The ski season is almost here, but early indications suggest the snow in Europe is yet to arrive in great quantities.
If you want to find optimum skiing and snowboarding conditions, rather than muddy, snowless slopes, you’ll need to choose your ski resort carefully.
Skyscanner reveals 9 places where you are guaranteed bags of the wonderful white stuff.
If you need some action and there’s been little snowfall, there’s one sure-fire solution: glacier skiing. Bank on Austria where several glaciers offer skiing from September right through to May. Pitzal Glacier in the Tyrol is the place to go for deep snow for those in the know. Find cheap flights to Innsbruck
The early season skiing mantra of ‘go high’ applies perfectly to the resort of Zermatt in Switzerland. Head way up to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, a high-altitude playground situated on the slopes of one of Europe’s highest and most famous mountains. Find cheap flights to Zurich
The resort of Presena in south Tyrol serves the all-year ski wonderland of Presena Glacier. At 3000 metres up on the Italian side of the Alps, the glacier is in a good position to catch early season snowfalls which add to its already deep base. Find cheap flights to Milan
If you’re keen on the French Alps, try Tignes, near-neighbour of illustrious Val d’Isere. This fabulous French favourite is up and running early in the season thanks to its high altitude and its glacier which offers an impressive 20km of runs and a vertical drop of over 750m. Find cheap flights to Geneva
Western parts of Canada and the USA are enjoying superb conditions early this season at places such as Whistler Blackcomb – repeatedly voted the best ski resort in the world. The resort has top-notch slope grooming and snow-making facilities, but there’s been no need for much artificial stuff so far this season. Find cheap flights to Vancouver
The Sunshine State also does well for snow, especially at Mammoth, one of the USA’s premier mountain resorts. As well as skiing with style, the big attraction for boarders at ‘The Top of California’ is the 22-foot half-pipe – one of the best in the world. Find cheap flights to LA
The down-to-earth ski resort of Alyeska lives up to its reputation of being ‘steep and deep’. The Chugach Mountains seem to rise up straight from the sea and average snowfall up top amounts to over 700 inches a year. In December there is also the added fun of night skiing. Find cheap flights to Anchorage
Already well known to globetrotting skiers and snowboarders, the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido has some of the best, and most reliable, powder snow anywhere on the planet. Ski on active volcanoes, take a dip in an onsen hot thermal springs, but wrap up warm – the snow comes from Siberia. Find cheap flights to Japan
9. Dubai, UAE
And if all else fails, go artificial. Combine snow sports with a winter sun holiday with a trip to Ski Dubai, an immense indoor ski resort including the world’s first indoor black run and a snowball shooting galler! Find cheap flights to Dubai