Snow conditions are excellent for late November

29th November 2013, by Fraser Wilkin

Ischgl opened yesterday with 131 runs, the most in Europe

Ischgl opened yesterday with 131 runs, the most in Europe

Latest snow report courtesy of Weather to Ski

Updated: 10.15am Thursday 28 November 2013

Snow conditions are excellent for late November both in the Alps and in the Pyrenees, with more and more resorts opening all the time. It’s not all quite all plain sailing though - below 1200-1500m or so the base is still precarious and there is work to be done. Resorts with plenty of skiing above 1800-2000m though are pretty much assured of good cover as we move into the first part of the main season.

Austria received the lion’s share of fresh snow this week and, with the continuing cold weather, conditions are generally excellent - especially in high resorts such as Obergurgl (75/160cm) and Sölden (20/135cm) and Ischgl (10/60cm) which opens today. Resorts with most of their slopes below 1800m, however, still have work to do. They may look pretty (it snowed to very low levels earlier in the week) but below 1200m or so the base is still precarious and further snow is needed. The next snowfall is due on Friday night and Saturday but in relatively modest quantities.

Thanks to excellent snow cover for the time of year, more and more French resorts are opening, some permanently, others just at the weekend. The best conditions are at high altitude Val Thorens (75/110cm) and Tignes (40/220cm)with Val d’Isère set to join the party on Saturday. Les 2 Alpes (40/160cm) is another imminent high profile opening but a whole bunch of smaller resorts are also cashing in, including Châtel and La Clusaz, both of which will be operational this weekend. The next snowfall is due on Friday night or Saturday morning but is not expected to be particularly heavy.

All Italian resorts have good snow cover for the time of year with the best conditions again at altitude. Of those resorts open on a daily basis, Cervinia (45/185cm) remains the pick of the bunch but a number of other areas will be available this weekend including Madonna di Campiglio and Livigno (25/90cm). A little more snow is expected over the weekend but generally speaking not in significant quantities.

Snow cover is excellent for late November with more and more resorts opening or looking to open soon. The most extensive skiing remains in Zermatt (35/170cm) shared with Cervinia across the border, but there are lots more partially opened alternatives including Saas-Fee (30/295cm), Davos (20/55cm) and Engelberg (30/150cm). Expect further snowfall on Friday night and Saturday, but generally in modest quantities.

Rest of Europe
The Pyrenees are also enjoying an excellent start to the season following a succession of big snowstorms. Leading Spanish resort Baqueira Beret (120/170cm) is one of several resorts already operational and claims to be opening all 120km of pistes this weekend! Elsewhere in Europe, a handful of resorts in Scandinavia are at least partially open, most of these in Finland.

Dozens of US resorts are now partially open thanks to impressive early season snowfall, though more is needed in California. The most extensive open terrain is still in Colorado including Aspen (50/105cm), Vail (55cm mid-mountain) and Keystone (75cm). The next significant snow is expected to affect the Cascades over the weekend, moving south across the Rockies in the middle part of next week.

Whistler (65cm mid-mountain) hasn’t seen any fresh snow recently but still offers good if limited piste skiing right now. A big storm is expected to dump significant snow here over the weekend and early next week. Further east, a handful of other resorts are also partially open including Banff-Lake Louise (50/75cm).

Snow report courtesy of Weather to Ski

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