Winter has arrived early in the Pyrenees and it’s been snowing for most of November in the mountains, right down to village level.
Formigal and Astun ski stations both opened last Saturday (16th Nov) – I’ve never known them to open that early before. From today Panticosa and Candanchu are also open. The snow is fantastic! Probably better than at any stage last season and there’s a good covering on and off-piste with plenty of powder. Great news for all those signed up to our snowshoeing holiday in Feb/March as this snowfall has set up a great base that should last all season.
We’ve taken advantage of the snow and headed out both on the ski’s with the family to Formigal and on snowshoes to the peak of Errata.
It’s great living near a ski resort and skiing is part of the lifestlye here. On Wednesday afternoons the kids have ski lessons with the school and last Sunday we ventured out to Panticosa for our first day’s skiing with the whole family – and to make things more challenging for us we took two of Isabel’s and Christophers friends with us too!
The kids on the gondola
It was a fantastic sunny day – perfect for the kids. The school lessons are at Formigal but we headed to Panticosa as it’s a great resort for kids with quite a few beginner runs on travelators for the little ones and some easy blues and reds for Isabel and Iñigo.
With the holidays over, the tourists gone and the pistes empty once again I headed up to Formigal yesterday for my first days skiing of the season.
We’ve had a lot of snow over the Christmas period – a couple of really big dumps but mixed in with a few days of rain and some high winds so I’ve heard varying reports of the snow conditions so was keen to check it out for myself.
Anayet ski area with Pico Anayet in the background
I’m happy to say there’s loads of snow and conditions are fantastic for the time of year. In both Formigal and Panticosa virtually every piste and lift is open. This is a vast improvement on the last cuple of seasons when during January the snow was very thin on the ground. I’m not saying it’s the best snow I’ve ever skied on but for this time of year it’s great and there’s lots more snow on teh forecast and I think we’re in for a great ski season.
Last week we had a beautiful afternoon of ski touring with my American friend Nick. After a period of bad weather and snow, some sun shining days always come in our mountains!!
Starting from Astún ski resort in Aragon Valley, we chose to follow one classical summer and winter itinerary that goes up to Ibon de Escalar, a small mountain lake in a peaceful surrounding, despite its proximity to the ski area.
View to the Aspe mountains from the highest point of our itinerary.