Another dose of autumn snow is heading for the Alps!
It’s just over two weeks since we last feasted our eyes on large quantities of freshly-fallen snow. But it’s due to make a dramatic return this week, thanks to a weather front that’ll hit the region tomorrow – and then stall over the eastern Alps on Tuesday night and Wednesday.
As you’ll notice from our Snow Forecast, Wednesday could see up to half a metre falling in parts of Austria and Italy. And if you add the totals in for Tuesday night as well, south-eastern Switzerland should see almost as much.
Obviously, this is great news for all the glacier skiing areas which are currently open in the Alps (see our country-by-country guide, below, for details). It’s also good see that Obergurgl in Austria will do well from the storm, with up to half a metre of snow expected. (To display Obergurgl on the Snow Forecast map, use the Find Your Ski Resort function at the top of the page). Obergurgl is always one of the first non-glacier resorts to open for the season, and this year the tentative opening date is November 14. Maybe this dump will bring a change of plan and an earlier opening…
Here’s how it was looking on the slopes above the resort this morning.
Below is a webcam shot of the lunchtime scene on the Hintertux glacier today.
And here’s how it was looking on the Grande Motte glacier above Tignes, in France.
For more tips on where to ski in November and December, check out our guide to the best resorts for early-season skiing.
In New England, the first ski resorts are now open
Lately, it’s been cold and snowy in the upland areas of New England and that allowed both Killington in Vermont and Sunday River, Maine, to open at the weekend. As is usual at this time of year, both relied heavily on their snow cannons to provide cover on the trails.
Here’s Killington’s opening-weekend video.
Further west, the Rockies are looking forward to a snowy week
We’re also very close to the next round of resort openings in the American and Canadian west. In Colorado, Copper Mountain is due to open on November 1. Then on November 7, Mammoth Mountain in California will start spinning its lifts, followed on November 8 by Breckenridge in Colorado, as well as Lake Louise and Sunshine Village in Banff National Park, Canada.
This week, Mother Nature is set to lend a helping hand. There’s already been snow up in Banff National Park…
What’s more, according to Colorado snow guru, Joel Gatz, there’s going to be snow south of the border too. He reckons most mountains should see 12-25cm of snow over the coming week.
Breckenridge and Whistler have been busy building chairlifts
Meanwhile, in both Breckenridge, and Whistler, they’ve been building chairlifts. Breckenridge needs two new chairs because this winter sees the opening of Peak 6 – an area of expert and intermediate terrain which is going to increase the total skiing acreage by 23%.
Here’s a detail of the Breckenridge ski map showing the new trails:
And here’s the latest video from Breck, showing the new chairlifts going in.
Watch both, and you’ll get a great idea of how chairlifts are put together, and how nasty the job of bolting the towers to the cross arms is. Rather you than me, guys: I’d rather just sit on the things, and talk about the next run I’m going to ski…
|France: The Grande Motte glacier above Tignes is open once more for skiing – and should stay that way right through to the opening of the entire ski area (scheduled for November 30). Meanwhile, the glacier above Les Deux Alpes is open until November 3. Check out the programme of events here.
|Switzerland: You can ski on the glaciers above Zermatt Engelberg, weather permitting. Saas Fee’s glacier is open too, and the snow report talks of up to 155cm of cover on its pistes.
|Austria: see our main report. The Austrian glaciers are looking forward to another dump of October snow. You can currently ski on the Hintertux, Stubai, Rettenbach, Kaunertal, Pitztal, Molltal and Kitzsteinhorn glaciers. On the Hintertux glacier, the snow report records cover, on-piste, up to 135cm deep.
|Italy: the glacier above the Val Senales/Schalstal in the South Tyrol is now open for skiing. The lifts above Cervinia have been open lately for weekend skiing, and will be running full time from November 1.
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are currently closed.
|Western USA: See our main report. In Colorado, both Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are now open, with Wolf Creek open at the weekend. In Oregon, Timberline Lodge is also open for skiing at weekends. Next up is Copper Mountain, which is expected to open on November 1.
|Western Canada: Canada’s resorts are currently closed, but Lake Louise and Sunshine Village in Banff National Park expect to open on November 8.