When it comes to skiing, one thing you really do need over anything else, is snow. You don’t necessarily need a massive amount of it, but there’s nothing quite as bad as having a ski holiday with insufficient or poor quality snow!

What can guarantee good snowconditions? Weather is unpredicatable at best, especially the last few decades… The impact of climate change is not something many ski resorts want to talk about. There is no question, however, that the c-factor is a force to be reckoned with. Several small low-lying Swiss and French resorts have already become unviable, and for others it is just a matter of time.

Snow-sure ski resorts are all about altitude, the higher the resort the better the chance of good snow. Still, there are huge differences between skiresorts when it comes to snowdepth and snow quality. Most resorts claim to be snow sure but quite often this is simply a marketing ploy. Some hide an over-reliance on artificial snow-making.

In addition, many ski websites compile lists of snow sure skiresorts which entails in arguable and unsubstantiated claims of the ‘snowiest skiresorts’. The rankings never exceed a top ten of usual suspects. Are those lists of snow sure ski resorts based on facts or perception? What about all other skiresorts: how do they compare to a top-league?

Skiweather.eu is here to provide you with an honest and unbiased answer to settle this discussion once and for all. We have conductued an extensive and thorough research which took place over the best part of the past 10 years. A massive amount of 7.5mln data records were processed and analyzed. The objective was to rank all skiresorts based on both snowdepth and temperature measured at top and bottom stations.

Dimension reduction and clustering

In this research we have assigned scores to over 1.500 ski resorts based on the weekly relative position towards the mean value for each of the relevant dimensions: snowdepth mountain, snowdepth valley, temperature low, temperature high. Consistent and prolongued low temperature and large snow accumulation from top to bottom station results in an optimal score. The (unweighted) average score was computed for both the early to mid (wk 50-wk5) and mid to late season (wk16-wk4) skiing opportunities. The overall score resulted in the following ranking for the ski resorts with at least 35km of slopes:

201620172018
1.Schrocken WarthSchrocken WarthSchrocken Warth
2.ObertauernObertauernObertauern
3.Val ThorensVal ThorensVal Thorens
4.MadesimoSankt ChristophMontgenevre
5.Sankt ChristophVal dIsere TignesSankt Christoph
6.Val dIsere TignesMadesimoVal dIsere Tignes
7.Lech-ZursLes ArcsMadesimo
8.Peisey VallandryLech-ZursLech-Zurs
9.Passo TonalePeisey VallandryLes Arcs
10.La PlagnePasso TonaleLa Plagne
snow sure league

The entire ranking lists well over 450 ski resorts.

Please note that ski resorts with a ranking lower than 4.5 might be a risky choice either because of overall poor snow condition, limited skiing opportunities at lower elevation or a short span of operation during the season. That does not mean they are not a viable choice most of the time! In many cases the altitude of the ski resort is in part to blame for a low score, other factors include south-facing slopes, vulnerability due to fohn (northern Alps) and mediterranean or atlantic influence (southern Alps).

Schrocken-Warth (1270-2450m)

With it’s own micro-climate making things colder and more precipitous than others in the area, Warth-Schrocken averages over 10m of snowfall each year. Long term records taken at just 1600m show a seasonal average of nearly 11m of snow. Up top, this figure is higher still, putting Warth-Schröcken in the same snowfall league as Snowbird in Utah. Even in bad years Schrocken and Warth are snowier than many of it’s higher-altitude rivals.

Obertauern (1650-2320m)

Austria’s only purpose-built resort also comes with its own micro-climate and was cleverly positioned just so for access to the finest snow. Long term records reveal a snowfall average in Obertauern of nearly 8m, with the encircling peaks of the Niedere Tauern mountain range causing an ice-bucket effect that keeps temperatures super low.

Val Thorens (2300-3200m)

At an altitude of 2300m, resorts don’t get much higher than this. 99% of the ski area is positioned above 2000m which ensures the best quality snow during its long season. Val Thorens is with a doubt an excellent bet for good snow conditions. Europe’s highest major skiresort is naturally one of the continent’s most snowsure right from the start to the end of winter. As well as the altitude advantage, Val Thorens also has a high proportion of north-facing slopes and access to not one, but two glaciers. Val Thorens is so confident of its snow cover it offers a snow guarantee.

