The highest-altitude ski areas are starting to open for ski season soon! Below is a list of ski areas that are projected to open in September and October. Please note the dates have been provided by the ski areas but are subject to change depending on snow cover.
The Pitztal Glacier is Austria's highest glacier ski area, with approximately 20km of pistes. Intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders alike will find a challenge here, and freestylers will be glad to hear there is a boardercross course and even a snow park with a halfpipe! Thanks to its high altitudes the Pitztal Glacier ski area regularly opens in September and this year is no exception. The ski area is projected to open on September 21st.
The Grande Motte glacier at Tignes had a tough summer, having had to close early after the French heatwave. But this stalwart of the French glacier skiing scene should be opening for the winter season again on September 28th. The glacier ski area on the Grande Motte boasts 20km of pistes to explore, with something for every level of skier and snowboarder.
A bit of an anomaly on this list, Kitzbühel is not a glacier but just a regular ski area with a favourable location and a dedicated team working to keep the slopes white. They do this mainly through snow farming, a technique where the snow from last season is covered and protected from the summer heat so it's still pretty much intact for next winter. Thanks to this, Kitzbühel regularly opens in mid-October and is scheduled to go live on October 19th this year.
The Stubai Glacier has a staggering 100km of slopes, well above the average for a glacier ski area. This means that from October to June, you'll have around 35 pistes to explore. The Stubai Glacier is deservedly popular with freestylers thanks to the Stubai Zoo, an excellent snow park. In reality this is not so much a glacier ski area as a fully-fledged ski resort in and of itself, with the advantage of being super-high with guaranteed snow cover. The Stubai Glacier will open for skiing on September 15th this year.Snow park at the Stubai Glacier
The venerable Engadin St. Moritz is one of the first ski resorts in the Alps and often claims to have kickstarted the winter sports tradition. Nowadays, it mostly plays host to the jet set, with stars and celebrities flocking here by the dozens in their glitzy private jets. The high-altitude ski area ensures a long season at St. Moritz, with the ski area projected to open on October 19th this year.
The glacier ski area at Les Deux Alpes is one of the few glacier ski areas in France to stay open during summer months, thanks to its high-altitude slopes of up to 3600m above sea level and state-of-the-art artificial snowmaking system. Les Deux Alpes also had a tricky summer due to the French heatwave but they are raring to go again for the winter, with a projected opening date of October 26th.
Sölden boasts not one but two glacier ski areas, the Rettenbach and the Tiefenbach, as well as extensive artificial snow infrastructure. Last year the Austrian ski area was receiving significant dumps of powder already in early October, and we're all hoping this year will be a similar story! The glacier ski area is expected to open on September 16th this year.Skiing at Sölden
Part of the Zell am See - Kaprun ski area, the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier is the self-proclaimed Top of Salzburg, with slopes reaching up to 3203m above sea level. The glacier ski area has no less than 40km of slopes for every ability level, including the infamous Black Mamba with a gradient of up to 63% in some parts. There are also three snow parks and a dedicated children's area. The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier is projected to open for the winter season on October 1st.
Engelberg is famous for its mighty glacier, the Titlis, which stays snowy practically all year round. The Titlis glacier reaches altitudes of 3238m above sea level and the ski area has several red slopes that are perfect for carving. Staying in the picturesque town, which used to be a monastery town, is an adventure in itself. The glacier ski area is projected to open on October 5th this year.Mountain hut at Engelberg
The Kaunertal Glacier opens for skiing early in the season and stays open until late spring. Despite having a well-rounded ski area with something for everybody including a snow park, freeride opportunities and plenty of blue pistes for beginners, the Kaunertal Glacier has stayed relatively well out of the limelight and you shouldn't generally expect crowds here. The Kaunertal Glacier opens for skiing this year on September 29th.
For more ski resort opening dates, check out our full calendar >
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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