snow and then sun and then snow again.

Plus wind and rain.

And then the same again.

Our editor, James Cove, is now back in Innsbruck, Austria.

The resort perches above Innsbruck and is just 20-minutes away from the city centre in a furnicular and then a cable car.

On Tuesday there was barely a soul around with some fresh powder to play in.

Nordkette, Innsbruck, AustriaNordkette, Innsbruck, Austria














Nordkette, Innsbruck, AustriaNordkette, Innsbruck, Austria















There were a couple of people ski touring up and the odd person here and there, but otherwise James had the slopes pretty much to himself.

Nordkette, Innsbruck, AustriaNordkette, Innsbruck, Austria














Nordkette, Innsbruck, AustriaNordkette, Innsbruck, Austria















Our chief reporter Jane Peel has been out and about in the Skicircus ski area of Austria.

Her snow report from Monday in Saalbach-Hinterglemm is below.

On Tuesday, she updated us from the slopes above Viehhofen.


See Jane's daily blog from the Skicircus:

We have been concentrating on the weather in the Alps but lets not forget the Pyrenees.

A PlanetSKI reader has sent us this image from Cauterets in the French Pyrenees where 10cm has fallen overnight.

Looking good!

Cauterets, French PyreneesCauterets, French Pyrenees















We are going to have a special focus on the Pyrenees next week on PlanetSKI.

Our reporter, Iain Martin, will be on the French side of the range.

Our chief reporter Jane Peel is hoping to be in the Spanish Pyrenees and beginner skier, Kay Hyde, will be reporting from the slopes of Andorra.

But what about now?

More from the Alps...

Our senior news reporter, Katie Bamber comments on the weather and snow conditions in Verbier, Switzerland where snow was coming in again on Sunday.

And low and behold on Monday morning...

Verbier, Monday 18th MarchVerbier, Monday 18th March














Verbier, Monday 18th MarchVerbier, Monday 18th March














Verbier, Monday 18th MarchVerbier, Monday 18th March















Elsewhere in Switzerland PlanetSKI reader, Angus Pettiffer from MPI Brokers, is in Murren.

"A warm day yesterday has caused snow to melt down the valley. Pistes have a good covering with perfect conditions for big carving turns. Will be slushy in the afternoon. Off piste is fairly heavy and tracked out powder," said Angus on Sunday.

MPI Brokers is in Murren for the Annual AICC Ski Championships which it sponsors and provides insurance cover for.

Murren, SwitzerlandMurren, Switzerland















Murren, SwitzerlandMurren, Switzerland
















The PlanetSKI chief reporter Jane Peel arrived in Saalbach in Austria on Sunday where she had been buoyed by the news that there was some snow in the forecast.

However, as she touched down at Salzburg Airport, it was sunny and 20 degrees Celsius.

Salzburg airportSunny Salzburg on Sunday
















And it was 9 degrees Celsius at 6pm on Sunday evening when Jane arrived in the resort, but she woke up to this..

Snow in SaalbachA few freshies in Saalbach on Monday 18th March 
















And it turned out to be even better than expected up on the mountain:

Meanwhile the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, arrived back in Innsbruck on Monday afternoon after 5-days in France and Switzerland (check out his other weather reports below).

"There had been some fresh snow in the part of the drive in the mountains from Verbier to Innsbruck and I'm pleased to say there is fresh snow in the mountains around Innsbruck to greet me," he said.

Innsbruck, the Tirol, AustriaInnsbruck, the Tirol, Austria















James Cove was in Chamonix on Saturday:

And, as he mentioned, here are some of the views you get ski touring in Le Tour, Chamonix:

Chamonix, FranceChamonix, France














Chamonix, FranceChamonix, France















And after a bit of touring in Le Tour he popped over to Flegere for some steeper stuf:

Chamonix, FranceChamonix, France














And it has been a similar day across the Alps as the weather has cleared.

Here's the Saturday scene in St Anton in the Tirol:

St Anton, the Tirol, AustriaSt Anton, the Tirol, Austria

St Anton, the Tirol, AustriaSt Anton, the Tirol, Austria
















Bit different to Monday when PlanetSKI was in resort (see below for further details for our travels from earlier in the week):

St Anton, the Tirol, AustriaSt Anton, the Tirol, Austria















James really has seen it all this week as he has been in Austria, Switzerland and France.

Here was Friday on the Grands Montets above Argentiere:

On Friday he managed to make it through to Argentiere in France from nearby Vallorcine.

Mountain passes were closed in the area with cars quite literally buried under snow.

Chamonix Valley, FranceChamonix Valley, France















Chamonix Valley, FranceChamonix Valley, France














Chamonix Valley, FranceChamonix Valley, France















"Sadly pretty much all the ski lifts are closed in the  Chamonix valley due to the huge amounts of snow and high winds," said James on Friday morning.

