Plan ahead with these early season skiing locations

Plan ahead with these early season skiing locations

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

If you just can’t wait to hit the slopes and be around snow again, there’s no time like the present to plan a skiing trip. Be sure to check your local travel restrictions before you leave the country, but don’t delay on getting a head start when it comes to getting organized. Make sure your skis (or snowboard) are waxed, your gear is warm enough and your gloves don’t have holes so that you’re ready to go as soon as travel is safe. 

Cervinia, Italy

This beautiful ski area usually opens in late October due to the glacier it shares with the Zermatt (Switzerland). Though you won’t be able to ski directly into the resort in late October, you can usually reach the mid-stations. This ski area is one of the biggest in the alps, covering three valleys in two countries. There are 19 lifts in Breuil-Cervinia Valtournenche alone and an additional 34 in Zermatt. Here you have the opportunity to ski all day without ever repeating the same run twice! 

Hintertux, Austria

Did you know that you can ski year-round in Austria? Though it might not be great in the summer, Hintertux glacier offers the perfect early skiing opportunity. There are over 37 miles of trails that can accommodate beginners, experts and snowboarders. If you enjoy fresh snow and sunny slopes, this is the place to be! 

Val d’Isère/Tignes, France

Known for opening in November, this ski resort is a great place to hit the slopes early in the season. Even if there isn’t a lot of natural snow, here you’ll find one of the largest man-made snow systems in Europe. The Grande Motte glacier is located here and often opens earlier than other skiing locations. This ski area has 78 lifts, over 1,000 acres of marked runs and almost 8,000 acres of off-piste runs. 

Ischgl, Austria

This ski resort doesn’t have a glacier, but many of its ski runs are higher than 6,500 feet, allowing for some serious snow that doesn’t tend to melt. It is the third-largest ski resort in the Tyrol area and offers ample free-ride runs and ski tours. It generally opens by late November and attracts all sorts of winter athletes. 

Val Thorens, France

If you want to kick off your ski season with a bang, head to the Grand Premier ski party at Val Thorens. From Nov. 21 - 22, you can learn about the area, see the latest and greatest ski gear, listen to live DJs and win prizes. Val Thorens has the highest altitude resort in Europe and the largest ski area in the world with almost 400 miles of runs. Stay at one of the many accommodations that offer ski-in/ski-out lodging and have the skiing trip of your life! 

After dreaming of skiing all summer long, the time is finally here! Start planning the perfect outing today so that when the time comes, you’ll already be ready to go. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

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