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Kitzbühel’s Earliest Ever Opening (?) Today!

Kitzbühel in the Austrian Tirol has opened for the ski season today, on what is believed to be its earliest ever opening date. The picture above is from last year's opening on 22nd October 2016. It’s the first ski area that doesn’t have a glacier in the Alps to open for winter 17-18. Kitzbühel has one of the lowest ski areas of a major ski area in the Alps with its highest lifts at around 2,000 metres and about a decade ago when global warming was first a big story in the global media some journalists chose to highlight it as a resort that could an early victim of the impact of climate change, so opening in early October seems

North American Ski Season To Start Friday, Or Sooner?

Arapahoe Basin in Colorado has announced that it will open for the ski season this Friday, October 13th “Our snowmaking efforts have gone very well with cold temperatures and high streamflows. I just walked High Noon. The snow coverage is really good. The snowmakers are already moving fan guns to Ramrod and Dercum's Gulch. Two snow cat drivers will be in Wednesday to start pushing the snow around,” said Alan Henceroth, the resort’s CEO. The Black Mountain Express lift will start turning at 9:00 a.m., giving skiers and snowboarders access to the intermediate High Noon trail.  The picture above was taken on October 6th. It’s possible, if highly unlikely, that another ski area will sneak in and open in the

It’s Snowing on Ski Slopes Across The World

It’s one of those rare weekends that come each spring and autumn when it is snowing on almost every continent of the world at the same time. Most ski areas in the southern hemisphere have now ended their 2017 season (it’s the last day of an extended season at Australia’s ski areas and also for several more in Argentina, Chile and New Zealand). However 20cm of snow was reported at Mt Hutt (below), which has extended its ski season already and currently reports one of the world’s deepest snow bases at 3.2m (Nearly 11 feet).  Another 10cm is expected there in the coming 24 hours. Unfortunately the fresh snow and other conditions made the snow pack a little unstable and

Amazing Australian 2017 Ski Season Ends This Weekend

Australian ski areas will call it a day on their 2017 ski season this Sunday, October 8th after what most are reporting as their snowiest winter for 17 years. All resorts were originally due to have closed last Sunday October 1st or earlier but four of the largest, Perisher, Mt Hotham, Falls Creek (pictured top and below) and Mt Buller (video snow report on 2nd Octiober below) decided to extend their seasons by a week because of all the snow in early September. For closing weekend perisher is still reporting a 2.4m base and the other centres between 80 and 120cm, even though temperatures are now heading towards double digits above zero. The last snowfall reported was a few centimetres

Ski Areas Close to Opening after up to 50cm/20” of Snowfall in Colorado

There’s been heavy snowfall in Colorado, and other ski regions in Western North America, over the past 48 hours. Ski areas have reported up to 50cm/20” of snowfall from the current storm system. Social media posts have revealed skiers and boarders keen to hit the slopes after seeing all the snowy images and focus is concentrated on two areas in particular. Arapahoe Basin and Loveland (pictured above yesterday by Dustin Schaefer), two of the world’s highest ski areas, traditionally do battle each autumn to see which will be the first to open for the season. Both had already started snowmaking operations a week ago in readiness to open. However as yet neither has announced an expected opening date. Copper Mountain

Where’s Open For Skiing or Snowboarding in October 2017?

September was a surprisingly snowy month in the Alps and anyone lucky enough to get out on the continent’s glaciers last month are likely to have enjoyed the rare treat of some late summer powder skiing.  There were regular snow showers through last month which transformed conditions after the long hot summer in the southern half of Europe and as a result whilst September began with only a handful of glaciers open, October begins with 15 centres in five countries to choose from.  Hintertux is pictured below. In North America there’s been fresh snow too and a few centres opened temporarily in celebration.  There are no areas open as we start October but several are snowmaking and hope to open

Ski Areas Opening With Last Season’s Snow

The next few weeks will see an interesting approach to the concept of ‘opening early’ used by several ski areas in Scandinavia and the Alps. As the glaciers of Tignes in France along with the Kitzsteinhorn and Dachstein in Austria open on Saturday 30th September, so will  Geilo in Norway (pictured above in September 2016), using snow it has saved and stockpiled from last winter. It’s a trick the resort has pulled off successfully for several years now, spreading the snow out over a kilometre long run just as temperatures are low enough again to stop it thawing too fast and at times allow snowmaking top ups.  There can also be the first natural snow showers of the autumn, it

First Turns in Powder and Park for 2017-18 in the USA

Although no ski areas have officially opened for the 2017-18 ski season yet in North America (well it is still September…), two centres did offer some lift-served skiing at the weekend. Mt Bachelor in Oregon created a small terrain park at its base and opened it top local snowsports enthusiasts on Saturday and Sunday (pictured below).  A spokesperson for the resort said they believed Saturday, 23rd September was their earliest ever opening date. In addition Silverton Mountain in Colorado ran its lifts on Sunday so that some staff could access early snowfall there and some September powder conditions (pictured top). These limited openings followed snowfall across Western North America at the end of last week which led to accumulations of

Last Day of Summer Snowfall for North America

The heavy snow in the Alps this September has been followed in the past few days by some serious snowfalls in Western North America. Snow was first reported on high peaks in Idaho, Montana and some parts of BC north of the border in Canada at the weekend but the past 36 hours have seen much more widespread snowfall. Jackson Hole has already received two snow dumps since Saturday.   Much of the snow fell on the last day of summer – 21st September, according to the astronomical calendar – although in many ski areas it continued snowing through to the first day of autumn, today, too. Few ski areas have been measuring these initially flurries but Marmot Basin

British Consulate and Leading Tour Op Join Forces in Chamonix Glacier Clean Up

It has been snowing a lot on high slopes in the Alps but last Friday was fortunately sunny in France as employees from the British Consulate in Marseille and Crystal Ski Holidays once again joined forces with the town of Chamonix-Mont Blanc, the French Alpine Club, Lafuma, as well as other mountain-based organisations, and a large number of volunteers to collect rubbish unfortunately left behind by some of the more than 500,000 visitors each year to the Mer de Glace glacier at Chamonix in France. This year marks the 10th edition of the Mer de Glace clean-up event in Chamonix which aims to raise awareness of the need to protect the Mer de Glace glacier and our environment as a