"However often when it is like this there some lifts running in the trees in Les Houches and that is where we are heading. It's a resort at the other end of the valley so it should be quite an adventure even getting there!"

"Fingers crossed some other areas will open later."

He's in France with our senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, and she will be detailing their attempts to get there in this separate story.

The train line out of Vallorcine was closed due to risk of avalanches but cars were allowed to drive through the rail tunnel.

Vallorcine stationVallorcine station














Rail tunnel becomes a road tunnelRail tunnel becomes a road tunnel















Earlier in the week the pair arrived in Combloux near Chamonix on Wednesday.

Combloux, FranceCombloux, France,















"There was further snow overnight, around 10-15cm here in Combloux and it has been coming down relentlessly all day," James said on Thursday afternoon.

"The skiing in the trees has been superb with light powder snow up to our knees in places."

"With more snow in the forecast for the rest of today, overnight and tomorrow we have decided to stay in Chamonix for a couple of days."

"It looks like it should be rather special though the temperature is set to rise sharply so the best snow will be at altitude.  And there's plenty of that in Chamonix."

The pair have been in Combloux to test out the Decathlon ski touring and off piste skis for next season, so look out for their reports later.

And here's Katie's snow report from Combloux:


Skiing in Combloux, FrancePlanetSKI's Katie Bamber in the powder in Combloux, France on Thursday














Combloux, FranceCombloux, France, Thursday 14th March
















Combloux, FranceCombloux, France, Thursday 14th March
















It looks as if there'll be more snow before the sun returns.

"Further storms will affect the Alps on Thursday and Friday with the heaviest precipitation again in the northern and western Alps," said the alpine snow expert, Fraser Wilkin of, on Thursday.

"The rain/snow limit will be variable but will tend to rise on Friday with the threat of rain up to 1500m or even 2000m in places.

"The weather should improve on Saturday."

Earlier this week James Cove was in the midst of blizzards and high winds in St Anton in Austria.

See his video reports below.

But on Tuesday when the sun came out he paid another visit to his new favourite resort in the Tirol, Axamer Lizum:



Axamer LizumAxamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12th
















And people ask him why he loves the place so much:

Axamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12thAxamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12th















Axamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12thAxamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12th















Axamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12thAxamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12th















And that's home down there in Innsbruck.

Axamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12thAxamer Lizum, Austria, Tuesday 12th















It's amazing what a difference a day makes.

St Anton on Monday:

And the idiot (his words) was still braving the hostile weather on Monday afternoon to send us this update:

St Anton, AustriaSt Anton, Austria, Monday 11th
















The wild weather has been causing some disruption to skiing elsewhere.

PlanetSKI reader Lorna Hunt told us on Monday morning that Grindelwald in Switzerland was in the middle of storm.

"Lots of closures yesterday & today across the Jungfrau," she said.

"Had an interesting run down to Grund today in high wind conditions - lots of powder on top of sheet ice & rock hard crud. 🤞 the forecast for tomorrow is better. 🙄"

Andermatt in Switzerland was warning guests of lift closures on Monday.

And it's been snowing in Val d'Isere in France.

Val d'IsereVal d'Isere, Monday 11th - photo Oxygene Ski & Snowboard School


















And back in Austria, this is Damüls Faschina in Vorarlberg...

Damuls FaschinaDamuls Faschina, Monday 11th



















"Snow conditions in the Alps are clearly still highly variable," the alpine snow expert, Fraser Wilkin of said on Monday morning.

"Yesterday's rain led to a notable deterioration in the snow quality across many northern parts of the Alps, at least lower down.

"Today is colder though, with snow to lower levels meaning that the situations is markedly better again.

"The next storm will also see snow falling to relatively low levels, so the overall outlook is quite promising, especially if you are planning to ski anywhere at a half-reasonable altitude."

PlanetSKI's senior news reporter Katie Bamber has been in Bad Kleinkircheim in Austria's Carinthia region where she had a few sunny days.

She gave us this assessement on Sunday:

Read Katie's reports from the resort:

And here's a video posted by the resort as the snow came down in Val Thorens in Les3Vallees in France on Sunday.

Interesting choice of music....

Meanwhile there have been more deaths from avalanches in Colorado as the state continues to see record snowfall.

See our updated report:

And, at last, some snow in the UK's ski areas:

For more on the weather situation across the world, see our latest detailed snow report that was filed by Fraser Wilkin of on Friday:

We'll be updating this report with more weather and snow news, so do check back.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

Related Articles

PLANETSKI GOES GREEN (Monday September 23, 2019)
AUSTRIA GLACIER RESORTS OPEN... THEN SHUT (Wednesday September 18, 2019)
FIRST SNOW FALLS IN USA (Wednesday September 18, 2019)
SEASON EXTENDED IN OZ SKI RESORTS (Monday September 16, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners