Alps Resorts

December 3, 2015
Three New Stylish Ski Resorts

St Anton, in Austria, today "Taking the Alps as a whole, I think we are about as bad as last year, it's just that the emphasis is slightly different, " said Fraser Wilkin, of snow forecasting site

"Last year there was more snow in the Southern Alps but less in the north-western. The other problem this year is that there really is no sign of a proper return to winter anytime soon, certainly not until after Christmas, possibly longer."

He said the forecast for the festive period for low resorts was "undoubtedly very grim" but that high resorts such as Val d'Isère, Val Thorens or Zermatt still offer good on-piste skiing. He warned about "hysteria and misinformation" shaping an overly negative view of the snow conditions.

While high resorts in the north and western Alps - Courchevel, Chamonix, Verbier - were said to offer the best conditions, Wilkin said Italian resorts, though struggling for natural snow, had "snow-making down to a fine art" and were offering some of the highest concentration of open pistes in the Alps.

— Tignes Addict (@TignesAddict)

The Dolomites, Wilkin said, have "fantastic man-made capabilities" and "have opened hundreds of kilometres of pistes, seemingly against the odds".

She said: "While the weather was unseasonably warm at around 1ºC or above, there'd been a recent dusting of snow, the snowmaking was fired up and the pistes throughout the area were in excellent condition under blue skies, especially in the morning, with barely a patch of ice.

"That said, St Anton could certainly do with another dump of snow.

"Europe's main problem at the moment is the warm temperature - precipitation is predicted between Christmas and New Year, but at lower altitudes this may well fall as rain.

What a day for #firsttracks #StAnton new #Patagonia skiwear & pistes in great condition @TelegraphSki

— Cat Weakley (@catweakley)

"People heading to higher resorts with good snowmaking and efficient grooming are likely to find the best conditions - on piste. Off piste is likely to still be a no-go area."

Becky Horton, who represents the Tirol in Austria, said: "Most of the ski resorts across the Austrian Tirol are already open - in the last few days there has been snowfall in western parts of Austria, up to 20cm has fallen, with resorts like St Anton am Arlberg, Sölden, Ischgl, Obergurgl-Hochgurgl, Pitztal having all received fresh snow.

"We could do with Mother Nature getting her act together but the snow-making facilities and technology used in resorts these days ensure that the pistes are up and running."

So what now?

Good Morning @3Vallees_france! #Meribel #LaTania

— Jack Franks (@jackyfranks)

Wilkin said the weather is likely to stay mild for the next ten days or so.

"So the snow situation in the Alps won’t improve [before then], but at least there will be some sunny weather to enjoy at times, " he said.

"The bigger concern is what will happen once the volume of skiers starts to increase. This shouldn’t be too bad during the Christmas week, but could become more of an issue on December 26 when the crowds descend en masse for the New Year."

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