The 2018-19 ski season has just started this morning at Ruka in Lapland, the first ski resort in the northern hemisphere that doesn’t have a glacier to open for winter 18-19.
This is how we start the season – parkriding from day one. Officially the slope opens at 9:30 today, welcome to shred the Line! Riders: Toni Kerkelä, Eero Ettala & Antti Jussila. Film by: Anton Kiiski
Posted by Ruka Ski Resort on Thursday, 4 October 2018
Ruka does it by storing snow from last winter in huge piles under cover through the summer then spreads it back out on the slopes when it is cool enough in the early autumn for it to last without thawing much, and for snowmaking to begin working on top too, along with likely natural snowfalls. The process is known as ‘snow farming’.
The early opening is also good PR for the resort, Kitzbuhel in Austria will do the same thing next weekend with an event that draws thousands of keen skiers and media crews to film it.
The resorts say that the ‘old snow’ is actually good to ski on as, they say, it has lower moisture content.
Elsewhere the Solden glacier has also open this week, the Molltal glacier has re-opened its run number 3 today and the Stubai glacier is due to open tomorrow. Val Senales in Italy which had had only limited terrain open reserved for race teams has now opened more terrain after fresh snow this week and is open again to the general skiing public. Snowmaking is also expected to resume in Colorado as a new cold front arrives.
However in less good news the Grande Motte glacier above Tignes in France that was supposed to open a week ago still has its opening on hold and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier above Kaprun in Austria which had also been due to open today has delayed doing so by a week.