Snow on the Way: Update for Skiers

Will St Nicholas bring snow this weekend?


The snow is on its way. The temperature in the Alps has dropped, mother nature is due to play her part and lower down the snow cannons are being switched on. Winter is coming and there will be snow this Christmas….

Al Morgan has been collating the snow statistics for the Ski Club of Great Britain for over 10 years and says there is no need to worry:

“The warm climate that has been residing in Europe over the past few weeks seems to be making way for much colder temperatures now with all of our featured countries seeing temperatures sitting around the freezing mark.

Austria started the week with a lot of cloud and there was light snow fall reported at high altitude. The main talking point however, is that whilst the temperature has dropped and some resorts will open this weekend, many are waiting for a further  drop in temperature.

France experienced a cold and cloudy day on Thursday and the recent drop in temperature will certainly be welcomed by all resorts wanting to open next weekend.

Switzerland remains quite cold which is helping with pre-season preparation and there have been reports of light snow fall at altitude particularly in Zermatt, Saas Fee and Verbier.

In Italy there have been reports of light snow at altitude with the good news that the local climate is much colder now, which will help kick-start the snow cannons.

The preparations in Andorra are looking quite good now and recent light snow fall is helping our featured resorts stick to their scheduled opening dates for this coming weekend.

There has also been some good early season conditions in Scandinavia, with the Norwegian resorts providing the most open runs and the greatest base depths.”

Frank McCusker CEO of the Ski Club added:

“Snow is forecast to fall and there should be will plenty for all those heading out to the mountains for pre-season training and the Christmas period.

The weekend of the 13/14 December is when most resorts will swing into action and this is when most operators start.

If you are still wondering whether or not to go at Christmas – GO! The cooler weather is bringing snow to those resorts waiting to open and will help those already offering skiing to expand their available terrain.”

Chemmy Alcott, Britain’s number one female alpine skier, four time Olympian, and Ambassador for the Ski Club of Great Britain said today:

“Everyone always panics at this time of year – don’t forget it only needs a few days and nights of cool temperatures to make decent snow from the machines and a few big dumps to set the foundations for a great snowy winter!”

Warren Smith, Director of the world renowned Warren Smith Ski Academy and Verbier local of 20 years, also had this to say yesterday about the conditions:

“We’ve just done a powder course in Cervinia (on Monday) and then spent a few days on the piste and doing Moguls in Verbier and up top it’s been bloody good.

The texture of the snow isn’t the kind of snow people tend to associate with early season or summer skiing, it’s not at all icy. In fact it’s really good and really grippy and so we have a good piste on which to start the season. The snow will come, it always does.”

Arnie Wilson spent 15 years as the Financial Times ski correspondent before editing Ski+board for 13 years. He has skied in 711 ski resorts and knows just a little about snow. And what he knows is that it’ll come when it’s good and ready! Arnie has just returned from Ischgl, Austria where he was skiing at the start of the week and had this to say:

“After decades in the ski business, I’ve seen it all before. Show me the snow god which conveniently and obediently obliges us with timely blizzards at the end of November so that we can all say, ah yes, that’ll be winter then, yes we can all go skiing now. Mother nature just doesn’t work that way. I’ve lost count of the number of autumns when ski resorts – almost desperate to reassure us – send us images of a few snow-covered peaks in the hope that this will reassure us that it’s going to be an epic winter.

We expect too much. My advice – chill out, skiers and boarders; be patient. The snow will come, sooner or later. Have faith and stop panicking !”

Dan Fox, MD of lived in the Alps for 17 years and has this to say about the current snow conditions in Europe:

“ At the start of this week I was in the 3 Valleys for our staff training and I can personally report that there is snow and people are skiing. As I remember it some of the best seasons started a little late. Temperatures are dropping with freezing levels below 1000M and snow is forecast for the next week.  Of course at these temperatures resorts will be blasting out artificial snow as fast as they can make it. We have guests off to Val d’Isère this weekend and more going to the Alps next week. There’ll be enough skiing to have a great time. The Ski Club’s historical snow reports echo my own experience, it’s clear that on average the snow arrives week 2 in December, so we have time.”

So in Summary:

There is some snow. The temperatures are dropping. There will be more snow. Don’t Panic!

Travellers with any concerns about the snow are advised to speak to their Tour Operator.

The snow reports on are updated daily and give an accurate account of where the snow is and which resorts and lifts are open.


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