It’s been a slow and watery start to the European ski season. Unpredictable weather patterns and uncertainty about snowfall proved more difficult than a series of black runs. But recently – with more forecasts – a flurry of frozen flakes has set the peaks for the weeks (and hopefully months) to come.
“Snow – or no snow – has been a bit annoying in the Alps these first few days of the new year,” says the Swiss tourism board. “However, things are looking good for Switzerland as there has been quite a bit of snowfall in the Swiss Alps.”
While they acknowledge that the resorts “work around the clock to fix the slopes and make the winter holidays as memorable as possible for guests”, fortunately, most of the 221 winter resorts in Switzerland are located at altitudes above 1,800m, making it “snow safe” at the time. . .
True, higher slopes have become much more popular this season. Mountain specialist Inghams reports an increase in online searches for high-altitude resorts, and they believe this trend will continue.
Inghams takes care to feature only resorts with reliable snow records and access to high-altitude ski areas (even if the resort itself is low-lying). While this is not impossible, it means that resorts or ski areas are unlikely to close completely due to the absence of snow.
In French resorts like Val d’Isère (1,800m), Méribel (1,400m) and Courchevel (1,850m), things are definitely as usual. Tour operator Ski Beat, whose portfolio focuses specifically on French Alpine resorts in high-altitude regions, says they are experiencing the busiest season in the company’s 34-year history.
Kulm Hotel St. in Switzerland, near Pontresina in the Engadine Valley. Moritz and its sister hotel (1,800 meters, 82% of the slopes are above 2,000 meters) report good snowfall, even during the warmer months. All downhill runs and the largest cross-country ski infrastructure in all of Switzerland (with around 140 km of pistes) are open. Check out a live webcam (stmoritz.com/live/webcams) to see for yourself.
However, not every ski resort area has been so lucky. Where snowfall is frustratingly low, resorts encourage alternative activities and facilities such as saunas and indoor water centers. In La Clusaz in Aravis, the number of open lifts and pistes is restricted, while in the La Balme sector the ski is limited to the sole.
Meanwhile, high-altitude resorts in Trentino, Italy, are not taking risks. Using artificial snow making equipment, they guarantee that 90% of their 380 km slopes will be open.
Take advantage of the profit while you have the opportunity with these opportunities…
Esprit (espritski.com) offers a seven-night chalet boarding house in La Rosiere, France from £2,919 per family (based on two adults and two children under eight) – saving £1,000 including flights from Gatwick. It departs on January 28.
Inghams (inghams.co.uk), half board at Hotel Ducs de Savoie in Val d’Isere, France, from £4,538 per family (based on two adults and two children under eight) including flights from Gatwick It offers seven nights. It departs on February 18.
Ski Beat (skibeat.co.uk) offers a seven-night stay at Chalet Arpette 1 on Plagne 1800, part of the vast Paradiski region in France, from £1,096 per person (two shared), including flights from Gatwick. It offers accommodation in a chalet. Various departures
Scott Dunn (scottdunn.com) offers seven nights B&B in Hotel Kristiania, Lech, Austria from £2,600 per person (two-share) including flights and transfers. Various departures
CLUE: Follow the latest weather at snow-forecast.com.
CLUE: The quietest period on European ski slopes is usually mid-March. Avoid busy Saturday pass days by looking for chalets that are available Sunday to Sunday, such as those in Consensio’s portfolio (consensiochalets.co.uk).
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