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Skiing & snowboarding begins
Friday October 11, 2013 - Email this article to a friend

The huge snowfall that has blanketed many parts of the Alps saw hundreds of people out skiing and snowboarding last weekend. 70cm had fallen in places. More pictures and accounts are coming in. PlanetSKI wil be in Austria on Wednesday. :-)


In Zermatt the glacier has been open for a while but there is now skiing down to Trockener-Steg after 30cm of fresh snow at the weekend.

It missed the big falls of Thursday night but it came in on Friday/Saturday.

"We had about 30cm that fell although it was blown about a bit at the top, it still means the base has started and the Zermatt Lift Company is making snow like it's going out of fashion.  The new snowmaking machine churning out more snow in an hour than the standard snow cannons can create in 24 hours.  Zermatt is open for business!" said PlanetSKI reader, Rowena Phillips, from the Zermatt ski school, European Snowsport.

Zermatt, Saturday 12th OctoberZermatt, Saturday 12th October













Zermatt, Saturday 12th OctoberZermatt, Saturday 12th October













Perhaps the best way to see the transformation of the Alps is from the images below that were taken across last week from the same spot in Zermatt, Switzerland.

Calm before the storm?Zermatt, Tuesday 8th October














Zermatt, Thursday 10thZermatt, Thursday 10th October, AM














Zermatt, Thursday 10th PMZermatt, Thursday 10th October PM














Saturday 12th OctoberZermatt, Saturday 12th October














In Tignes there was an avalanche near the top of the Grande Motte glacier around lunchtime on Sunday. 

It followed heavy snow and strong winds.

We have reported the details in this main PlanetSKI story.

The image below was taken on Saturday of the Grande Motte before the weather closed in.

Grande Motte, TignesGrande Motte, Tignes










Avalanches at this time of year are rare but it follows huge snowfall across the Alps, combined with strong winds.

Tignes opened this weekend and on Saturday morning people were out enjoying one of the best starts to a winter season in recent memory.

The photo below comes from the Grande Motte glacier on Saturday and was posted on Facebook by one of our friends, The Boot Lab.

First freshies in TignesFirst freshies in Tignes













The montage of images below was compiled by the tourist office.

Tignes, 12th October 2013Tignes, 12th October 2013

















In Austria the snow fell overnight on Thursday. By Friday the cross-county skiers were out first as the glaciers resorts were shut or shrouded in fog.

In Seefeld they prepared a few tracks after 50cm covered the village.

This weekend there is a 3 km long skating trail and a classic track of several hundred meters and there is also a 1.5km long skating track in the area nearby.

Seefeld, AustriaSeefeld, Austria














Some small local ski resorts in the Tirol were also open. 

Many people were out enjoying some skiing - enough to form moguls in Axamer.

Axamer, SaturdayAxamer, Saturday













In the higher alpine areas of the Tirol the resort of Hintertux has opened though the weather is still a bit bleak.

It looked a bit murky at the bottom on Friday, but up top the poste bashers were out and some runs open.

Hintertux, AustriaHintertux, Austria

















Hintertux, AustriaHintertux, Austria














A team from PlanetSKI is about to head out to Austria to enjoy our first turns of the season of 2013/14, so do check back later in the week for our reports and videos. 

We will be in Solden, Pitztal and Stubai in the Austrian Tirol, where the most snow has fallen.

Pitztal, SaturdayPitztal, Saturday













Stubai, SaturdayStubai, Saturday











Other people out enjoying the fresh powder was the British Teab GB snowboarder, Jamie Nichols.

"First powder turn of the season! Hopefully this is a sign of a good season ahead," he said.

Jamie in the powderJamie in the powder











Hautes Pyrenees

In Germany the resorts are also covered in snow with people out on the slopes.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, SaturdayGarmisch-Partenkirchen, Saturday













For our stories from Friday on PlanetSKI see our one as the snow came down that we posted in the morning and then an updated article as the full extent of the fall became clear.

We have a full photogallery here with some stunning images from across the Alps sent in by our readers, reporters and friends.

Sadly much of the snow will melt and will have little impact on the season ahead.

It is 6-8 weeks away for many resorts and much will happen in the meantime.

We are just delighted to see the snow in the first half of October and look forward to skiing on it in a matter of days.

We will bring you more weekend reports from people out skiing and snowboarding later on PlanetSKI.

For the spirit of the mountains

Hautes Pyrenees


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