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J2Ski's Where to Ski in November 2023

J2Ski's Where to Ski in November 2023

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski's Where to Ski in November 2023

Admin posted 31-Oct

Seasonal temperatures and snow arrive in Europe, and the first ski resort opens for the season in North America, joining those already open in the Alps and Scandinavia.

Winter arrives, Lac des Vaux, Verbier, Switzerland...

November is usually a make-or-break month for the start of the season and also when resorts start to open in most of the northern hemisphere's ski nations.

The good news is that after slightly unnerving warm temperatures in both Europe and North America in October, the final weeks of October did see temperatures drop to seasonal averages, some snowfall and the opening of the first resort in North America, joining those already open in the Alps and Scandinavia.

We start November therefore with about a dozen areas open, the most in Austria, but also in Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Japan and the US. By the end of the month, we'll hopefully be counting open areas in the hundreds with the first in the Pyrenees and eastern Europe likely to open. We just need it to keep getting colder and snowier over the coming weeks as it should.

Re-publication :- our Snow Report Summary, being the text above this line, is free to re-publish, but must be clearly credited to www.J2ski.com with text including "J2Ski Snow Report" linked to this page - thank you.

Austria starts November with not only more ski centres open than any other country in the world, but it actually has about half of them - with five glacier areas to choose from, all of them in Tirol.

There's Solden, already having hosted the first World Cup races of the 23-24 campaign on the last weekend of October, year-round Hintertux, then Kaunertal down on the Italian border as well as the country's highest slopes at Pitztal.

You can also ski on Innsbruck's 'local' glacier Pitztal.

Carinthia's Molltal glacier was due to be the sixth option open but has delayed to the start of November – so any day.

But those five are more than half the areas open in the Alps for November 1st.

More look set to open in the coming weeks with the Kitzsteinhorn glacier having delayed opening for a month due to the warm first half of autumn hoping to go asap, and the first non-glacier areas like Obergurgl and Obertauern aiming for the middle of the month.

Big players like Ischgl and Scladming will launch their seasons on the final weekend of the month with some big music concerts, one bagging Demi Lovato, and the other Robbie Williams.

Hopes of skiing in France in late October and early November evaporated when Les 2 Alpes decided it couldn't offer glacier skiing and boarding due to the warm first half of autumn.

So currently there are no known French ski resort opening plans until the final few days of November.

As with the rest of the Alps, and Pyrenees, temperatures have been dropping over the past 10 days in the latter half of October and it is starting to look as if winter is arriving. Indeed the final 48 hours of October saw a plethora of snowy images posted by French resorts across the Alps.

There's always a chance, if we get a really good snowfall soon, that somewhere will open earlier than planned.

We start November with one Italian area open – Passo Stelvio, which is coming to the end of its 2023 summer ski season (probably on the 5th, unless extended).

Sulden is likely to be the first area open in the Dolomites for the 23-24 season and is expected to open from November 4th.

Otherwise, you can also take a lift from Cervinia up to the glacier skiing above Zermatt, just over the border.

This is also where skiers will race, all being well, on weekends at the start of the month when the first cross-border World Cup speed ski races are due to take place at the second attempt, having been cancelled last year. This time they've stockpiled snow to ensure there's enough.

Otherwise, most Italian areas will open at the end of the month or early December. The usual autumn opener Val Senales is closed until Christmas week this year due to a major lift upgrade work. As with other nations in the region, recent weeks have been colder with snow up high on Italian slopes.

Three Swiss resorts are open for the start of November, the most after Austria.

However, in some autumns there have been up to 10 Swiss areas open for November 1st, so that reflects the warm autumn up to mid-October again.

Among the areas delaying opening are Glacier 3000 near Gstaad and the Titlis Glacier above Engelberg, their latest revised opening date is this coming Saturday, November 4th. Glacier 3000 reported 50cm (20") of snowfall last week. H

The Diavolezza Glacier near St Moritz in the Engadin did open after delays on the last weekend of October, joining Saas Fee and Zermatt.

There are no ski areas in the Pyrenees planning to open before the final weekend of November, with most targeting one of the first two weekends in December, but some will open as soon as there's enough snowfall and that has been early November, even October some years. This October saw several snowfalls on high slopes but the bigger picture is that as yet a lot more snowfall and consistent cold temperatures for snowmaking are needed before the first centres in Spain or Andorra can open.

Scandinavian ski areas have led the way in the early weeks of autumn 2023, at least in terms of promising pre-season weather which has been cold and snowy. So much so up in Iceland that Blafjoll ski centre groomed a slope for tourers in the middle of last month while resorts in Finland, Norway and Sweden have posted images of ever deeper snow cover on their runs.

In terms of centres open already, Levi and Ruka up in Lapland began with a couple of kilometres of slopes open each made with snow saved through the summer and recycled back onto the slopes but have since opened more thanks to natural snowfall and the cold weather allowing plenty of snowmaking.

Scandinavia's highest slopes at Galdhopiggen are open still in Norway at the end of its 2023 summer ski season but will close until 2024 early this month.

Northern Sweden's Kabdalis has also opened for the season.

The latter half of November should see many resorts across the region begin to open for 23-24.

Eastern Europe
Eastern European ski nations including the Czech and Slovak Republics as well as Poland, then further south in Bulgaria and even Croatia, have all reported October snowfalls before temperatures warmed again.

Few, if any, are expected to open before December. But if heavy early falls do occur, several are set up to go as soon as conditions are good enough.

Storm Babet in late October brought gales and terrible flooding to the Eastern Highlands, but as it cleared things turned colder and Cairngorm posted over a foot of snow at its summit.

That's fairly normal for autumn in the Highlands and ski areas have managed to open some years in November, the Lecht even on Halloween on one memorable occasion, but here too it's more likely it'll be December before any lifts are running, although earlier remains a possibility if we end up with a particularly cold and snowy November

North America
Canada has been reporting some of the coldest and snowiest weather during October and they also had the earliest named target date for a resort opening on the continent too – Saturday, November 4th 2023 for Banff's local ski hill, Mount Norquay. It has now moved that day forward to the Friday, 3rd November, having reporting cold and snowy weather to the end of October.

Fellow Banff-pass resorts Lake Louise and Sunshine are due to open a week later on the 10th, the same as Calgary's nearest resort Nakiska.

Marmot Basin near Jasper is currently targeting the 9th (brought forward a couple of days) then Sun Peaks probably the first in BC a week later on the 18th.

The continent's biggest ski area, Whistler Blackcomb, hopes to open on the 25th. There's been some early snow in the East and the El Nino winter typically brings cold and snowy weather there.

Resorts like Tremblant have snowmaking underway.

Most resorts across Canada will be open before the end of the month.

The ski season got underway in the US on the final Sunday of the month at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado with limited terrain open thanks to snowmaking.

A second area, Keystone, announced on October 30th it would be opening a couple of miles of runs from 1st November after 11" of snowfall.

At this point in 2022 about a dozen areas were already open.

Other resorts like Loveland and, over on the east, Killington, will be aiming to open as early in November as they can and then the first of the target opening dates for big-hitters like Breckenridge, Mammoth and Vail is coming up fast, on November 10th.

After that, most of the rest of America's leading ski areas will aim to open by the final week of November ahead of the Thanksgiving long holiday weekend.
The Admin Man

Edited 1 time. Last update at 02-Nov-2023