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Worldwide Mountain & Snow Sports Discussion 2016/17


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Morning all,

Up early trawling through snow forecast.com and Malcolm's model analysis seems spot on. There is snow in the forecast for France for Monday and Tuesday next week. Avoiraz could get 24cm+, Chamonix  possibly 20cm+. Other French resorts don't do as well but at this point theres plenty of time for change.

I myself am due to head off on the 7th January, but at this stage a decision still hasn't been made as to the location. A tiny bit troublesome........

Edited by Norrona2015
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It's been an absolute incredible day in this part of the Alps @gareth moo. A real treat for a weather loving, mountain loving addict like me!! It's now 24 hours since my last post and this evening (Mo

Temp down to -19c last night in the nearby valley town of Tamsweg. Currently -10c on the mountain. Picture looking SSW with the Ankogel Group in the background. The runs you see are just one side of t

Great reading all these plans and photos, thank you all. I 'hope' to do my usual in mid Jan after the Lauberhorn for maybe 6-7 days gentle skiing. Not bad at 78 if I manage it!

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11 hours ago, Blessed Weather said:

Hi hammy. Thanks for the pm. I'm replying here as it may be relevant to others departing for the Alps this coming weekend.

First of all, I now understand your concerns as you depart for La Plagne on 31st Dec. That is one fantastic resort for skiing and I've been there twice. Linked to Les Arcs too, so a day over there is well worth it.

From what I can see from today's model output, you stand a reasonable chance of seeing snowfall of between 5 and 10 cm on Tues 3rd Jan. I sincerely hope that is an underestimate from the models and you end up with more. Here's the 12z charts today for next Tues 3rd (La Plagne location arrowed) - GFS, Arpege hourly at 03.00, and Arpege cumulative to next Tuesday morning 07.00 (furthest chart at the mo):

GFS Precip 12z 29Dec for 03Jan.pngArpege 12z 29Dec for 03Jan La Plagne.jpgArpege 12z Accum Precip 29Dec for 03Jan.png

@Blessed Weather, thank you so much for this great analysis.  Only been able to have a quick look this morning but the GFS is probably marginally better looking.  History however has thought me not to take GFS precipitation charts at day 5 at face value! To my untrained eye the ecm and UKMO don't look as promising? This could be just me reading the charts incorrectly as they don't provide precipitation charts!? I'd gladly bank 10cm midweek at this stage.  Just to top up and give the place a more seasonal look!

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I know this is the alps thread but any views on conditions going forward for Borovets bulgaria? 

I am off on 14th but they have had a few small/mod falls opening up over half runs but they have less snow makers than alps so praying for a decent fall in next week or so to utilize whole resort.

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12 minutes ago, Nights King said:

I know this is the alps thread but any views on conditions going forward for Borovets bulgaria? 

I am off on 14th but they have had a few small/mod falls opening up over half runs but they have less snow makers than alps so praying for a decent fall in next week or so to utilize whole resort.

Hi,

This from snow-forecast 29th December update:

BULGARIA There was cloud and traces of light snow in Bulgaria on Thursday 29th December. It wasn't a powder day but much need fresh snow finally arrived in Bulgaria. The best skiing could be found on the upper slopes. Bansko(20/40cm) remains the pick of our featured resorts in Bulgaria at the moment. Thankfully the snowy trend is set to continue until the end of the year. Borovets (20/90cm) is expecting the most snow with 20cm forecast to land before the weekend.

The webcams look great this morning!

Looking ahead till next Wednesday, very cold/cold. After that a case of sit tight and see what unfolds.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Norrona2015 said:

Hi,

This from snow-forecast 29th December update:

BULGARIA There was cloud and traces of light snow in Bulgaria on Thursday 29th December. It wasn't a powder day but much need fresh snow finally arrived in Bulgaria. The best skiing could be found on the upper slopes. Bansko(20/40cm) remains the pick of our featured resorts in Bulgaria at the moment. Thankfully the snowy trend is set to continue until the end of the year. Borovets (20/90cm) is expecting the most snow with 20cm forecast to land before the weekend.

