Spring has now arrived in the Austrian Alps with the best skiing to be had on the upper slopes and in the mornings. Runs to resort level are all open with full cover and there is now good cover higher up off-piste following the heavy snowfalls of 8/9th March.
There is more snow in the forecast this weekend on the upper slopes with next week forecast to see warmer temperatures again. Most resorts have just a few more weeks of operation and, if you are looking for skiing in April then it would be best to head higher to the likes of Solden, St Anton, Stubai Glacier and Kaprun.
In the meantime, it is classic spring conditions with a freeze-thaw cycle delivering firm skiing in the morning and softer conditions in the afternoon particularly on south-facing lower slopes. Spring terrace weather is here!
FIEBERBRUNN - SKI CIRCUS SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM-FIEBERBRUNN (40 cm lower slopes, 90 cm upper)
We skied Fieberbrunn and the Ski Circus Saalbach-Hinterglemm last weekend following some heavy snowfalls on the upper slopes. Off-piste conditions were still powdery particularly on north-facing slopes and the pistes were all in excellent condition. Lower south-facing slopes were soft in the afternoon in the spring sunshine and this is typical of this time of year. There is excellent snow cover across all slopes and plenty of snow to see the season out (Fieberbrunn closes 2/4/17, Saalbach 18/4/17).
KITZBUHEL (65 cm lower slopes, 114 cm upper slopes)
56/58 lifts are open in Kitzbuhel today and all runs to resort are open with the best skiing to be had higher up – most of the skiing in Kitzbuhel is up around 1200-2000 metres so don’t be put off by the resort altitude. Most lifts will be open until 18th April with a handful scheduled to stay open until May!
STUBAI (40 cm lower, 200 cm upper)
With its high altitude slopes, the freezing level (rain / snow line) is less of an issue than the lower lying resorts and Stubai’s upper snow depths will only continue to increase as we head towards April. Superb piste skiing under cloudless skies today and heavy snowfall forecast for the weekend. A great choice for late season skiing and a short transfer from Innsbruck. Open until May.
SOLDEN (100 cm, 265 cm)
Well over 2 metres of base on the upper glacial slopes of Solden right now and all runs to resort open with great skiing to be had particularly on the upper slopes. Runs to resort and worn and soft in the afternoon. Snow forecast for the weekend and warmer temperatures to follow next week. 30/33 lifts are open.
ST ANTON (60 cm, 220 cm)
The last couple of weeks snowfall higher up has changed the upper snow-depths dramatically and there is now 2m+ higher up. Great conditions off-piste and another foot of fresh in the forecast for Saturday 18.3.17. Resort level runs are well-worn and softer in the afternoon but this is not unusual for this time of year. 87/87 lifts are open and conditions for the rest of the season are looking good.
THE FORECAST - LOOKING AHEAD
A mix of snow and rain is forecast for this weekend with the freezing level ranging from just below 2,000 metres west in St Anton to around 1200 metres further east (Fieberbrunn). Up to 30 cm of fresh snow is forecast on the higher slopes however, it looks like it will rain at resort level softening the pistes. There is still plenty of cover and next week looks like a return to freeze-thaw conditions and warmer, more spring-like temperatures.
Head up early, hit the south-facing slopes first and follow the sun and aspect of the slopes at this time of year. That, and long, late terrace lunches!
Snowdepth source: Bergfex.com