After the great early snowfalls, recent temperatures have felt more like autumn again in the Alps. And because of the mild weather, snow machines have been unable to run so skiing is only possible above about 2200m. But it’s all set to change . . . the snow is forecast to return over the next three days with highs of around a metre of powder expected in Italy and half a metre in France, Austria and Switzerland.
There are also more ski openings this weekend for higher resorts, while others have postponed until after the expected snowfalls.
Just a smattering of snow of France this week: 5cm in Tignes and Praloup yesterday. While some resorts have had to scrap openings this weekend, due to insufficient snow depths, three big-name resorts are opening tomorrow.
Tignes and Val Thorens are the only two French resorts to have officially launched their winter seasons. Tignes (0-60) is offering good skiing on the glacier and high runs, but resort runs remain closed. Val Thorens (40-80cm) has some good skiing with 11 open runs and five lifts running.
Val d’Isere (0-30cm) opens for weekend skiing tomorrow (Nov. 29-30) and is offering free skiing on the Pissaillas glacier. The ski and snowboard test village is situated at the Fornet cable car.
After partial openings, Les 2 Alpes (0-80cm) is now poised to kick of its proper winter season tomorrow (Nov. 29). Conditions are good at the top with 90cm on the glacier, but resort runs will remain closed. 10 lifts and 15 runs will open tomorrow.
Serre Chevalier (0-145cm) opens for the first time this weekend (Nov. 29-30) with its Toura area available to skiers. The season will officially kick off Dec. 13.
Montgenevre (15-80cm), La Clusaz, Courchevel and Alpe d’Huez all opened last weekend, but will not to open this weekend and instead wait for more snow. All will open Dec. 6.
France 3-day Snow Forecast: The Pyrenees will see its first substantial snowfalls of the season, with around 40cm for most resorts. The southern alpine resorts of Isola 2000 and Abries are expecting 40-50cm. It’s also great news for Serre Chevalier and Val d’Isere which are both expecting around 10cm for their opening weekends. Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are expecting 5cm which will help freshen the slopes. Click here for full snow forecast.
No new snow has been recorded in the last few days in Austria, but that isn’t stopping resorts from opening.
Ischgl (0-40cm) opened yesterday with 72km of open slopes and 26 lifts running. Best conditions can be found at the top of the mountain. The link into Samnaun, Switzerland is open. The resort will host its Top of the Mountain concert tomorrow (Nov. 29) with special guest James Blunt.
Obergurgl-Hochgurgl (9-81cm) opened last week and has some good snow cover on high runs. One of our snow reporters commented: “You can ski until Hochgurgl and as far as Hochgurglbahn Middlestation and in Obergurgl until the Hohen Mut Bahn Bottom Station.”
Obertauern (0-20cm) opens tomorrow and will kick off with an open-air concert by Andreas Gabalier giving a tribute to the Beatles.
Kuhtai opens today with free skiing when you spend three nights. This deal runs until Dec. 19.
Other resorts have delayed openings, like Mayrhofen, Dachstein West, Reiteralm, and Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang – all of which plan to open Dec. 5/6.
Austria 3-day snow forecast: Widespread snow fall is expected in Austria, with the heaviest dumps on Monday Dec. 1. Nassfeld is topping the table with 61cm forecast over the next three days. The Austrian glaciers will see around 10cm each and they’ll be lighter snow in the open resorts of Obertauern, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl and Ischgl. Click here for full snow forecast.
No snow has been recorded in Italy over the last few days. Seven regions have already partially opened for skiing, including Solda, Aprica, Senales and Cervinia, and others will follow this weekend.
Cervinia (45-195cm) is offering good conditions and the largest ski area in the country with 11 lifts running and the link to Zermatt and the Plateau Rosa open.
Glacier skiing is open at Val Senales (5-250cm) and Passo Tonale (0-300cm).
Cortina d’Ampezzo (0-30cm) is set to open the Faloria ski lifts this weekend. Other ski resorts opening this weekend include Bormio (0-70cm), Champoluc-Monterosa Ski (0-130cm) and Gressoney-la-Trinite (0-130cm).
The deepest snow bases in the country can be found in Adamello Ski (300cm), Schnalstal (250cm) and Madesimo (230cm).
Italy 3-day snow forecast: Sestriere is expecting a whopping 102cm of snow between tomorrow and Monday, great news for its opening next Saturday (Dec. 6). The other Milky Way resorts (also set to open next weekend) will also see substantial snowfalls: 83cm for Sauze d’Oulx and 35cm for Claviere. Other popular resorts expecting snow include Bardonecchia 61cm, Cervinia 49cm, Cortina 36cm, Courmayeur 27cm, and Alta Badia 25cm. Click here for full snow forecast.
No new snow has been recorded in Switzerland, but skiing is possible and what’s more you’ll find some of the biggest open ski areas.
Saas Fee (14-230cm) has the most snow in the country and 10 open pistes.
Zermatt (5-155cm) has the biggest open ski area in Europe with 110km of open slopes.
Samnaun (0-100cm), with its link to Ischgl, opened yesterday.
Davos (2-70cm) kicked off the season last week and is currently running 12 lifts and has 24km of open pistes.
Laax (0-125cm), Andermatt-Sedrun (0-280cm) and Verbier (0-60cm) are currently opening at weekends.
Some Swiss resorts have had to postpone openings this weekend, including Arosa, Lenzerheide, Wengen and Adelboden. Les 4 Vallees is expected to open very soon.
Switzerland 3-day snow forecast: The open resorts of Saas Fee and Zermatt are expecting 55-65cm by Monday, great news for skiers! Around 10cm is also expecting in Verbier, Wengen, Grindelwald and Murren. Click here for full snow forecast
ANDORRA: Andorran resorts are yet to open, but substantial snowfalls are expected over the next rhee days: 76cm for Grandvalira, 55cm for Vallnord/Arcalis and 44cm for Vallnord/Pal-Arinsal.
BULGARIA: Bulgarian resorts are yet to open, but they are expecting light snow this weekend.