Last week, winter paid a visit to the Rocky Mountains and gave everyone a sneak preview of the season ahead.
In Colorado, it started snowing on September 29, and at Silverton, in the south, it was deep enough the next day for the ski patrollers to dig their skis out, hike up the mountain, and put in a couple of turns.
It wasn’t just Colorado that saw snow, either. Further north in Wyoming, there was snow on September 29 and 30, too. “We rode up the tram this morning and found blistery cold weather and the entire tram dock covered in rime,” Jackson Hole reported on October 1. “The workers had to shovel off the tram dock, a pathway to Corbet’s Cabin and the deck.”
Meanwhile, both Loveland and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado fired up their snow cannons on October 1, and began their annual race to be the first resort in the state to open for winter. Loveland got off to the stronger start – largely because Mother Nature gave it a bigger dump of snow: 18cm by the time the skies cleared. Here’s how it was looking at the weekend.
Meanwhile, pictured below was the scene at Arapahoe Basin on October 2.
The only problem now is that a week of mild, sunny and mostly dry weather is expected, with thunderstorms on Thursday. So don’t expect either resort to open in the immediate future.
In the Alps two more glaciers have opened for skiing
Aside from the occasional snowy interlude, autumn has been mild so far in the Alps. But that hasn’t stopped the glacier-skiing scene. Two more areas have just opened up, on the Kitzsteinhorn above Kaprun in Austria, and on the Grande Motte glacier above the French resort of Tignes.
Here’s how the Kitzsteinhorn was looking, from afar, on October 3 – courtesy of the Alpin-Skischule.
And this was the Grande Motte glacier early this morning.
It’s not just ski racers who’ve been busy, either. The weekend saw lots of freestyle action up on the Hintertux glacier, thanks to the Hotzone Park opening. Yesterday was rather murky up there, but on Saturday, under clear skies, the place was buzzing, as this video shows…
Now all we need is for the weather to cool down, and stay cold.
Over the weekend, temperatures did drop, and there was some snow in the high Alps around Zermatt and Saas-Fee in Switzerland. However, over the next few days, the stormy weather spinning over Britain and Ireland is going to drag a lot of warm air up over the Alps from the south and south-west. It’ll be windy, but mild, with the freezing point up to 3500m in the French Alps by the middle of the week, and up to 4000m in Austria.
Here’s how it was looking above Zermatt this morning.
By the way, if you’re aching for the snow already, check out our guide to the best resorts for early-season skiing.
|France: above Tignes, the Grande Motte glacier has now reopened for skiing. Top temperature up there today will be -2C, although it will warm up as the week unfolds. Meanwhile, above Les Deux Alpes, the glacier is opening on October 25 and 26 for a weekend of ski and snowboard testing.|
|Switzerland: weather permitting, two glaciers are currently open for skiing in Switzerland – above Zermatt and Saas-Fee. There’s no skiing on either today, however – even though there was a little fresh snow in this part of the Alps yesterday. Currently the snow above Zermatt is up to 105cm deep.|
|Austria: the autumn glacier-skiing season is well under way in Austria. You can currently ski on the Hintertux, Stubai, Molltal, Pitztal, Kaunertal, Rettenbach and Kitzsteinhorn glaciers. After a cool weekend, temperatures will rise sharply in a warm southerly airflow this week.|
|Italy: the lifts from Cervinia, up to the high-altitude skiing on the Swiss-Italian border are currently closed. Weekend access to the slopes restarts on October 18, and the full season gets underway on November 1. Above Val Senales in the South Tyrol, three pistes are open for skiing on the glacier.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are now closed.|
|Western USA: see our main report. Snowmaking at Loveland and Arapahoe Basin in the Rockies has begun, but it will be very stop-start this week, as a mild and sunny spell is expected. If you want to ski now, head to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.|
|Western Canada: all eyes are now on the first signs of autumn in Canada. Expect the resorts of Banff National Park to open in early November.|