The webcams look great this morning!

Looking ahead till next Wednesday, very cold/cold. After that a case of sit tight and see what unfolds.

 

 

Thanks for that I didn't even check written to be honest as it said alps etc. Anyone know if the BBC start doing a ski video forecast soon? In previous years we have had a weekly video but I have seen nothing of any note this season from them except a brief few lines under winter sports with no information.

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8 minutes ago, Nights King said:

Thanks for that I didn't even check written to be honest as it said alps etc. Anyone know if the BBC start doing a ski video forecast soon? In previous years we have had a weekly video but I have seen nothing of any note this season from them except a brief few lines under winter sports with no information.

Unsure about the BBC ski forecast, I know Sky do something similar.

Perhaps have look at the blogger Lance. Based in Bulgaria he posts regular live snow report videos from Bansko, warts and all.  Bansko is south of Borovets, couple of hours by car, but might useful for a general overview of day to day conditions. I think he does look aheads as well. 

http://banskoblog.com

 

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1 hour ago, Norrona2015 said:

(Snipped)

I myself am due to head off on the 7th January, but at this stage a decision still hasn't been made as to the location. A tiny bit troublesome........

I think me and you have hit lucky and picked a good week! I suspect most of the Alps will see some good snowfall that week, although a point to bear in mind is that both the GEFS and ECM ENS mean 500mb height anomalies (yesterday and this morning) suggest that in the run up and start of our trip (a) more northern Alpine resorts might fare better in a flow that is (generally) going to be from a northerly point, and (b) eastern Alpine resorts are likely be closer to both lower heights and lower temperatures. Then during our week suggestions that low heights will move into central Europe with higher pressure NW of UK and a more NE/E flow. So good news generally for the Alps, but I have a sneaky feeling Austrian resorts might fare better over the next couple of weeks!

GEFS 9th Jan GEFS 0z Mean Euro 500 Height Anom 30Dec for 09Jan.png ECM ENS 9th Jan ECM ENS 0z 30Dec for 09Jan.GIF

25 minutes ago, Nights King said:

I know this is the alps thread but any views on conditions going forward for Borovets bulgaria? 

I am off on 14th but they have had a few small/mod falls opening up over half runs but they have less snow makers than alps so praying for a decent fall in next week or so to utilize whole resort.

We're all snow freaks in this thread and use it to discuss winter sports anywhere in the World NK, so you are very welcome! :)

I think Borovets is going to do very well over the next couple of weeks as the overall weather pattern seems very favourable. Here's the immediate forecast from snow-forecast.com suggesting up to 19 cms over the next few days. Then a couple of charts from this morning's GFS for the 9th Jan showing another snow event for Bulgaria. :good:

Borovets Forecast 30Dec.jpgGFS 850 0z 30Dec for 09Jan.pngGFS Precip 0z 30Dec for 09Jan.png

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1 hour ago, Blessed Weather said:

I think me and you have hit lucky and picked a good week! I suspect most of the Alps will see some good snowfall that week, although a point to bear in mind is that both the GEFS and ECM ENS mean 500mb height anomalies (yesterday and this morning) suggest that in the run up and start of our trip (a) more northern Alpine resorts might fare better in a flow that is (generally) going to be from a northerly point, and (b) eastern Alpine resorts are likely be closer to both lower heights and lower temperatures. Then during our week suggestions that low heights will move into central Europe with higher pressure NW of UK and a more NE/E flow. So good news generally for the Alps, but I have a sneaky feeling Austrian resorts might fare better over the next couple of weeks!

GEFS 9th Jan GEFS 0z Mean Euro 500 Height Anom 30Dec for 09Jan.png ECM ENS 9th Jan ECM ENS 0z 30Dec for 09Jan.GIF

 

Thanks for your post Malcolm, as always informative and appreciated.

As of this morning a return to Switzerland is being suggested, straight flight to Geneva from Aberdeen on the 7th, then onwards to Sion. However as I've never been to Austria and having seen Carinthians stunning photos and read your thoughts above, I'm very keen to go there. Any recommendation's for a quiet resort for intermediates and above?

