Expect fresh snowfall on Europe's high-altitude pistes

If you are dreaming of a white Christmas on the slopes this year, Europe shouldn't disappoint.

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The Independent Travel

The Alps may still be waiting for deep winter to arrive, but fear not: snowfall and a temperature drop are due on Christmas and Boxing Day.

Most well-known Austrian resorts are currently open, and despite poor weather there are still good riding conditions, particularly at the higher resorts and on glaciers. Sölden has plenty of options at high altitude, and although the resort runs are closed there were 24 lifts operating on Thursday. Fresh snow was forecast for this weekend, with some resorts expecting up to 8cm.

In France, the best conditions, again, are at altitude, with glacier resorts seeing the most snowfall. Tignes saw 20cm on the Grande Motte glacier and over the links across to Val d'Isère. Val Thorens has also reported 20cm of fresh snow. In lower resorts, such as those in Portes du Soleil, rain has been a big setback, with much recent snowfall already disappearing at resort level.

The greatest amount of snow in Switzerland fell at resorts such as Gstaad, Wengen and Crans-Montana. Zermatt and Saas-Fee saw some of the best conditions. New snow should improve piste conditions this weekend, but resort runs may become icy.

There is still a lot of good skiing available in Italy, despite recent weather. The Presena Glacier has an excellent base depth, and on Thursday there were 20 lifts in operation. Cesena, Courmayeur, Claviere and Macugnaga are closed until snow conditions improve.

In Andorra and the Spanish resorts of Formigal and Baqueira-Beret, light rain means some heavy piste conditions are likely, particularly at lower altitudes. and in Bulgaria, good skiing under sunny skies is on offer in Bankso. Pamporovo is also open for limited skiing, while Borovets was due to be open this weekend.

Three Scottish ski areas are open for skiing – Cairngorm, The Lecht, and Glenshee. Glencoe and the Nevis Range were also due to open this weekend.

For the very latest snow conditions visit skiclub.co.uk, or follow the Ski Club on Twitter: @TheSkiClub

The Ski Club of Great Britain (020 8410 2015; skiclub.co.uk) is a not-for-profit snowsports club which offers benefits to over 30,000 members. Members receive discounts on travel, kit and holidays; access to industry-leading snow reports; information and advice; and access to the in-resort Ski Club Leader service. Individual membership costs £63 or £24 for beginners and members aged under 24.

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