2nd April 2023
Last modified on April 6th, 2023
Good conditions continue in the Alps as PlanetSKI embarks on a multi-resort Spring ski road trip. UPDATED
Thursday 6th April
The PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, is out on the slopes of Chamonix, France.
But before hitting the slopes a good breakfast is required, and check out the views from the fabulous Hotel Richemond right in the centre of town.
This is THE way to start a ski day.
It seemed busy as we arrived at the top of the Brevent gondola lift mid-morning.
But within 5-minutes…
Then the PlanetSKI video snow report needed to be recorded and posted.
Conditions remain good for the time of year:
And as we switched the camera off we looked upwards.
James mentioned in the video a little, er, break he has from skiing this winter due to illness.
6-weeks in total.
Several people have messaged PlanetSKI asking about his health.
Others who have known about his poor health these past few weeks have said it is good simply to see him back in the mountains doing what he does best.
“I’m really touched so many people have expressed concern from my throw away video remark, some friends and others who are regular PlanetSKI readers but whom I have never met,” said James.
“But honestly it really wasn’t that bad.
“I was struck down by a nasty virus in Norway, bed-ridden for a couple of weeks in London that included a few hospital visits including an emergency entrance to the Urgent Care Unit of the A&E at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
“Fortunately I remember little about it, and then there was several weeks of recovery.
“But I’m now restored to full health and out in the mountains where I belong making a few ski turns.
“On more important matters there is expected to be some fresh snow on Friday in Chamonix, so I’ll keep you posted.”
More to follow…
Wednesday 5th April
PlanetSKI has just arrived in Chamonix on the first leg of our Spring ski road trip – three weeks or so to come folks!
Next up is through the Mont Blanc tunnel to La Thuille in Italy, then back to France for Les Menuires and Val Thorens in Les3Vallees.
The plans is then heading to the Tirol in Austria and its glaciers ski areas around Innsbruck taking in Zermatt in Switzerland on the way.
We’re finishing towards the end of April.
Maybe we’ll be out in the Alps to May if conditions allow.
“It’s late season conditions but there is a chill in the air here in Chamonix,” said PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, as he arrived in town.
“The view from my balcony at the wonderful Hotel Richemond in the centre of town showed no snow at low altitude, but the promise of more up in the clouds.”
“On a stroll round before dinner my expectations were raised.
“Chamonix is one of my all-time favourite places in the mountains. Period. ”
James is in the Chamonix Valley for a few days (or longer) so more from him later.
What about the snow conditions in the rest of the Alps?
There is a high pressure system dominating proceedings so there is no snow falling, but the cold temperatures James mentioned are helping things.
“Over the next few days, the weather will gradually turn a little bit more unsettled,” said the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin from weathertoski.co.uk.
“Many areas will remain dry but there will an increasing chance of some snow showers, especially from Friday onwards and across the northern half of the Alps.
“It will remain on the cold side with any snow falling to relatively low levels.
“Freeze-thaw conditions are in place across the Alps, as is normal in fine weather at this time of year.
“However, thanks to cold temperatures the daily thaw is slower than usual, which is good news for those who dislike excessive slush too early in the day.”
More to follow…
Monday 3rd April
“Wow, another fabulous bluebird day in the 3 Valleys,” says our Chief Reporter, Jane Peel, who has sneaked a couple of bonus hours on the slopes at the end of a long weekend.
“It was cold for April, clear and with no wind so we headed up to Val Thorens for some great piste skiing and views.”
“I’m very envious of the Easter holiday crowd who are able to stay the whole week.”
See here for Jane’s full report:
More to follow…
Sunday 2nd April
“It’s been a way better than expected day across Les3Vallees,” says our Chief Reporter, Jane Peel.
“I woke to clear blue skies and cooler temperatures than yesterday so it looked set for a great day to blast around across the 3 Valleys.
“And so it proved to be. The morning was glorious with snow conditions more like January than April and some great pockets of light powder off-piste.
“Around lunchtime the weather we’d expected to wake up to arrived with overcast skies.
“With the clouds came slightly raised temperatures so the lower slopes softened up a little but nothing like you would expect this late in the season.”
PlanetSKI reader, Simon Wilson, has been in La Tour in Chamonix over the weekend.
“It’s a short trip but we got really lucky with the weather and thanks to our guide, Gareth Hughes, we got some excellent fresh tracks first thing as he guided us around the back bowls from the Tete de Baume chairlift,” said Simon.
“Although the sun was warm when it came out, conditions in the morning were quite wintry, with a few inches of fresh powder to keep us interested until a late lunch.”
The fresh snow in the Alps has seen a growing interest in late season skiing according to the UK ski tour operators and agents we have spoken to.
The latest snowfall seems to have given skiers & snowboarders confidence there will be decent snow-cover well into April.
“Last minute bookers are definitely seeing the snow forecast, with enquiries for the second Easter week through the roof,” said Richard Sinclair from SNO.
“With more snow forecast in places, skiers without children are booking up the following week in April too.”
But here at PlanetSKI we sadly don’t recommend heading to Andorra in the Pyrenees.
One resort, Pal-Arinsal, has closed two weeks early.
It made the surprise announcement on Saturday as the snow conditions are poor with little change in the immediate forecast.
“We inform you that tomorrow will be the last opening day of the winter season at Pal Arinsal,” said the resort on social media.
“The high temperatures have affected the condition of the tracks and do not allow us to keep the resort open.
Us comuniquem que demà serà l’últim dia d’obertura de la temporada d’hivern a Pal Arinsal. Les altes temperatures han afectat a l’estat de les pistes i no ens permeten mantenir l’obertura de l’estació.https://t.co/5j3yHBh9Jx pic.twitter.com/fKe2xYQBj4
— Pal Arinsal (@palarinsal) April 1, 2023
But things look better in the higher and mostly north-facing resort of Arcalis in Andorra.
— Ordino Arcalís (@OrdinoArcalis) April 2, 2023
And let’s not forget North America.
We have been concentrating our snow reports recently on the Alps, but huge amounts of snow continue to fall over in the USA.
It has been a record-breaking winter in the US Rockies.
Some resorts in Utah were shut on Saturday as another storm pounded the region.
Alta and Snowbird are closed today. Snowbasin is open with somewhat limited terrain. The snow stakes tell the story. pic.twitter.com/s9fQbJgZ71
— Wasatch Snow Forecast (@WasatchSnow) March 31, 2023
The Mammoth Mountain ski resort in the Eastern Sierra in California has declared its snowiest season on record after 28 inches (70 centimeters) of snow since Tuesday.
Its season snowfall has now reached 695 inches (17.6 meters) at its main lodge and 870 inches (22.1 meters) at the summit of the 11,053-foot (3,369-meter) peak.
PlanetSKI is heading to California in May to take advantage of the historic snowfalls.
We’re hoping to ski Mammoth Mountain and Palisades Tahoe, plus maybe some others.
California officially has its largest snowpack in recorded history, passing 1982-1983.
The statewide snowpack is an astonishing 236% of the peak normal and nearly 300% in the Southern Sierra. pic.twitter.com/SiGNeCJ8W1
— Colin McCarthy (@US_Stormwatch) March 30, 2023
More to follow, do check back…