Relight My Fire
pop quiz; Take that Mr Hartmann
Un-crowded slopes and cheap prices make a November ski trip a good option as the non-glacier resorts start to open and there are more pistes on offer; look out for resorts with comprehensive coverage of snow machines for great on-piste conditions.
Val Thorens, The 3 Valleys, France
- Ski Pistes in Val Thoren run from 3,230m down to 2,300m (150km of pistes/29 lifts)
- Val Thorens usually attempts to open a week before Tignes, but the rest of The 3 Valleys don’t open up until mid-December. The Peclet glacier is protected from the summer sun to prevent melting and most of the skiing is above 2,000m; good news for skiers. Val Thorens is not the prettiest of mountain resorts, but there are an increasing number of stars outside some of the town’s best restaurants.
- Ski Pistes in Cerninia run from 3,480m down to 1,525m (200km of pistes/24 lifts)
- Open from end October with links to Zermatt and the Matterhorn (a ski pass covering both areas adds about Euro50 to the price). You probably won’t be able to ski all the way down to resort; the wide open cruising pistes down to the mid-station will be your new bottom!
- Ski Pistes on the Hintertux run from 3,244m down to 1,501m (24km of pistes/13 lifts)
- Excellent, steep glacier skiing and a snow park to rival, if not better, all others. Beware the bigger area covered by your ski pass needs cold conditions for the northern slopes of the Zillertal Arena or nearby Mayrhofen to be worth a look so early in the season.
- Ski Pistes in Lake Louise run from 2,637m down to 1,646m (1,700hectares of ski area/10 lifts)
- Even if there isn’t natural snowfall it would be unusual times indeed if it wasn’t cold enough to get the snow cannons fired up to set a solid base. The resort is an early stop for the World Cup tour and aims to open for Halloween, although they have provisionally suggested that they’ll open this year on 7th November.
- Ski Pistes in Are run from 1,030m down to 390m (4.4km2 of pistes/46 lifts)
- Being so far north, just 220 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the days are short, but investment in floodlights extends the day and makes for an unusual skiing experience.
Other November Ski Destination Options
What do you think? Please let me know if you believe alternative ski resorts are better for November Skiing. There are loads of other options; the best advice is to stay glued to the webcams in your resorts of choice and try to hold out for a last minute deal to wherever the snow dumps.
Beware of reports by Ski Tour operators, they are trying to sell holidays and will always tell you the snow conditions are good.
If all else fails, stay indoors; no not on the sofa in front of the telly, but take a few hours of skill improvement sessions at one of the real snow slopes around the country: Manchester, Tamworth, Castleford, Glasgow, Hemel Hempstead or Milton Keynes
pop trivia: Lulu joined Take That in 1995 to cover ‘Relight My Fire’; originally by Dan Hartman from 1979.