FIRST BIG SNOWFALL OF WINTER CONTINUES
7th November 2016 | James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
The Alps has been pounded with snow and more is now falling. But will it make any difference to the approaching ski season? Yes! Check out our updated report. NEW & UPDATED
The first storm hit over the weekend and continued into Monday.
Tuesday was a blue sky day across the Alps and allowed the resort staff to get out to make the most of it and prepare the slopes for the season ahead.
Val Thorens in France is the highest resort in the Alps at 2,300m.
The resort due to open on November 25th – a team from PlanetSKI will be in the resort for its opening weekend and to say we are excited is an understatement.
Though a little bird has told us some of its area may open sooner – we’ll keep you posted 😉
The snowfall is also great news if you are – or can be – in Courchevel at the end of this week.
The French resort officially opens on 10th December, but is offering free skiing on Friday, firing up its lifts for just 1 day.
This is the message on its website: November 6th it snowed. November 7th we groom. And Friday November 11th you will ski for free!
And just in case you need any persuading, the resort posted this photo on its Facebook page on Monday.
Over in Cervinia in Italy our good friends from the Warren Smith Ski Academy were out making some turns:
Today, Wednesday, the snow has returned in places and we’ll bring you more information and pictures later.
Best of all the temperatures have remained cold and there is snow down to 500m in places.
This is one of the best images we have seen today.
It shows the Austrian resort of Zell am See by the lake and the glacier area of Kitzteinhorn in the distance.
And here is what it is like for the lucky few out on the slopes of the Kitzteinhorn glacier today.
There could be almost 1m in places according to some experts.
There is 80cm+ forecast for St Anton in Austria and 80cm+ for Les Arcs in France.
Alpe d’Huez, Tignes, La Plagne, Meribel, Val d’Isere and Val Thorens are all predicted to receive over half a metre.
However it is due to turn milder at the weekend so much of the low lying snow may melt.
When the first storm cleared it looked fabulous across the Alps.
There has been significant snowfall at altitude pretty much across the whole of the Alps.
Here are some images from the Swiss resort of Laax.
One of the largest accumulations from the weekend storm was at Hintertux in the Tirol in Austria.
Check out some of these images we have from across the Alps and beyond.
And here is what it looks like over on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees at Baqueira Beret.
“Winter has well and truly arrived in the Alps, with significant fresh snow at altitude just about everywhere. In many regions it has also snowed to quite low levels and there is plenty more in the forecast this week,” said the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin, on Monday. He runs the web site weathertoski.co.uk
“The weather in the Alps will remain cold and unsettled for much of this week, perhaps turning a little milder towards the weekend. There will also be further snow at times, heaviest in the northern and western Alps later on Wednesday and through Thursday,” Fraser added.
See here for his detailed assessment on the state of play.
Fraser writes a weekly snow report for PlanetSKI that we published every Thursday throughtout the winter.
His first one will be posted this week.
So they key question is, will this big snowfall make any difference to the season ahead?
Yes and No.
With a decent amount above 2,500, many of the rocks are beginning to get covered and a base is going down.
However it is early days and we need more snow and cold temperatures, but it is most definitely a start and by this time next week se should know for sure.
Lower down it’s impact will be limited as the temperatures may warm up or it may get washed away by rain.
The good news in the short-term is it will remain cold for this week.
After that we simply don’t know.
But what we do know is that it looks good, spirits have risen and here at PlanetSKI we will be keeping a close eye on things.
In the meantime here are a few more images of the snow.
See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.
PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news