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Now that summer has bid farewell, skiing enthusiasts may find their thoughts turning to the slopes and the best places to get in some great early-season action.
 
While many people are under the impression that the season doesn’t really kick off until Christmas, in fact there are a number of resorts where it’s possible to ski earlier in good conditions. October and November are months when you really will beat the crowds, and you are likely to find that prices are significantly lower than at more popular times of year too. 
 
In the majority of cases, those resorts that open this early in the season are ones located near to glaciers. However, there’s a good chance that you will have the slopes more or less to yourself and a few others in the know. The airports will be quiet, and you’ll get first dibs on the shiny new equipment that has been put in place for the new season. What’s not to love?
 
If you’re travelling as a family, you should find conditions in the autumn ideal. February half term is a traditional time to head off for a skiing break, but at this time of year the slopes are often uncomfortably crowded, and the prices can soar to a ridiculous level. 
 
It would be disingenuous to state that here is absolutely no risk in booking a skiing break at this time of year - the weather is obviously unpredictable, and levels of snow can be somewhat hit or miss. Having said that, there are a handful of areas where the chances of seeing some really decent conditions are good. Choose from these early-season resorts:
 
In Switzerland, a particularly good bet is Zermatt. Boasting the highest ski lifts in the whole of Europe, this is a great location in which to enjoy the early-season snow. If you like the idea of Switzerland, you could also consider Saas Fee, which opens at the end of the summer. In Austria, the area around the Hintertux glacier is also open for business almost all year round, and Pitzal and Kaunertal, also in Austria, kick off the season in mid to late September. If you fancy Italy as the destination for your skiing getaway, head to Val Senales. Subject to conditions, this resort is normally up and running by early September, and from here you can hop on the cable car that will deposit you at Hochjochferner. Here there is a wonderful 8km run from which you will be able to enjoy some of the most stunning views in the whole of Europe.
 

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