It was due to open on Saturday, but now snow is heading to parts of the Alps. See here as we publish some planned Opening Dates. UPDATED


Verbier was due to open the Lac des Vaux area from Saturday, 2nd November.
Weekend skiing and snowboarding was expected to continue until the end of the month before turning into 7-days a week.
But it has been cancelled with next weekend pencilled in.
We’re pleased to report that snow is on its way to the Alps over the next few days.
Here’s the latest from the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin, from WeatherToSki.
“The weather in the Alps is becoming interesting, with a protracted storm cycle set to bring significant snow to some areas over the coming days, especially in higher parts of the western Alps,” said Fraser on Friday, November 1st.

“Over the next two to three days, the wind will predominately come from the west or south-west, creating a Foehn effect on the north-eastern side of the Alps.
“This will lead to very mild and mostly dry weather in the Austrian Alps (though still with a few showers here and there), but quite a lot of precipitation for the French Alps (e.g. Tignes, Les 2 Alpes), the western Swiss Alps (e.g. Verbier) and western and central parts of the Italian Alps (e.g. Passo Tonale).”
“The rain/snow limit will initially sit well above 2000m but will drop steadily next week.”

“More generally, there is still lots of uncertainty as to how the weather in the Alps will pan out next week, as it will depend on the exact position of the jet stream, which will be meandering very close to or over the Alps.”

“One thing that is for certain is that the weather will remain unsettled, with current models still favouring the western Alps in terms of snowfall. The western Alps will also see the coldest temperatures, with snow possible to 1500m (or even lower) at times.”

There is some skiing to be had in the Alps.
Kitzbuhel in Austria is the only non-glacier resort in the Alps offering skiing at the moment.
It opened a run on Resterhöhe on 19th October.

The alpine ski resorts currently with some slopes open are:

Austria – Hintertux, Sölden, Stubai, Kaprun, Mölltal, Kaunertal, Kitzbuhel and Pitztal.

Switzerland – Zermatt, Saas-Fee and Engelberg.

• Italy – Passo Stelvio, Cervinia and Val Senales.

France – Tignes.

And here are some Opening Dates from our good friends over at Maison Sport:

Top 15 resort opening dates:

  • Courchevel – 07/12/2019
  • Val d’Isere – 30/11/2019 (partial opening – 29/11/2019)
  • Chamonix Mont-Blanc – 14/12/2019 (Les Houches opens – 21/12/2019)
  • Tignes – 30/11/2019
  • Meribel – 07/12/2019
  • Val Thorens – 23/11/2019
  • Morzine – 14/12/2019
  • Les Arcs – 21/12/2019
  • Megeve – 07/12/2019
  • Les Menuires – 07/12/2019
  • La Tania – 14/12/2019
  • Courmayeur – 30/11/2019
  • Les Gets – 21/12/2019 (partial opening – 14/12/2019)
  • Alpe d’Huez – Early December
  • Avoriaz – 13/12/2019

Weather permitting, the three valleys ski pass will work from 07/12/2019

Tignes, France

Tignes, France














And in Switzerland:

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland














Engelberg, Switzerland

Engelberg, Switzerland















Last weekend Cervinia in the Aosta Valley in Italy joined the party.

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy
















All the open ski areas are glacier resorts except for Kitzbuhel that has managed to do so with large quantities of snow saved from last season and stored under an insulating tarpaulin.

800 people turned out on the opening weekend.

However some environmentalists question the actions of skiing on snow saved from last winter.

It’s “just grotesque in the era of climate urgency,” said a comment from the Green Party in Salzburg.

The organisation argues that snowsports should wait till winter gets underway properly.

Elsewhere it is just a handful of runs on the glaciers of each resort, but conditions have been pretty good for the time of year.

Especially in Austria.

We have reported on the alpine openings earlier on PlanetSKI.

This weekend the cold snap will produce more natural snow at altitude in the Alps.

And the World Cup kicked off in Soeden on the Rettenbach glacier last weekend.

On the podium

On the podium









So, what is it like skiing and snowboarding at this time of year?

Three years ago PlanetSKI was in Stubai at the end of October and it was packed with people enjoying fresh powder snow.

And while we are looking at the Alps the same question can be asked about North America as resorts are already open in the USA with more coming.

Loveland and Mt Rose in the USA + Nakiska in Canada opened on Friday as we have reported elsewhere on PlanetSKI:

Ready to go in Loveland

Ready to go in Loveland















So, has the ski season started?

Er, yes.

Not a lot but it is underway.

For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news