Started by J2SkiNews in Ski News 05-Oct-2018
The ski season has just got underway at 9.30 local time this morning in Ruka, Finland, with the Molltal glacier in Austria, closed for the past three weeks due to lack of snow, re-opening too.
The opening and re-opening follows the Solden glacier opening on Wednesday. The Stubai near Innsbruck is due to open tomorrow, taking the number of Austrian glaciers open to six - more than the rest of the northern hemisphere's open areas combined. The Kitzsteinhorn however, which had planned to open today, has decided to delay doing so for another week.
Ruka uses 'snow farming' techniques to store last winter's snow over summer then spreads it back out on several slopes to start its long season early. It is the first non-glacier resort to open for the 18-19 season in the northern hemisphere.
Kitzbuhel will do the same next weekend. Both areas claim around 200 days ski season as a result and can top up the saved snow with snowmaking efforts and hopefully natural snowfalls. The effort and costs involved is big, and Norwegian resort Geilo which did the same has decided to discontinue for that reason, but early openings are a big media event for them, catching the public imagination.
Elsewhere Val Senales has re-opened to regular skiers and boarders with more terrain available after fresh snow this week - they had previously been forced to limit slope access to race teams due to lack of snow cover. There's no news yet though on when Tignes, due to open last weekend, will do so.
In North America there's been heavy snow in the west of the continent and snowmaking is expected to resume this weekend at high Colorado resorts like A Basin and Loveland as temperatures are forecast to drop.