The ENVISAT mission with a suite of high performance sensors offers some opportunities for mapping snow cover at regional and catchment scales. The spatial resolution of the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer Instrument (MERIS) data and the spectral characteristics of the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) data are suitable for these purposes. A new approach has been developed for the generation of snow cover products in Alpine regions, based on the combined use of ENVISAT optical data and topographic information. The Alpine region is selected as a test area to demonstrate the potential and the limitations of the novel approach. In particular, attention is focused on three regions of northern Italy (Valle d'Aosta, Piemonte, Lombardia). The first results obtained by the application of this new method to Earth Observation data will be presented and analysed.