This year in the United States Killington was the first resort to open a slope on the October, 18th after the first main snowfall. It was a fierce competition that took place between North American Ski resorts. In France, the Glacier of Tignes won the race, it was the first area to open with a few ski lifts running near the Glacier on October 2nd! Today, you can ski in les 2 Alpes which glacier also opened on October, 24th.
In Val Thorens, the station will be opened next November, 21st ; as for Montgenèvre, Serre Chevalier, Val d’Isère and Chamonix, they are planning to open the first slopes on November 28th.
As for the Pyrenees, some resorts will also open at the end of November, Les Angles, Cauterets, Gourette, La Pierre Saint Martin, Ax les Thermes : most of them will be definitely open where as some resort are planning to be opened on weekends only such as Peyragudes until winter holidays.
In the Vosges and the Jura, resorts will open later given the weather conditions and the altitude of the mountains. Metabief is planning to open on December, 5th and Gerardmer on December 11th.
Some resorts prefer waiting for a thicker snow cover, for instance le Grand Tourmalet, Luchon Superbagnères, Méribel, Megève, and Les Arcs will wait until the beginning of December.
In Spain, some resorts are planning to start the winter seaon very soon, for instance Cerler, Sierra Nevada, Javalambre, Baqueira, San Isidro will open on the last weekend of November.
In pre-season, the prices of the ski passes are usually very attractive. The price of a full day ski pass can increase by 20 euros between main season and pre-season. For instance in the Resorts of the 3 Vallées, a full day pass in pre-season costs 47 euros and 59 euros in main season. Some resorts are even selling ski passes for the main season in pre-season payable in advance. If you know you will go skiing it is an economical opportunity!
Skiing on untouched snow is an unforgettable experience… But do not worry, fresh snow will fall through the winter and if you arrive at the right time you will perhaps enjoy powder snow in one of those beautiful resorts.