With the ravages of climate change making a ski or snowboarding holiday a less sure thing in many parts of the European continent, it is vital that powderhounds wanting to tear up the slopes of the Old World know where they can find some guaranteed coverage before booking a holiday.
These snow destinations in Europe are as good a bet as any, as they have had an established track record of early season snowfalls, complemented by state of the art snowmaking.
1) Andermatt, Switzerland
While Andermatt is far from the place that is off the beaten track, the recent construction of multiple resort complexes hasn’t changed the fact that this corner of the Swiss Alps gets slammed with over 40 feet of the white stuff each and every year.
Freeriders will also love the numerous lines available in the backcountry located just outside resort boundaries, a treasured aspect of ski areas in a part of the world that is getting snatched up by new developments as time progresses.
Numerous bowls, glades and local favorite run known as the Giraffe await you there, as it boasts 5,000 vertical feet worth of features to test and show off your powder carving skills.
2) Kvitfjell, Norway
While you may have no idea what ski resort we are talking about here, Kvitfjell is one of the most modern ski hills in all of Europe, as it was built in scratch for the 1994 Winter Olympics in nearby Lillehammer.
There may only be 23 runs within the bounds of this ski area, but the expert runs pushed the best skiers in the world to their limits twenty years ago, so this hill might have a thing or two to teach you. While this resort is the recipient of abundant winter moisture that pours off the Atlantic, an extensive snow making system that covers 80% of the mountain ensures that this hill opens on time each year, making it a good bet for a ski holiday in Europe.
3) Val d’Isère, France
Despite being located much further south than Kvitfjell, Val d’Isere’s altitude in the French Alps and the steady stream of precipitation off the ocean in the winter months ensure that there is plenty of snow in time for early season shenanigans.
It is so reliable that World Cup skiing events are held here in December on an annual basis, making Val d’ Isere a solid bet when committing to a holiday package weeks or month beforehand. The steep slopes here make this place a tough assignment for a novice, but intermediates should be able to handle the punishment dealt out with a bit of patience, while experts will have a ball on these speedy, challenge-laden pistes.