Mother Nature’s timing was spot on. This weekend saw the start of autumn skiing on the Stubai, Tignes and Kitzsteinhorn glaciers, as well as the opening of the Hotzone snowpark on the Hintertux glacier in the Tirol. And to help spread the good-skiing vibes we’ve had a little fresh snow.
We’re not talking about one of those meaty October dumps you get every two or three years: the kind that has us all hoping for an early winter – before disappearing in sudden puff of warmth. But in the Tirol in Austria there’s been maybe 5-10cm and it’s perked up the appearance of the glacier ski areas no end: as well as providing a softer surface for skiers.
Here’s how it was looking on the Pitztal Glacier this morning.
Meanwhile, this was the lower end of the Stubai Glacier ski area.
There’s been a dusting in the Italian Dolomites, too. These were the slopes above Canazei in Trentino.
By contrast, in the western Alps, the sun’s out, though there was a bit of snow at the weekend – as you’ll see from this promo footage shot at the weekend in Tignes.
Here’s how it’s looking this morning.
Note the man standing on the cable. The Grande Motte cable car is currently closed for repairs.
This week should see the contrast in east/west weather continue in the Alps – with sunshine in the French Alps, and lower temperatures and further snow showers in Austria. In the east, the daytime freezing point won’t get much above 2200m until Wednesday. Our snow forecast is predicting heavier snow on Friday as well, though it’s too soon to be sure of that – there seems to be considerable uncertainty about the details this week.
And after that? Remember: it’s only October. There’s still a lot of warm air wafting about, and it could easily be pulled back over the region. But it does look as though eastern Europe will stay cool for a while, with milder conditions to the north, in Scandinavia. Some mid-range forecasts are currently suggesting mid-October will see a much colder interlude. But there’s no consensus on that yet. Best to keep sacrificing the chickens…
|France: Skiing has restarted on the glacier above Tignes. Above 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, Stubai, Kitzsteinhorn and Rettenbach glaciers. On the Hintertux, the snow depth is up 5cm on last week’s figure, at 50cm.|
|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, 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. In A-Basin there’s hope the cannons will be able to run this week, as colder weather is expected. There could be some natural snowfall too.|
|Western Canada:There’s no skiing on offer in the Canadian resorts at the moment, though the forecast is for some snow this week. In the Rockies, Lake Louise is hoping to open on November 10.|