A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps | Welove2ski
Snow Report

A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps

The recent drop in temperature has brought several dustings of white.

Last week the weather took a more autumnal turn in the Alps. There was a sprinkling of snow across some of the higher resorts last Thursday, and there was more snow at altitude over the weekend. In parts of the Tirol in Austria, it was still falling this morning.

Here’s how it looked in the village of Le Fornet, above Val d’Isere yesterday.

A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps | Welove2ski
Photo: yseski.co.uk

And this was the view towards Val Claret and the Grande Motte in Tignes on the same day.

A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps | Welove2ski
Photo: tignes.net

Meanwhile, in the Tirol, the snow came on Saturday. On the Hintertux Glacier, where this shot was taken, it bumped up the settled snow depth by 10cm.

A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps | Welove2ski
Photo: Hintertux Glacier/Facebook

It was snowing in the Italian Dolomites on Saturday, too.

A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps | Welove2ski
Photo: Dolomiti Superski/Facebook

There’s still a little snow falling in Austria as I write. This was how the top lift station above the Pitztal Glacier looked earlier today.

A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps | Welove2ski
Photo: pitztaler-gletscher.at

The Pitztal opened for the autumn skiing season at the weekend, and will be grateful for the new snow after such a warm end to the summer.

Is this the start of a decisive shift in the weather? Well, the rest of the week is going to be cool-ish, thanks to light northerly breezes. The eastern Alps will be slightly cooler than the west, with the daytime freezing point hovering between the 2600 and 2800m mark. In the French Alps it’ll be around 3000m. A warm and sunny spell is then expected over the weekend – but I see that some mid-range forecasts are suggesting a cold snap at the end of the month. It’s much too soon to be sure of that; but that won’t stop us hoping, of course.


There’s been some fresh snow in the Rockies, too…

This was the high-altitude resort of Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, on Thursday last week.

A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps | Welove2ski
Photo: A-Basin.com

And this was Loveland on the same day.

A Sprinkling of September Snow in the Alps | Welove2ski
Photo: Loveland/Facebook

Both resorts like to get going early and A-Basin already has its snow cannons ready. The idea is to start making snow as soon as the temperature drops below -2C for a few hours, but realistically there’s not much chance of a concerted snow-making effort before early October.


And in the southern hemisphere?

Winter made a bit of a comeback in the Snowy Mountains of Australia last week.

This was Thredbo on Thursday.

And this was Perisher on Friday.

There could be more snow across the upper slopes in both resorts on Wednesday and Thursday, too, although it’s likely to be quite wet and heavy.

In New Zealand and the Andes, it’s been drier, and spring has a much firmer grip on conditions. In NZ, The Remarkables closes for the season on Sunday, followed by Coronet Peak and Treble Cone the following weekend.


France flag France: The summer ski season in the French Alps is now over. All eyes are now on Tignes, whose glacier should re-open again in October.
Switzerland flag Switzerland: despite the very warm end to the summer, Zermatt is reporting that there’s plenty of snow on the glacier – up to 150cm, in fact. You can also ski on the glacier above Saas-Fee.
Austria flag Austria: late-summer skiing is currently on offer on the Hintertux, Pitztal and Molltaler glaciers. On the Hintertux, the snow depth is up 10cm, in the wake of the recent snow, and stands 45cm, on-piste…
Italy flag Italy: Cervinia has finished its summer season.
Andorra flag Andorra: no skiing is currently on offer in Andorra.
Western USA flag Western USA: snow-conditions permitting, September 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. Hopefully, within the next month at least a couple will be up and running.
Western Canada flag Western Canada: the Horstman glacier on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler is now closed.

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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  • You are so predictable. We are here in France and saw a sprinkling on the various Alpine webcams and I said Welove2ski will be shouting about this. Why make so much fuss about it when a ,little sun will melt it this weekend. Every year it comes and goes through Autumn. Wait until we get a good dump then go to town.

    • Wow. And there I was thinking a little bit of white would gladden the hearts of skiers, as we all sit around watching the summer fade, kicking our heels in anticipation of winter.

      Obviously, this snow does not herald the start of the mainstream season: the headline is a bit of a clue about that. But there are glacier ski areas which are gearing up to open at the moment (the Pitztal opened on Friday), and anyone considering an autumn trip to, say, Tignes or the Hintertux will be pleased to know there’s been snow at altitude. The glaciers were looking very threadbare this time last week.

  • I’m glad you like the site, Gordon! And I will bear your comments in mind. I used to write “this doesn’t mean we can expect an early winter” in the autumn snow reports, and then stopped because it was getting repetitive. But as you say, September snow is no indication of what lies ahead.

    Still, I felt my first genuine flicker of excitement at the approach of winter as I compiled this report. And it got me into the pool to work on my ski fitness at 6.30 this morning. So it’s not all bad…

  • Glad to hear it Kate! After the last couple of seasons we deserve an early winter, though I don’t think that’s how it works! The last really good start to the Alpine winter was 2012, which was a cracker, and there were a few other great starts before that. Do you remember 2007?