Serious snow likely for the weekend

22nd December 2014, by Abi Butcher

Potential for massive snowfalls across the northern Alps in particular next weekend. Pic: [from]

Potential for massive snowfalls across the northern Alps in particular next weekend. Pic: [from]

With Christmas week upon us, the good news is that Santa might well bring us some snow. While there are great conditions in Scandinavia — heavy snow forced the closure of Fagernes airport in Norway last night — Andorra, French Pyrenees, Italy and North America, the snow in the Alps, particularly the French Haute-Savoie, is not as we know and love it for the time of year.

Morzine and Megeve are still yet to open, and headlines over the weekend of “the worst start to the season” might be scary to read if you’re booked on a festive trip (and I’m heading to Verbier for New Year, so it affects me too!). But the situation isn’t quite as grim as the non-specialist media would like us to believe.

“The Alpine forecast is starting to look very interesting indeed, with the prospect of some big snowfalls by the weekend. Before we get there, however, we have a few days of mostly dry and very mild weather to get through in the run up to Christmas,” says our snow guru Fraser Wilkin of who insists there is plentiful skiing — and that there was fresh snow over the weekend.

In Val d’Isère last week, too much snow fell on the World Cup course so training on Thursday was cancelled while the fresh powder was cleared. It enabled the nursery slopes to be pisted properly and resort staff are working hard to get the top of Solaise skiable.

This morning, Andy Perrin, CEO of Hotelplan which owns Inghams, Ski Total and Esprit Ski, told us that all their guests were out skiing.

“Hardly any resorts are not open now – it’s been improving steadily over the last week,” said Mr Perrin. “All our Christmas week guests across all three programmes are skiing as we speak. More snow is forecast this week, and we are obviously monitoring the situation right across the Alps constantly, and as you’d expect of any specialist ski operator, will continue to make whatever arrangements we may need to make to ensure all our guests get skiing.”

Likewise, Crystal Ski said in a statement last Friday: “Our main priority is to get our customers skiing. Due to the variable weather conditions, the situation is changing rapidly. In those ski resorts where no lifts are operating, we offer customers a complimentary bus service to another ski area for the full duration of their holiday, paid for by Crystal Ski Holidays.

“For those resorts where there is limited skiing available, our Crystal overseas team are constantly working with resort teams and partners to make sure customers get the most from their holiday.”

You can see the current situation in France at a glance here but for daily updates check Weather to Ski’s Today in the Alps. We will post another snow report at the end of this week.

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