Latest snow report
Updated: 2.10pm Monday 7 November 2016
Winter has arrived early in the Alps, with significant new snowfall at altitude, snow to below 1000m in places and plenty more snow in the forecast.
Does this constitute a great start to the 2016-17 season?
It’s too early to be sure just yet but what we can say with some certainty is that we do have the makings of a decent high altitude base. What’s needed after a major snowfall at this time of year is for it to stay cold - even better if it is followed by further snowfalls - and this is precisely what we are going to see this week.
It will probably turn milder next week, but by then most (though perhaps not quite all) areas should have enough snow above about 2000-2200m to see us through to winter proper.
This doesn’t guarantee anything for the lower resorts of course, but here too we have reason to be optimistic, with a likely return to a colder weather pattern later in the month…
All eight Austrian glacier areas are open and have lots of fresh snow, with 60cm this weekend in Hintertux, for example. Non-glacial Kitzbühel also has some skiing available on some carefully managed “old snow” from last year and there may be more openings over the coming days.
Right now, however, the most extensive and varied skiing is on the glaciers at Hintertux (105cm upper base), Sölden (115cm upper base), Stubai (80cm upper base) and Kaprun (70cm upper base), all of which have lots of fresh snow and (weather-permitting) will offer fabulous skiing this week.
Of the French ski resorts only Tignes is open at the moment, but there has been lots of new snow (at least 40cm) on the Grande Motte glacier, where the settled snow depth is now 100cm.
The best skiing (weather permitting) in Italy is on the glaciers at Val Senales (85cm upper base) and Cervinia (125cm upper base), both of which have had a decent dump of snow over the weekend.
You can also ski on a handful of runs at Solda/Sulden (60cm upper base), and don’t be surprised if other resorts open a few runs in the very near future.
The best skiing in Switzerland remains on the glaciers above Zermatt (90cm upper base) and Saas-Fee (130cm upper base), both of which saw a useful fall of snow over the weekend.
You can also ski on the glaciers at Glacier 3000 and Les Diablerets, but Engelberg is currently closed for a couple of weeks for maintenance.
Rest of Europe
Elsewhere in Europe you can ski on mostly artificial snow in Ruka, Finland (25cm upper base) but otherwise there is very little officially open.
Most US resorts are yet to open but you can ski a limited number of runs at Arapahoe Basin (0/45cm) with the help of artificial snow.
October saw plenty of snow in the resorts of western Canada, especially at altitude, though most of them are yet to open. The main exception is Sunshine Village near Banff (64/73cm) where 56 trails are open and on-piste snow conditions are pretty good for the time of year.
Next full snow report will be on Thursday 10 November 2016,
but see Today in the Alps for regular updates