They’re skiing again in Val d’Isere! It’s only five weeks since the proper ski season ended, but on Saturday the resort’s Pissaillas glacier opened for its short summer season (which runs until July 14). As this picture from John Yates-Smith of YSE shows, the locals have been quick to take advantage – although the official snow report talks of only 40cm of snow on the pistes. Clearly, despite the heavy snow of mid-winter and late spring, the cover has been melting quickly.
Judging by the Welove2ski snow forecast, that cover should be a little deeper by the middle of the week – thanks to a powerful weather front due in tonight. It’ll bring torrential rain to northern Italy, and maybe 30cm of snow to some of the highest peaks. The white stuff will be particularly welcome at Les Deux Alpes, which opens for its vigorous summer season next weekend, and at Tignes, whose Grande Motte glacier opens on June 22.
Other glacier areas that are already open include the Hintertux, Stubai, Kitzsteinhorn and Dachstein glaciers in Austria, and Zermatt in Switzerland. Generally, the cover is deeper the further east you go. Hintertux’s snow report is currently claiming 310cm of snow on its pistes, and the Stubai glacier 300cm – and it was snowing on both this morning.
Meanwhile, Down Under, the ski season is underway in both Australia and New Zealand. In south-eastern Australia, Perisher opened on June 2, and was followed by Thredbo and Mount Buller on June 9. After a promising start to winter in Perisher and Threbdo, a thaw is now underway, and the resorts are working the snow cannons hard overnight to keep the cover in reasonable condition.
In New Zealand, Mount Hutt near Christchurch got off to a cracking start to the season on Saturday, thanks to a 60cm dump in the run-up to opening day. There hasn’t been any new snow since then, and strong winds have scoured exposed slopes. But all the same, the trails have been in excellent condition given it’s so the first week of the season – and some of the more sheltered off-piste lines have been skiable too. This week’s forecast is for low temperatures: so although not much snow is expected, resorts will be able to run their snow cannons hard. That’s good news, given the next raft of resorts is due to open on Saturday.
If you’re tempted by the thought of skiing this summer, check out our guide to summer skiing resorts in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
|France: Glacier skiing is now possible above Val d’Isere. Meanwhile Les Deux Alpes opens its glacier on June 16, followed by Tignes on June 22.|
|Switzerland: Two pistes are open today on the glacier above Zermatt. Saas-Fee’s glacier opens on July 14.|
|Austria: There’s good snow cover on Austria’s glaciers at the moment, with the Hintertux glacier claiming 310cm and the Stubai glacier 300cm. The Dachstein glacier says it has even more: up to 440cm of cover.|
|Italy: The glacier above Val Senales opens for summer skiing on June 23.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski areas are closed.|
|Western USA: All the mainstream resorts in the US are now closed for skiing. However, there is skiing (and a terrain park) on offer at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.|
|Western Canada: Whistler closed its ski lifts on May 28. However, the glacier on Blackcomb will open to skiers from June 23-July 29.|