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Heavy snow falling, more predicted.
Friday November 14, 2008 - Email this article to a friend

More ski resorts are opening this weekend in the Alps and the Pyrenees. Many ahead of schedule. We have reports direct from the Alps, the Rockies and the Pyrenees from people already out enjoying the snow. Bring it on!

Switzerland seems to be getting the best of the snow at the moment in the Alps with several more resorts opening this weekend including Wengen and Crans Montana. Over in Austria 4 resorts are firing up their lifts and in France, the highest resort in Europe, Val Thorens, swings into action. 

At the moment only Tignes is open in France as the French seem to stick to their official opening dates even though many resorts have enough snow.  Even Les Gets, which is at 1127m is predicting a metre of snow by early next week. We'll have some pictures from there next week from one of planetSKI's readers if it lives up to expectations.

It's been a great start to the winter.

Verbier is now open for weekend skiing and has seen good early season conditions. As reported elsewhere on the site we have a team from planetSKI in the resort this weekend to show us what it's like. Charlie and Oliver Jefferies, went out to Switzerland for Verbier’s opening weekend on November 8th.

verbier_october1_400"It was great! There was quite a big queue as alot of people head to Verbier for the opening weekend and although only Lac des Vaux was open it was beautiful snow and just so nice to be skiing powder at this time of year," says Charlie. "Lets hope it bodes well for a good winter ahead".

The snow across the mountains is a welcome relief for those in the ski industry as it faces a difficult season.   Check out our story on what may lie in store for the winter.
Here at we were in Saas Fee at the end of last month. Although only the glacier was open there was still a decent amount of snow, as the video report below shows.


The last week has seen heavy snowfalls across Austria, France and Italy too.

The upper slopes of Cervinia in Italy are open with a base of 195cm

The Italian resort of Bormio has opened a month early after heavy snowfall and over in the Spanish Pyrenees, Formigal, started its lifts last weekend.

The earliest the Spanish resort has opened for many years.

The resorts in Andorra are due to open this weekend too which is a welcome relief after the poor snowfalls of last winter when the rest of the resorts had such good conditions.

test_400Engelberg has been open since October 11th.

"That's early even by our standards," says Maria Ferreti from the resort's Tourist Office. "There's another massive dump expected at the end of the week. Bring it on!!!"

As reported above Val Thorens opens this weekend though Tignes is still the best place to head for with the glacier open and all the runs down to the resort. The Double M run opened so it's possible to ski down to resort level. Some say it's the best early season conditions for a decade.

tignes_tree_snow_400“Tignes is usually pretty good at this time of year and I’ve been out a few times in November, but this year is especially good,” says one of the editors of, Kisia Cove. “Powder turns in November is a pretty good way to start the winter!”

It’s the same story over in North America.  Snowbird in Utah opened on November 7th, the earliest start in its 38-year history.  Mammoth in California opened 10 days early too.

One of the lucky ones out in Snowbird for the opening day was snowboarder, Megan Carney. "The first day of the season was unexpected and awesome.There was perfect powder and plenty of coverage. Lets hope it's going to be another epic season".

Closer to home, the Scottish resorts of Cairngorm and The Lecht were open for a short time at the beginning of November after some snowfall.  The Lecht has now shut as the weather warmed up, while Cairngorm is closed as maintenance work has to be carried out.

Scandinavia hasn’t missed out either with the Norwegian resort of Geilo opening 3 weeks early with 50cm of snow on its runs.

We’ll be keeping you up to date here at on all the early season conditions from our team of reporters around the mountains so keep looking at the web site if you want to know how the snow base develops around the mountains.

If you want to see some video of the conditions in Tignes this month then take a look at the video below.


Opening dates for the major resorts.
Not all runs are open and many resorts are open at weekends only, so do check out the resort’s web site if you are planning to go.

Obergurgl - Open
Sölden  - 22nd November
St Anton – 28th November
Lech – 28th November
Zell am See/Kaprun – 22nd November

Tignes – Open
Val d’Isere – 29th November
Val Thorens – 22nd November

Saas Fee – Open
Zermatt – Open
Verbier – Open
St Moritz – 22nd November
Davos/Klosters – 21st November


Selva – 29th November
Cervinia - Open

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