Where is the snow? 7th Dec 2018
The last few days saw flexiski testing the first of the winter conditions in Cortina, Italy. The Hotel Cortina opened a few days early just for us - very kind of them - a sort of warm - up for the fashion weekend followed by the Snowboard World Cup.
Wednesday 5th of December saw the arrival of St Nicolas to Cortina's cobbled streets followed by his beastly companions in the Krampus. Half goat, half devil the Krampus pose a terrifying sight with cowbells and chains clanging wildly as the horned demons full of bedraggled fur and wielding bundles of birch sticks set about beating the naughty children into being good. The worst behaved are stuffed into sacks and taken back to the underworld (traditionally). It was a far more terrifying sight than we had imagined and it's not surprising people are sent screaming up the roads.
But demons and devils aside, the snow looks like it's finally coming to the Alps and in a big way.
How's Europe looking?
The higher European resorts already have decent coverage but lower altitudes have struggled with mild temperatures creeping to the mountains. This weekend everything will change.
A blanket of snow across the Alps will ease the early season fears with buckets of powder due in many resorts. St Anton, for example, will see 82 cm over the weekend and a whopping 276cm in the next 9 days - If you're heading here it looks more concerning as to how you'll navigate the roads than whether they'll be enough snow on the slopes.
By Monday the temperature will fall to around -8 celsius bringing freezing levels below 1,000m in France and Austria - snow will settle right down to resort level and with the forecasts predicting another wintery bluster bringing yet more snow around the 15th December - the slopes will be looking positively delicious on the run-up to Christmas.
Snow highlights to contemplate:
St Anton is the stand out with 276cm in the next 9 days but there are some decent contenders. Chamonix is fantastic for a short ski break and with 223cm of snow pummelling the mountains in the next 9 days it could be the resort to head to for a bargain early season ski weekend. Meribel could hold the key to the largest linked ski area in the world with half a metre set to fall over the weekend to top up the snow that has been falling over the last few days. A more niche pick would be Kaprun with its glacial slopes getting a massive top up in the coming week and Zell am See with its picturesque lake just down the road you have a choice of skiing as well as fantastic views to take advantage of.
A few photos from the last three days in Cortina, Italy:
Winter is starting to get it's ice cold tendrils latched firmly onto the Alpes - it's snow followed by more snow on the horizon, we're just keeping our fingers crossed that the temperatures stay low so the snow can settle on the resort runs. A warm spell can't be ruled out before Christmas but stick to resorts with a decent altitude and you'll be laughing through powder before most have even thought about skiing.
As always tweet your antics @flexiski, and #flexiski on Instagram to show us your snowy snaps. Take a look at our last minute offers page or give our ski specialists a call on 0208 939 0862 if you want to find out more or what may be available for the dates you have in mind.