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France Opens for Skiing

Tignes and Les2Alpes opened their glaciers on Saturday as the first World Cup ski races took place in Soelden Austria. It will be a winter season like no other as skiing & snowboarding continues to get underway.

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Updated:

It has been one of the best autumns for snow in recent years in the Alps with several decent storms over the past few weeks.

Generally, the glacier skiing is very good for the time of year.

The latest images we have come from Les2Alpes.

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

One of our regular readers, Alex Armand from Tip Top Coaching, was out enjoying the conditions.

“I’ve been up skiing today, it’s fantastic!!!! Snow is full on winter snow and coverage is excellent,” said Alex on Monday.

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Here is Tignes as it prepared to open.

Tignes, France

Tignes, France

And here is Tignes open for the season of 2020/21:

Tignes, France

Tignes, France

Tignes, France

Tignes, France

Tignes, France

Tignes, France

Les2Alpes also opens today.

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

One of our loyal readers, Alex Armand from Tip Top Ski Coaching, is up on the glacier in Les2Alpes and will be updating us over the weekend.

“Only a few days to go and we will be skiing again!” said Alex earlier this week.

And here are a few more pictures fromLes2Alpes to what your appetite.

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

Les2Alpes, France

In Switzerland the Diavolezza area near St Moritz is also scheduled to open this weekend.

In Austria the Kitzsteinhorn snowpark opens on Saturday 17th October on the glacier above Kaprun.

Kitzsteinhorn snowpark

Kitzsteinhorn snowpark

The Rettenbach glacier above Soelden in the Tirol in Austria is also looking pretty good.

On Saturday the women are putting the GS course through its paces.

Sadly, the star of the show, Mikaela Shiffrin, is not be there as she has tweaked her back.

GB’s Alex Tilley is competing.

Alex Tilley finished five times in the top 30 last season in Giant Slalom and came 27th in the 2019 Sölden World Cup.

It was the Italians who took the top spots.

In the men’s event on Sunday it was the turn of the new kids on the block:

New World Cup Podium

New World Cup Podium

Italy and Norways celebrates wins  at Soelden World Cup

Soelden World Cup

Soelden World Cup

World Cup racing starts

World Cup racing starts

It was a good indication of the early form and great to see racing restart after it came to an abrupt end last season as coronavirus spread.

The glacier was closed to the public and only for the use of the World Cup participants – athletes, staff, officials and media – due to Covid-19 restrictions.

We have been following the autumn snowfalls closely on PlanetSKI:

Ski resorts open as massive snowstorm hits the Alps

Snow in the Alps, Pyrenees and beyond

Snow in the mountains

Hintertux, Tirol, Austria

Hintertux, Tirol, Austria

More than a dozen glacier areas are open in Europe, with the majority in Austria.

Austria

Hintertux, Stubai, Sölden, Kaprun, Pitztal, Kaunertal and Mölltal.

Italy

Passo Stelvio and Val Senales.

Switzerland

Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Glacier 3000 and Engelberg.

Glacier 3000, Switzerland

Glacier 3000, Switzerland

The resort of Idrefjell in Sweden is also “opening” this weekend.

With the help of some snow stored from last winter.

Idrefjell, Sweden

Idrefjell, Sweden

Meanwhile the snow cannons are on over in North America.

Vail in Colorado, USA, was among several ski areas to start its snow guns in anticipation of the season ahead.

“We fired up the snowmaking guns on the upper elevation, mid-Vail and then all of our upper elevation terrain where we have snowmaking — over 500 acres. We started that process to make sure we have a great opening scenario on November 20th,” said a statement from the resort.

Arapahoe Basin and Loveland in Colorado have already fired up their snow cannons as they battle it out once again to be the first resort in the USA to open a significant amount of terrain

Plus, some of the natural stuff has fallen too in Canada.

Panorama, British Columbia, Canada

Panorama, British Columbia, Canada

Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada

Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada

All in all, it is going to be a winter like no other with the pandemic very much with us and covid-19 restrictions in place across all ski resorts.

Nevertheless, it is great to see the snow and we are looking forward to the approaching winter – whatever it has in store for us.

Tignes, France

Tignes, France

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