Exceptional Snow Conditions Lead to Early Openings and Surge in Bookings
Bumper Snowfall Sparks Early Ski Season:
- Ski resorts across Europe are experiencing an early start to the ski season thanks to substantial snowfall after warm weather in October. Some slopes have reported over a meter of fresh snow in the past week, setting the stage for an optimistic winter season.
Alps Witness Heavy Snow Accumulations:
- The Alps, following a period of warm weather, saw a shift to chilly conditions and heavy snowfall in the first weeks of November. Some areas reported over a meter of fresh snow, creating favorable conditions for skiing.
Variable Snow Cover Due to Recent Weather Fluctuations:
- While some regions have enjoyed abundant snow, recent adverse weather conditions, including melting snow at lower altitudes and heavy flooding, have impacted the overall snow cover. Gilles Brunot from Météo France notes a drop in snow cover between 1,500-2,500 meters.
Optimistic Start for Ski Season:
- Despite variable conditions, ski resorts are optimistic about the upcoming season, with more snow in the forecast. Ski Solutions’ Managing Director Ian McIlrath mentions snow accumulations of over 100cm on upper slopes, ensuring a solid base for the winter ahead.
Surge in Bookings and Discounts:
- Exceptional snow conditions have led to a surge in bookings, prompting holiday companies to offer discounts. Jet2.com, for example, launched a 10% off sale on flights to ski destinations, including Chambery, Geneva, Grenoble, and Salzburg.
Early Openings of Ski Resorts:
- Some prominent ski resorts have decided to open earlier than initially planned. Tignes and Val Thorens in France opened a week earlier than anticipated on November 18, attracting enthusiastic skiers.
- Kitzbühel and Sölden in Austria opened two weeks early, while in Switzerland, nine areas, including Davos, Zermatt, and Verbier (opened three weeks early), are already welcoming skiers.
- Italy’s ski resorts have reported nearly one meter of snow in the last week, prompting Madonna di Campiglio to bring forward its opening day to November 18.
Climate Challenges for Ski Resorts:
- The significant snowfall is a welcome relief for ski resorts facing challenges from a warming climate. Some resorts at lower altitudes have struggled with insufficient snow, leading to closures.
Activism for Alternative Mountain Activities:
- Recently, activists have called for public investment in alternative mountain activities rather than saving low-lying slopes. A resort overlooking Italy’s Lake Como became a focal point for this argument, emphasizing the impact of climate change on ski centers at lower altitudes.
The early kickoff of the ski season in Europe, fueled by substantial snowfall, is bringing excitement to ski enthusiasts and providing a boost to ski resorts that have faced climate-related challenges.