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Well that's the third day of skiing in Serre Chevalier under our belts and it ain't half bad. OK the snow line is high, but once you are up the first lift then from there on up all the pistes are open and in decent condition, mixture of natural and fresh snow. They do get worn in some places later in the day due to the pressure of numbers on one of the busiest weeks.

Getting up as the lifts open gives you a good 2.5hrs of so on pristine, quiet pistes, quick early lunch then ski for another couple of hours. After that we give up to save the legs and by then it's busy, lumpy and scraped in places anyway. Despite copious sunshine the snow hasn't been getting too soft even in the sun. 

Thoroughly enjoying it.

It'd be nice to have some fresh snow but look like the best we might see is late Monday, which is our last skiing day so probably won't be skiing fresh stuff. Typical if it's snowing as we get on the transfer bus on Tue morning. 

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3 hours ago, Norrona2015 said:

Thanks for your post Malcolm, as always informative and appreciated.

As of this morning a return to Switzerland is being suggested, straight flight to Geneva from Aberdeen on the 7th, then onwards to Sion. However as I've never been to Austria and having seen Carinthians stunning photos and read your thoughts above, I'm very keen to go there. Any recommendation's for a quiet resort for intermediates and above?

And thank you for your kind comments Norrona.

Well I've skied many resorts in Austria, but I'm struggling with your criteria of "quiet" and "for intermediates and above". When I had a young family the destinations tended to be lower level, family friendly and easy skiing. Then in later years for my trips with the "boys" the choice was for more boisterous resorts!

But the one that sticks out for me for wonderful and varied skiing is the ski circus based around St. Anton (Lech, Zurs, St Christoph). I know St. Anton itself is reknown for being very boisterous, but you can stay in one of the quieter villages but still enjoy a massive skiing area. I thought this review on the Ski Club website summed up St Christoph this very well:

"Most tiny hamlets in ski resorts are low down, on the edge of the lift system with the wrong aspect. St Christoph is a gem. It is higher than St Anton, Lech and Zurs and better located in the St Anton lift system than St Anton. If you apres ski and want clubs it is not for you. If you are content to ski and then to be with friends and family in your hotel then it is very special.....and the Post Bus or a taxi can take you very quickly on the odd trip to the towns."

Anyway, good luck with your decision. Hopefully our Austrian "expert" @carinthian might be able to add some ideas?

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44 minutes ago, Blessed Weather said:

And thank you for your kind comments Norrona.

Well I've skied many resorts in Austria, but I'm struggling with your criteria of "quiet" and "for intermediates and above". When I had a young family the destinations tended to be lower level, family friendly and easy skiing. Then in later years for my trips with the "boys" the choice was for more boisterous resorts!

But the one that sticks out for me for wonderful and varied skiing is the ski circus based around St. Anton (Lech, Zurs, St Christoph). I know St. Anton itself is reknown for being very boisterous, but you can stay in one of the quieter villages but still enjoy a massive skiing area. I thought this review on the Ski Club website summed up St Christoph this very well:

"Most tiny hamlets in ski resorts are low down, on the edge of the lift system with the wrong aspect. St Christoph is a gem. It is higher than St Anton, Lech and Zurs and better located in the St Anton lift system than St Anton. If you apres ski and want clubs it is not for you. If you are content to ski and then to be with friends and family in your hotel then it is very special.....and the Post Bus or a taxi can take you very quickly on the odd trip to the towns."

Anyway, good luck with your decision. Hopefully our Austrian "expert" @carinthian might be able to add some ideas?

Norrance its looking very cold for your week. Hopefully the snow will deliver for many. Verbier and Tyon, Nendez ski area has to be one of the best in Europe  with its well groomed pistes and long runs. Obviously, I have a bias towards Austria with its village atmosphere added into the mix. As Malcolm says, Lech now linked to St Anton offers some wonderful ski-ing, mostly above the tree line and is one of my top 5 ski areas I know. Serfaus, Nauders, the list goes on. A quite resort with intermediate and above...that's a bit difficult to assess, probabaly  Lech would fit the bill .. Anyway, wherever you decide, have a good one..

C

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Many thanks Malcolm and Carinthian for taking the time to share your Austrian knowledge and experience, it's much appreciated!

I'll check out the resorts you mention tonight, make a decision over the weekend and booking Monday.

Thanks again!

 

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20 hours ago, J10 said:

Latest Expected Snow Charts from http://www.snow-forecast.com

Decent snow amounts for western parts of the Alps in the next 3 days.,

Snow 31 Dec 0-3.JPG

This risk moves East for the following 3 days.

Snow 31 Dec 3-6.JPG

First of all - a very Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone!

And after the enjoyable distractions of the festivities it's back to the hunt for snow...... and I'm struggling to understand how snow-forecast.com are projecting decent snowfall amounts for the west of the Alps over the next few days. Especially as my understanding is that their forecasts are based on GFS.

Despite the huge swings in medium term prospects by the models, we are now getting into the reliable for the coming week and looking at GFS and Arpege output, both are suggesting there's only a few cms of snow expected in the French Alps. The Swiss and Austrian Alps fare much better with anything from 20 cm up to 40 cm in the forecast.

First of all, here's this morning's 6z GFS charts showing multiple bands of snow moving down into the Alps. Note how each band is lighter and patchier over the French Alps. Charts are for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th Jan:

GFS 6z 01Jan Precip for 03Jan.pngGFS 6z 01Jan Precip for 04Jan.pngGFS 6z 01Jan Precip for 05Jan.pngGFS 6z 01Jan Precip for 08Jan.png

If we look at the snowfall accumulation charts it confirms the scenario that 'east is best'. The first chart shows the first band of precipitation over the UK and obviously for T0 hour nothing yet over the Alps. The next chart is 3 days time (Tues evening) and shows very little for the French Alps. The final chart is for next Sunday 8th and still very little for the French Alps. So the current 'stuck' pattern is doing French resorts no favours at all, whilst conditions will hopefully have improved considerably for Swiss and Austrian resorts by week end.

GFS 6z 01Jan Accum Precip to 01Jan.GIFGFS 6z 01Jan Accum Precip to 03Jan.GIFGFS 6z 01Jan Accum Precip to 08Jan.GIF

 

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Happy New Year or indeed Bonne année, Ein glückliches neues Jahr, Buon anno

I have gone back into Snow-forecast and they have changed their projected snow quite considerably since yesterday, so this far better agrees to the current models above.

Snow 1 Jan 0-3.JPG

For 3-6 days below, appreciable snowfall for much of Western Austria, and parts of Germany and Switzerland.

Snow 1 Jan 3-6.JPGSnow 1 Jan 3-6 (East Alps).JPG

Malcolm what do you think is the best site for snow predictions, as this is somewhat problematic. 

 

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2 hours ago, J10 said:

Happy New Year or indeed Bonne année, Ein glückliches neues Jahr, Buon anno

I have gone back into Snow-forecast and they have changed their projected snow quite considerably since yesterday, so this far better agrees to the current models above.

Snow 1 Jan 0-3.JPG

For 3-6 days below, appreciable snowfall for much of Western Austria, and parts of Germany and Switzerland.

Snow 1 Jan 3-6.JPGSnow 1 Jan 3-6 (East Alps).JPG

Malcolm what do you think is the best site for snow predictions, as this is somewhat problematic. 

 

To be honest Julian I don't have a "best" model but tend to check two or three so I can make comparisons and see if it's "all models from the same hymn sheet' or if one looks like it's been on the sherry (like THAT GFS the other day!!). Personally, I'm still in awe at the amount of info the Internet allows me to access for free - wonderful compared with what was available when I first started skiing and I often arrived at a resort not having a clue what to expect!! The ones I use are:

  • GFS high res - usually the first one I look at; goes to day 10 but HR only to T84. Good in HR mode, nevertheless comparisons advised!
  • Arpege - use the French charts which show all but the east of Austria. Goes to 5 days and fairly accurate.
  • NMM - the Swiss charts show all the Alps, but only go to 3 days. I suspect the least accurate.
  • Euro4 - good to check near-term with this one, but it only goes to 48 hours.
  • Netweather Alps Charts - great for a detailed view of the Alps incl 0C isotherm, precip & 850 temps. But based on GFS so comment above applies.

