SNOW, SNOW & MORE SNOW
10th November 2016
Last modified on May 13th, 2020
The first weekly PlanetSKI snow report is out and what a way to start! Heavy snow has fallen, resorts are opening and the season is getting off to a very good start. UPDATED
It has been a fabulous week for snowfall in the Alps and beyond.
It is one of the best starts we can remember here at PlanetSKI.
However that should also be qualified – it is the first half of November and much may happen between now and the start of the main season in December.
But a good base is down and it will make a huge difference to the start of the season.
Here is what it was like at first light on Friday in the Alps.
And here is how the instructors from the Warren Smith Ski Academy wake up!
Here at PlanetSKI we reported on the snow last weekend as the first storm rolled in.
Then we updated our reports as the next one arrived mid-week.
Then there is the small matter of resorts opening early – some are opening this weekend.
So, it gives us great pleasure to start our weekly snow report with the details of all the snow falling.
We are about as excited as we have ever been about the start of winter.
Our full and detailed snow report below, that was filed on Thursday 10th November, comes from Fraser Wilkin at www.weathertoski.co.uk.
Snow conditions in the Alps are excellent for mid-November, especially across the north-west, where further heavy snow is falling today.
We would even go so far as to say that above 1800m, most (though not quite all) alpine resorts have secured their base for the winter, something of a relief in light of the run of very poor early seasons we have witnessed in recent years.
It will turn milder next week, but not before we have seen lots more snow across the northern half of the Alps over the next 24 to 36 hours.
What’s more, the medium term models are hinting at a return to colder and snowier weather towards the end of the month.
Austria still provides the greatest number of skiing options in the Alps right now.
Weather-permitting, all eight glaciers are open and have fresh snow, with the most extensive terrain in Hintertux, Kaprun, Stubai and Sölden.
You can also ski in Kitzbühel on an area of carefully managed “old snow” preserved from last year and don’t be surprised to see one or two other impromptu openings this weekend with heavy snow forecast on Friday but brighter skies extending from the west on Saturday.
Weather-permitting, only Tignes (30/100cm) is properly open right now and will open its long “double M” run down to resort tomorrow.
On Friday, Courchevel (30/80cm) will be offering a pre-season taster with a day of free skiing.
Alpe d’Huez has just announced that it will also open a handful of runs on Saturday and Sunday.
After more snow today, all three areas are expected to see brighter skies later tomorrow and on Saturday.
Italian resorts may have missed the heaviest of the snow in recent days, but there is still some excellent skiing on offer.
You can currently ski (weather-permitting) in Cervinia (35/135cm), Val Senales (10/90cm) and Sulda (0/60cm).
Of these, Cervinia will offer the most extensive slopes once the weather improves, with plenty of snow to mid-station level, not to mention its links to Zermatt.
Don’t be surprised if one or two other resorts also open prematurely in the next few days.
In Switzerland, weather-permitting, you can currently ski in Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Glacier 3000 (near Les Diablerets) and Diavolezza (near St Moritz).
All of these areas have some fresh snow but by far the most extensive terrain is to be found in Zermatt (5/100cm) and Saas-Fee (10/125cm).
Verbier will also open a couple of non-glacial runs tomorrow in the Lac de Vaux area tomorrow – though weather conditions may be challenging early in the day.
Rest of Europe
There is very little open in Europe beyond the Alps yet, despite some decent snowfall in the Pyrenees.
In Finland you can ski in Ruka (2/25cm), but only in a very limited capacity. .
In Canada, Sunshine Village is the only major ski area open right now, where there is a 73cm upper base.
There is very little lift-served skiing open in the US right now.
One of the few exceptions is Arapahoe Basin (40cm upper base), thanks largely to artificial snow.
Colorado’s Loveland and California’s Mammoth are also expected to open a handful of runs today.
For daily weather bulletins from Fraser then follow it all at www.weathertoski.co.uk.
And we have just received these pictures from Val d’Isere in France as snow falls and UK resort staff arrive.
A team from VIP SKI has just arrived in Val d’Isere.
“These were taken this morning in Val by our Bellevarde Lodge chalet. The track image is behind the chalet the end of the Santons piste,” said Nici Hardy from VIP SKI.
“We arrived at noon on Wednesday and it’s been snowing nonstop, at least 40cm of snow fallen in the last 24-hours,” she added.
The main image on this snow report is VIP SKI’s Gareth Crump with his tape measure.
VIP SKI is a partner of PlanetSKI and if the snow is making you think about getting out there then see here for the early season holidays it is offering.
For the spirit of the mountains