Skiers and riders in the Alps, Spain, and Portugal are enjoying an early start to the ski season thanks heavy snow storms that have allowed resorts to open a month ahead of schedule.
More then 3 meters (~10ft) of snow fell last week in the southern Swiss and northern Italian Alps. With the aid of man-made snow, Verbier Ski Resort in Switzerland opened this past weekend, and Alpine Village hopes to open on weekends for the remainder of the month.
“The snow is amazingly good for this time of year.” Melody Sky, a Verbier-based photographer
Tignes in France and Hintertux in Austria, both located on glaciers, have opened up their high altitude terrain.
Sulden Ski Resort in Italy and Glacier 3000 in Switzerland are scheduled to open in the coming days.
Serra da Estrela, Portugal’s only ski area, opened on November 1st. While Massella, located in the Spanish Pyrenees, had its earliest opening on record.
While the early start has created a lot of excitement, variable weather could damper the party. Weather in the Alps has been erratic as of late with fluctuating temperatures causing a mix of rain and snow even at high elevations.