For particular resorts I use:

  • snow-forecast.com - I do like their bottom/mid/top of mountain data and presentation. Based on GFS.
  • Meteo-France - always worth checking what the national forecaster says! Goes to 14 days but later days clearly become less and less likely to verify, although in fairness, Meteo-France snow their % confidence for each day. Not sure what model they use - I would imagine Arpege or ECM, so a nice comparison with GFS. Enter the 'station' (resort). Note that the + symbol can be clicked on and it gives details for that day.
    http://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-montagne/
  • Wetter.at - not sure if this is the best for Austria ( @carinthian might have a better option?) but this goes to 9 days. Not sure what model, but I would imagine ECM. Again, enter the resort name. http://www.wetter.at/wetter/sport-freizeit/ski-wetter

Hope that's of interest!

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We are now within range of the Euro4 model for this week's main 'snow event' for the Alps. The Cold Front approaching from the north hits the Alps in the early hours of Weds 4th and snowfall continues into Thurs 5th. The 6-hourly charts from 06.00 4th Jan:

Euro4 03Jan for 04Jan 06.00.gifEuro4 03Jan for 04Jan 12.00.gifEuro4 03Jan for 04Jan 18.00.gifEuro4 03Jan for 05Jan 00.00.gif

A quick look at a few resorts for the forecast snowfall amounts from snow-forecast.com (GFS based) confirms what the Euro4 is visually showing - the least snow for the French Alps and the most for the Austrian Alps.

La Plagne France 4 cms
Feldberg Germany 19 cms
Wengen Switzerland 34 cms
St. Anton Austria 82 cms

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World snow overview courtesy of snow-forecast.com

http://www.snow-forecast.com/overviews/tips_full

Slight change of plan for my first trip of the season, solely based on expected snowfall, conditions etc.

BULGARIA Stable and dry weather conditions over the Bulgarian ski resorts on Tuesday 3rd January. Conditions were firm today and the off-piste skiing is still very, very limited. However, big snowfalls are expected before this weekend. Borovets can expect just under one metre of new snow by Friday with another 25cm over the weekend. Bansko (20/60cm) and Pamporovo (65/60cm) will get only slightly less than this, finally. These much needed snowfalls will continue on and off for the next week.

 

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Happy New Year all, feels colder today in South London than it did all week in sunny Tignes!

We had a great Christmas week on the slopes, beautiful weather and the snow seemed pretty good considering it had been hanging around for a month, but by the end of the week, we had worn it out a bit for the New Year skiers. Now home and looking forward to our next trip in March - where shall we go I wonder? I'm sure it will snow somewhere in Europe before then!

In the meantime I'll be enjoying the snow reports vicariously:)

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This is more like it.... this report from the Austrian weather website wetter.at today.

Massive cold front comes
For weeks, the ski resorts complained about too little snow, they had to help themselves with tons of artificial snow.
Then, from the north-west, a massive cold front approaches, which within a week in the mountains up to one meter and even in Vienna a few centimeters of snow arrives and the temperatures properly downwards crank. The details of the weather:

Tuesday: Still friendly. One last time dominated by the sunshine, but in the north individual snow peaks are possible. Maximum temperature: 4 degrees.
Wednesday: cold, storm and snow. A massive cold front approaches. There are many clouds, lots of snowfall. Wind gusts of up to 90 km / h are possible in the north and east. In the night on Thursday it is to be known even in the capital.
Thursday: Snowfall. From Vorarlberg to the western part of Lower Austria snow continues to snow. Only in the south it stays sunny. In the night on Friday meteorologists in some alpine valleys expect up to minus 26 degrees!

New snow forecast for Thursday: Austrian snow forecast 03Jan.jpeg

http://www.wetter.at/wetter/oesterreich-wetter/1-Meter-Neuschnee-und-minus-25-Grad/264201430

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