News Headlines     |     


Good conditions continue in the Alps
Thursday March 17, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

With a week to Easter the snow is looking rather good. There has been a bit of fresh snow in places and the temperatures have remained cold. Check it all out as we report from the Alps. UPDATED

There have been some varied conditions across the Alps as we reported earlier in the week.

PlanetSKI was in Innsbruck last weekend on a 24-hour visit and we then moved round to Soelden in Austria where conditions this week have remained good for March.

There is some snow on the valley floor.

Otztal Valley, Tirol, AustriaOtztal Valley, Tirol, Austria
















Plenty up the mountain.

Mid-mountain, SoeldenMid-mountain, Soelden
















And a mid-winter feel at altitude.

Top of the mountain, SoeldenTop of the mountain, Soelden
















"There is some great on piste skiing with full coverage, though the resort runs are a bit patchy and rely on artificial snow, but that is to be expected for mid-March," said the PlanetSKi content editor, James Cove on Wednesday.

"Overall conditions are superb for the time of year," he added.

On Thursday morning he arrived in St Anton under a deep blue sky.

Off piste in St AntonOff piste in St Anton
















On piste in St ChristopheOn piste in St Christophe
















In the north-western Alps in France the sun has been beating down, but piste conditions remain very good.

Especially on the high-altitude slopes.

Les Menuires, Les3ValleesLes Menuires, Les3Vallees
















Les Menuires, Les3ValleesLes Menuires, Les3Vallees
















The images from Les Menuires were sent to us by our friends over at Ski Amis who still have a few great offers if you want to get away to enjoy the current good conditions and some Spring skiing - see here for further details.

Meanwhile the PlanetSKI chief reporter, Jane Peel, is in the Voralberg region of Austria.

If you're still none the wiser, it's in the far west of the country, close to the borders with both Switzerland and Germany.

"It was a beautiful bluebird day for my very first visit to Damüls-Mellau. The sun shone all day Thursday, with not a cloud in the sky.  The day started off not too warm so conditions on the slopes were excellent.  Even late in the afternoon in typical mild Spring temperatures,  it was possible to find some pistes with lovely chalky snow," said Jane.

"Only the final few turns to end up in the village of Damüls were a bit of a chore, having to power through the heavy, slushy stuff with tired legs, but I'm not complaining.  All in all a great day.  I love spring skiing!" she added.

Damuls-Mellau, AustriaDamuls-Mellau, Austria













Jane in Damuls-Mellau, Austria Jane in Damuls-Mellau, Austria














Our full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 17th March, comes from Fraser Wilkin at

The very best skiing is in the Italian Piedmont (e.g. Alagna, Sestriere, Prato Nevoso, Limone), at least if it’s powder you’re after, with between 25cm and 50cm of new snow falling on Wednesday, and up to 1m locally in the far south.
Elsewhere in the Alps there has been less new snow, but conditions are holding up well.

Yes there will be a freeze-thaw cycle in progress when the sun is out - as it often will be over the next few days - but relatively low ambient temperatures and humidity will ensure that afternoon slush won’t be as bad as it can be at this time of year.

What’s more, high shady slopes will remain firm and “wintry” all day long.
In North America  conditions are also good, with new snow in most resorts



Austria missed most of the snow from the latest storm but, on-piste at least, conditions remain very good, especially at altitude.

Zürs reports snow depths of 115/190cm depending on altitude, while Kaprun has 150/200cm.
Some greenery is beginning to show lower down, but that is to be expected in the middle of March and for now you can still find some perfectly enjoyable piste skiing in the likes of Söll (50/60cm) and Igls (25/60cm).

Dusk in Bad Kleinkirchheim in southern Austria - Photo: badkleinkirchheim.atDusk in Bad Kleinkirchheim in southern Austria - Photo:














Some southern French ski resorts benefited from Wednesday’s storm - Abriès in the Queyras, for example, had a powder day on Thursday.

However, most of the French Alps haven’t seen any serious snow for 10 days or so now.
That said, conditions remain good for mid-March, especially at altitude, with 161/310cm of snow in Alpe d’Huez and 190/280cm in Avoriaz, for example.

Lower lying Morzine is also holding up ok, with 30/120cm.

 Decent cover even in low-lying Lans en Vercors - Photo: Decent cover even in low-lying Lans en Vercors - Photo:

















Conditions remain excellent across most Italian ski resorts.

The best of the fresh is in the Piedmont, where we saw 30cm falling in Alagna (30/160cm) yesterday and as much as 100cm further south in notoriously snowy Prato Nevoso (150/290cm).
Further east, most Dolomite resorts missed the heaviest snow this time around, but Cortina (110/190cm) remains in very good shape for mid-March.

Another massive dump in Prato Nevoso in the south-western Italian Alps - Photo: massive dump in Prato Nevoso in the south-western Italian Alps - Photo:

















Most Swiss ski resorts are still in very good shape, especially at altitude and on-piste, with 25/285cm of snow packed down on the slopes of Zermatt and 43/370cm in Andermatt.
Lower down, the snow is also holding up reasonably well thanks to recent low temperatures. Wengen currently has 20/120cm depending on altitude, while Champéry has 50/200cm.

Excellent snow conditions in Grimentz - Photo: valdanniviers.chExcellent snow conditions in Grimentz - Photo:













Rest of Europe

There is plenty of good skiing left in the Pyrenees right now.

Best of all perhaps is Spain’s Baqueira Beret (140/235cm), where there was 5cm of fresh on Wednesday and further flurries are forecast to end the week.
In Bulgaria, Bansko (65/100cm) had a dusting yesterday, which helped freshen up the pistes.



It has been warm and sunny in Scotland, particularly in the west, where the snow is most definitely spring-like in Glencoe (40/100cm).


Warm temperatures are taking their toll in Scotland. This is Glencoe - Photo: winterhighland.infoWarm temperatures are taking their toll in Scotland. This is Glencoe - Photo:













Spring snow conditions rule in much of Norway, where Hemsedal has base depths of 120cm mid-mountain.  



Snow conditions are excellent across most western US resorts.

Colorado’s Winter Park (193cm mid-mountain) has seen 70cm of fresh in the last seven days, with more falling today.

Powdery conditions are also reported in Snowbird, Utah where the mid-mountain base is 260cm deep.
The most impressive stats of all, however, belong to Mammoth in California, where there is 274/510cm of snow depending on altitude.



It’s mild and sunny in Whistler right now, but snow conditions remain excellent on the upper mountain where the base is 355cm deep.

The next snow is expected on Sunday, but again only at altitude.
Further inland, conditions remain good in Big White (303cm upper mountain), where further snow is also expected later in the weekend and early next week.

Great skiing in Whistler still, despite the mild and sunny weather - Photo: whistlerblackcomb.comGreat skiing in Whistler still, despite the mild and sunny weather - Photo:













For daily weather bulletins then see

And below we post a few other photos that have been sent to us:

Grand Tourmalet, French PyreneesGrand Tourmalet, French Pyrenees













Grand Tourmalet, French PyreneesGrand Tourmalet, French Pyrenees













Our content editor, James Cove, is in St Anton and the surrounding area for the next few days.

And then it is back across the Atlantic - to Canada.

But this time he is staying in hotels, rather than a motorhome Wink

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

For the spirit of the mountains

Related Articles

DEEP, DEEP SNOW IN SOUTHERN ALPS (Wednesday November 20, 2019)
THE SNOW IN PICTURES (Monday November 18, 2019)
FIRST TURNS OF THE SEASON IN VERBIER (Thursday November 14, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners