Ski resorts open early as snow falls

10th November 2016, by Abi Butcher

Val d'Isere earlier today: 50cm and counting. Photo: VIP Ski

Val d'Isere earlier today: 50cm and counting. Photo: VIP Ski

A host of ski resorts are opening early this week thanks to bumper snow conditions for mid-November.

Courchevel, Verbier, Val Thorens and Alpe d’Huez have all announced they will be cranking up their lifts over the next few days — though more are likely to follow in their footsteps thanks to blizzard conditions across parts of the Alps (see today’s snow report from for more details).

Verbier has more than 30cm on the Attelas area, and will be opening Lac des Vaux from tomorrow morning (Friday, 11 November) and at weekends throughout the rest of November, so long as conditions allow. And race training will begin in Bruson on 15 November. Elsewhere in Switzerland, Andermatt and Laax will open this Saturday, 12 November.

In France, the Three Valleys is waking up to winter. Courchevel will also open tomorrow for one day early, to allow skiers and snowboarders to enjoy the superb November conditions, with an official opening with Meribel on 10 December. Val Thorens has had 63cm in the resort and 130cm at the top which, combined with the cold temperatures, will allow the resort to open 70% of its lifts from 19 November — for a season that will run until 1 May.

Alpe d’Huez will bring forward its opening weekend by three weeks. Originally planned opening for Saturday 3 December, the resort will now open 5km of this weekend, 12-13 November, as well as the following weekends of 19-20 and 26–27 November.

“The snow conditions are excellent. It’s rare that we have such great conditions in order to open as early as this.” said Francois Badjily, director of the Tourist Office in Alpe d’Huez.

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