Which countries, if travel permits, provide early-season skiing? Of course, we’ll have to wait for confirmed ski opening dates. The transport corridor, as well as the vaccination programme, are crucial. As a result, we’ll have to wait and see what criteria are presented to us – but one can hope!
Early-season skiing is only available in glacier areas, but you’ll have the slopes to yourself along with other early birds. You’ll be able to fly there and back over deserted airports, and you’ll be among the first to try out the new season’s gear. Suppose you’re a family who’s tired of limited supply, packed slopes, and exorbitant rates when attempting to arrange a ski vacation during the February half-term. How much more pleasurable, tranquil, and better value would skiing during the October half-term be?
Skiing in October and November
Very few people take advantage of early-season skiing options in October and November, which is unexpected. You’ll appreciate the quiet slopes; you’ll be rubbing shoulders with national ski teams as they prepare for the winter; and, most of all, you’ll save money on lodging and lift tickets, all at three-star prices for a five-star experience. Planning ahead, you can check out the best Christmas resorts that you can book this year for a special treat.
Where do you ski in October and November?
Austria has more spots typically for skiing or boarding operations in the fall than any other country, with up to eight areas operational by mid-October. The exact date is determined by snow conditions each winter, although many people combine the region’s traditional autumnal beer celebrations with the first skiing of the season to create a festive environment.
The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier in Kaprun and Hintertux, Kaunertal, and Pitztal, the Mölltal Glacier ski region, the Solden twin glaciers, the Stubai Glacier near Innsbruck, and the Dachstein Glacier near Schladming are all choices for fall glacier skiing or boarding in Austria. Obergurgl is usually one of the first ski areas to open each winter, thanks to its high base and very high slopes above. From mid-November onwards, it usually is possible to ski from top to bottom.
Aside from Saas-Fee and Zermatt, several more glacier ski destinations in Switzerland open in early October each year. The Diavolezza Glacier in the Engadin Valley between Pontresina and St Moritz. The Titlis Glacier above Engelberg, the Vorab Glacier at Laax, and the Glacier 3000 between Les Diablerets and Gstaad are the four other autumn options, which may only be accessible on weekends before the primary winter season begins.
Tignes is the only French ski resort open practically all of the fall season, reopening a few weeks after the summer skiing season on the Grande Motte Glacier ended on the last weekend of September. Les 2 Alpes, in addition to Tignes, opens its glacier ski area, which it claims is Europe’s largest, for ten days (two weekends and a week in between) at the end of October and the beginning of November. This is when they host an autumn snow sports festival with various fun activities and new season gear testing. It then closes until early December, when the primary season begins.
Apart from Val Senales, Cervinia opens towards the end of October in Italy, providing access from the Italian side to the paradise of the Klein Matterhorn glacier above Zermatt. The Passo Stelvio Summer Ski Centre, which is usually open until October, provides a third option. The base of this ski slope is the highest bottom lift in Europe, at 2760 meters, and there are about 700m of vertical between it and the top of the lifts, at 3450m.