The 5 Snowiest Countries in the Alps

skiing, Europe, Alps

The 5 Snowiest Countries in the Alps

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The 5 Snowiest Countries in the Alps


skiing, Europe, Alps

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Ski resorts throughout the alps all include pretty shrewd marketing departments. There are more ski areas, resorts, and lifts per square mile in this region of Europe than anywhere else in the world so doing anything and everything to stand out amongst an international clientage goes without saying.

Examples of such marketing campaigns include the use of phrases like “longest run in the world” or “snowiest mountain in the alps,” which are all fair game even if there is little to no data to back up such claims.

However, thanks to, skiers and snowboarders are a few steps closer to answering the perennial question, “who gets the most snow?”

The primary source for their findings comes from Isotta, F.A. et al from 2014, which shows detailed precipitation amounts across the Alps for a full year. These data points  include what are quite possibly the most detailed snowfall maps for the Alps.

Disclaimer: The precipitation totals are based on a model that does not distinguish between snow and rain for a full calendar year.

The 5 Snowiest Countries in the Alps

5th Place: France

Although it appears that areas of France remain colder than the rest of Europe, the precipitation amounts fall in last place for the country that hosts Chamonix and La Grave. That said, elevation, terrain, and temperatures go a long way, especially when one considers that Austria (#2 on this list) comes in at much lower elevations, making their snow susceptible to warming temperatures compared to those at French resorts that boast higher summits.

Snowiest Resort: Avoriaz- 8m of snow annually

4th Place: Italy

From the Dolomites to the Tirol, Italians retain some of the most varied and striking skiing opportunities in the Alps. Also, they receive decent snow at moderate elevations. Although, the couloirs of the Dolomites are what normally show up on the covers of Powder magazine, Italy shares a mountainous region on its eastern border with Slovenia called the Forni di Sopra region. This regions portrays startling precipitation amounts and may be the single snowiest region in the alps when temps cooperate.

Snowiest Resort: Monterosa- 6m of snow annualy (higher amounts up high)

3rd Place: Slovenia

skiing, Slovenia, Europe, Alps

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Although data and reference points in Slovenia are few and far between, the maps show that the western part of Slovenia in the Forni di Sopra region is about as snowy as the rest on this list. That said, it’s hard to tell if that precipitation is mainly rain or snow due to its lower elevations and a more southerly orientation. That said, it’s on our hit-list to check out, especially after seeing the picture above taken in February of 2011…

Snowiest Resort: Kanin – Sella Nevea (according to reports)

2nd Place: Austria

The western parts of Austria appear to be the second snowiest region of the alps, namely where ski area Damuls pulls down a lion share of snowfall each year with the town itself receiving 9.3 meters every ski season. According to the ski resort’s website, Damuls claims to be the snowiest town in the world.

Snowiest Resort: Warth-Schröcken– 10.5m of snow annually

1st Place: Switzerland

Although it may come as no surprise, Switzerland appears to be the snow capital of Europe. Namely the mountains just west of Andermatt seem to be the snowiest places in the alps with about 2000mm of precipitation per year. That’s 20m of snow each year (if it was cold year around). This region also plays host to the Eiger and surrounding mountains, with Engelberg falling on the westernmost point of this region within Switzerland. Bottomline, go to Engelberg for freak storms that miss the rest of the alps.

Snowiest Resort: Braunwald– 9m of snow annually

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