In the Alps heavy snow has been reported down to low levels across the region with falls of more than 60cm (two feet) at some locations down to as low as 500m above sea level, obviously good news whether these are already open or about to.
Austria continues to have more ski areas open outdoors than any other at present with seven glacier ski areas open at Pitztal, Solden, the Stubai, Kaunertal, Kitzsteinhorn, Mollrtal and Tux to choose from.
Solden is holding the first world cup races outdoor of the northern hemisphere's 2010-11 season this weekend, it's neighbour Obergurgl reported another 20 cm of fresh snow this morning, issuing a powder alarm on Skiinfo. The ski resort has up to 70 cm of snow on its slopes now and is one of the first to open each winter.
The Stubai glacier just had 10 cm of fresh snow. At the top station (3000m) the resort has a snow layer of 60cm and 39km of the ski slopes are open.
The tux glacier currently has the largest ski area open in the world with more than 40km of runs to enjoy and a near 600m skiable vertical.
In Switzerland Engelberg, Saas fee, Zermatt and the Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz are all open and there's a fifth option of the Diablerets Glacier partially available although the full opening is not planned for another week.
" The glacier ski area „Glacier 3000" opens its ski season on Saturday, October 30th. Currently, the Dôme ski lift and parts of the Snow Park are available to skiers and snowboarders." said a resort statement.
Daniela Burkhard of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG commented, "The snow situation is excellent, the slopes are well-prepared and it's cold enough for the snow to stay. At the moment our lift facilities are being revised and only one of the smaller ski lifts is in operation but next weekend all of them will be running."In Zermatt there is 173cm of snow lying on the glacier above 2900m.
In Italy it's still Passo Stelvio and Val Senales that are open but the Presena Glacier which stays open the longest in the country in the spring is set to re-open tomorrow and Cervinia soon after.
In Germany the Zugspitz glacier by 2011 Alpine World Championships hosts Garmisch has received heavy snowfall in the past week and they have 70 cm of snow lying now according to meteorologist Christina Speicher of DWD. There's no word yet on an opening date however.
Other German ski resorts Oberstdorf-Nebelhorn and Oberstdorf-Fellhorn/Kanzelwand reported 30 cm (a foot) of fresh snow each. The Feldberg in the Black Forest had 15 cm (six inches).
Tignes in France will be joined tomorrow, 23rd October, for one week only by Les 2 Alpes, which opens for English and French school holiday periods and throws big ski and snowboarding new season gear test and party festivals. Les 2 Alpes will then close again at the end of the month and Tignes will be operating alone for the first few weeks of November before other resorts begin to open en masse.
In Scandinavia Ruka in Finland was the first ski area to open last weekend but with it currently very old across the continent and snowing, several more top resorts expect to open in the next few days.
Uvdal , Bjorli, Gaustablikk, Haukelifjell, Kvitfjell and Trysil all expect to open next weekend or before. with Beitostølen, Geilo, Hemsedal , Nesbyen, Tyin-Filefjell and Skeikampen following a week later.
The ones opening from the 29thto November 6th are all seriously going for it. If they postpone, it will be because of the temperature rising." Said a Skiinfo.com expert in Oslo.