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It's chucking it down!
Saturday November 22, 2008 - Email this article to a friend

Heavy snow has been falling across large parts of the Alps with some resorts opening and others unable to because of too much snow. A team from planetSKI was in the Swiss Alps at the weekend.

In the Swiss resort of Verbier it was snowing all day on Saturday, however high winds at the top of the mountain meant the lifts were unable to open.

"The winds are gusting at over 100km/hr and it is too dangerous to open them," said a spokeswoman from the resort. However the weather eased off on Sunday and it was a beautiful powder day. There is due to be further snow this week.

Some people were disappointed not to get a ski in on Saturday but most people were delighted at the sight of so much snow at this time of year.  The early season conditions were good last winter, this year they are even better. 

Take a look at the video below to see what it was like. Despite the lifts not opening on Saturday one person at least got his snowboard on!

We'll have a video of Sunday's fantastic skiing and snowboarding conditions later in the week. Meanwhile if you want to see what the conditions are like take a look at the photos of the week on the planetSKI home page.  All the pictures were taken at the weekend.

verbier_q_400It's the same story across the Alps. 

Many resorts opened at the weekend, some of them ahead of schedule.

In Switzerland Crans Montana and Wengen opened while 4 Austrian resorts fired up their lifts for the first time this winter.

In France Val Thorens and Tignes are the only resorts open even though many have enough snow. 

verbier_table_400The French tend to stick to their scheduled opening dates even if they have good snow.

In the Pyrenees the major resorts in Andorra opned ahead of schedule.  It's a welcome relief for them as last winter, despite good conditions across the Alps and North America, they had a poor winter with a significant drop in British skiers and snowboarders.

The snow has also bought difficulties to the transport system for although the storm was expected people did not think it would bring quite so much snow.  PlanetSKI reader Georgia Fitzgerald drove from Tignes in France to Switzerland yesterday.  It took her over 5 hours instead of the normal 3.

georgia_400"There were cars abandoned that had skidded off the road and we had to go very carefully on the mountain roads.  When we got to Chamonix the rain suddenly turned to snow like someone had pressed a switch.  They were huge great flakes," she told us.

Check out some of the pictures of the snow on Saturday on this other story on

Meanwhile below is a short film from a planetSKI trip to Saas Fee last month.

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  - Open
St Anton – 28th November
Lech – 28th November
Zell am See/Kaprun – Open

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

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


Selva – 29th November
Cervinia - Open


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