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SNOWSTORMS HIT THE ALPS - AGAIN - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Tuesday November 12, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

We can hardly believe the amount of snow that has already fallen in places. It has though come with problems. PlanetSKI reports. ROLLING...



Friday 22nd November

Another storm is hitting the Alps today and once again it's the south that's getting most of the snow.

Between now and Sunday there will anything from 30cm to 80cm falling onto parts of Italy, France and Switzerland.

Prato Nevoso in Italy, which has already had several big dumps and opened today, will get some more.

As will the Italian resort of Cervinia where the lifts at Valtournenche are due to open on Saturday.

The French resort of Montgenevre, which sits on the Italian border, will also open tomorrow.

So too will Val Thorens and Alpe d'Huez.

Alpe d'Huez, FranceAlpe d'Huez, France














We've published the first of our full winter snow reports from Fraser Wilkin at Weather To Ski - follow this link.

In the meantime, here are some of the latest images from the snowy Alps.

Pila, Aosta Valley, ItalyPila, Italy












Champoluc, ItalyChampoluc, Italy












Montgenevre, FranceMontgenevre, France













Val d'Isere, FranceVal d'Isere, France - photo piste patrol




















Val Cenis, FranceVal Cenis, France




















PlanetSKI will be taking our first turns of this season tomorrow as Val Thorens opens.

The French resort that is the highest in Europe may not have had quite as much snow as some other parts of the Alps recently, but it's not looking too shabby.

Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France













Watch out for our editor James Cove's reports live from the slopes.

Thursday 21st November

The first freestyle skiing slopestyle event of the 2019-20 World Cup season was set to take place this weekend in Stubai in the Tirol in Austria.

The heavy snow and poor weather has led to it being cancelled.

"Last week's heavy snowstorm combined with high avalanche danger kept the resort closed for two days over this past weekend, causing major delays in course preparations, which in turn the postponement of Wednesday's first training session," said the International Ski Federation.

We have reported on the problems the snow has caused earlier in the week further down this article.

The forecast is also predicting more snow today.

Here is where they would have competed.

Ski Slopestyle course, image c/o Pat SharplesSki Slopestyle course, image c/o Pat Sharples
















"It is with a heavy heart and after intensive discussion this morning, that the Organising Committee and the Austrian Ski Federation, decided to cancel the FIS Freeski World Cup Stubai 2019," said a statement from the resort.

"We always strive to deliver an event in safe and fair conditions. Looking at the weather forecast for the competition days, this is not achievable and led to the decision to cancel the event."

"Stubai Zoo will be up and running as long as the weather allows. Skiing operations at the glacier are not affected by the cancellation."

Called off due to heavy snowCalled off due to heavy snow




















The first ski slopestyle event of the season is now set for Font Romeu, France, in January.

The series then heads to Italy before heading to North America for events in Mammoth Mountain in the USA and Calgary in Canada.

Do check back later today for news of the new snow storm and our first full weekly round up of the snow across the globe.

Here is what it currently looks like in the nearby Tirolean resort of St Anton in Austria.

The photos were taken by local photographer, Patrick Bätz.

St Anton, Tirol AustriaSt Anton, Tirol Austria














St Anton, Tirol AustriaSt Anton, Tirol Austria













St Anton, Tirol AustriaSt Anton, Tirol Austria













St Anton, Tirol AustriaSt Anton, Tirol Austria













St Anton, Tirol AustriaSt Anton, Tirol Austria














Now all the talk of the snow is concentrating on the Alps and the Pyrenees, but let's not forget elsewhere.

Here is the wintry scene in Norway where PlanetSKI is hoping to be skiing before Xmas.

Kvitfjell, NorwayKvitfjell, Norway
















Hafjell, NorwayHafjell, Norway
















Hafjell, NorwayHafjell, Norway
















Geilo, NorwayGeilo, Norway
















Geilo, NorwayGeilo, Norway
















See here for some of our earlier PlanetSKI stories on Norway this autumn:

Down in the Alps the southern area has seen the most snow in recent days and we have been tracking it in this rolling story.

A series of snowstorms has been hitting the region over several days now.

Before we look at the snow we shoud mention the storms have come with their problems.

Hundreds of people were stuck in Stubai in the Austrian Tirol for around 24 hours earlier this week after an avalanche came down on the glacier road.

Around 650 skiers and resort staff were stranded until the road was partly cleared at around lunchtime on Monday.

They were put up in a hotel and other premises owned by the lift company.

And on Monday night, it was reported that an 80-year-old man had died after being buried in a landslide in the Austrian region of Carinthia.

Another mudslide in Bad Gastein in Austria destroyed two homes, trapping two women inside.

In Gurktal, in Carinthia, some 70 firefighters evacuated the residents of 15 buildings because of river threatening to burst its bank.

Several train lines were interrupted and about 1,700 homes were without electricity for several hours.

