Welcome to the 2013/14 ski season! Today is our first snow report and you can read one every Thursday until the end of April.
Our friends on Facebook will have seen the pictures over the last couple of weeks - showing the first major snow dumps of the 2013/14 ski season, particularly on the glaciers, and the lucky few who've already carved up the slopes.
So let's get an up-to-date look at where to find the best snow conditions and open ski resorts in Europe.
Big-name French ski resorts of Val Thorens, Val d'Isere, Tignes, Alpe d'Huez and Les Arcs all benefitted from the snowfall on Oct. 11-12, but at the moment the only open skiing in France is in Tignes, which is partially open (8km of slopes, 5 lifts on the glacier area). Between 3,000 and 3,456m, the ski conditions are good with 90cm of “sweet” snow. It’s possible to ski from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm with a full day ski pass reduced to €34,00/adult (€27,00 for childrens). More slopes/lifts are expected to open over the coming days/weeks, including the “Double M” run back to resort. The Tignes-Val d'Isere Espace Killy ski area is due to open in full Nov. 30.
Taking the cable car up to Tignes' Grande Motte Glacier
From this weekend, another ski resort will also welcome skiers: Les 2 Alpes, currently with 85cm of snow, will partially open its glacier ski area from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3. The Toussaint Weekend promises to be particularly lively: On Oct. 26-27, the opening of the glacier is celebrated with two big events: "Enjoy the Glacier" (a snowboarding event) and "Ski Tests & Rock'N Roll" (a ski test event). For this first weekend of the season, the skipass will be at a price of €22 a day.
Les 2 Alpes snowpark is looking good ahead of opening this weekend
Copyright: Les 2 Alpes Tourism
All the glaciers are open and in great condition. Two weeks ago up to 70cm of snow dumped on the glaciers - Stubai
- and more recently a further 9cm on Oct. 17. The biggest snow depth right now in Austria is on the Moelltal Glacier
with 150cm followed by Hintertux Glacier
with 135cm. Soelden
also benefitted from the snowfall earlier this month and is reporting 74cm on upper slopes and 9/33 lifts open - great news as the Alpine World Cup starts this weekend.
October skiing at the Pitztal glacier, Austria
Copyright: Pitztaler glacier
The Presena Glacier
(100cm) opened last weekend to the first lucky skiers. Cervinia
(125cm) is running the Breuil-Cervinia Valtournenche lifts at weekends. Italy currently has the biggest snow depth in Europe right now: Val Senales with 260cm on the Schnals glacier and has 4/17 lifts open.
Presena glacier, Italy open! Oct. 19, 2013
Tuesday brought 10cm of snow to Saas Fee
(150cm), Engadin-St. Moritz
(50cm) and Diavolezza-Pontresina
(50cm). The big news in Switzerland is Engelberg
(35cm) and Diavolezza opened last weekend making it four resorts which are currently open in Switzerland. The other two open resorts: Saas-Fee and Zermatt have the biggest snow depths in Switzerland right now with 150cm. Zermatt has one lift open while Saas Fee has the Alpin Express and Metro Alpin lifts open with skiing on the Allalin glacier (including the freestyle park).
Skiing is open in Engadin. Oct. 19, 2013
Copyright: Engadin Tourism
Tuesday brought 10-15cm of snow to Norwegian ski resorts: Beitostolen, Hafjell and Kvitfjell - a great base for openings in early November. Sweden and Finland are still awaiting snowfalls.
The first skier of 2013/14 at Kvitfjell, Norway
After some snowfall, German resorts have had a really warm week and no new snowfall was reported. We're yet to see any snow in Andorra, Spain, Scotland or Eastern Europe.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Another snow storm is expected to move across the Alps at the beginning of next week, bringing significant around 10-15cm Tuesday to resorts in France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.