As the UK basks in a relatively mild autumn, ski resorts across Europe and North America, are enjoying the first heavy snowfalls of the season, with more forecast to come.
As some resorts are planning to open this coming weekend, the snow couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
In Keystone, North America, 72cm of snow means the resort plans to open its lifts on Friday 5th November this year, and Breckenridge, also North America saw 40cm fall within 24 hours and will open its lifts on the 12th November.
Across Europe the snow has also begun to fall with the Austrian resort of Hintertux, and Tignes in France seeing the heaviest falls with 40cm in a week.
Zermatt in Switzerland had already seen 173cm of snow this year, and has had another 15cm in the last few days; forecasters predict it will see another 48cm in the next few days, with nearby Saas Fee expecting a further 54cm.
The mountains above Zermatt saw so much snow over the summer months that all ascents of the Matterhorn were suspended, great news for skiers but not so good for climbers and guide companies.
Cervinia in Italy is expecting another 30cm before they open their lifts this coming weekend.
More snow is also expected in North America where Timberline is eagerly awaiting another 32cm on top of the 80cm already covering its popular slopes.
Aviemore in Scotland got off to a great start last year with early snowfalls, and they are hoping to see the same again this year. Snow has already dusted the highlands but not enough to get things underway just yet.
A spokesperson for the Ski Club of Great Britain commented, “The early season snow falls we have seen this week have been quite significant for this time of year. The snow will set us up for the season in terms of laying a good base, which is particularly significant at higher altitudes where the snow is unlikely to melt.”
The main ski season doesn’t usually start until late December, snow in many resorts across Europe cannot be guaranteed before then and many hotels don’t even open until the middle of the month. January and February are extremely popular as most resorts usually have a good covering by this time.
If you are really desperate to get away now, then take a look at Zech in Austria, Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland. If you want to travel further afield then Aspen, Keystone and Jackson Hole in the United States are currently some of the best options.