Bumper snowfall sees Europe’s ski resorts open early

Some slopes have reported over a metre of fresh snow in the last week, and more is on the way.


Ski season could start early in some places as resorts across Europe have welcomed bumper snowfall.

After persistently warm weather in October, the Alps have seen chilly weather and heavy snow in the first weeks of November.

Some slopes have reported over a metre of fresh snow in the last week, and more is on the way.

According to holiday company Ski Solutions, next week promises a “winter wonderland” of up to 50cm of snow forecast in Alpine destinations including Crans Montana, La Plagne, Chamonix and Saint Anton.

“Storms have been piling into the Alps for the last two weeks, with snow accumulations of more than 100cm quite widespread now on the upper slopes,” managing director Ian McIlrath told Travel Weekly.

“This will ensure a solid base for the winter ahead, and with a lot more snow in the forecast, it’s shaping up to be one of the best starts to the winter ski season that I can remember.”

The exceptional conditions have prompted a surge in bookings, according to the McIIrath.

Jet2.com has also launched a 10 per cent off sale on flights to some ski destinations including Chambery, Geneva, Grenoble and Salzburg over the winter.

When will Europe’s 2023 ski season start?

With snow lying thickly on the slopes and more to come, several ski resorts have brought forward their opening dates.

Although no slopes in France are open yet, big-name resorts Tignes and Val Thorens have both announced they will open a week earlier than anticipated, on 18 November.

At Tignes, there will be 1,300 metres of slopes available for skiing.

In Austria, Kitzbühel has opened two weeks early as well as Sölden, with 60 kilometres of vertical waiting for skiers.

In Switzerland, there are nine areas already open including big hitters Davos, Zermatt and Verbier, the latter of which opened three weeks early.

Italy’s ski resorts have reported nearly one metre of snow in the last week and Madonna di Campiglio has brought its opening day forward a week to 18 November.

Europe’s ski resorts hit by climate change

The bumper snowfall has been a much-needed blessing for Europe’s ski resorts, which have been suffering amid a warming climate.

Some ski centres at lower altitudes have been forced to close due to a lack of snow.

Recently, a resort overlooking Italy’s Lake Como became the focus of activists arguing the need to direct public investment into alternative mountain activities instead of saving low-lying slopes.

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