Alps Snow Forecast 2017

Alps snow forecast 2017 ? Hmm, it’s that time of the year again when we all start looking forward to winter and begin to wonder what kind of conditions we’ll get this time around.

First let’s have a quick recap on what happened in the 2015/16 season.

The early part of the season (December) saw limited snow across the whole of the alps.  Many of the higher altitude resorts were looking decidedly green coming into Christmas and there was a general feeling that it was looking likely to mirror the 2014/15 pattern where we didn’t see significant coverage until around the 10th January.

Now don’t get us wrong as there was snow to ski on during the Christmas period here in Chatel. Our comprehensive snow making facilities and north facing aspects meant that those families on their ski holiday could still get out and about. However, for those who wanted to get away from the pistes and ride more interesting terrain there was a little while to wait still.

Our first backcountry snowboarding week in 2016 ran from 23  January and we were super fortunate to see a dump of over one metre arrive the day or so before. Given that there was a slight base already we got to ride some amazing powder here in Chatel. It was also of the unusually cold and light variety which is more often found in Canada. Good times. It also allowed to us to get the splitboards out to access some great lines

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Anyway, back to the general conditions. 

Wind. It was everywhere during the 2016 season and made for some super tricky off-piste conditions and decision making due to the formation of wind slab. It did settle down eventually but for sure our guides really had to work hard to ensure good times and safe riding were had.

All in all snow depth and coverage over the course of the 2016 season was actually pretty good here in the Portes Du Soleil and beat the previous (2015) winter by a good margin.

If you take a look at the historical snow averages (taken from onthesnow ) it shows that in 2015 the maximum base depth in Avoriaz was 91″ whilst total snow fall measured 165″.

Compare that to 2016 and while the maximum base depth was just 75″  the total amount of snow that fell measured 232″

All in all it was an excellent season.

Interestingly we seem to have had the most snow in the February months over the last couple of seasons. This is particularly good news if you are coming on one of our high altitude Trip and Split splitboarding weeks which are generally run in March.

What will happen in 2017?

Well we are hoping for a better start to 2017 that’s for sure and no doubt there will be a lot of talk about this being  a La Niña year and debate on what that will bring. I could go on but think that there are far more informed forecasters out there who will do a better job than me! For a more in-depth look at the current situation then I can’t recommend checking out the reports and insights from Morris over at wepowder – its a great read whatever the weather.

 

 

 

 

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Written by Paul Shirley

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