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Zermatt Opening Over 90km of Runs this Weekend, and New 3S Lift with Solar Power Plant

The combined Zermatt-Cervinia ski area will have the biggest ski area in the world open this weekend with more than 90km of runs accessible on the Swiss and Italian side of the border surrounding Europe’s highest ski lifts. Zermatt will also be running it’s new 3S gondola up to the Klein Matterhorn which has been operating daily since 1st November having taken there years to build during 100-day summer construction weather windows at its high altitude around 3,800 metres above sea level. The new lift, which will run alongside the existing cable car, has won attention for lots of features including some cabins with glass floors and others encrusted with Swarovski crystals, but it is also a very environmentally friendly…

First of the Big Areas Opening in the Alps This Week

Although several dozen ski areas are now open in the Alps for the 18-19 season, few offer more than 20km of terrain so far and most less than 5km. That’s due to change this weekend however as several of the big hitters are scheduled to open on Friday and Saturday meaning that ski areas offering at least 50km of runs will be operational. The French Alps have not had a very snowy Autumn on the whole leading to Tignes opening for its glacier skiing a fortnight later than planned last month and both les 2 Alpes and Val Thorens cancelling planned pre-season snowsports opening. However Val Thorens has now confirmed it will open at least 30% of its terrain this…

More Resorts Opening Early as Heavy Snowfall Hits Colorado

Three more ski areas will open in Colorado today (November 7th, 2018), and they're all opening earlier than planned. The early-openings, which will take the number of areas already open in the famous ski state to six, are all the result of heavy and repeat snowfalls since early October.  Most of the state's ski areas have now seen more than a metre of snow and those already open report 60-80cm bases. Breckenridge and Keystone are both opening three days ahead of schedule, Eldora 10 days. https://www.facebook.com/eldoramountainresort/videos/10156036480567998/ Breckenridge (pictured below yesterday) has announced it will have 10 runs open today - three greens, two blues and five black diamond runs: Callie’s Alley, Spruce, High Anxiety, Rounders and Little Johnny It's a…

Where’s Open to Ski or Board Already in November?

It's early days of course and it might yet all go wrong but October has been a very promising early start to the 18-19 season, and we begin November with about 30 resorts already open, many of them having seen several feet of snowfall already. The USA received some record-breaking biggest-ever-October snowfalls in the middle of the month allowing Wolf Creek in Colorado to claim the kudos for being the first on the continent to open, but since then eight more have joined it from East to West coasts, and November will see dozens then hundreds more open through the month. In Europe things weren't looking great until the final weekend of the month when huge snowfalls arrived in the…

Weekend of October Snowfall Totals Up to 1m In Alps

A huge snowstorm currently hitting the Alps has now deposited up to a metre of snow over the past 72 hours, and some areas may see another metre before the end of October, with the heaviest snowfall yet expected today, 29th October. Passo Stelvio in Italy (pictured top yesterday) has reported a metre of snow.  It is a summer ski area open for six months from May to November and scheduled to end its 2018 season  this coming weekend.  The Diavolezza glacier ski area in Switzerland's Engadin region reported 85cm in 48 hours yesterday.  It opened for its 2018-19 ski season just over a week ago. In Austria, Solden, which was staging the first weekend of Wild Cup racing for…

Unprecedented Numbers of US Resorts Open Early For Season

An unusually high number of ski areas in the US have opened already for the 2018-19 ski season, with more planning to open this weekend, whilst it's still October. Last winter only Arapahoe Basin and the near-year-round snowfield above Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood in Oregon were open before November and there's are rarely more than two or three areas open before Halloween in any year. This October however has seen unusually big pre-season snowfalls, particularly in states like Colorado and Utah; as well as consistent cold weather for snowmaking. Wolf Creek in Colorado (above) opened first, the weekend before last, and it was joined by Arapahoe Basin and Loveland last weekend. But ski areas on the US East coast…

Second French Ski Area Unable To Open For Autumn Glacier Skiing

Les 2 Alpes has cancelled its autumn glacier skiing week due to a lack of snow cover on its glacier, joining Tignes, which has been unable to start operating its autumn glacier skiing, which had been scheduled to start in late September. Les 2 Alpes (library picture above) doesn’t open for the season until December, but for several decades has opened for a special week of snowsports on its glacier, which it says is the largest in the Alps, at the end of October and the start of November. A statement issued by the resort says, “The Security Commission decided that it is impossible to open the glacier to the skiers because of high temperatures and lack of natural snow, as…

North American Ski Season Starts on Saturday

A ski resort in Colorado has announced it will open for the 2018-19 ski season on Saturday, 13th October, 2018. The decision by Wolf Creek ski area follows heavy snowfall in Western North America which saw some ski areas report as much as 70cm of snow in 72 hours during the week.  Wold creek says it has had 69cm.  A blue sky day is expected on Saturday, although with temperatures still low. “Wolf Creek received 10 inches in the last 24 hours and 27 inches in 72 hours.  The all-natural settled base is 21 inches at the midway with 27 inches year-to-date this season,” a resort spokesperson said, adding, “Treasure Stoke, Bonanza and Nova lifts will also be operating with…

When Was The First Ever Snowfall?

It’s long been established that planet earth is about 4.5 billion years old, but an equally important fact for snow lovers has never really been established: when did it first snow? This year a team from the University of Oregon has set to work to try to get an answer to that very question, and their conclusion, the mirror image of the famous answer to the question of life, the universe and everything in The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, not 42, but 2.4 billion years ago. The team decided that 2.4 billion years ago was the time when large land masses rose relatively swiftly from the oceans, kick starting the same climate models we have today. Those new…

Where’s Open For Skiing and Boarding in October 2018?

Winter 2018 is coming to an end in the southern hemisphere as October begins but winter 18-19 is beginning to gather pace north of the equator with fresh snow falling on high slopes in many areas last month, snowmaking underway in Colorado and more glaciers opening in the Alps. Here's our round up. Austria Austria has the most ski areas open in the northern hemisphere in October.  The Hintertux, Kaunertal and Pitztal (pictured above) glaciers are all open with the Kitzsteinhorn due to open the first weekend of October and the Dachstein, Stubai and Solden glaciers expected to open soon too - the latter is hosting World Cup races at the end of the month.  The Molltal glacier was open…