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Ski season starts a MONTH early in the Alps thanks to heavy snowstorms – as skiers hit the slopes in Spain and Portugal after blistering hot summer

Snow Alert
Some ski resorts in the Alps have opened a month ahead of schedule as snowstorms mean the season is starting early. 
More than three metres of snow has fallen in the southern Swiss and northern Italian Alps this week. 
 
Verbier in Switzerland was yesterday able to open some of its slopes in what is believed to be the earliest start to the season. 
 
More than 60 cm fell in the Alpine village and the resort now hopes to open every weekend this and next month.
Cervinia resort in Italy has been covered in a blanket of deep snow and early-season skiers 
Cervinia resort in Italy has been covered in a blanket of deep snow and early-season skiers
Televerbier, the ski lift company, said: ‘The Indian summer has ended and given way to winter.
 
‘Thanks to the natural snow and man-made snow we can open our domain on Friday with excellent conditions.’ 
 
Since there are fewer slopes available, weekend skiers can expect a cheaper one-day lift pass. 
 
Melody Sky, a Verbier-based photographer, said: ‘The snow is amazingly good for this time of year. 
 
‘On Friday it was just locals skiing but they are expecting it t be busier over the weekend.’ 
 
Even resorts in Portugal and Spain are opening way ahead of schedule.
 
Portugal’s only ski area, Serra da Estrela opened some slopes on Thursday while Massella in the Spanish Pyrenees also enjoyed its earliest opening.
 
Other resorts in the Alps are opening, too. Glacier resorts like Tignes in France and Hintertux in Austria have high-altitude slopes open.
A map showing the ski resort of Verbier within Switzerland along the Alps bordering Italy
A map showing the ski resort of Verbier within Switzerland along the Alps bordering Italy
Sulden in Italy along with Glacier 3000 in Switzerland said they will open slopes in the coming days. 
 
Patrick Thorne, editor of InTheSnow magazine told the Times: ‘Having followed snowfall stats in the world’s ski areas for the past three decades, I’ve seen snow falling every month of the year but I can’t recall seeing ski resorts reporting up to six feet of snow in October.
 
‘It’s clearly great news for resorts opening or planning to in the next few weeks but it’s early days and most of the snowfall is up high so we mustn’t tempt fate by claiming it’s going to be a snowy winter 2018-19 too soon.’ 
 
The weather in the Alps has been erratic with fluctuating temperatures and a mixture of snow and rain with high winds.
 
The latest snowstorm dumped up to three metres of snow above 2600 m. 
 
Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Cervinia and the Monte Rosa region all have a huge amount of snow at high altitude because of the storm that came up from the south. 
 
But warm winds are keeping some areas green. 
 
Fraser Wilkin, editor of Weather to Ski website, said: ‘In the northern Alps, however, the warm Foehn wind has been blowing, sending the snowline scurrying back up the mountain in areas such as the Bernese Oberland (Wengen, Mürren) and the Arlberg such as Lech and St Anton. ‘
Freerider in the region of Verbier, Switzerland. The region has welcomed its earliest opening
Freerider in the region of Verbier, Switzerland. The region has welcomed its earliest opening
Courtesy of dailymail.co.uk
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