European ski resorts are reporting an early start to the winter season thanks to heavy snowfall. In the last week, over a meter of snow fell on some slopes, which created excellent conditions for winter sports. Tour companies aim to serve the increasing flow of tourists who arrive abnormally early for winter vacation.
Recently, the Alps have witnessed a sharp drop in temperatures and abundant snowfall, providing a solid foundation for the new ski season. Popular alpine destinations such as Crans-Montana in Switzerland, La Plaine and Chamonix in France, and St. Anton am Arlberg in Austria are expected to see up to 50cm of snow next week, according to Ski Solutions. storms raged in the Alps for two weeks, and on the upper slopes snow accumulations more than 100 cm high became quite common. This will provide a solid base for the winter, and with much more snow in the forecast, it could be one of the best starts to the winter ski season in living memory,” the organization said.
Heading into the new season, resorts have seen an increase in bookings fueled by exceptional skiing conditions. And the carriers, in response to the increase in demand, are ready to offer some promotions. For example, the British low-cost carrier Jet2 offered a 10 percent discount on flights to some ski destinations for the winter period.
The incredible weather conditions have prompted some ski resorts to revise their opening dates, announcing them a week earlier. So, the following popular ski resorts in Europe have already opened:
- The Austrian resorts of Kitzbühel and Sölden opened two weeks earlier, and there is already a 60-kilometer vertical skiing area ready for sports lovers.
- In Italy and France, the opening date of the winter season was set for November 18. Unlike last year, a total of 1,300 meters of pistes will be available this season for skiing at, for example, the Tignes resort in France.
- Nine areas in Switzerland have already opened, including Davos, Zermatt and Verbier, with the latter opening three weeks earlier.
While these changes provide short-term benefits for skiers and ski resorts, they are also an integral part of the larger climate change debate, climate scientists warned. Many ski resorts, especially at lower altitudes, suffer from the threat of no snow, which puts their future in question.