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30th January 2022

Last modified on February 2nd, 2022

Snow is falling in some places with further falls to come this week. Parts of Austria Switzerland are seeing the best of the snow, while other areas of the Alps are missing out. Strong winds are causing some problems, with a ‘high’ risk of avalanches in many places. UPDATED

Updated: Wednesday 2nd February

Here’s what it currently looks like in St Anton in the Tirol in Austria that has seen some of the heaviest falls of snow:

It’s a snowy scene in nearby Soelden in the Tirol too.

Soelden, Austria. Image c/o Katleen Johne.

Soelden, Austria. Image c/o Katleen Johne.

Soelden, Austria. Image c/o Katleen Johne.

Soelden, Austria. Image c/o Katleen Johne.

The snow though is bringing its problems with some resorts unable to be reached.

There is a ‘high’ risk of avalanche across the Tirol and other areas of Austria with the warning at Level 4 on a scale of 5.

Image c/o lawin.at

Image c/o lawin.at

It is a similar situation in neighbouring Switzerland where large parts of the mountains are also under a Level 4 alert.

Image c/o slf.ch

Image c/o slf.ch

“Fresh snow and a strong west to northwesterly wind have given rise to extensive snow drift accumulations on the northern flank of the Alps,” said the Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research.

It says an “increasing number of gliding avalanches are to be expected’ and warns that “high avalanche danger will be encountered over a large area.”

The storm is due to pass by Thursday with a rise in temperatures which should mean some superb skiing conditions, though the snow may get a bit heavy lower down.

The authorities are advising anyone venturing off piste to be correctly equipped and obey all the rules and regulations.

Our latest video snow report comes from the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, who is in La Thuile in the Aosta Valley in Italy.

It hasn’t seen the snow, but it does have some high winds.

The winds have closed much of the resort of La Thuile with the lifts at the top of the resort shut, including all the links to La Rosiere in France.

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

“There was still plenty of skiing for a decent afternoon on the slopes,” said James.

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Tuesday 1st February

The forecast storm has arrived with some areas expected to get up to 1m of snow by the end of the week.

The heaviest snow is in eastern Switzerland and Austria where up to 1m is expected to fall across the week.

Some of the resorts in the Tirol in Austria are seeing the best of it.

Here’s St Anton:

There are also some ferocious gusts of wind.

One of our regular readers, Valais Dude, has posted this video from Switzerland:

There is a Level 4 risk of avalanche in some places, caused by the high levels of snow and the strong winds.

Resorts under Level 4 alert include Davos/Klosters and Flims/Laax.

Much of the rest of the Swiss Alps is under Level 3, which means there is ‘considerable’ risk of avalanches.

Here is the situation in Switzerland on Tuesday 1st February:

Image c/o slf.ch

Image c/o slf.ch

There is a similar situation in Austria with some areas of the Tirol under Level 4.

Image c/o lawin.at

Image c/o lawin.at

Skiers and snowboarders who venture off piste are urged to carry all the correct safety gear, know how to use it and exercise caution.

The alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin from weathertoski.co.uk, says there will be further falls this week with significant depths in places.

“On Tuesday, it will remain mostly cloudy across the northern Alps though the snow will ease for a time,” said Fraser.

“On Tuesday night, though, another set of active fronts will bring even heavier snow to the northern and north-eastern Alps, lasting through Wednesday, with another 30-60cm possible from about central Switzerland eastwards.

This means that some of the Alps (e.g. the Austrian Arlberg) will have accumulated well over 1m of fresh snow by Thursday morning.

“Once again, the snow will be lighter in the north-western Alps (e.g. Portes du Soleil, 3 Valleys), and patchy or non-existent in the southern Alps.”

Monday 31st January

One of our regular readers in Austria, Holger Gasler, was in Obergurgl at the weekend (see post from Sunday) and he has just sent us an update:

“Compact and perfectly groomed slopes, but due to the strong wind some lifts were closed in the resort,” said Holger.

“The snow depth is 35 to 140 cm, with fresh snow in the forecast from Monday and Tuesday, with up to 50 cm coming our way.

“There are hardly any people on the slopes and overall it is pleasant,”  he added.

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Over the weekend Austria announced a loosening of Covid-19 measures.

See here for further details:

  • Austria to ease Covid-19 rules further

In Italy PlanetSKI reporter, Ian Davis, has just arrived in the resort of Passo Tonale.

“The on piste conditions are good, recent winds have removed the loose snow but they are being kept really well considering the lack of recent natural snowfall,” said Ian.

Passo Tonale, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Passo Tonale, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Passo Tonale, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Passo Tonale, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

“Hard packed snow but most runs still allow good edge grip.

“Off piste on the lower slopes has no snow outside of the pisted areas. Higher elevations has been wind blown and un-skiable in most areas.

“Winds are starting to build today and snowfall is forecast later this week,” Ian added.

Passo Tonale, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Passo Tonale, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Passo Tonale is a resort little-known by many British skiers snowboarders.

Ian will be reporting back in detail later this week on what the resort is like, and why it may be worth putting on your list of resorts to visit.

He has also sent us this video snow report. Fingers crossed the snow arrives while he is there:

More to follow…

Sunday 30th February

New snow forecast for this week will be welcomed many, but as always it remains to be seen how much will fall, and where.

Our latest video snow report comes from our editor, James Cove, who has been skiing in Pila in the Aosta Valley today.

Out on the slopes of Pila in the Aosta Valley more snow is undoubtedly needed.

Pila, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Pila, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

But weekend ski racing continued, and there were many thousands of people out enjoying the sun and the snow over the weekend.

