The 2022-23 season has officially kicked off in France. The ski areas of Val Thorens and Tignes opened their slopes to the public on Saturday, November 26th—a sight that French skiers and riders are certainly happy to see. They were the last major alpine nation in Europe to get things going for this season, seeing neighboring countries such as Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, as well as several Scandinavian nations, open some of their ski areas in recent weeks.
With these two French resorts now open, skiers and riders now can hit the slopes at nearly 40 resorts in the European Alps. Austria is leading the way with over a dozen resorts currently in operation including Stubai, Obergurgl, and Kitzsteinhorn. The Italian Dolomites present options such as Madonna di Campiglio and Cervinia, and Switzerland also comes in with nearly ten resorts open, namely Zermatt, Verbier, and Andermatt. These are just a few of the dozens of options open among these mountainous European nations, giving skiers and riders a plethora of resorts to choose from with more to come soon as we enter the month of December.
Despite an unusually warm and dry start to the season for Europe, seeing resorts such as these continue to open is a good sign. Val Thorens had originally planned to kick the season off last Saturday, November 19th, but opted to push this date back due to a lack of snow. A large majority of the ski areas that have opened to this point in the Alps are in glacier areas due to this reality, but a change in weather could be coming in the next few days. A multi-day storm is being tracked that is set to descend upon both of these French resorts starting Saturday, although expected accumulation is expected to be in the 2-4 inch range. This, combined with snowmaking efforts, will hopefully create some solid coverage that will allow additional terrain to continually open. However, Europe still has a lot of progress to make to pull themselves out of a slow start to the 2022-23 season. Regardless of the current reality regarding early-season snowpack, it is great to see all of the major European alpine nations up and running for the 2022-23 season!