News Headlines     |     


Monday November 26, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The ski season is underway with resorts opening & others set to follow. PlanetSKI reports. UPDATED

A swathe of new resorts opened this weekend across the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Here are some from the French Alps: Les 2 Alpes, Alpe d’Huez, Montgenèvre and Isola 2000, to name just a few.

Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France

"The snow is here and we are ready for opening day!!!!" said Alex Chapman from Tip Top Coaching on the eve of opening day in Les2Alpes.

And the links between Val d'Isere and Tignes in France also opened at the weekend.

Linked upLinked up

Here at PlanetSKI we declare that the season of 2018/19 has started.

See here for our detailed report on the snow across Europe and North America:

The weekend saw another batch of resorts firing up their lifts in the Alps.

Serre Chevalier in the southern French Alpst had 40cm of fresh snow.

It opened this weekend and will also be open next weekend before non-stop skiing from December 15th.

In Austria Lech/Zurs, St Anton, Kuhtai and Mayrhofen all opened.

Elsewhere across the Alps teams of resort staff are arriving for the season ahead.

"Our chalet staff have arrived in France! First job, clear the snow!" said Ski Amis.

Ski Amis clears the decksSki Amis clears the decks

















And resorts in the Pyrenees open too this weekend - in Andorra and the French Pyrenees.

See here for a separate PlanetSKI report on the Pyrenees:

PlanetSKI's senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, has been in Cervinia in the Aosta Valley in Italy.

Cervinia, ItalyCervinia, Italy
















"Conditions are brilliant. Blue bird -13C at top on glacier but no wind. Yesterday in Italy and in Zermatt there was very low visibility and a few cm of snow," said Katie.

"End of day skiing back into Italy was pure magic. Mont Rosa glacier back home into Italy was pastel colours as it seems to have proven every day."

"Everyone is saying that we have the best conditions in the Alps."

Cervinia, ItalyCervinia, Italy
















Cervinia, ItalyCervinia, Italy
















Cervinia, ItalyCervinia, Italy
















She will be posting a full report shortly so do check back for that.

Here's Verbier last week with snow at resort level:


Verbier, SwitzerlandVerbier, Switzerland




















And it's fortunate PlanetSKI has been in Cervinia - it is where some of the best snow in the Alps is.

Check out the deep pow close to the Gnifetti Hut that is a refuge in the Alps in the Aosta Valley.


Deep Pow close to Gnifetti Hut, the Aosta Valley Deep Pow close to Gnifetti Hut, the Aosta Valley













There has also been some welcome snow over in Austria.

The view from Innsbruck in the TirolThe view from Innsbruck in the Tirol















Meanwhile our chief reporter, Jane Peel, was in the Val Thorens, the highest resort in the Alps, as it opened at the end of November.

And we've been monitoring things elsewhere:

And it's not just us humans out enjoying the snow.

Here are others in Carinthia in Austria:

So, where is it now possible to make a few turns?

AUSTRIA: Ischgl, Kitzbuhel, Soelden, Obergurgl, Hintertux, Kitzteinhron, Stubai Lech/Zurs, St Anton, Kuhtai and Mayrhoffenand Pitztal.

FRANCE: Tignes, Val Thorens, Val d'Isere Les 2 Alpes, Alpe d’Huez, Montgenèvre Serre Chevalier and Isola 2000.

ITALY: Cervinia, Alagna, Val Senales, Solda, Passo Tonale and Madonna.

SWITZERLAND: Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Engelberb, St Moritz and Davos.

And elsewhere in Europe resorts are open:

FINLAND: Ruka and Levi.

NORWAY: Kvitfjell and Beitostolen.

See here for more about the skiing in Norway.

SPAIN: Sierra Nevada.

Most resorts have been able to open thanks to an arsenal of snow cannons - without them skiing and snowboarding would be on hold in much of the Alps.

There are few dustings forecast for this week but nothing really worth talking about.

Cannons to the rescueCannons to the rescue
















And also opening  at the weekend was Glencoe in Scotland, after it purchased a snow factory.

And here's the snow factory continuing to pump it out ahead of the opening this weekend.

Glencoe, ScotlandGlencoe, Scotland
















"Overall is had not been a great start to winter in Europe so far, but any talk of a poor winter at this stage is utterly ridiculous," says the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.

"It is simply far too early to make any predictions and anything could happen. Many great seasons in the Alps have started with a poor November."

"There are some notable exceptions at the moment, particularly in the central Alps in Italy and Switzerland, where early-season conditions have been good."

"The southern Alps have also seen some decent falls."

Cervinia, Italy Cervinia, Italy


















The image above comes from The Warren Smith Ski Academy that is currently running its autumn training courses in Cervinia.

Meanwhile James makes his first turns in Les3Vallees in France on December 7th.

He'll be staying in Reberty above Les Menuires and hopefully heading over to Meribel, Courchevel and other parts of the massive ski area.

Here's what it looks like at the moment with pictures from our friends over at PowderNShine.

Reberty, Les3Vallees, FranceReberty, Les3Vallees, France













Reberty, Les3Vallees, FranceReberty, Les3Vallees, France














Reberty, Les3Vallees, FranceReberty, Les3Vallees, France














But if you want to read about the best powder there is perhaps only one place to look at the moment - North America.

It is getting off to a record-breaking start and we have been following the snow closely:

America is callingAmerica is calling


















And the most unlikely resort opening for some snowsports at the weekend?

Step forward Cardrona in New Zealand where summer has been interupted by 50cm of snow:

Cardronna, New ZealandCardrona, New Zealand













Here at PlanetSKI, as always, we will be updating this with all the very latest on the snow and the resorts opening so do check back...

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

Related Articles

OUR LATEST SNOW REPORT IS OUT (Friday December 6, 2019)
GREAT EARLY SEASON SKIING (Friday December 6, 2019)
OUR SNOW REPORT IS OUT (Saturday November 30, 2019)
THE SNOW IS BACK (Thursday November 28, 2019)
WE'RE IN THE THICK OF IT (Tuesday November 26, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners