Heavy Pre-Season Snow in Canada
Snow Report

Heavy Pre-Season Snow in Canada

A snowy October has raised hopes of a strong start to the ski season. Meanwhile, in the Alps, there are signs the weather will turn colder at the weekend.

October has been a snowy month in the resorts of western Canada. None is open just yet, but Lake Louise in Banff National Park is due to start on November 10, followed by its neighbour Sunshine Village on November 11.

Here’s how Lake Louise looked during the latest dump, on October 27.

Heavy Pre-Season Snow in Canada
Photo: skilouise.com

And this was the scene at the top of Sunshine Village on Saturday (October 29).

Heavy Pre-Season Snow in Canada | Welove2ski
Photo: facebook.com/SunshineVillageResort

Of course, this being autumn, the temperatures are yo-yoing about a bit – and the snow on Lake Louise’s lower slopes is patchier now. More is expected on Tuesday, followed by a milder, drier spell at the end of the week. But there’s already plenty of snow on the top half of both mountains, and it should be cold enough to run snow cannons lower down at night. Unless there’s a really brutal thaw, I can’t seen the two resorts’ plans being disrupted.

Banff National Park isn’t the only place with snow. Here’s how Whistler was looking on Friday.

Heavy Pre-Season Snow in Canada | Welove2ski
Photo: Mitch Winton/Coast Mountain Photography

More snow is also expected in Whistler this week. However, the really big dump due on Wednesday and Thursday will be accompanied by mild air. The forecast is calling for 90cm of snow, but it’s only likely to fall on the highest slopes. The resort is due to open on November 24.


Meanwhile in the Alps…

Over the last seven days, the weather has been mild in the Alps. The autumn glacier-skiing season is in full swing: but with daytime freezing temperatures up around the 3000m mark, even the snow on these high-altitude slopes has been affected by the warmth.

This week, temperatures will start dropping back to more seasonal levels, especially in the eastern Alps, and our snow forecast is predicting the odd snow flurry, too. But what everyone’s really interested in is the forecast for next week. Some of the mid-range models are predicting a proper burst of cold.

Heavy Pre-Season Snow in Canada | Welove2ski
The European Centre for Mid-Range Forecast for November 7. Image: meteociel.fr

It’s too early to be sure of this, of course; and it’s worth noting that some of the models are predicting another mild spell to follow. But still: the glacier resorts could be in for a significant top-up of snow.

Here’s how the Stubai Glacier in the Tirol was looking this morning.

Heavy Pre-Season Snow in Canada | Welove2ski
Photo: stubaier-gletscher.com


France flag France: it’s been a mild week in the French Alps. Skiing is currently possible on the glacier above Tignes, and there’s one more day’s skiing on offer above Les Deux Alpes, as part of its winter preview. The resort opens for the main ski season on December 3.
Switzerland flag Switzerland: the glaciers above Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Les Diablerets and Engelberg are all now open for skiing. As a result of the recent mild weather, the snow on the Allalin glacier in Saas-Fee has thinned ever so slightly and is currently 150cm deep.
Austria flag Austria: skiing is currently on offer on the Hintertux, Pitztal, Molltaler, Stubai, Kitzsteinhorn, Rettenbach and Kaunertal glaciers. Currently, the cover on the Hintertux is up to 75cm deep.
Italy flag Italy: The glacier above Val Senales is open for skiing, and you can now access the high-altitude pistes above Cervinia, too.
Andorra flag Andorra: no skiing is currently on offer in Andorra.
Western USA flag Western USA: In Colorado, A-Basin is now open for (limited) skiing: but mild weather has prevented Loveland from following suit.
Western Canada flag Western Canada:There’s no skiing on offer in the Canadian resorts at the moment. But everyone’s hoping a snowy October is about to become a wintry November, and get the season off to a flying start. In Banff National Park, Lake Louise is opening on November 10 and Sunshine Village on November 11.

About the author

Sean Newsom

As well as founding Welove2ski in June 2007, Sean has written about skiing and snowboarding in the British press for 28 years. For the last 20 of them, he’s also been the ski travel editor at The Sunday Times.

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