First Non-Glacier Resorts Open in the Alps

Verbier was first out of the blocks on Friday, followed by Arosa/Lenzerheide, Sulda & Kitzbuhel. UPDATED

The Swiss resort of Verbier opened the Lac des Vaux are after recent snow with the snow cannons fired up and the pisteurs working hard.

“Thanks to the snowfall of recent weeks and snow making, Televerbier will open the slope of Lac des Vaux this Friday, November 11 in excellent conditions,” said a statement from Televerbier ahead of the opening.

A coffee & croissant was offered to the first skiers on Friday morning.

There was also a 20% discount applied on the 1-day ski pass – Verbier sector.

One of our friends the local Verbier ski instructor, Neal Wardman, was out on the slopes.

During the rest of the month it is hoped the resort will open every weekend before the full opening on December 3rd.

See the social media post from Verbier for more images:

In Switzerland Arosa/Lenzerheide has also opened.

In Austria the resort of Kitzbuhel in the Tirol has opened some slopes.

Two lifts are open, the Resterkogl chairlift and the Panoramabahn II gondola.

In Italy the non-glacier resort of Sulda has also opened some limited terrain.

We will be updating this reports on conditions in those resorts later.

“This weekend there is plenty of fine weather across the Alps, and it will feel very mild too, especially at altitude,” said the alpine weather expert Fraser Wilkin, from weathertoski.co.uk on Saturday.

“Next week will turn more unsettled again with most of the Alps expected to receive at least a few centimetres of snow (at altitude).

“There are no season defining winter storms in the forecast just yet though, and temperatures will fluctuate with the rain/snow limit expected to be between 1,500m and 2,200m.”

Back in Verbier it has become a tradition that on the main opening day in December people come and ski in St Nicolas/Father Christmas fancy dress.

Image c/o Téléverbier

Image c/o Téléverbier

For all people coming to ski in disguise and registered in advance, the price of the day of skiing is set at CHF 5.

Pre-registration is required at  www.verbier4vallees.ch/en and part of the funds raised will be donated to the Theodora Association.

The charity offer moments of laughter and escape children in hospital or with disabilities.

See here for recent PlanetSKI articles on Verbier:

There are currently several glacier areas open in Switzerland: Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Glacier 3000 and Engelberg.

The best skiing is currently to be found in Austria where glacier skiing started in September:

Soelden, Austria. Image c/o Kostantinos Valtadoros

Soelden, Austria. Image c/o Kostantinos Valtadoros

Austria – Kaunertal, Pitztal, Stubai, Kaprun, Soelden and Hintertux.

Italy – Val Senales, Passo Stelvio and Cervinia.

France – There are no areas open as Tignes and Les2Alpes suspended autumn operations.

Val Thorens is planning to be the first top open on 19th November.

Here at PlanetSKI we have been reporting on the recent snow in the USA and Canada, with resorts opening early.

We have also been following the early season conditions in Europe:

We will be updating this article so do check back…

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