The week that was ...

22nd December 2011, by Chris Gill

White Christmas in Crans-Montana

White Christmas in Crans-Montana

The past week will be remembered for a long time to come … It’s a great Christmas present, as snow continues to pile up in the Alps. And the forecast is for brighter weather next week, great for festive powder revellers.

We have been inundated with pictures and reports of the huge snowfalls crossing the Alps this week, particularly in France and Switzerland. And in Austria the snow is still falling in the Tirol, with excellent cover now in favourites, Ischgl, St Anton and Lech. It is certainly proving a terrific start to the holiday season; long may it continue!

It all began two weeks ago, and has barely stopped since. All the leading resorts have around 1-2m of snow cover on the upper mountain now, and even lower lying resorts in France and Switzerland have snow to valley level. Many resorts have been hit by heavy snowfalls accompanied by fierce winds during the past week, which has played havoc with the lifts and slopes; getting them open has been constant work for resort crews and the avalanche risk soared as the snow piled up.

Most places can claim a good dose of the white stuff, though, which in November seemed a distant dream; only eastern Italy appears to have missed out on the best of it, although their tip-top snowmaking is helping maintain reasonable cover.

Snow has now fallen across the Pyrenees, Bulgaria (about 40cm) and up in Scandinavia – where 15-25cm new snow has greatly improved conditions in Norway and Sweden. Voss leads the way, with snow depths ranging from 50 to 180cm.

Catch up with the latest news in our summary Snow overview.

The Aosta Valley did OK too. This is Courmayeur. [(c) Tourism Aosta Valley]

Les Menuires – even better than this time last year (Ed: and that was good then) [(c) OT Les Menuires]

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