But still, there are some lovely images knocking about today – such as this one, from the top of the Pitztal Glacier in Austria, taken at lunchtime. Up there, they reckon to have had 155cm of snow from last week’s storm. Clearly, the locals are making the most of it…
I rather like this video from Hochgurgl yesterday, too. No, I don’t understand what they’re talking about either (the interviews are in German). But I do like the look of the snow. The resort is due to open on November 13, and last week’s present from Mother Nature has clearly been a great help (click on this link if you can’t see the video below).
Meanwhile, judging by these tracks, the odd ski tourer has been out above Saalbach, too.
Generally speaking, the skiing on the Alpine glaciers is excellent at the moment, although Austrian glaciers such as the Hintertux, Stubai, Molltal, and Kitzsteinhorn have the pick of the conditions, as they had the most snow from last week’s storm.
Looking head, our latest snow forecast for the Alps, suggests there’ll be a dusting of snow on Thursday, but nothing more than that, and generally the weather will settle back into the mild and sunny pattern which has dominated the autumn so far.
However, the mid-range weather charts are suggesting a change at the beginning of next week. It’s too early to be certain, but we’ll keep you posted.
Finally, check out the video from the special opening of the glacier above Les Deux Alpes last weekend…
In North America, winter is coming in fits and starts
In Canada, Whistler also had an eye-catching winter preview at the end of last week, with heavy snow on the top half of the mountain.
Pictured, below is how it was looking on Blackcomb mountain on Sunday morning.
And this is how it was looking on Whistler mountain.
Note how the snow only covers the top half of the terrain. It’s not winter yet – and just to prove it, the temperature has risen this week, and rain is expected even above the treeline today and Thursday. It should cool down again on Friday. Whistler isn’t due to open until November 27.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, there was a little snow last week, and again on Sunday night and Monday. The accompanying drop in temperature allowed the snow cannons to run, too. Pictured, below, was Arapahoe Basin yesterday.
However, as in the Alps, it’s been a warm autumn so far, and A-Basin’s great early-season rival, Loveland, isn’t open yet. If it doesn’t hurry up, it’s going to be beaten to the finishing line by Keystone and Copper, both of which are due to open on Friday.
According to local snow guru Joel Gratz, there’ll be snow showers across the state on November 1-3, but reckons the storm will mostly pass to the north. Let’s hope he’s wrong!
|France: above Tignes, the Grande Motte glacier is open for skiing, and was joined at the weekend by Les Deux Alpes, for a special ski and snowboard test at the weekend.
|Switzerland: weather permitting, four glaciers are currently open for skiing in Switzerland – above Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg and Les Diablerets. On the glacier above Zermatt today, 22 pistes were open.
|Austria: the autumn glacier-skiing season in Austria got a much-needed boost at last week from the big dump of snow. You can currently ski on the Hintertux, Stubai, Molltal, Pitztal, Kaunertal, Rettenbach and Kitzsteinhorn glaciers. On the Hintertux glacier, 35km of pistes are now open, and the snow is up to 185cm deep.
|Italy: the lifts from Cervinia, up to the high-altitude skiing on the Swiss-Italian border opened at the weekend and will running daily from November 1. However, the area missed out on last-week’s snow, and there isn’t much skiing on the Italian side of the border. Above Val Senales in the South Tyrol, three pistes are currently open for skiing on the glacier.
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are currently closed.
|Western USA: see our main report. Arapahoe Basin is open, and should be joined by Keystone and Copper on Friday. Loveland may finally open its first trail, too. It’s been a mild start to the autumn so far in Colorado.
|Western Canada: western Canada has had its first snow. Expect the resorts of Banff National Park to open in early November.