Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

Eleanor Bashes Alps With 5-10 FEET of Snow, 100 MPH Winds

Tignes (above) has been pounded by snowfall recently. Photo: Courtesy of Marianne G/Flickr

Multiple feet of snow have fallen in the French and Swiss Alps, and next week looks to bring another 2 to 4 feet of snow and rain as winter storm Eleanor continues to batter Europe.

Hurricane force winds from Storm “Eleanor” slammed into northern Europe Wednesday 100 MPH winds, significant storm surges and several feet of snow for the French and Swiss Alps. To date, the snow totals have been gargantuan for much of the Alps.

Over 2 feet of snow was reported at the Chamonix ski resort. Aspen local Jimmy Rogers who currently is in Chamonix texted me “The seasons start was one of the best in 20 years but now heavy snow then rain has turned the Avalanche risk to 5/5 and shut things down.”

A webcam of the fresh stuff from Sainte Foy. 

Titlis-Engelberg in Switzerland is reporting a 188-inch base at the summit. Nax Valais ski area in the French Alps is reporting 39 inches in the past 24 hours and 76 inches in the past 7 days.  Also reported is 71 inches in the past week at the Sainte Foy-Tarentaise Ski resort in the French Alps. In searching historical snow data it appears that December featured nearly 15 days of measurable snowfall with the highest amounts coming late December through the current period. Many resorts in the French and Swiss Alps are near or above the100-inch base benchmark at the summits. Much less snow has fallen at low elevation terrain or resorts including rain at the bases. 

But, as alluded to by Rogers, the plethora of snowfall hasn't been all positive. 

Searching various sites today shows many ski areas are closed or have limited terrain open due to high avalanche danger. And, beyond ski closures, the storm has caused tragedy. A few days ago a skier was killed by a falling tree in Chamonix, and according to the BBC, two others were killed in the Basque region of Spain when they were swept away by a very large wave.

At present multiple mountain passes are closed throughout France.

Looking ahead, additional feet of snow are possible in the Alps favoring France and Switzerland in the next 7-10 days. Warmer temperatures may keep mixed precipitation at the bases with snow at upper elevation resorts. Temperature models stay relatively warm at lower elevations with a general cooling trend during the middle-to-end of next week. Many roads are currently not passable in the French Alps this morning.

There's no relief in sight for the Alps. Photo: Courtesy of Weather Bell

The weather models for these regions are showing significant high elevation snowfall in the next 7-10 days. Below is a map showing significant snowfall in the French and southern Swiss Alps through the middle of next week. The areas in pink are for the highest elevations per the GFS model in excess of 50 inches (seven-day totals for upper elevations may exceed this). Peak snowfall may come late this weekend through early next week. Other areas of the Alps including Austria and Italy will also see measurable snowfall (lower amounts). 

Play
READ THE STORY
65-Year-Old Killington Local to Set World Record With Over 6 MILLION Vertical Feet This Year
Up Next Ski

65-Year-Old Killington Local to Set World Record With Over 6 MILLION Vertical Feet This Year

65-Year-Old Killington Local to Set World Record With Over 6 MILLION Vertical Feet This Year

According to , a 65-year-old local skier at Vermont's Killington Resort is attempting to set the official world record for the most vertical feet clocked in one ski season by ticking off an astonishing 6.4 feet of vertical before the season ends at the end of the month. RELATED: What does it take to ski 61,000 vertical feet in a day Scott Howard of nearby Bridgeton, Vermont, told the that he has been skiing seven days a week and logging eight-to-nine-hour days on the hill all season while

Play
READ THE STORY
Ortovox Announces Recall on 3+ Model Avalanche Beacons
Up Next Gear & Tech

Ortovox Announces Recall on 3+ Model Avalanche Beacons

Ortovox Announces Recall on 3+ Model Avalanche Beacons

Ortovox has announced a recall on ORTOVOX 3+ avalanche transceivers running their software version 2.1 after discovering temporary disruptions of the transmission function. According to Ortovox, there have been no known accidents attributed to the software error, but thanks to further testing from their Safety Academy partners, users found the defect. A recall form will be available starting May 25 on the Ortovox website to return 3+ beacons and have the software updated free of charge by

Play
READ THE STORY
The US Marine Corps Wants New Skis For Its Troops
Up Next Ski

The US Marine Corps Wants New Skis For Its Troops

The US Marine Corps Wants New Skis For Its Troops

After using aging ski systems for years, the U.S. Marine Corps issued a request for a new ski system to allow troops to fight and operate in cold mountainous environments. The report, published in March, details requirements for a new standard issue system that includes compatibility with a multifunction ski/walking boot, new poles and special bindings. According to the request, $12.75 million are up for grabs for a contractor. Last year, the Marine Corps contracted the widely-used NATO ski