After an epic Christmas and New Year in terms of snow, Mother Nature, and Andrea, her snow-filled storm, are showing no signs of letting up. So much snow has fallen this week that Meribel didn't open above 2000m today, the top of the Marmottes lift in Alpe d'Huez was pretty much buried, the road to Val d'Isere was closed overnight, as was the road and rail line into Zermatt, and Val Thorens is still snowed off from the rest of the world.
Despite one or two logistical problems, and the Daily Mail running stories of Brits 'trapped' in the snow — when in reality they were merely forced to stay inside their 5 star hotels and luxury chalets in Zermatt overnight — the snow is great news for the mountains.
Tree-lined skiing is coming into its own at the moment, with Les Gets, Serre Chevalier and Grimentz all offering somewhere fun to play in the snow. As the snow starts to calm the Security des Piste will be blasting the back-country back into a safer environment and the piste bashers will be out in force creating perfectly groomed, deep, runs across the Alps.
The snow is set to slow down across France over the next 5 days, with only a light dusting of around 5cm or so falling. Meribel currently boasting 211cm on the slopes, whereas Val d'Isere is boasting around 240cm, as 340cm has fallen this season already. The Paradiski, Portes du Soleil, three Valleys, Espace Killy, Alpe d'Huez and Les Deux Alpes will be offering incredible skiing as the sun attempts to come out tomorrow and Sunday.
Austria, on the other hand, is continuing to be covered in white stuff, the next five days will see around 56cm falling in St. Anton, 71cm in Maria Alm, 63cm in Saalbach and Hinterglemm and 56cm in Ischgl. Essentially upwards of half a metre is falling pretty much everywhere even in resorts I've never even heard of, such as Fulpmes!
Switzerland is a similar story with 55cm forecast in Flims Laax, 53cm in Davos, 52cm in Lenzerheide and 33cm in Engelberg. Italy is getting a slightly calmer dump of snow with around 25cm due to fall in Arabba, Madesimo, Corvara and Cortina and there is light snowfall across North America.
Last year's snowfall broke the wrong kind of records, but resorts such as Meribel have already eclipsed the entire sum of last winter's snow and it's only the 6th January. Next week in the Tarantaise it will be bluebird days, incredible snow and pretty tetchy, yet undoubtedly tempting, off-piste. We all prayed and the snow gods answered, now for a few days of sun to make the most of Andrea's gifts.
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