World Snow Wrap Up Vol 18, 14 March – European Snow at Last!

March 14th, 2011
  


Freshies in Vail on 8 March. Image:: Courtesy Vail

Stormwatch:

The snowfall heros
The same old heros just keep popping up. We’ve been waiting all season for the snow to slow down in Whistler but it never has, Fernie just keeps raking in the powder, Arabba in Italy seems to be some sort of snow magnet and of course Japan barely sees blue skies.

  • Fernie, BC – with 90cm last week
  • Arabba, Italy70cm, again
  • Niseko, Japan105cm – Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the terrible events in Japan, we hope the snow communities are keeping safe through this ordeal.

The snow forecast heros:
It seems as though the season is about to start in Europe with France and Switzerland expecting some of the heaviest snowfalls they’ve seen all season this week. In North America however, it’s going to become decidedly warm and spring-like

  • Around 60cm for Switzerland and France – about time!
  • Lake Louise with 16cm – but cold temperatures meaning the quality will be better than most anywhere else
  • Whistler, with 80cm and hopefully a low freezing level

Last week’s event highlights:

  • The Burton US Open and the TTR World Tour Title decider saw Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) and Jamie Anderson (USA) crowned the 2011 Tour Champions
  • New Zeland’s Maria (snowboard) and Janina Kuzma (ski placed first and second respectively in the Nendaz four star Freeride World Tour qualifier event and are now both sitting in third on the Freeride World Tour rankings for their respective sports. Both will compete at the infamous Nissan Xtreme Verbier on 19 March

Event highlights this week:

  • 14 – 20 March 2011 ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP, Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Men’s downhill, slalom, GS, super G and team and women’s downhill, slalom, GS and super G
  • 16 – 18 March 2011 WINTER X GAMES EUROPE 2, Tignes, France. 2011 marks only the second time a Winter X Games has been held outside the United States
  • 18 – 19 March 2011 SNOWBOARD WORLD CUP – parallel GS and snowboard X. Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy
  • 19 March 2011 FREERIDE WORLD TOUR Nissan Xtreme Verbier 2011 by Swatch (SUI) The final stop of the FWT
  • 19 – 20 March 2011 FREESTYLE WORLD CUP – moguls and aerials. Myrkdalen-Voss, Norway
  • 20 March 2011 FREESTYLE WORLD CUP – ski halfpipe. La Plagne, France


If we could pick anywhere this week, we’d be: On a road trip through France and Switzerland, checking out the European X and finishing up in Verbier for the Xtreme.


Aspen at the beginning of this week. Image:: Jeremy Swanson/Aspen Snowmass

Colorado

Aspen Mountain

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 25.4cm at Aspen Mountain in the last 7 days
7 Day forecast: 15.7cm forecast in the next 7 days for Aspen Mountain
Current snow depth: 147.32cm at Aspen Mountain
Current conditions: packed powder
Not much sunshine, but not much snow on the horizon for Aspen this coming week, it’s been a pretty incredible run but the next few days will just see some warmer temperatures and perhaps a little drizzle.

Breckenridge

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 43.8cm in the past 7 days
7 Day forecast: about 2.6cm for the coming week
Current snow depth: 226.26cm at mid mountain
Current Conditions: powder and packed powder
It’s been a a good week but the next few days are not looking the best, snow and perhaps a little rain with temperatures up to around six degrees Celsius.

Steamboat

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 15.24cm in the last 48 hours
7 Day forecast: about 14.5cm forecast in the next 7 days
Current snow depth: 215.9cm at mid mountain
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
It’s going to be warm this week in Steamboat, alarmingly warm for anyone hoping for some snow. There will be moments of sunshine, but mostly just drizzle.

Vail

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 38.1cm in the last 7 days
7 Day forecast: 6.4cm
Current snow depth: 180.34cm
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
Like the rest of the state, Vail will be warm this coming week, with little bit of sunshine appearing between bouts of rain.


Vail 8 March. Image:: Vail

And Colorado generally…
Crested Butte has won the 72 hour snowfall total with a healthy 30cm over the weekend. The rest of Colorado received a good dose of snow as well though and the skiing will be good for a few days, until the warmer weather and the rain clouds come along to dampen things a little

Utah

Park City

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 12.7cm in the last three days
7 Day forecast: 31cm on the forecast
Current snow depth: 287.2cm
current conditions: packed powder and machine groomed
There’s a lot of precipitation on the way for Park City but with the temperature up around six degrees Celsius on Wednesday and the freezing level is hovering up above the 2000m mark.

Snowbird

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 5.08cm in the last three days
7 Day forecast: 28cm
Current snow depth: 365.78cm at mid mountain
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
The snow on the forecast is going to be quite sloppy this week because there is some warm air on the way.


Big grins at Park City on 9 March. Image:: Park City

And Utah generally…
10.16cm at Deer Valley, 7.62cm at Alta and a smattering across most of the state over the weekend but it’s getting pretty spring like in Utah and this week should see some rain.

California

Heavenly

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 35.56cm in the last week
7 Day forecast: 53cm or so for the week
Current snow depth: 335.28cm at the summit
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
Same old story at Heavenly, warm weather is going to play havoc with the precipitation.

Mammoth

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: no snow in the past few days
7 Day forecast: 27cm for the week
Current snow depth: 548.64cm at the summit
Current conditions: packed powder
It’s going to be a little colder in Mammoth than in many other parts of the state and by the weekend the cold weather will be back again so Friday’s 18cm or snow should be nice and dry.