Elsewhere in Austria, several villages were cut off by heavy snowfall.

Some schools closed and helicopters flew over the nearby mountains looking for avalanches.

Wednesday 20th November

While the attention is rightly on the massive dumps of snow in the Alps, as we report below, we thought we'd share some of the latest images of the snow in the UK's ski resorts.

There's been some really wintry weather in Scotland.

Vicky Anderson sent us these images from Cairngorm.

With the funicular out of action she had to skin up to earn her turns, but it looks like it was worth it.

Cairngorm, ScotlandCairngorm, Scotland
















Cairngorm, ScotlandCairngorm, Scotland
















Cairngorm, ScotlandCairngorm, Scotland
















Tuesday 19th November

More snow has been falling in the past 24 hours.

It's come down across the Italian Alps plus some parts of Switzerland and Austria.

And, yes, the forecasters say there's more to come today and again later in the week.


Prato Nevosa is clearing up after another 70cm fell overrnight.

Prato Nevosa, ItalyPrato Nevosa, Italy, Tuesday 19th November














It's good news for the resort which will open for the season this Friday.

The Passo Tonale area has been blessed with a huge amount of snow....

Pontedilegno-Tonale, ItalyPontedilegno-Tonale, Italy, Tuesday 19th November




















Livigno has had another big top up....

Livigno, ItalyLivigno, Italy, Tuesday 19th November




















And we couldn't resist sharing this photo from the Dolomites that we've just come across.

It was taken on Saturday 16th November.

San Cassiano, ItalySan Cassiano, Italy - photo Rifugio Scotoni















They are very excited over in Saas Fee.

"Yesssssssssssssss 😃❄️

The slopes are open and we have tons of fresh POW! At the middle station Morenia there's over a metre snow & at Mittelallin, it's nearly two metres already! Come up and enjoy 😍🏂⛷"

Saas Fee, SwitzerlandSaas Fee, Switzerland, Tuesday 19th November














The best views in Switzerland are often from the train, so we're sharing this video of the Gornergrat Bahn in Zermatt.


This one below is very short but very sweet.

Look at the landscape of Soelden in the Tirol....


Much of the French Alps has missed out on the biggest dumps, although not Tignes and Val d'Isere where there has been plenty.

The piste patrol in Val d'Isere, where the lifts are not yet open, issued an avalanche warning this morning.

"New call for vigilance, many plaques observed in the area, the snowpack is unstable, with a thick layer of snow at high altitude," they said on Facebook.

Val d'Isere, FranceVal d'Isere, France















And we should mention Europe's other major mountain range.

The Pyrenees have had a lot of snow and are looking good.

Grand Tourmalet, French PyreneesGrand Tourmalet, French Pyrenees




















Monday 18th November

The alpine snow expert, Fraser Wilkin describes the snow depths there as 'exceptional' for the time of year.

On Monday morning he was reporting settled snow depths of between 1.2m and 2.5m - even as much as 3m in some places - in:
  • the southern French Alps
  • the Italian Alps, including Cervinia, the Monterosa ski area, Livigno and the Dolomites.
  • the southern Swiss Alps, roughly from Zermatt eastwards, including Saas-Fee, Andermatt and St Moritz
  • the southern Austrian Alps including the southern part of the Tirol, eg Obergurgl.
Gressoney, ItalyGressoney, Italy, Monday 18th November - photo Castore & Polluce Restaurant




















Saas FeeSaas Fee, Switzerland, Monday 18th November



















Kronplatz, Italy webcamKronplatz, Dolomites, Italy, Monday 18th November















Obergurgl in Austria had just opened at the weekend and then was then forced to close on Sunday for safety reasons with a high risk of avalanches.

And emergency crews were out clearing roads after trees came down in Alta Badia in the Italian Dolomites at the weekend.

Alta Badia, ItalyAlta Badia, Dolomites, Italy, Sunday 17th November
















"There is going to be a bit more snow, again mostly across the southern Alps, especially later today and tomorrow," Fraser Wilkin says.

"The northern Alps will generally stay dry with the Foehn blowing at times, however, meaning that most of any low-lying snow will melt by the end of the week."

The French resort of Alpe d'Huez has announced that it will open this coming weekend, thanks to the recent snowfall.

Twelve slopes will be open and four lifts: Signal, DMC 1 and 2, Rif Nel Express and Lièvre Blanc.

And 12 slopes are accessible to offer opportunities to stretch their legs with a snow freshly groomed.

Want to see what it's looking like there?

Sunday 17th November

Saturday 16th November

In Italy the Dolomites has done very well with depths up to 2m in places.

Last weekend Cortina opened and it has been joined by Madonna where huge amounts of snow have fallen.

Madonna, ItalyMadonna, Italy
















The Col Gallina chairlift in Cortina has been running this week.

The Faloria area will open on the 22nd November and the rest of the resort is due to open on the 30th.

Cortin, Italy, c/o Giulia SalaCortina, Italy















Livigno in Italy has also seen some of the best falls and it looks more like the middle of winter than the middle of November.

Livigno, ItalyLivigno, Italy















Another batch of resorts fire up some lifts this weekend around the Alps after the heavy November snow.

One of them is Crans-Montana in Switzerland and the pictures we have come from Ride4Free.

Crans-Montana, SwitzerlandCrans-Montana, Switzerland
















Crans-Montana, SwitzerlandCrans-Montana, Switzerland
















Crans-Montana, SwitzerlandCrans-Montana, Switzerland
















Crans-Montana, SwitzerlandCrans-Montana, Switzerland
















And here is what it currently looks like Zermatt where almost 50cm has fallen in town and more than 1m at the top of the resort.

The image was sent to us by Ed Mannix from Matterhorn Chalets.

Zermatt, SwitzerlandZermatt, Switzerland















In Austria Obergurgl has opened and joins the main glacier areas in the Tirol that have been open for a while: Hintertux, Stubai, Pitztal, Solden and Kaunertal.

Obergurgl, Tirol, AustriaObergurgl, Tirol, Austria















Obergurgl, Tirol, AustriaObergurgl, Tirol, Austria
















Obergurgl, Tirol, AustriaObergurgl, Tirol, Austria
















The snow though has brought its problems.

A motorist was killed by a falling tree in south-east France.

Snow, ice and heavy rain have caused power cuts to tens of thousands of homes.

About 300,000 people were left without electricity in the departments of Drome, Isere, Rhone and Ardeche.

The rail network around Grenoble in the Alps, has been affected by trees falling on tracks.

Friday 15th November

More snow is falling this week with the southern Alps, and areas in Italy and parts of Austria in particular, getting the lion's share.

Prato Nevoso ItalyPrato Nevoso, Italy, Friday 15th November















But the snow has fallen further north too.

This was Tignes in the French Alps as the snow came down on Thursday night into Friday morning.


It's just over two weeks until the link between Tignes and its neighbour Val d'Isere opens for the winter.

And here is Val d'Isere on Friday morning...


Fraser Wilkin of the alpine snow website weathertoski says the areas that have benefited in this latest storm (Thursday 14th into Friday 15th) are:

  • All of the southern French Alps (e.g. Risoul, Isola 2000) but also Val d'Isère/Tignes, Val Cenis and Bonneval-sur-Arc a bit further north
  • Most of the Italian Alps, but especially the central-western Italian Alps (e.g. Monte Rosa)
  • The central and southern Swiss Alps (e.g. Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Aletsch Arena, Andermatt)
Saas Fee, SwitzerlandSaas Fee, Switzerland, Friday 15th November


















"Roughly 30-70cm of new snow has fallen in these regions in the last 24 hours, with over 1m in places in the high border regions to the east of Zermatt/Saas-Fee," Fraser says.

Brusson, ItalyBrusson, Monterosa ski area, Italy
















Andermatt in Switzerland has announced that, in addition to the already open Sonnenpiste and Gurschenalp slopes, it will be opening the valley run to Andermatt this Saturday and Sunday (16th and 17th).

Andermatt, SwitzerlandAndermatt, Switzerland



















Away from the Alps in Scandinavia, a handful of resorts in Sweden and Norway are opening today.

Åre, Trysil, Vemdalen and Hemsedal kick off the season.

It's the first time ever that the gondola in Åre in Sweden has been able to open from the very beginning of winter, thanks to natural snowfall, perfect conditions for snowmaking and the investment in snowmaking made ahead of last February's Alpine World Ski Championships.

Sälen, Sweden's largest ski destination, will open on Friday 22nd November.

Hemsedal in Norway will open its Lindvallen area with free skiing this weekend before opening fully on 22nd November.

Hemsedal, NorwayHemsedal, Norway, Friday 15th November



















Thursday 14th November

There were some beautiful scenes across many parts of the Alps as the sun came out in between storms on Thursday.

Alta Badia, ItalyAlta Badia, Dolomites, Italy, Thursday 14th November
















Obergurgl, AustriaObergurgl, Austria, Thursday 14th November
















Obergurgl, AustriaObergurgl, Austria, Thursday 14th November
















Zell am See, AustriaZell am See, Austria, Thursday 14th November - photo Breiteckalm restaurant
















And just how much fun were they having in Stubai in Austria on Wednesday?

You can keep an eye on the full details on the specialist snow web site weathertoski.

If you want to see the snow map across Europe over the next few days then check out the gif below.


And if you want to see some more images to inspire you then check out our updated photogallery with some of the best images of the recent snow.

St Anton, Tirol, AustriaSt Anton, Tirol, Austria

















Livigno, ItalyLivigno, Italy




















Val Thorens, FranceVal Thorens, France



















The new snow comes with some problems - mainly travel disruptions.


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

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