Bumper Snowfall to Start Early Ski Season in Europe: ‘One of the best starts I can remember’

The slopes in Cervinia, Valle d’Aosta. © Andrew Corbley

Last week, ski resorts from the French Alps right the way down to the Dolomites are reporting over 3 feet, or a meter of fresh powder, kicking off an early start to the skiing season.

It was assumed that Europe’s favorite winter pastime was going to be delayed after a persistently warm October, but November temps fell to a crisp 1990s sort of climate.

In dozens of locations across the Alps, towns and communes experienced 2 meters of snow, or over 6 feet, falling on them in just 24 hours.

Big resorts in France, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria have all moved the opening date of the season up at least a week to November 18th. This includes big resorts like Tignes and Val Thorens in France, Passo del Tonale, Temu, and Madonna di Campiglio in Italy, Kitzbühel in Austria, and Davos, Zermatt, and Verbier in Switzerland, with the latter opening three weeks earlier than last year.

“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 of Ski Solutions holiday company, Ian McIlrath told Travel Weekly.

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“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.”

Some ski resorts lower down the mountains have been forced to close as the climate changes, and like the record snowfall in California and Utah last spring, the news comes as a nice reminder that you can always count on the weather, precisely because you can never count on the weather.

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