Pila, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Pila, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Here is the latest from the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin at Weathertoski.co.uk

“The weather in the Alps has entered a more unsettled phase, with a lot of snow and wind expected across many northern parts of the Alps (particularly in the north-east) over the next few days, especially between Monday and Wednesday.

“By the end of Wednesday, as much as 60-80cm of new snow is expected above 1500m in some northern/north-eastern parts of the Alps, with the Austrian Arlberg (Lech/Zürs/St Anton) as likely as anywhere to see these kinds of totals.

“More generally, around 30-60cm of new snow is expected across the northern Alps, from about central Switzerland eastwards, with 10-30cm likely in the western Swiss Alps (e.g. Verbier, Wengen, Villars) and the northern French Alps (e.g. Tignes, Chamonix, Avoriaz).”

On Saturday in Gressoney PlanetSKI saw saw something we hadn’t seen for a while – a cloud or two in the sky.

Gressoney, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Gressoney, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

The slopes were in excellent condition considering it hasn’t snow for a few weeks.

Gressoney, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Gressoney, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

It is bare down to resort level but the slopes remain open.

Gressoney, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Gressoney, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Things though seem set to change with some snow on the way to this part of the Alps.

The weather has already caused some problems at Chambery airport in France as people try to get in and out of their ski resort this weekend.

Heavy fog disrupted some flights on Saturday and up to 500 people had to sleep in emergency accommodation overnight.

The incident at Chambery and the impact to some passengers has been reported in the Manchester Evening News .

The exception to the lack of recent snow has been in Austria where up to 50cm has fallen in places this past week.

The storm has now passed and the fortunate ones are out enjoying the conditions, including one of our regular readers, Holger Gassler.

He has been on the slopes of Obergurgl.

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

Obergurgl, Austria. Image c/o Holger Gassler

More snow is set for Austria later this week, though it will be accompanies by high winds in places

For a flavour of what the weather has been like this past week check out our earlier snow resorts on PlanetSKI.

Updated: Friday 28th January

Our latest video snow report comes from our editor, James Cove, who is currently in La Rosiere, France.

Now it should also be pointed out that when there are single clouds over Mont Blanc/Monte Bianco and the Matterhorn/Cervino the locals say the weather is about to change.

“The mountain has it’s hat on,” is how the locals from the two areas put it.

Now it may be an old-wives-tale, but from our skiing in La Rosiere and neighbouring La Thuile today the two mountain beasts of the Alps had their hats on.

Mont Blanc/Monte Bianco. Image © PlanetSKI

Mont Blanc/Monte Bianco. Image © PlanetSKI

Matterhorn/Cervino. Image © PlanetSKI

Matterhorn/Cervino. Image © PlanetSKI

Fingers crossed.

Also we don’t know if this has anything to do with the weather, but today at the end of January we saw a strange site.

A forest fire high up in the mountains.

It was above the village of La Thuile in the Aosta Valley, Italy.

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

La Thuile, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Helicopters were scrambled to try to bring the blaze under control.

One may expect mountain forest fires in the middle of summer, but not perhaps in the middle of winter.

More to follow…

Wednesday 26th January

The wall-to-wall sunshine continues across much of the Alps and it feels more like spring than the end of January.

PlanetSKI’s editor, James Cove, has been in the Italian resort of La Thuile in the Aosta Valley today.

It was +8c at the mid-station at mid-morning.

The avalanche risk is 1, the lowest level.

We will be writing a full length feature on PlanetSKI about La Thuile shortly – in the meantime you’ll just have to take James’s word for it.

He tends to know what he is talking about.

Or at least he likes to think he does.

And here is the view from the top as we crossed from La Thuile into La Rosiere.

We are looking across to Paradiski and its resorts of Les Arcs/La Plagne and beyond.

Sunshine all the way.

One of our readers, Neil Bradbury, has commented on the video over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page :

“Love sitting by the Fort there. Great views,” he said. There is no fresh snow to talk about, but there is lunch on the restaurant terraces, soaking up a few rays and skiing on empty slopes that have pretty decent snow covering.

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

La Rosiere, France. Image © PlanetSKI

Elsewhere in the Alps it is a similar situation, with blue sky all the way.

A PlanetSKI team has been in Verbier, Switzerland.

Verbier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

“There is no off piste skiing here in Verbier, but the slopes are in surprisingly good condition considering it hasn’t snowed for a while,” said PlanetSKI reporter, Marie Taylor.

“We are whizzing round empty slopes on good, grippy snow with the sun out – what’s not to like?” she added.

And here we are on the slopes:

For the full details of the weather across the Alps, and the all-important forecast, here is the latest from Weathertoski.co.uk.

More to follow…

Tuesday 25th January

The latest images and information come from PlanetSKI reporter, Vanessa Fisher, who is currently in Val Gardena in the Dolomites in Itay.

“Blue skies and incredible panoramas all the way,” said Vanessa.

“We skied the full Sella Ronda today in great conditions all the way up to Marmolada at 3265m, just a few scratchy places on the steeper sections in the shade but otherwise great piste conditions considering no fresh snow for a few weeks.”

The Dolomites, Italy. Image c/o Vanessa Fisher.

The Dolomites, Italy. Image c/o Vanessa Fisher.

The Dolomites, Italy. Image c/o Vanessa Fisher.

The Dolomites, Italy. Image c/o Vanessa Fisher.

The Dolomites, Italy. Image c/o Vanessa Fisher.

The Dolomites, Italy. Image c/o Vanessa Fisher.

The Dolomites, Italy. Image c/o Vanessa Fisher.

The Dolomites, Italy. Image c/o Vanessa Fisher.

The forecast looks like there may be some fresh snow for the beginning of next week. Fingers crossed,” Vanessa added.

Valtournenche, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Valtournenche, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI