The world's largest ski area, Les 3 Vallées which encompasses the skiing around and above Val Thorens, Les Menuires, Méribel and Courchevel in France reports it now has more than 400km – 2/3 of its maximum potential terrain, open. The terrain is made up of more than 250 of the region's nearly 350 ski runs. As of Friday the region was posting 444km of slopes open, just under 75% of its maximum area.
The amount of open terrain comes despite challenges caused by warm temperatures and rain to high altitudes over the Christmas weekend, which have negatively impacted more low lying ski regions.
However over a dozen ski areas in Europe and North America are each reporting they now have more than 200km of slopes open, despite most having relatively thin snow cover, particularly at lower elevations, so far this season.
"A big thank you to all those people involved in making the tracks run smoothly. Thanks to them, the skiable domain Les 3 Vallées remains the one that offers the most km of open tracks in Europe," a social media post from the region highlighted on Thursday.
Switzerland's 4 Vallées around Verbier, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz and Veysonnaz also has about two-thirds of its terrain open, reporting 265 km of slopes skiable, in second place after Les 3 Vallées.
Other areas posting more than 200km of slopes open already include the cross border (Italy / France) Via Lattea (Milky Way) region incorporating Sestriere, Sauze d'Oulx and Montgenèvre as well as other cross Border areas Cervinia / Zermatt (Italy/Switzerland) and Ischgl / Samnaun (Austria / Switzerland).
In Austria the Skiwelt and Saalbcah Hinterglemm areas say they have 200km slopes open now, as do, in France, Tignes/Val d'Isère, Les 2 Alpes and Alpe d'Huez.
US ski areas Park City in Utah, Aspen-Snowmass in Colorado and Big Sky Resort in Montana all have hundreds of kilometres of slopes open.