Ah, November. The month when Mother Nature can’t decide if it’s a balmy fall day in the 70s, or the heart of winter. November is when one by one, the resorts finally start opening for the skiers and snowboarders who have been eagerly waiting those first turns.
It’s a month when weather reports are obsessed over, and everyone becomes an amateur meteorologist. The Farmer’s Almanac becomes a staple in conversations, and a source of elation or despair, depending on its snow predictions for the upcoming season.
November didn’t get off to a roaring start in Colorado. While there was a picturesque dusting on the Rocky Mountains from previous snow, it wasn’t enough to give people visions of powder days in the immediate future. Resorts have been making snow, and there will be plenty of runs open to get some nice early season cruising in, but no one had expectations of needing their powder skis on opening day. After this most recent storm, however, attitudes have changed a bit. The excitement in the air is palpable, as snow reports get totaled, and the realization sinks in that it is about time to start bringing out the equipment and planning weekends around weather systems. Resorts in Colorado received up to 13 inches of snow in this last storm, and it is officially time to get stoked.
Winter is coming. And so are the powder days.
Things To Know About When Skiing In Europe
What It’s Really Like To Ski In Europe
Skiing in Europe isn’t just about clicking into your skis and schussing down some of the most famous slopes in the world. It’s part of an experience that can check every box of a dream trip.
Dancing the afternoon away on a sunny deck in ski boots during après ski, glühwein flowing and music bumping. Staying in a hotel that has been owned by one family for generations, and feeling like one of their long- lost relatives by the time you leave. Having delectable local dishes on the mountain that will make you reevaluate what on-mountain dining should be.
This is all before you even talk about the skiing. There’s a reason the Alps have provided the backdrop for numerous movies. The iconic mountains reach skyward above the villages below, the peaks breaking through the clouds above. Once you get to the top of the mountain after taking the gondola, tram, funicular, lift, or even train up, you get to see what the skiing is all about. Most of the resorts lie above tree line, which means the entire mountain is free rein. You won’t see the big fences that reinforce boundaries at other resorts. You go where your skis can take you; whether it’s an untouched powder field, or a cruiser that can take you to a neighboring town or even crossing country borders.
Skiing in Europe is an experience unlike any other. While you can have days on the mountain that can only be classified as epic, it’s the people, the food, and the culture that will make it a ski trip you will never forget.
Early season in the ski resorts
Why I love an Early Season Ski Trip
One of the most underrated times of year to hit the slopes is nearly upon us: early season in the ski resorts. These are the few precious weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas where you can find the amazing combination of uncrowded slopes and killer deals. Resorts will be starting to gear up for the holiday crowds, but the only people you will be sharing the slopes with prior to the holidays are locals and some in-the-know tourists looking to get their first turns of the year.
Since the properties aren’t as busy, you can score some unbelievable bargains coming to the mountains before Christmas. Anything from budget hotels and condos to the luxury resorts not only offer rates that are a fraction of the price you’ll find later in the year, but many of them will throw in a free night or additional discount to really sweeten the deal.
If you’ve never been skiing before because you think it’s too expensive, December beckons. Everything from lodging and lift tickets to ski rentals drop in price, and make that winter wonderland for you and your family within reach. There is no better way to prepare for winter than to spend your days surrounded by snow, and your nights curled up by a fireplace, hot drink in hand.
For those that love the five star experience, but would rather spend their money on living the dream with spa treatments, fine dining, and the famous mountain nightlife than all on lodging, the early season lets you have it all. Stay in a high end hotel where the service levels and ski access mean that the hardest thing you’ll have to do is decide where to après.