Here’s a little something to get us in the mood…
It’s snowing in the high Alps this morning – as it was yesterday. Pictured, above, is the Pitztal glacier in the Austrian Tirol earlier this morning.
Meanwhile, pictured below, was the scene on the Kitzsteinhorn above Zell am See-Kaprun in the Salzburgerland.
And this was the scene below the Molltal glacier in Carinthia.
As you can see, more than just a few flakes have fallen, and the snowline is fairly low, too. Local forecasts predict the freezing level to rise now higher than 2500m this morning, which is what you’d expect in early spring in the Alps.
Our snow forecast for the Alps for today gives you an idea of how much is expected today, and where.
Of course, this isn’t the start of winter. Regular followers of our snow report will know that September-November can be a very stop-start time of year. Cold fronts from the north can bring dumps right down to valley floors from time to time – which vanish as soon as the wind changes direction. As a case in point, skies are due to clear tomorrow, and temperatures to rise. Expect the snowline to go scurrying back up hill very soon.
Nevertheless, it’s a welcome reminder that conditions on the glaciers will be improving steadily over the coming weeks. So if you fancy a spot of early-season skiing, now’s time to start laying your plans. British ski school Snoworks, for example, starts its programme of courses on the glacier above Tignes on October 18. Le Ski’s early-season clinics – featuring Welove2ski editor Peter Hardy – run from November 22.
Only a handful of glacier ski areas are currently open for skiing, including the Hintertux and Molltal in Austria, and Zermatt and Saas-Fee in Switzerland. However, several more Austrian glaciers will be opening this month if conditions are right. Then, the Grande Motte glacier above Tignes gets going on October 4. The first races of the World Cup season above Solden will be held on October 25 and 26.
In the southern hemisphere, the best conditions are in the Andes
Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere, the Andes have the pick of conditions right now, thanks to a top-up of snow on Saturday.
Conditions were already good there, in the wake of a big dump on August 23-24: and here to prove it is some hell-for-leather video from Portillo, Chile, posted by Andrew Rumph on Monday and Tuesday last week.
Meanwhile, in Australia, mild weather in the Snowy Mountains is about to be hustled out by a cold front. A little fresh snow is expected, but there are no big dumps in the forecast. Snow depths are still pretty healthy there, though, with Perisher reporting up to 150cm of cover, off-piste..
Woodsy wins at the North Face Freeski Open in NZ
Here’s the video of the event.
Woodsy then celebrated by running into Lake Wanaka…
Action at the Freeski Open has now switched to The Remarkables, where qualifiers for the Big Mountain final took place today.
|France: The glacier above Les Deux Alpes closed on Saturday, and the summer ski season is now over in France. Above Tignes the Grande Motte glacier reopens on October 4.|
|Switzerland: There’s been no skiing today on the glacier above Zermatt, but the pistes are in great shape given it’s the end of summer – thanks to frequent top-ups of snow. The cover is currently up to 120cm deep. Five pistes and a terrain park are currently open above Saas-Fee, where the settled cover is up to 200cm.|
|Austria: you can currently ski on the Hintertux glacier east of Innsbruck, as well as the Molltaler glaicer near Flattach. On the Hintertux, 18km of pistes are open, and there’s fresh snow on the slopes. Visibility is no-existant today, but will improve dramatically tomorrow.|
|Italy: you can currently access glacier skiing on the Swiss-Italian border from Cervinia, when conditions allow.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are now closed.|
|Western USA: The Rocky Mountain ski season finally finished in June. But let’s not forget that in in late September they’ll be cranking up the snow cannons again in Loveland and Arapahoe Basin if conditions are right. If you want to ski now, head to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.|
|Western Canada: the short summer skiing season on the the Horstman above Whistler has now finished.|