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Europe Weekly Roundup #239



Austria Dominates May Skiing Scene: Deep Snow and Sunny Skies Beckon Skiers

  • Unseasonably cold weather in Europe has brought significant snowfall to some areas, impacting ski resort operations.
  • Despite the challenging conditions, several ski centers across Europe remain open into May, offering late-season skiing opportunities.
  • Austria leads the pack with the most ski areas open in the Alps, including glacier resorts experiencing deep snow conditions.

World Overview

The seasons continue to turn and we’ve seen more evidence of winter on its way in the southern hemisphere this week with plenty of snowfall down to lower levels than before this autumn/fall in South American mountain ranges and in New Zealand. The start of the 2024 season there is now just a month away. In the northern hemisphere, the blast of midwinter conditions experienced in the Alps for much of the latter half of April finally gave way to warmer, sunnier drier weather over the weekend and start of this week, but not before some centres posted a further metre of snowfall up high. In North America, The Rockies saw another foot of snowfall at the weekend. It being the last week of April just ending, it’s no surprise that more of the still-open ski centres have closed or will end their 23-24 seasons at the end of May 1st, but towards 50 resorts across Asia, Europe and North America remain open and plan to stay open later into May and in some cases beyond.

World snow forecast for the next 6-9 days.


Cortina, Italy: 28 April 2024


The unseasonably cold and snowy weather that has impacted Europe for much of the past three weeks, which has brought more than a metre of snowfall to some centres, continued up to last weekend. Warmer, drier weather has finally arrived now, however, for the time being at least. About half of the still-open European centres closed either on Sunday last or will close at the end of Wednesday, May 1st, leaving a few dozen centres still open later into this month in the Alps or Scandinavia. Despite the fact that some German centres briefly re-opened during the snowy end to April having not been able to operate for months before in a few cases, Germany has joined the list of ski nations where the 23-24 season is over with the Zugspitze Glacier ski area as well as the Nebelhorn’s slopes above Oberstdorf ending their seasons having made it to May 1st, the only German areas to do so. It joins a growing list of countries, including Andorra, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Romania, Scotland and Slovenia among others where the 23-24 season is now over. Slovakia’s Jasna reopened a small part of its higher terrain last weekend and there’s a chance it’ll do so again next weekend too although its base is getting thin. The same is true for Sierra B=Nevada in southern Spain, the only ski area in the region still open last weekend. Some countries are though still seeing snowfall on high slopes, with Scottish mountains getting a few centimetres on high ground at the end of last week, to the delight of ski tourers.


Austria begins May with the most centres open in the Alps and after the first weekend of the month will be the only country with more than just a couple of choices available. 10 Austrian ski areas will make it into May (the only European country outside of Scandinavia to be able to claim that), but four (IschglObertauern, Silvretta Montafon and Solden) close at the end of May 1st. A second glacier area after SoldenPitztal, closes on the 5th, but the other five remaining glaciers stay open until later in the month, or into June. The Stubai (10/570cm / 4/228”) has been posting the deepest snow in Europe after getting more than a metre more in the final 10 days of April. The weather has finally started to get more like the springtime average with valley temperatures climbing well into double digits for the first time in over a fortnight, the freezing point moving up above 3,000m and some clear, sunny skies since the weekend to enjoy it all too.


The recent sunny spell looks set to give way to more changeable weather for the remainder of the week. However, temperatures will remain warmer than much of the latter half of April. Continuing to get into double digits above freezing in the afternoons in valleys and staying mostly above freezing at altitude. Light precipitation is expected, potentially May snowfall on glaciers, and rain lower down.


Temperatures have warmed and snowfall eased on Swiss slopes over the last week. With the freezing point getting up to 2,500m in the daytime we’ve had vallery temperatures reach +15C although it is still been subzero up high overnight. Five Swiss ski centres are open for the start of May, although having stayed open this long, Samnaun’s slopes on the eastern borders of the country and linked to Ischgl in Austria are expected to close at the end of May 1st. Engelberg (0/350cm / 0/140″), which saw some of the biggest snowfalls in the world last week getting over a metre more snow up high to the end April, and Adelboden’s Engstligenalp area (30/220cm / 12/88”) are both expected to close of Sunday, May 5th, as is the Diavolezza Glacier near St Moritz in the Engadin. However, Zermatt (15/240cm / 6/96”) is of course open for snowsports year-round.


A changeable end to the week with temperatures down a little but much warmer still than they were in the latter half of last month. Some showers and sunny spells in the mix, the precipitation potentially small amounts of snow up high, but rain at lower elevations.

Switzerland snow forecast for the next 6-9 days.


