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Europe Weekly Roundup #240



(Updated 8 May 2024)
A comprehensive review of snow conditions, weather, and updates for Europe’s winter sports destinations.

Geilo, Norway: 7 May 2024.

Midnight Skiing Returns: Riksgransen Welcomes Skiers Under the Midnight Sun in Scandinavia’s Arctic Circle

  • Despite it being May, snow continues to fall in the Alps, maintaining ski conditions on high slopes.
  • Austria remains a stronghold for skiing in Europe, with more than half of the still-open ski centers located there.
  • Scandinavia sees the last of its ski areas closing, with Riksgransen offering midnight skiing under the returning 24-hour daylight.
World snow forecast for the next 6-9 days.

World Overview

The number of ski areas still open to mid-May has halved again this week after several dozen ended their seasons at the weekend. But 30 or so are carrying on later into the month and some have been rewarded by more fresh snowfall, even though it may now be by May, in the Alps, Scandinavia and on both the East and West Coasts of North America. Those ski areas in the US West have been rewarded for their dedication to the cause with some big snowfalls, totalling several feet (over 60cm) so far since the weekend. In Europe, things have finally settled down a little after the snowy latter half of April and the start of May, but it has stayed up around freezing at glacier heights and there have been more snow showers. In Asia, we are down to just the Gassan summer ski centre in Japan open with the other centres that had stayed open up to ‘Golden Week’ ending their seasons at the end of the weekend. In the Southern Hemisphere meanwhile, excitement continues to build with the first centres expected to open there for the start of the 2024 season in just over three weeks. There’s been more snowfall in New Zealand to keep pulse rates up and the major ski areas in South America, particularly Argentina, have seen more good snowfalls right down to the valley floor, bolstering powder dreams there too.


Cervina, Italy: 5 May 2024.


The season ended in Finland, Germany, Slovakia and Spain in the last week with Levi and Ruka enduRing their seven-month-long ski seasons, as did Germany’s Zugspitze, Slovakia’s Jasna and Europe’s most southerly ski centre, Sierra Nevada. So all of the still-open centres in Europe are either on glaciers in the Alps or up in the Arctic Circle of northern Scandinavia. Austria has come into its own with more than half of the still open ski centres located there. The other five countries left in Europe with open slopes have just one each. Conditions have been a little more settled than they have been the previous two or three weeks. The snow showers have continued through the first week of May in the Alps and northern Scandinavia but it has been 5-10cm accumulations rather than any more big falls. Temperatures in valleys have finally started rising too, reaching +20C in valleys.


It may be May but the snow has kept falling on high slopes in the Alps over the last week, even though accumulations are mostly in single digits rather than the sizable dumps we saw in April. Although we are now talking only about a dozen ski areas still open in Europe for the 2024-25 season, in only six countries, about half of these are in Austria …as was the case last autumn when Austria again had more centres open than anywhere else. There are five Austrian glacier areas still open, despite two, Solden and Pitztal, closing earlier this month, and only two other areas operating in the rest of the Alps. There are a few more weeks of the season left at the Kaunertal (390/400cm / 156/160”) and Stubai (0/570cm / 0/228”) glaciers, whilst the Molltal (290/290cm / 116/116”) and Kitzsteinhorn (0/345cm / 0/138”) glaciers stay open into June, and Hintertux (0/470cm / 0/188”) year-round. Most reported 10-20cm (4-8”) more snowfall this week with temperatures at or below freezing and little change to snow depths on a week ago. The Stubai and Hinterttux have the most terrain open in Austria and Europe, as well as the continent’s deepest bases, with more than 50km (321 miles) of runs still skiable each. Sunday was the last day of the season for the Titlis glacier at Engelberg, the Diavolezza Glacier near St Moritz and the last area still open at Adelboden, leaving only Zermatt’s (0/150cm / 0/60”) year-round area shared with neighbouring Cervinia on the Italian side of the border in action in Switzerland. It reported a foot (30cm) of fresh snowfall at the start of the weekend and still has 40km (25 miles) of slopes open. With Tignes, Val d’Isere and Val Thorens ending their seasons on Sunday, with snow still falling, in France, the only lift-accessed skiing possible is on the glacier at les 2 Alpes, which has a few runs left for recreational skiers, although most of the terrain is reserved for team training. Tignes reported 20cm (8″) of snowfall going into its closing weekend and its upper base depth is still at 4 metres (over 13 feet), hopefully, good news for the start of the summer ski season in just under two months. Italy also saw two of its three still-open areas close at the end of the weekend, with Livigno and Passo Tonale’s Presena glacier joining Cortina, which made it to May 1st. So until the Passo Stelvio summer ski area opens for its 2024 season, recently announced for Friday, 31st May (a day earlier than the June 1st previously announced) we just have Cervinia (0/150cm / 0/60”) offering access to its glacier slopes shared with Zermatt and currently with a few runs still open on the Italian side of the border. It reported at the weekend that its base depth up high was the deepest it has been all season as well as the heaviest snowfall last week with 30cm (12”) of fresh up high, and that it would be keeping more terrain open longer than previously thought, “as long as the snow lasts” in fact.

Riksgransen, Sweden: 2 May 2024.


The freezing point will continue between 2000-3000m leaving temperatures close to zero Celsius (-5 to +5C typically) on open glacier slopes. More settled conditions with some sunny spells but also still the chance of light snow showers at high elevations, and rain lower down. Valley temperatures at 1000m altitudes back up to +20C in the afternoons.

Western Alps snow forecast for the next 6-9 days.


With most of the Scandinavian ski areas that stayed open into May closing in the first week of the month, there are just two centres still open, both up in the Arctic Circle. Norway’s coastal Narvik is approaching what’s expected to be its final weekend of 23-24, but Riksgransen, just over the border from there in Sweden, plans to stay open for a few more weeks yet. What’s more, 24-hour daylight has now returned to the region and so it’s offering skiers and boarders the chance to hit the slopes under the midnight sun, opening its lifts and runs from 10 pm to 1 am. The first of Norway’s three glacier summer ski areas, Fonna (Folgefonn) has also started its 2024 season, reporting the snow lying very deep, but it’s initially only allowing access to teams who have booked privately, not to the general public (that’s from the middle of the month). As to the weather, there’s been plenty of sunshine, even at northerly latitudes, for much of this week with daytime highs hitting +10C, down nearer freezing overnight.

Stryn, Norway: 3 May 2024.


The recent warm and dry spell is expected to end from midweek onwards, with much colder temperatures, back in the freezing to -10 range, and some fairly significant (10-20cm / 4-8” daily) snowfalls likely. 

Scandinavia snow forecast for the next 6-9 days.

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