Feast your eyes on the fresh snow in the Alps, Snowfiends! There’s a lot of it about: especially in the Italian Dolomites, as well as parts of Switzerland and Austria, where it snowed hard yesterday afternoon and all last night.
A quick ring-round the resorts this morning has unearthed some impressive figures. Above Engelberg in Switzerland, for example, there’s around 30cm of fresh snow at the top of the ski area, and the resort has decided to open its glacier for skiing on October 20 (after several postponements).
Meanwhile in Pontresina, just up the road from St Moritz in Switzerland, they reckon they’ve had 20cm in the valley, and 30-40cm on the mountains. On the Hintertux Glacier in the Austrian Tirol there’s 35cm of fresh snow. The deepest cover we’ve heard of so far is in Corvara in the Italian Dolomites – where there’s around 25cm of snow in town and “maybe 40-50cm” on the slopes above 2300m.
Now comes the caveat. Don’t book an early-season ski trip just yet – unless you want to ski on a glacier. The snow looks lovely this morning: but there’s a thaw just around the corner, and the snowline will shortly be scurrying back uphill. That’s quite normal for this time of year. It’s only in November that we can expect to see the snow marching more steadily down to the valley floors (and even then not every November – remember last winter?).
Oh yes – it’s been snowing Scandinavia too. Below is how it was looking on the slopes above Are, Sweden this morning.
Meanwhile, in America, there’s good news this morning from Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. The high-altitude resort has announced that it will open its first trail to skiers tomorrow, October 17. It’s not the first resort in America to open for the season – that honour belongs to the pocket-sized ski area of Wild Mountain in Minnesota which got its lifts going on October 7. But it looks as though A-Basin will beat its great Colorado rival Loveland to the draw this year. Yesterday, Loveland announced that “We’re hoping Loveland Ski Area will open in the next week or so”.