Skiing conditions have greatly improved in Europe this week. Italy received the heaviest dumps last week, but now Austria, Switzerland, France, and Andorra have caught up.

Chasing the snow? Here's a roundup of the resorts with the best snow conditions in Europe at the moment: [R617R, Engelberg], [R609R, Gstaad], and [R632R, Laax] in Switzerland; Solden, [R422R, St. Anton am Arlberg], and [R716R, Obertauern] in Austria; [R1735R, Samoens], [R2641R, Morillon], Argentiere, and [R659R, Alpe d'Huez] in France; and [R1917R, La Thuile], [R1374R, Cervinia], and [R224R, Madonna di Campgilio] in Italy.

Off-pisters should take extra care as the recent heavy snowfalls have increased the risk of avalanches, particularly in [R1972R, Cauterets], [R2315R, Bareges/La Mongie], and [R2269R, Ax les Thermes] which are now on level-4 "High" alert.

A search operation is still underway in Spain's [R1655R, Sierra Nevada] Mountains after a British expat was caught in an avalanche last Sunday. John Hogbin, from Yorkshire, was hiking in the mountains with two friends.

All eyes will be on Norway this weekend as thousands of spectators descend on Oslo for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011. The event runs from Feb. 23 to March 6 and tickets are still available at

The 21 cross-country, Nordic combined, and ski jumping events will take place at Holmenkollen's new National Arena. The famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump has also been rebuilt for the championships. If you're not lucky enough to attend the event, you can catch the skiers hurtling down the 134-metre-high slope on TV.