We’re into the final few days of the French winter season and five resorts are still open as of May 1st., Chamonix (or the Grands Montets ski area, 5/400cm / 2/160”, above Argentière to be precise) closes today but Tignes (60/420cm / 24/168”), Val d’Isere (60/420cm / 24/168”) and Val Thorens (170/240cm / 68/96”) will stay open to this coming Sunday, May 5th, Les 2 Alpes is in an interesting position as its winter season ended on Sunday but it has already re-opened for 10 weeks of glacier skiing and boarding, through to July 7th. So as of next Monday, 6th May and for all of the resort of the month it’ll be the only French area still open. That said the terrain that is open will be quite limited with a chunk of the glacier reserved for team training. The weather has continued to be cold with frequent snow showers. The Paradiski region which ended its season on Sunday was one of the big winners with les arcs posting half a metre (20 inches) of snowfall ahead of their final weekend, but almost everywhere got a decent dump, including many now closed slopes, even down in the French Pyrenees. Tignes reported 25cm (10″) there.

La Clusaz, France: 25 April 2024.


It looks like an unsettled final weekend of the season on high French slopes. The freezing point will move between 1500 and 2500m with temperatures ranging between -10C up high overnight, and +15C in valleys. Staying close to freezing during the ski day above 2,500m with snow showers expected (rain in valleys).

Alps snow forecast for the next 6-9 days.


Italy starts May with six centres open, but three of these; Cortina d’Ampezzo, Macugnaga and Sulden close at the end of May 1st, and another, Livigno (14/166cm / 6/66”), on the 2nd; leaving the Presna Glacier (100/.400cm / 40/160”) and the now year-round Cervinia (15/240cm / 6/96”) access to the Matterhorn glacier paradise area shared with Zermatt over the Swiss border the only Italian options available from May 3rd on and through the rest of the month. Like most other parts of central Europe, the snow showers continued, with increasing sunny spells and warming temperatures through the weekend, but the snow up high has been fresh and conditions very good for late April.


Fairly dry and plenty of sunshine through the latter half of this week, valley temperatures climbing into the upper teens although remaining below freezing (-1 to -10C through the 24-hour cycle) above about 2,500m. More unsettled with some snow showers possible up high into the weekend.


Scandinavia had more centres in Norway and Sweden make it to either the final weekend of April, or even May 1st, than any other in Europe, but May 1st has marked the close of the season for all but a select few. Sweden and Scandinavia’s largest Are (40/81cm / 16/32”) and Norway’s Hemsedal (40/140cm / 16/56” at closing) were among the centres closing on the 1st, but Narvik (30/50cm / 12/20”) up north in the Arctic Circle plans to keep going to mid-May and its Swedish neighbour Riksgransen (50/140cm / 20/56”) longer still, towards the end of the month. Most of Finland’s leading centres stayed open until May 1st too, but Levi (60/75cm / 24/30”) and Ruka (40/50cm / 16/20”) are the two staying open until next Monday to complete the incredible seven-month-long ski seasons, thanks to their summer snow farming which allows them to start their seasons in early October. They’re the longest non-glacier ski area seasons in Europe. Along with seasons ending, though we also have summer ski seasons starting with Fonna the first of Norway’s three summer-only areas opening this coming weekend, initially for team training, not recreational skiers and boarders, we’ll have to wait a fortnight.


Much of southern Scandinavia will see warm weather with temperatures reaching +15C at resort level and +10C on higher slopes, so ski centres closed at the right time there. For the final weekend up in Finland, it’ll be much cooler, -5 to +5C on ski slopes, and the weather mostly dry.


The season appears to be over in the Pyrenees and all of the Iberian peninsular with the last area that had been open, Sierra Nevada (20.90cm / 8/36″) down by the Mediterranean, opening up to last Sunday but so far not announcing any plans to reopen next weekend. It was mostly sunny there this past week with freeze-thaw temperatures in the -10C to _+10C range and there was some fresh snowfall too. About 15% of its slopes were still open last weekend. A little ironically, the Pyrenees, where most centres have been closed since early April, saw some late heavy snowfall this week turning slopes white again, but all a little late in the day.


Continuing mostly dry with plenty of sun shine and temperatures continuing to climb even at higher elevations up towards double figures above freezing.


It was another cold and snowy week in the mountains of the Czech and Slovak Republics where only the largest resort, Jasna (40/60cm / 16/24”) has remained open, at weekends at least. Last weekend saw just runs 34c Panoráma Chopok – Predné Dereše, 34b Panoráma Predné Dereše – Kosodrevina, 33a Zjazdárska and the upper part of piste 35 Derešská open along with some high freeriding terrain for experienced skiers, altogether about 15% of the full terrain. There was fresh snowfall waiting again. At the time of preparing this report, it’s unclear if the slopes might reopen next weekend too.

Jasna, Slovakia: 25 April 2024.


After finally) a return to more springlike, warmer, sunnier weather midweek with afternoon highs getting up around +15C, it is looking more overcast and a little cooler to end the week, with precipitation looking more likely to be rain than snow towards the weekend though.

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