Feast your eyes on the white stuff, Snowfiends! It’s a gorgeous, sunny morning in the western half of the Alps, and there’s fresh snow on the ground. It’s settled below 1800m in places. Further east it’s still snowing – although the snow/rain line is rather higher.
Sadly, this latest winter preview will be short-lived: because the weather’s about to warm up significantly. As I said in my last snow report, we’ve got a big fat area of high pressure to deal with now. It’s centred over eastern Europe, and it will drag up a lot of warm air from the south. By evening, the freezing point in the French Alps will be up to 3000m in places, and it could touch 4000m on Friday. French forecaster Meteo-Chamonix reckons the mild spell could last 10 days.
It’s worth pointing out that the skiing on the glaciers will still be good – although a little icy first thing in the morning, after overnight refreezing. But lower down, all this lovely snow will quickly melt. The march towards winter is going to come to a temporary halt.
Of course, at this time of year, the weather can change dramatically, and mid-November could yet be engulfed by blizzards. But if you’re planning a November or early December ski trip, aim high to be on the safe side. Check out our guide to early-season skiing for advice on where to go.
Right – back to the images from earlier today – starting with the bottom of the Double M piste in Tignes Val Claret, at 2100m. As you know, the glacier is already open for skiing, and conditions are excellent. The resort will open the Double M as soon as possible, but that’s unlikely to be for a couple of weeks. The whole of the Tignes-Val d’Isere area is due to open on November 28.
Meanwhile, pictured below is Serre-Chevalier, south of Grenoble, which is due to open on November 28.
Pictured below is Val Thorens, at the top of the Three Valleys ski area. This was taken at 2300m. Val Tho should open on November 21.
Pictured below is Avoriaz, at 1800m, earlier this morning. Avoriaz will open on December 11.
Below is the Plan Maison sector of Cervinia in Italy – which shares its ski area with Zermatt, on the other side of the Matterhorn. Cervinia has been opening for weekends through October, and will welcome skiers to its highest slopes on a daily basis from Saturday.
Pictured below is the Allalin glacier above Saas-Fee, in Switzerland, where the autumn glacier-skiing season is in full swing.
Below is the Stand ski hutt above Engelberg. The glacier here will open its first pistes on Saturday.
Pictured below is the campsite at Pontresina, near St Moritz. The glacier at Diavolezza is already open to skiers. The slopes at Corvatsch and Corviglia will open on November 21.
Below are the slopes above Samnaun, which shares its slopes with Ischgl in the Austrian Tirol. Ischgl will open from November 28.
This is how the top of the Pitztal Glacier is looking this morning. The glacier is already open for skiing.
Finally, here’s little Sulden/Solda, in the South Tyrol. It’s down well from the autumn snow storms so far, and opened last weekend.
October 29, 2015thealpineclub
A fabulous snowy & cold morning in the 3 valleys today; feels like winter’s arrived