And California/Tahoe generally…
Northstar at Tahoe and Alpine Meadows both had fairly snowy weekends, with 35cm and 40cm respectively, and the rest of the state didn’t fare to badly, California was the snowiest state in the USA for the weekend, however, this coming week, with warmer weather and some drizzle, won’t be the best of the season.

And the rest of the USA…
There was for Navada and Washington and a few flakes in Oregon and Idaho over the weekend; the West Coast certainly fared much better than the East, where there was nothing worth mentioning. It seems to be a common thread across the country, weather is warming up, rain is on the horizon, spring is here.

Japan

Niseko

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: about 105cm this past week
7 day forecast: 26cm
Current snow depth: 420cm at the Grand Hirafu summit
Current conditions: powder
It was an excellent week for Niseko last week, so wise. The resort hasn’t been much affected, physically at least, by the disastrous earthquake and lifts continue to run. Snow will fall intermittently over this week and it will remain cold.

Hakuba

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: about 80cm this week
7 Day forecast: 43cm for the week
Current snow depth: 305cm at the summit
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
Hakuba’s lift operations have been somewhat affected by the earthquake, in total about 7 lifts are not operating across all the resort areas. Snow wise it’s been a sunny few days after some fresh snow earlier in the weekend and the snow should continue until Friday.

And Japan generally…
The resorts on the big island have all been variously affected by the earthquake. Reports suggest the quake could be felt quite strongly in the resorts, however everyone seems to be safe and not much damage is mentioned. Lifts have been closed in many resorts because of the call to preserve energy and there is not much activity.


Brad Meraly slashing the pow in Whistler on 10 March. Image:: Logan Swayze – coastphoto.com

British Columbia

Big White

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 40cm this week
7 Day forecast: 25cm this week
Current snow depth: 255cm
The season is still ticking over at Big White and it will keep snowing up until the weekend. The freezing level is sitting right on the 1000m mark, which is below the bottom lift line, so good news that snow should all be snow!

Fernie

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 90cm in the last 7 days
7 Day forecast: 20cm for the week
Current snow depth: 379cm
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
An awesome week last week and there is more snow on the way, however it’s the same story temperature wise. It’s going to get a little warm at Fernie and some of that precipitation may fall as rain. The good news, the freezing level is sitting around the bottom lift, so the resort may receive only snow.

Silver Star

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 35cm this week
7 Day forecast: 14.8cm
Current snow depth: 225cm
Current conditions: powder packed powder and machine groomed
Like Fernie and Big White, Silver Star may be able to hold on to all the forecast snow if the freezing level stays down where it currently is, at around 1000m. By Saturday thought it’s likely to be sunny and eight degrees Celsius.

Sun Peaks

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 32.3cm last week
7 Day forecast: 12.6cm for the week
Current snow depth: 176cm at the summit
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
A nice smattering of snow over the weekend topped up the base at Sun Peaks and the snow flurries should continue all week. However the weekend is looking a little too warm for that snow to be a great quality.

Whistler

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 143cm this week
7 Day forecast: 80cm this week
Current snow depth: 378cm
Current conditions: powder and packed powder
The snow just does not stop at Whistler and, bizarrely, while almost every other resort is seeing the arrival of spring warm weather Whistler’s temperatures should stay down around freezing level all week so the 80cm or so of new snow should fall almost down to the village.

And BC Generally…
Mt Baldy received 65cm of snow over the weekend, Revelstoke 22cm and Apex 33cm, all in all BC’s skiing is still looking healthy. It isn’t expected to get as warm up there in Canada as it is down in the USA, however there’s no denying that spring and spring like weather is on the way.

Alberta

Lake Louise

OPEN
Recent Snowfalls: 29cm in the last 7 days
7 Day forecast: 16.5cm for the coming week
Current snow depth: 180cm
Current conditions: packed powder
Lake Louise will be COLD this week, unlike pretty much the rest of the world temperatures will stay below freezing so those snowflakes on the forecast for the next four days will all fall nice and dry.


Chamonix Tuesday 14 March. Image:: Chamonix

Going Global

France
Recent snowfalls: It snowed in some parts of France on the weekend, Puy St Vincent had a healthy 36cm, La Gave a nice 25cm
Forecast snowfalls: Perhaps the season is just now kicking off in France, some of the best snowfalls of the season seen to be on the way, Les Arcs should see 43cm of new snow by the weekend, similar stories across the Alps.
Current conditions: powder mostly
Top pick: Les Arcs, obviously

Switzerland
Recent snowfalls: Pockets of Switzerland received some snowfall over the weekend, with Saas Fee recording 15cm, however it was mostly just spatterings
Forecast snowfalls: about 60cm for Zermatt and Saas Fee by the end of the week. Those are the highest expected snow totals but most of the country will get dumped on by the weekend
Snow conditions: Powder!
Top pick: Saas Fee again, best snowfall last week, best expected this week

Austria
Recent snowfalls: it snowed dribs and drabs over the Austrian alps last week, nothing spectacular though
Forecast snowfalls: The storms will hit Austria a few days after France and Switzerland, with St Anton expecting 30cm. They may have dissipated by the time they reach the Tyrol though, with Saalbach Hinterglimm only expecting 10cm
Snow conditions: some fresh to be found
Top pick: St Anton

Italy
Recent snowfalls: Italy got the best of the snow this week, 70cm at Arabba and 24cm at Cortina
Forecast snowfalls: The snowfalls won’t be as spectacular in Italy, with about 26cm expected in Bormio and about 38cm in Arabba
Snow conditions: powder in places and packed powder
Top pick: Arabba, again