First snow report of the 2015/16 ski season

1st November 2015, by Fraser Wilkin

Opening day yesterday in Loveland, Colorado - Photo:

Opening day yesterday in Loveland, Colorado - Photo:

Latest snow report from Weather to Ski, updated: 1.45pm Friday 30 October 2015

Welcome to our first official snow report of the 2015-16 season!

It has certainly been an interesting autumn in the Alps, with multiple (mostly high altitude) snowfalls that have contributed to some superb conditions up on the glaciers. However, we are now entering a prolonged spell of dry, fine and exceptionally mild weather, which will quickly melt any low-lying snow, and undo much of the recent “good work”.

In short, there may be lots of lovely snowy images circulating on social media right now, but it is still far too early to suggest that we are going to see a bumper early season!

The Austrian glaciers have missed the heaviest of the recent snowfalls, but are still generally in excellent condition thanks to frequent top-ups this autumn.

All eight of Austria’s main glacier areas are operational, the best of which are Hintertux (34km pistes, 110cm upper base), Sölden (33km pistes, 79cm upper base), and Stubai (27km pistes, 80cm upper base).

Only two resorts are currently offering skiing in France, but both received around 20-30cm of new snow on their glaciers earlier in the week and are in great condition.

Tignes (60cm upper base) has six lifts running on its Grande Motte glacier, while Les 2 Alpes (50cm upper base) has nine. Note that Les 2 Alpes is only open for a half term “preview” and closes again this weekend.

Four Italian areas are currently open, all of which are skiing beautifully thanks to recent snowfall.

In the western Italian Alps, Cervinia (linked to Zermatt) opens for the season tomorrow after a couple of successful preview weekends. It remains to be seen how many kilometres of piste will be open, but you will be able to ski below glacier level to Cime Bianche Laghi.

Further east, you can also ski in Passo Stelvio (12km pistes, 200cm upper base), Val Senales (five lifts, 75cm upper base) and Sulden (10 lifts, 79cm upper base). Note that Passo Stelvio closes for the winter on Sunday 1 November.

Three Swiss ski areas are open at the moment, all of which are in excellent nick thanks to the significant snowfalls earlier in the week.

One of the best areas is above Zermatt (25km pistes, 160cm upper base), with even more scope tomorrow once the links to Cervinia over the border open for the season.

You can also ski in Saas-Fee (30km pistes, 99cm upper base), Diavolezza near St Moritz (two runs only) and, as of tomorrow, Engelberg (weekends only with probably just two runs on the glacier).

USA and Canada
A couple of East Coast resorts have already offered skiing this autumn, but have now closed again due to milder weather.

However, all eyes are now further west, where yesterday fresh snow and cold temperatures allowed two Colorado resorts (Loveland and A-Basin) to open a handful of runs, with current upper bases of around 40-50cm.

Next full snow report will be on Thursday 5 November 2015, but see Today in the Alps on for regular updates

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