Where we’re headed in November
Pre-season skiing is usually limited to glaciers but on the plus side, the slopes won’t be filled with every Tom, Dick and Harry. Flights are generally cheaper, and you also won’t be flanked by 1000 children on their February half term trip, so if you haven’t tried a little pre-season dash to the mountains, this is your sign. Pick any destination from the list below, load up your Snowroller and hit the slopes.
It's not just about Hintertux, Kaunertal and Pitztal; there are loads of other autumn glacier skiing options in Austria. Why not look at the Kitzsteinhorn glacier at Kaprun? Or the Mölltal glacier? There are also the twin glaciers of Solden, the Stubai glacier close to Innsbruck and the Dachstein, not far from Schladming. If glaciers aren’t your thing it’s worth hanging on until Obergurgl opens its doors. Thanks to its altitude, it is generally one of the first non-glacier areas to open and can often offer top-to-bottom skiing in November.
Looking beyond Saas Fee and Zermatt, you have plenty of other picks for glacier skiing in Switzerland. Look at Glacier 3000 between Les Diablerets and Gstaad, the Titlis Glacier above Engelberg, the Vorab glacier at Laax and the Diavolezza glacier in the Engadin Valley close to Pontresina and St Moritz.
Tignes is the only French resort open in the autumn and opens just a few weeks after it closes its summer skiing season. Les 2 Alpes is another one to keep your eye on - it claims to have the largest skiable glacier in Europe and has a great selection of restaurants and après scenes.
Rest of the World
In North America, only Timberline on Mt Hood in Oregon stays open year-round but worry not - if it’s a cold autumn the snowmaking guns will start at some of the world’s highest resorts in Colorado so you could get some pre-season snow there. Other than that the Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone and Loveland are listed as opening in October if the conditions are right. In Canada, you have Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise which can open as early as the end of October.