Nothing affects the success of a skiing or boarding holiday quite as much as the quality of the snow. It is actually the quality that matters most, but in practice you will find a lot of emphasis is put on the quantity, because it's much easier to assess and the two tend to go hand in hand.
If snow is in short supply, that means the snow on the ground will be thin (so there will be rocks poking through) and probably hard. If snow is abundant the runs should be completely covered, and there is at least a chance that some of it fell quite recently and is still soft and fluffy, which is the best. For the best snow conditions on your ski holiday choose a snow-sure ski resort.
In the last two decades, dependence on real snow has been greatly reduced by large installations of snowcannons designed to create an artificial substitute. If made carefully and "groomed" skilfully, artificial snow can provide an impressively rewarding piste surface. This is regularly achieved in many American resorts, and the European resorts have improved and increased their snow making capacity in recent years. Most large resorts in the Alps have the means to keep many of their runs open in weather conditions that would previously have closed them, especially during the spring when the pistes are patchy.
Snowmaking is mainly of value in the earlier part of the season and also late season (though there are American resorts that make such a depth of artificial snow in winter that they can create mini-glaciers on which skiing and boarding can go on into high summer). It works by forcing water and pressured air through a snow canon at quite low temperatures which turns into snow when released into the air. It ahs changed the length of the season in many resorts, especially in American resorts that are able to open in November or early December because of snowmaking.
What resorts have the best snow making facilities?Val d'Isere
Val d'Isere now claims for guaranteed snow, not only because of its high altitude and snow history but also because of the La Snow Factory, the largest artificial snowmaking facility in Europe. Carved out of rock, situated beneath the Olympique lift, the facility can produce 1,000 cubic metres of snow an hour which is three times more than a regular plant!
Courchevel and the Three Valleys
In summer 2018, Courchevel put forward a three year plan to work on 115 new snow making facilities which proved to double its snow production and makes for 700 in the Three Valleys ski area.
Obergurgl & Hochgurgl
The resorts' snow making facilities can produce 5000 cubic metres of snow per hour, used during certain months. 90% of its slopes can be covered by snow making machines and ranks amongst the top ski resorts for reliable snow.