Madesimo (1500-2948m)

Madesimo enjoys it’s location in the sunny Spluga Valley on the Swiss border. The mountains offer snow-sure conditions with the resort based at 1550m and the highest lift just shy of 3000m.

Val dIsere and Tignes (1550-3456m)

Like it’s neighbour Tignes, Val dIsere is one of the most reliable resorts in Europe for good snow. Historically, ‘Val’ has always been picked by the FIS to host one of the early season World Cup races, the simple reason being that there is generally more chance of having snow here than elsewhere in Europe.

Sank Christoph am Arlberg (1740-2811m)

Located in the famous Arlberg region and sandwiched in-between Lech, Stuben and Sankt Anton -which are all very snow sure resorts- Sankt Christoph adds altitude to the equation. Settled in front of the Flexenpass at an altitude of 1740m it is one one of the best destinations for early or late season skiing in Austria.

Lech-Zurs (1270-2450m)

Zurs and neighbouring Lech are one of Europe’s snowiest resorts with the sort of annual average snowfall to rival the North Americas top-rated resorts. It appears to have it’s own special micro-climate that sees it receiving nearly double what nearby Sankt Anton gets. Snowflakes start falling as early as September and properly pile up throughout the season; we’re talking top depths of around 7 metres in Lech and over 10 metres up in Zurs

Peisey Vallandry and La Plagne (1250-3250m)

Peisey Vallandry and La Plagne are part of Paradiski; one of the largest ski areas in the world and its runs extend to 3000m including glacier skiing, so it is a safe bet for skiing at either end of the season. If you are concerned about being able to ski to your apartment door however, be sure to choose one of La Plagne’s altitude resorts if visiting in December or April. Altitude resorts are as high as 2100m, some of Europe’s highest.

Passo Tonale (1200-3016m)

Tonale is a high-altitude resort perched in a wide, open expanse that is both snow-sure and sunny. It is actually one of Italy’s highest resorts and is guaranteed good snow and a long season. Presena is the glacier just south of Passo Tonale which sits at over 2700m, so this coupled with the generous snowfall makes Tonale the perfect spot for powder seekers. Incidentally, Tonale is one of the cheapest snow sure destinations.

Contact us if you are listed in our ranking and want to obtain your skiresort’s snow guarantee badge.

Join our skiresort representative network and submit snowreports on a regular basis to our fanbase, partners, and followers on social media.

There’s a huge amount of first-rate ski holiday advice and information out there. If you’re planning on making the most of the snow and heading to the Alps this winter, it’s worth persuing these websites for short-term ski condition and snow forecasts.

If you ask wintersport enthusiasts what they consider to be the leading wintersport website in Europe the majority (55%) say it’s Snow-forecast.com. We at Skiweather.eu were very curious to find out if that is true. Last year we addressed a similar question regarding Dutch wintersport websites. Self-proclaimed number one wintersport website Sneeuwhoogte.nl in fact appeared to be by-passed by Milq Media’s Wintersporters.nl. We have monitored the Dutch wintersport websites for a while and noticed much dynamics in the top-league. We have predicted the trajectory of some websites which turned out to be fairly accurate.

The Dutch wintersport website scene is very crowded. Some of the Dutch websites therefore extended their business into Europe. Snowplaza by Spalder Media Group is probably the most active. Wepowder, one of the few more dedicated and focused websites, was also successful in broadening their geographical horizon.

In an effort to gain more insight into the competition within Europe and into the question whether the Dutch wintersport scene is really overcrowded we have extended our research to draw up a list of leading European wintersport websites. As in the previous research we are not interested in pure traffic rankings but in a multi-dimensional principle which includes economic impact and link authority. The objective was to find both the key players (companies) and individual key wintersport websites. In this research we have included al wintersport websites who focus on both ski resort – and ski condition information for the countries in the Alps.

We’d expected a massive amount of European wintersport websites based on our experience in Holland. In fact, the European wintersport website scene is neither as wide nor as diverse as we had expected. There are around 50 wintersport websites with substantial authority, of which several are solely focused on a specific language area or country. By and large we are speaking of 30 independent companies of which 30% is from the UK, 27% from Holland and 17% from Germany.

The leading wintersport information companies turn out to be Bergfex, followed by Snow-forecast.com and Skipass.com.

Bergfex does an excellent job in providing detailed and accurate skiresort data and channels it’s content to the most important language areas. Bergfex is listed with 4 websites (domains) in the European wintersport website top 50. The most popular being Bergfex.at and Bergfex.com.

