Ski resorts open earlier than ever before
Several ski resorts have opened a month earlier than expected following record early snow falls across the Alps.
Powder hounds will found astonishingly good conditions in Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland and even in the low-lying resorts of Germany.
Though ski resorts don't usually open until early December, several have already cranked up the lifts. Some are operating full time, others only at the weekends.
These include Tignes in France, which has a handful of lifts open, and Cervinia in Italy, which is open daily.
In Switzerland, the glacial resorts of Gstaad and Les Diablerets are open. Zermatt is also skiable, as is the German resort of Garmisch, which has nine runs open.
The early snow falls bode well for anyone planning a ski trip in December or January as many resorts already have a good base layer of snow.
Ski operators Crystal Ski (www.crystalski.co.uk), First Choice Ski (www.firstchoice.co.uk), Inghams (www.inghams.co.uk) and Thomson Ski (www.thomsonski.co.uk) say bookings have already picked up in the last few days, so anyone hoping to book a last minute package should hurry before they sell out.
Winter sports insurance is essential for anyone booking a ski holiday, even for those travelling to Europe with a European Health Insurance card as only travel insurance provides cover for repatriation following an accident.
Travel insurance will also provide cover for cancellations, flight delays, lost and delayed luggage as well as cover for ski equipment and equipment hire.
The Ski Club of Great Britain (www.skiclub.co.uk) will start its daily snow reports on November 23.