It’s that time of the year again, and we can’t wait for the 2023/24 winter season across the Northern Hemisphere to begin.
Most of North America will be hoping for a repeat of last season’s record-breaking snowfall, while Europeans will be keeping their fingers crossed that lightning can’t strike twice and Ullr, the Norse God of Snow, will bless us with a bumper season.
Alpine mountain lore says the length of the yellow Gentian flower indicates the amount of snow for the coming season. The higher the gentians grow in the summer, the more snow will fall in the winter.
This summer? They’re TALL.
We’re believers. Think snow!
We’ll be posting twice-weekly snow reports on Mondays and Thursdays throughout the 2023/24 winter season, so bookmark us or better yet subscribe to get the latest snow news and our tips for where the snow will be.
If you’re out in resort drop us a line via our social media channels to share your ‘on the snow’ experiences and photos.
What’s Open Now
After a blisteringly hot summer and an uncharacteristically mild and long autumn, winter has finally made a welcome return to the higher peaks of Europe and North America. The mercury has dropped and resorts are finally able to fire up the snow cannons to start building the base on piste.
It has been a below-average season for the summer glaciers in the Alps with some areas unable to open, and intermittent skiing at others.
There are now nine glacier resorts open in continental Europe.
Hintertux (7/21 lifts; 25km piste; 0-20cm base), Kaunertal (3/7 lifts; 6/55km piste; 0-27cm base), Molltaler (0/9 lifts; 0/43km piste; 0-10cm base), Pitztal (6/7 lifts; 9/41km piste; 0-20cm base), Solden (2/31 lifts; 9/143km piste; 0-63cm base), Stubai (4/26 lifts; 6/68km piste; 0-15cm) in Austria.
Stelvio (4/6 lifts; 4/9km piste; 15-50cm base) in Italy.
Further north in the Nordic countries, temperatures have been much lower and snowfall more plentiful allowing Levi and Ruka in Finland, and Kabdalis in Sweden, to open for the season; and Galdhøpiggen summer ski area in Norway to remain open until 5 November.
Levi (4/26 lifts; 2/38.5km piste; 10-26cm base), Ruka (6/22 lifts; 2/19km piste; 20-30cm base) in Finland.
Kabdalis (1/4 lifts; 1/9km piste; 30-75cm base) in Sweden.
Galdhøpiggen (1/1 lift; 1.5/2km piste; 30-100cm base) in Norway.
Closer to home Scotland has seen its first snowfalls of the season and the diehards have been out hiking up and sliding down.
Mom & Pop hill Ski Ward in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, got the jump on the Colorado and California resorts and became the first North American ski area to open for the season on 22 October 2023. To accomplish the seemingly impossible feat, the small ski area utilised its new Latitude 90 all-weather snowmaking technology that can make snow even when outdoor temperatures are as high as 23 Celcius.
And this past weekend, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado became the first North American resort to open fully for the 2023/24 winter season.
Arapahoe Basin (1/9 lift; 1/145 runs; 46-46cm base) in Colorado, USA.
Forecast for the Next 3-4 Days
A storm system is due to hit the Alps on Tuesday 31 October bringing 15-25cm of new snow above 2,000m. This will be much needed at all the glacier resorts but it may cause temporary closures.
Make sure you check before you travel.
The Nordic countries will see below-freezing temperatures and clear skies in the coming days.
North American resorts are gearing up for the traditional Opening Weekend over the national Thanksgiving Day holidays beginning on Thursday 23 November with consistent snowfall forecast.