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Sunday December 4, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

Not for the high altitude resorts but for the lower ones. It is perhaps too early to press the panic button but many resorts are scheduled to open in a few weeks and there is little snow at many. UPDATED

At high-altitude in the Alps there are some of the best early season conditions in recent years.

Above 2,000m or so many slopes have deep snow.

The best places to head for are Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier and the glacier resorts in the Austrian Tirol.

A team from PlanetSKI has been in Val d'Isère and Tignes.

"The on piste skiing was quite simply exceptional with excellent cover and the cold temperatures meant there was firm grippy snow.  And best of all we had the slopes pretty much to ourselves," said PlanetSKI's senior news reporter, Katie Bamber.

Katie BamberKatie Bamber
















See here for our story and videos on conditions on piste in Espace Killy - PISTE PERFECTION.

Katie carving some moreKatie carving some














"High pressure is still dominating the weather in the Alps and will continue to do so all week. There is a chance that some northern and eastern parts of the Alps might see some snow this time next week but this is far from certain, and the bigger picture is still unfavourable in terms of a more sustained return to winter any time soon," said the alpine weather expert, Fraser Wilkin.

See the web site for the latest details. 

For the moment though the colder temperatures have allowed artifcial snow to be made and all the resorts that can turn on their cannons pretty much have.

Even the ones with good levels of snow.

Val d'Isere, FranceVal d'Isère, France















Radio TV Val D'Isère was so taken with the snowmaking in the resort that it set it to music and published a short video on its Facebook page. 


The cannons are on across the Alps.

Cannon at FontenayVerbier, Switzerland

















Lower altitude slopes towards SavoleyresLower altitude towards Savoleyres
















On Monday morning on-piste conditions were very good and, with the assistance of snow cannons, the ski slopes in Verbier were groomed to perfection.

The view across the mountains from the cable car heading up to Les Attelas.



Monday morning temperature at RuinettesMonday morning temperature at Ruinettes - Verbier
















The PlanetSKI social media editor, Krystyna Cove, is currently in Verbier.

"It is cold and crisp with good, grippy on piste snow conditions at altitude. The areas exposed to high traffic are hard packed, but overall piste conditions are good. It is not especially crowded so there's enough good snow for everyone," said Krystyna Cove.

"However there is little off piste skiing to be had and there are many rocks still exposed, though we enjoyed a very pleasant ski down Chasseure. Sadly there is not enough snow to ski down to the resort and people need to get the lift down," she added.


View from Cabanne MontfortVerbier, Switzerland
















La Chaux - new chair liftVerbier, Switzerland
















Perhaps the best way to judge the conditions is to look at the resort web cameras.

We did on Monday and compared the top of the resort to the bottom.

Here's Alpe d'Huez:

Alpe d'Huez Les Marmottes 3060m webcam imageAlpe d'Huez Les Marmottes 3060m
















Alpe d'Huez 1860m webcam imageAlpe d'Huez 1860m












See here for our article that also looks at Courchevel in France plus Zell am See/Kaprun & Sölden in Austria, St Moritz & Engelberg in Switzerland and Selva Val Gardena in Italy.

Resorts are opening and at the top of the mountains the conditions are good.

Here is St Anton in the Austrian Tirol.

St Anton, AustriaSt Anton, Austria













"There is not so much snow here as in the Western Alps, but the snow conditions on slopes are perfect," said PlanetSKI reader, Tomasz Wojciechowski, from Stubai in Austria.

Stubai, AustriaStubai, Austria













And let's not forget North America where snow is falling.

Big time in some places.

Jackson Hole in Wyoming has had around 50cm and this is what it looks like.

Jackson Hole, USAJackson Hole, USA















Jackson Hole, USAJackson Hole, USA















Jackson Hole, USAJackson Hole, USA















The PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, has skied in over 600 ski resorts across the world, but never Jackson Hole.

"It hasn't featured much on PlanetSKI either, but I hope to put that right this winter with a visit to one of the most iconic resorts in North America," said James.

Watch this space!

One place he has visited often in North America, and where he will ski a couple of times this winter, is Banff in Canada.

Sunshine Village is a personal favourite - see here for why.

"It's been snowing pretty much solidly for the last day and a half. We had 18cm of fresh snow on Saturday night," said PlanetSKI reporter, Alex Cove, who lives in Banff and works as a ski instructor in Sunshine Village.

Sunshine Village, CanadaSunshine Village, Canada
















Sunshine Village, CanadaSunshine Village, Canada
















Sunshine Village, CanadaSunshine Village, Canada
















Here on PlanetSKI we will be updating this story across the week until our main snow report is posted on Thursday afternoon.

Stay tuned!

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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