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Not long to go now!

It is always an interesting and exciting time of the year. While some areas of Japan are in various stages of enjoying spectacular autumn foliage across the mountains, others are experiencing the first blizzard of the winter season. Over the last week or so many parts of the northern island of Hokkaido and some northern parts of the main island of Honshu have enjoyed the first snowfalls of the season down to base level. And as of today, Monday 18th November, there has been over 30cm of snow in Hirafu village recorded at the base of Niseko. Excellent! November 23rd November 23rd is Labour Thanksgiving Day in Japan and it is a national holiday (either on that day or the…

More than 100 Ski Areas Already Open For 19-20 Worldwide As Base Depths Reach 3m/10 Feet in Europe

More than 100 ski areas have already opened for the 2019-20 ski season as resorts in the US gear up for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday weekend later this month whilst those in Europe take advantage of heavy early snowfalls throughout November. Base depths in Europe have already reached three metres (10 feet) at Italy’s Presena glacier (pictured below this week) following huge snowfalls, particularly heavy in Austria (Stubai pictured top), Switzerland and Italy. Several ski areas have reported more than two metres of snowfall so far in November with Cervinia in Italy saying it had had 2.4 metres (eight feet) of snowfall in one seven day period alone. It’s expecting another 60cm (two feet) of snow this weekend. All the…

Cervinia Reports 2.4 Metres (8 Feet) of Snowfall in Past 7 Days (90cm in Last 24 hrs)

Cervinia, on the Italian side of the Matterhorn from Zermatt, has reported another 90cm of snow has fallen in the past 24 hours, taking its 7 day accumulation total up to 2.4 metres – or eight feet. The ski area is already open for winter 2019-20 and is currently welcoming  skiers and borders with slopes boasting incredibly deep fresh powder for this early in the season – it’s upper slope base depth is already 255cm (8.5 feet) and there’s more than 70cm (over two feet) of snow lying in resort. Temperatures are also reported to be well in to double digits below freezing. Cervinia’s neighbour Zermatt reported 70cm of snow in the past 24 hours and resorts across the Alps…

Ski Areas in The Pyrenees and The Dolomites open Early For 19-20 Season

A number of ski areas in the Dolomites and in the Pyrenees have opened for the 2019-20 ski season earlier than planned after heavy snowfall in Western Europe. Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites (pictured top) opened on Sunday, 20 days earlier than its previously announced opening date of November 30th after heavy snowfall down to village level. The ski season in the Pyrenees got underway today at Alp 2500, the ski area shared by Masella (above) and La Molina in Spain. A second Spanish ski area, Formigal, says it will open on Saturday (16th) when the first in the French Pyrenees is also due to open for its 2019-20 season. Most ski areas in the Pyrenees have had at…

Biggest Snow Storm of the Autumn so Far Moves in to the Alps and Pyrenees

A large storm system has begun moving up the Western side of Europe, bringing heavy snowfall to the Pyrenees and Western Alps which is expected to continue for the next two to four days. Named ‘Storm Amélie’ in France, where some regions are currently under an amber warning, the storm is expected to deposit anywhere between 50cm (20 inches) and 150cm (five feet) in many mountainous areas, with the heaviest snow forecast above 2,000 metres. Alpe d'Huez in France this morning The snow is being driven in on strong winds in many areas leading a number of the 15+ ski areas already open for the 19-20 ski season in the Alps to close their slopes whilst it blows through. There…

Lake Louise and Winter Park Opening Early, This Weekend

More than twenty ski areas are already open for winter 2019-20 in Europe, North America and Japan but the pace of opening is quickening from November 1st as an increasing number of big name resorts open, some of them several weeks earlier than planned. In Canada and the US the early openings are in part thanks to record-breaking October snow totals in some areas. Steamboat, although it has not yet announced it will open early, has had over 1.5 metres (five feet) of snowfall this month and Keystone (44 inches/110cm), which was one of the first in North America to open a fortnight ago, almost as much. Verbier had announced that it was planning to open this weekend on Saturday…

Another Colorado Resort Opens As One Claims October Already Snowiest on Record

One Colorado resort that doesn’t open until next month says it has already had more snowfall this month than in any previous October since it opened. Steamboat says it has had 110cm (44 inches) of snowfall since October 1st. The first two ski resorts to open in North America for winter 2019-20, a fortnight ago, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone, are  both reporting increasingly snowy conditions, as are other resorts across the state, where most will be opening over the next four weeks. The latest, Loveland, opened earlier today. It has been a different picture on the Eastern side of the US where there’s another battle to be the first to open, usually requiring snowmaking.  But it has been too warm…

Canada’s Ski Season To Start Early

Canada’s Nakiska ski area, the closest resort to Alberta’s capital Calgary, has announced it will open for a ‘preview weekend’ on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October, it’s earliest ever. The resort, which was also a venue for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, is usually one of the first to open in Western Canada in early November along with ski areas around nearby Banff, but this year it looks to be opening a week or two ahead of the others. (Nakiska current snow cover) Nakiska may also be the first to open in Canada although Quebec ski area Mont-Saint-Sauveur usually opens a run using snowmaking in October, this year it too is reported to be targeting Saturday 26th October. Lifts…

Skier Completes 10 Years of Skiing Every Month of the Year on Scottish Snow

A Scottish skier has managed to make some turns on Scottish snow every month of the year for ten straight years. That’s 120 consecutive months on Scottish snow. Former Geography teacher Helen Rennie said that over the past decade she has had increasing difficulty finding surviving snow patches to ski in late summer/early autumn each year. Helen, now 65, started her monthly ski trips, aged 55, when she was recovering from oesophageal  cancer in 2009 and looking for a personal challenge. She has found snow in the Cairngorms every month except for September 2013, 2017 and 2019, when she had to ski a snow patch at Aonach Beag by Nevis Range, a feat that required a six mile hike there…

US 2019-20 Ski Season Underway

The 2019-20 ski season in North America has got underway this weekend at two of the world’s highest resorts up in Colorado’s Summit County. Three ski areas – Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Loveland – had all been snowmaking and building up bases here for more than a week before heavy snowfall arrived late on Wednesday and continued through Thursday, bringing up to about a foot (30cm) of fresh snow to the highest slopes. Keystone was the first to announce it would open, saying on Friday that it would open next morning, Saturday 12th October. At that point Arapahoe Basin announced it would be opening too, but even sooner, just a few hours after it’s announcement at 3.30pm on Friday 11th. …