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Saturday September 22, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The cows are returning to their sheds in the Alps, the first dustings have appeared + cannons are switched on in the USA.


The latest pictures we have were sent to us on October 1st.

From our home resort of Verbier in Switzerland.

The first dustings have appeared up on the ski slopes - a sure sign that the seasons are changing.

Verbier, SwitzerlandVerbier, Switzerland











And from Murren over in Centeal Switzerland from Murrenlover:

Murren, SwitzerlandMurren, Switzerland

Meanwhile, the Alps have been alive with the sounds of cow bells.

They are being brought down for the winter from their summer alpine pastures.

In many rustic hamlets centuries old traditions are being played out.

We spied this as well - an old Scandinavian method of calling the cows down from the mountains that has been carried on:

In Austria in the resort of Kaprun, snow is falling thick, with less than a week to go before it opens for the season.

Snow on the KitzsteinhornSnow on the Kitzsteinhorn




















But it's not all good news in Europe.

Tignes has the longest ski season in France, and usually boasts skiing during each month of the year.

The winter season runs from October through May with the huge Grande Motte glacier offering sessions during the summer months.

30 years ago the resorts skied 365 days a year.

However, record temperatures this summer mean that the resort is postponing its hoped-for opening date this month.

Originally slated for a high up skiing session on the glacier this Saturday 29th, Tignes will now aim for 16th October, meaning no skiing during the month of September this year...

First Snow in Tignes, 26th August 2018First Snow in Tignes - photo 26th August, 2018

Then again, it's a mixed bag when it comes to snow, conditions and opening ski areas across the Alps.

The Kauntertal glacier in Austria announced on Tuesday 25th September that it will open this Saturday 29th with excellent looking conditions to boast:

A handful of glacier resorts in Austria, Italy and Switzerland are currently open for European skiing.

Over the in the USA the first signs of winter approaching are marked in different ways.

The annual battle between Arapahoe Basin and Loveland in Colorado to be the first to open.

It usually hapens in November but is proceded with the snow cannons being switched on.

A-Basin is first out of the blocks.

It fired up 8 cannons on Friday 21st September - its earliest start to snowmaking for a decade.

Though it was more of a test run to ensure everything is working, rather than a concerted effort.

Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado













Arapahoe Basin, ColoradoArapahoe Basin, Colorado













Loveland is not far behind and is making its preparations.

The cannons are being made ready and a start date of September 28th has been pencilled in.

So, can Loveland win this year?

A-Basin has opened first in six of the past seven years, with 2015/2016 scored as a tie.

We'll let you know here on PlanetSKI who wins this year.

What we do know is that by then the cows in the Alps will all have been brought down from their summer grazing pastures many weeks earlier.

Winter is on its way folks!


And if you want to see the first dustings in North America:

Loveland, Colorado, USALoveland, Colorado, USA

Sunshine Village, Alberta, CanadaSunshine Village, Alberta, Canada

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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

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