Austria is the leading country for October glacier skiing with the Hintertux, Pitztal, Solden, Molltal and Stubai glaciers already open and due to be joined by the Kaunertal, Dachstein and Kaprun’s Kitzsteinhorn glacier soon.
Year round Hintertux glacier has 28km and 13 lifts with snow depths of 65cm.
For the past 27 years, Kaunertal celebrates the start of the winter season with the Kaunertal Opening. This year the KTO will take place from 12 to 14 October 2012 with established contests, fat bands, cool movies and great Testival the new winter season. In the Testival area many freeski and snowboard companies will come up with their latest products, which can be tested the whole weekend.
After a month with no resorts open in France, Tignes re-opened on Saturday, 29th September, after a few weeks’ closure since the end of its summer ski season. There was reported to be 20km of slopes open with snow depth of 20cm and temperatures around -1C . It will be open until May 2013 and it will be the only French resort open until late November. Les 2 Alpes will be open from October 27th to november 4th.
Glacier ski areas Val Senales and Passo Stelvio will be joined by more glacier ski choices in Italy at the end of October with Cervinia and Passo Tonale openings. At Val Senales 8km of slopes are open with snow depths of 30cm and at Passo Stelvio, one of several claimants to being "Europe’s biggest glacier" 20km of runs are open.
Cervinia will open the weekends of 13th-14th and 20th-21st October then every day from 27th October to 5th May 2013.
In Switzerland , Saas-Fee (open since last July, picture attached is from september) and Zermatt (always open) have their glaciers open for snow sports, with Saas-Fee reporting a 122cm base with five runs open along with its terrain park and half pipe.
Engelberg is scheduled to open on October 13th but will close for maintenance work from 5 – 16 November.
The Diavolezza Glacier near St. Moritz will be a fourth choice by the end of the month, opening on the 20th.
The northerly latitude of Finland, Norway and Sweden get the cold temperature and thus the snow earlier than most. Ruka in Finland aims to re-open on Thursday 18th and remain open until 9th of June 2013 – the first non-glacier ski area in Europe to open.The Galdhøpiggen summer ski area on Norway’s highest mountain says it will stay open to October 14th but may be open longer subject to demand. There’s a 1.5km long trail served y a T bar lift. Trysil opened a fun snow run on Saturday, September 29th, using snow saved under a layer of bark chippings from the previous year. There’s a conveyor lift to access the snow. It says it will keep it open and free to use for as long as it lasts.
In the US snowmaking started last week on some of the world’s highest ski slopes in Colorado as the annual race to be first in the state is staged between areas like Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain and Loveland.