Right now, in the Alps, the weather isn’t exactly autumnal. On Thursday, in Austria, they’re expecting the daytime freezing level to touch 4000m for a time – which is what you’d expect in the middle of summer. But all the same, up high, the autumn ski season is well underway.
This weekend, the glaciers above Tignes in France, and the Stubaital in the Austrian Tirol will both be opening to skiers, and they’ll join those at Hintertux, the Molltal, Solden, the Pitztal, Saas-Fee and Zermatt, where the lifts are already spinning. On the Hintertux we’ll also see the Betterpark opening on Friday, and the Kaunertal glacier will get going on October 7.
Here’s how it was looking on the Hintertux glacier yesterday.
And this was the glacier on the Grande Motte above Tignes earlier today.
Now all we need is for the weather to start cooling down. There’s no sign of that just yet, though. The mid-range forecasts all suggest mild, Indian Summer sunshine will be a recurrent theme over the next week. That’s fine, of course: when it comes to early-season snow, November is the crucial month. But all the same, it might be worth sacrificing a couple of chickens if you’ve got the chance. It’s been a mild September. We need to move on.
Meanwhile in North America…
There was a dusting of snow across the Rockies at the weekend. This was Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, on Saturday.
And this was Loveland.
Snowbird in Utah had snow too. Here’s how it looked yesterday.
Both A-Basin and Loveland are preparing themselves for their customary race to open, which will start as soon as they get a decent run of temperatures below -2C. Don’t hold your breath, though: in the last couple of seasons unusually mild autumns have pushed their opening dates back into mid or late October.
The Season Winds Down in the Southern Hemisphere
This weekend will see many resorts close, including The Remarkables and Coronet Peak in New Zealand, as well as Perisher and Thredbo in Australia. In the Andes, Valle Nevado closed yesterday, and Portillo shuts its lifts on Wednesday.
In Thredbo, they’ve been reviewing some of their Go-Pro footage, from a memorable season of film-making…
|France: See main feature. Skiing restarts in Tignes on October 1. In Les Deux Alpes there’ll be skiing on the glacier between October 22 and November 1.|
|Switzerland: the glaciers above Zermatt and Saas-Fee are both open. In Saas-Fee, the snow is up to 135cm deep.|
|Austria: skiing is currently on offer on the Hintertux, Pitztal, Molltaler and Rettenbach glaciers. On the Hintertux, the snow depth is 45cm, on-piste…|
|Italy: Cervinia will open for skiing over the weekend of October 22-23, and for the season from October 29.|
|Andorra: no skiing is currently on offer in Andorra.|
|Western USA: snow-conditions permitting, September ski weekends are currently on offer at Timberline Lodge in Oregon. But with the snow cannons now in position in A-Basin, Colorado, thoughts are turning to the start of the “winter” season in the high-altitude resorts. Hopefully, within the next month at least a couple will be up and running.|
|Western Canada: the Horstman glacier on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler is now closed.|