Ski resorts have been opening early for the 2017-18 ski season in fairly unprecedented numbers – at least in terms of the wide geographical spread.
Ski areas have been opening in the Rockies, Alps, Scandinavia and on North America’s East and West Coasts but tomorrow will also see the more unusual early-November openings of ski areas in Europe’s southerly Dolomites and Pyrennean mountain chains.
In North America among the latest to open in the past few days have been Mammoth and Boreal in California, Killington in Vermont and the two Banff ski areas of Sunshine and Lake Louise (pictured top).
The next 48 hours will see the first ski areas to open in BC (Panorama and Cypress Mountain), several more ski areas in Colorado (Copper, Breckenridge and Keystone) and half a dozen ski areas on the US East Coast including the first in New Hampshire (Wildcat Mountain), Maine (Sugarloaf and Sunday River) and more in Vermont to join Killington (Mount Snow and Okemo).
It’s still early days but The Dolomites look toi be getting off to one of their best starts to the season in some years and two ski areas in the giant Dolomiti Superski region have announced they’ll be opening early this weekend, tomorrow, thanks to the great snowfall earlier this week there. Cortina d’Ampezzo (pictured earlier this week) and the Three Peaks region will both have limited terrain open from Saturday 11th November.
Elsewhere in Italy the glacier slopes as Passo Tonale will also be opening for the first time.
There have been some big snowfalls reported across the Pyrenees on the French and Spanish sides as well as in Andorra. Cauterets (above) in the French Pyrenees, which has had 80cm up at 1850m since last weekend but isn’t open yet, has reported the most so far.
Another area in the French Pyrenees, Porte Puymorens, has announced it will open this weekend, only the second ski area in France to do so, after Tignes, with a 2km easy run open and lift ticket prices reduced to 10 Euros.
More ski areas have been opening earlier than expected in the Alps over the past day or two.
Verbier has opened in Switzerland today and Schladming in Austria (above). The latter is one of the first to do so without a glacier or without using snow stockpiled from last season (Kitzbuhel’s technique) but thanks to snowmaking and the big natural snowfalls at the start of this week.
There are now around 25 ski areas open in the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees, including 10 in Austria, eight in Switzerland and five in Italy.