We are all looking forward to the start of the ski season - but how best to celebrate it? If you have the time to consider an early season trip then here is a small round up of what some resorts have on offer to mark the start of their winter:
In Austria a concert seems to be a standard part of many resort openings. This year Ischgl are welcoming The Beach Boys on 28 November and St Anton have Kim Wilde and top German band Sportfreunde Stiller the following weekend (5 December). Tickets are already on sale for both. Kitzbuhel takes a more traditional view of the season and have a Christmas market in resort from 26 November until Christmas Eve. Think nativity scenes, stalls selling crafts, gifts and delicious food and drink - I can already smell the gluwein from here!
If Switzerland is your destination of choice there is another Christmas Market to enjoy in Andermatt on 28 November. the perfect opportunity to mix Swiss tradition with a stay at the luxurious Chedi perhaps? In Zermatt the season has already started with 40-60cm of fresh snow on the top slopes. Currently there are art exhibitions to enjoy in resort and come mid December (11-13 to be precise) those who like to ensure they are the best dressed on the slopes might enjoy the inaugural Zermatt Fashion Weekend. And from best dressed to fancy dress in Verbier where on 6 December they have a 'dress up as St Nicholas' and ski for free day, as well as DJs, concerts and paragliding demonstrations.
Over in France there is the opportunity to see the world's top skiers compete. In Courchevel the FIS Ski World Cup - Ladies Alpine takes place over 19-20 December. In Val Thorens (21 November) and Val d'Isere (29 November) you can pretend you are part of that elite group by trialling new equipment for free! Or if you fancy taking up a new discipline head to Val Thorens for the latter weekend when you can join the Snowscoot tour - a combination of snowsports and BMX! Free testing and demos are available for those brave enough to give it a go. To add yet another sport into the mix you can enjoy watching pro ice hockey in Morzine on 5 December.
So a whole host of options are offered across the Alps, and the above is just a glimpse - all resorts will mark the new season's arrival in their own way. More snow has fallen and more is forecast so perhaps this is the year to consider a pre-season ski. An alternative work Christmas party, a pre-Christmas treat, an early present for a loved one - or just because you can. Please do get in touch if The Mountains are Calling so I can help get you there.