White Christmas?

Snow reports: European ski resorts set to celebrate the whitest Christmas in years with more snow in the forecast

The leading European ski resorts are more than ready for Christmas this year thanks to substantial natural snow cover. The Alps benefitted from excellent early winter snowfall and skiing now at all elevations is on dry groomed cover. The Pyrenees also are in good shape with all runs open whilst Eastern Europe is preparing to offer almost all uplift for the week ahead. Across Scandinavia resorts are preparing for the arrival of heavy snowfall through Christmas week. The North American winter has so far not delivered the very large volumes of snow they experienced last season but skiing conditions are still decent in all the major resorts with the freshest and deepest snow through this weekend to be found in British Columbia and also across New England.
For a specific resort, check our full snow reports and weather alerts sponsored by Crystal Ski Holidays.


It is an especially good year to be in the French Alps for Christmas as snow conditions are exceptionally good and overhead conditions mostly sunny through until Boxing Day, when significant fresh snowfall arrives. Argentiere (1,240m), neighbouring Chamonix, is now reporting 170cm of consolidated snow depth on upper slopes and skiing down from top station at 3,275m is on dry soft snow. Today 39 of 45 lifts are on offer but more will open from this weekend. Average base elevation temperature highs will remain cool, not much above 0ÂșC, so expect good snow conditions to be maintained until the fresh snow arrives.


All the Austrian ski areas are in great shape as we head into Christmas week with skiing typically on firm packed or packed powder snow depending on slope aspect. Through until Christmas Day the forecast indicates cool, bright and often sunny weather with only occasional snow showers in the north but then fresh snow arrives and temperatures fall. Mayrhofen (630m) at low elevation sometimes lacks natural snow cover on lower slopes at this stage of the season but this year all 25 lifts and all pistes are open with 130cm of snow base at the top station elevation of 2,250m.


The Swiss Alps caught some of the heaviest snowfalls of December and average recorded snow depths for the leading resorts are the most impressive in Europe right now, with Engelberg reporting over four metres of snow cover on its highest pistes. Less extreme snow depths but still excellent ski conditions are on offer in Zermatt today where skiers are enjoying sunshine and groomed powder snow with base depths of over 100cm at mid-mountain level. The resort will be opening the majority of uplift and all pistes from this weekend in anticipation of what should be an excellent Christmas period. The Swiss Alps will be cool and mostly bright through until December 26 when fresh snowfall and lower temperatures arrive.


It has been a fine start to the ski season across the Italian Alps and the Dolomites with substantial early-season snowfall meaning far less reliance on snow cannon to provide lower elevation snow cover than in recent winters. Overhead conditions are currently bright and dry but temperatures remain low enough for groomed dry snow on piste at all elevations. Cortina d'Ampezzo (1,220m) in the Dolomites is offering excellent piste skiing right now with firm packed snow and base depths of 90cm under the top station elevation of 3,240m. The forecast for Cortina and the region is dry and cool through until Boxing Day when fresh snowfall and colder air is expected.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/Ski-snow-forecast-and-reports/


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