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Ask The Expert

Holidays & Travel: Where to ski when

Chris Madoc-Jones
Chris Madoc-Jones
Chris loves skiing and combines this with a passion for helping you to get the most out of your holiday.
I've heard that early season conditions can be quite variable, where should I head to for the best pre-Christmas skiing?

Indeed, think back to December 2014 when the first proper snow of the winter did not fall until Boxing Day. This however was pretty unusual and generally speaking most lifts are up and running prior to Christmas, even at lower resorts thanks to the huge amount of investment in snowmaking during the past decade. As a result even some of the lowest resorts in Austria, such as Ellmau and Soll (resort altitudes of 800m) are usually up and running by mid-December.

That being said to guarantee good snow conditions head as high as possible or to a resort with a glacier which should act as an excellent back up if the weather doesn’t play ball. Solden has two glaciers, the Rettenbach and the Tiefenbach, which both offer fantastically snowsure skiing from October onwards. Most of the rest of the slopes lie above 2,000m and by the middle of December it is usually possible to ski back into town thanks to the resort’s advanced snowmaking system. Also in Austria is the resort of Obergurgl, perhaps Europe’s most snowsure non-glacial resort. Most of the high-altitude slopes are generally up and running by the end of November, particularly those above Hochgurgl.

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