Top-up snow for Austria

6th April 2011, by Chris Gill

Ischgl 5 April

Ischgl 5 April

While much talk is about winter slipping away and rapidly deteriorating pistes (which, yes, is evident in the recent ‘heatwave’), there has been new snow in Austria this week – which, although falling above 2000m has refreshed the pistes and off-piste nicely.

St Anton reported 15cm new snow on the Galzig and Valluga mountains on 5 April – with cooler overnight / morning temperatures than of late. The resort’s upper slopes still maintain a deep cover over 2m and with the refresh ought to be giving fine skiing in the run-up to Easter.

Nearby Lech has all but one lift open and 5cm new snow. Not a lot, but only about a dozen pistes / routes are now closed. Many lower slopes are now patchy. Ischgl received new snow on 4 April and has 198km slopes open that are holding up well above 2000m.

Earlier last week,St Anton received a dusting of snow (6cm), along with Solden (10/265cm) and other parts of the Alps – Verbier (3cm) and Aosta (4cm last Wednesday). Some Swiss resorts got further top-ups in passing showers yesterday. Engelberg is a good late bet. So, as long as you aim for the highest slopes now, it’s not all doom and gloom – although spring is certainly evident.

At the other end of the scale – resorts around Innsbruck were attracting mountain bikers, not skiers, as the snow has all but gone there now (temperatures at valley level soared to 24 degrees) – except the Stubai glacier, which has high slopes and reliable conditions.

High pressure has asserted itself over the Tirol and Arlberg for the rest of the week, for more of that sunshine.

Generally though aim high, and you’ll find excellent conditions in resorts such as Tignes (with its glacier), Zermatt (high and glacier), Val Thorens, Cervinia, Hintertux and the other glacier ski areas.

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