The Alps have been gifted their first pre-season snowfalls this week. With less than 10 weeks to the start of the 15-16 winter season it is good to know that the snow gods are ever present and let's hope they are feeling generous this year. These initial dumps will likely melt over the coming days but let's take it as a good sign for the season to come.
Last season had a pretty shaky start snow-wise, with many resorts not receiving their first significant dump until the New Year. May I suggest we all start snow dancing now in the hope that by December things are looking brighter (or should I say whiter) this time around.
So what is on your Alpine wish list for the coming season? With the British summer a distant memory (did it ever happen?) let's move on and plan for a fun winter ahead.
Top of my list is arranging a short break to my favourite resort with some very special friends as well as visiting an Austrian resort that I have heard superb things about but have not yet seen for myself. I will report back on both as and when they happen.
If time is your limiting factor then a short break or weekend trip might be the solution you are looking for. Whilst two nights is a bit too whirlwind (although there are properties who will offer this) I think it is possible to cram plenty into a three night break and you'll return home feeling as if you have been in the mountains for longer.
Travelling over the holiday period is one way to creatively extend your stay. It is true that resorts get busy and prices are higher, but think of it as atmospheric and who wouldn't want a real life White Christmas? Definitely one to add to my wish list for next season!
If you can wait a little longer for your mountain exposure it is well worth considering Easter as the time to ski. 2016 sees Easter Sunday fall on 27 March which is the earliest it has been for eight years. Spring skiing, lighter evenings and sun terraces are a welcome addition to all resorts and the snow sparkles just that little bit brighter. It also means that the post-Easter April prices will be very reasonable and if you pick the right resort you can have the best conditions of the season towards the end.
If you really cannot wait that long there is also plenty to be said for early season skiing. Let's not dwell on last season as generally it is possible to enjoy the first lifts of the season with decent conditions and the buzz of what will be in resorts across the Alps.
To sum up - there is a never a bad time to ski! It is all down to personal preference and space in the diary. Just don't leave it too long before you start planning yours.