Snow-forecast.com is in fact number two in the league, as opposed to the public view. This is used to be the standout website for up-to-date snow forecasts. Snow forecasts are still very important to wintersport enthusiasts and many have signed up to the snow alerts of Snow-forecast.com. Among the leading European wintersport websites there are several more specialised on the weather and ski conditions e.g. WeathertoSki, Alpenweerman, Skiweather, Wintersportweerman etc. Almost all of them are based in Holland

Skipass.com is in the top 3 which is fairly remarkable due to the fact that it is in french. Once you get passed this you will notice that it is a great looking and very informative website. It is very diverse.

Russia is presented by Ski.ru in fourth position. It’s position is very close to skipass.com. Ski.ru surpasses the latter in economic authority. We can not comment on the content of Ski.ru, but we have a feeling that the visuals on do not hinder the ranking in the top-league.


Reporting from Ski.ru

MountainNews Corp. -owner of SkiInfo and OnTheSnow- is fighting it’s way to the top in a similar manner as Bergfex. In Holland MountainNews Corp. was able to settle itself in the top league with SkiInfo.nl in just a short time. MountainNews Corp. is owner of 6 websites in the top 50. The french version of SkiInfo being the most popular in Europe.

Spalder Media Group is represented in the top 50 with 5 websites, of which the Snowplaza.de is -by far- the most popular.

Regarding the top 30 we would like to make some remarks. Tiscover (#7) is not a dedicated wintersport website. Moreover it applies a massive amount of 590 forward domains to push it’s ranking. In our opinion it’s presence is inflated. We think it’s natural position in the ranking should reside around position #12 or #13.

IgluSki is in fact a ski holiday agent -UK’s largest-, but does cover the requirements for this research. The same can be said of Crystalski (TUI), but this website is positioning itself as a full-blown ski holiday agent. The primary focus is well beyond that of a general wintersport website. Both in economic impact and site traffic Crystalski.co.uk outperformes IgluSki. In our opinion Crystalski belongs to position #7. That raises the question whether IgluSki is (still) the largest ski holiday agent in the UK. One thing is for sure; Inghams is Uk’s third, but it is not a dedicated -general- wintersport website like the other two.

Snowheads.com is a long-established and thriving community forum on all skiing matters, but does not have native content on ski resorts or ski condition, but the members do provide up-to-date information on both ski resorts and the ski conditions.

The Dutch websites Wintersportweerman and Alpenweerman are focused on both the weather in the Alps and in Holland. Their objective is not solely the Alps. The position of the Dutch Skiing Association (Nederlandse Ski Vereniging) is inflated by their ski insurance business.

Leading European wintersport companies (last update Mar 10nd 2017)

RankHostnameCompanynameCountry
1bergfex.atBergfexAT
2snow-forecast.comSnow-forecast.comUK
3skipass.com1997 MediaFR
4ski.ruSki.ruRU
5skiinfo / onthesnowMountainNews Corp.US
6J2skiJ2skiUK
7skiresort.infoSkiresort Service InternationalDE
8tiscover.comTiscoverAT
9igluski.comIgluUK
10wintersporters.nlMilq MediaNL
11snowheads.comSnowheadsUK
12skigebiete-test.deSkigebiete TestDE
13skiclub.co.ukSki Club Of Great BritainUK
14snowplazaSpalder Media GroupDE
15schneehoehen.deSchneemenschenDE
16skisport.dkSkisport.dkDK
17skinet.czSkinetCZ
18skieur.comNiveales MediasFR
19welove2ski.comWelove2ski.comUK
20wepowder.comWepowder B.v.NL
21sneeuwhoogte.nlSneeuwhoogte B.v.NL
22wintersportweerman.nlWintersportweerNL
23weathertoski.co.ukWeathertoskiUK
24inthesnow.comIn The SnowUK
25powderbeds.comTsb ServicesUK
26wintersport.nlNederlandse Ski VerenigingNL
27alpenweerman.nlGemi MeteoNL
28skiweather.euSkiweather.euNL
29skiinformatie.nlSkiinformatie.nlNL
30iloveski.orgIloveski.orgES

The popular snowsports news website PlanetSki.eu is not listed because it does not meet the requirements of this research. If we would list this website it would take over position 26.

please contact us if you want to obtain a detailed list of the individual leading European websites.