There are already more than a dozen ski areas open for winter 2019-20 and more than half of them are in Austria.
It is also, of course, ‘Oktoberfest’ season in the German-speaking parts of Europe so the early-opening glacier ski areas are bringing snow and beer together in a series of weekend festivals.
At the Stubai glacier this Saturday and Sunday will see the ‘Weiße Wiesn Ski-Beerfest’ which includes live music at the Eisgrat top station, with delicious delicacies served, and beer of course.
What’s more skiers and boarders arriving dressed in a traditional Dirndl dress or lederhosen qualify for a half price lift pass.
Besides the Stubai, the Dachstein (currently cross country skiing only), Hintertux, Kaunertal, Molltal, Pitztal and Solden glaciers are already open in Austria, most with their own weekend festivals lined up too.
The Kitzsteinhorn glacier above Kaprun will be Austria’s eighth to open, all being well, this weekend and Kitzbuhel is aiming to be the first non-glacier’ ski area in the Alps to open for the season at the end of next week, using snow farming (snow stored from the previous winter spread back out on the slopes) in order to open so early.
Elsewhere six other ski areas are open in Europe. Passo Stelvio and Val Senales are open in Italy and Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland with Engelberg aiming to open this weekend.
In Scandinavia the Galdhopiggen glacier in Norway is open as well as Ruka (also thanks to snow farming, pictured below earlier today) in Lapland with Levi, also in Finland, due to open this weekend too.