It looks like summer has got its mojo back in the Alps.
Temperatures have risen, the weather’s stabilised, and it’s looking gorgeous. It’s time for a bit of this…
A bit of that…
Some of these…
And let’s not forget the glaciers…
Pictured above was the glacier on the Grande Motte above Tignes this morning. The summer-skiing season here started on June 25, and there are now eight glaciers open for summer turns in the Alps. More will be opening in July, including the one above Val Senales in Italy, and at Saas-Fee in Switzerland.
The run-up to the summer ski season was marked by several falls of snow – the most recent on June 16, and in Tignes British ski school Snoworks reported “more snow than we’ve seen for many years” on the glacier when it opened on Saturday.
Since then, toasty temperatures have meant the snow has been going through a daily cycle of melting and refreezing. But still, conditions are good for the time of year. Provided we don’t get a heatwave to match the one the Alps experienced last summer, it should be a cracking season.
Meanwhile, here’s a wee glimpse of the Skiwelt in the Austrian Tirol, wearing its fresh summer greens. Two or of our editors, Peter and Felice Hardy, are heading there shortly – for a month! I’m a little bit jealous.
For more on the summer scene in the Alps, check out our features about summer skiing, mountain biking, cycling, summer resorts and adventure parks. Remember, when the sun’s out, there’s no season more beautiful.
Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere…
A message for any Brits currently wondering if they should emigrate to Australia. Take heart. Check out the video that’s just come out of Perisher in Snowy Mountains of the south-east.
Perisher opened a fortnight ago, on June 11, with almost no snow. Mother Nature stayed her hand for a frustratingly long time, and there was very little skiing on offer in the opening ten days of the season. But between Tuesday and Friday last week she finally came to her senses – and dropped 70cm on the slopes. Needless to say, everyone’s ecstatic.
They’re much less delighted in New Zealand. There, a promising start to winter has turned slushy, and Coronet Peak near Queensland has even had to shut its trails, because there’s so little snow. At least temperatures in the South Island are expected to drop midweek, which will allow the resort to fire up its snow cannons once more.
Finally, here’s how it’s looking today in Valle Nevado, near Santiago in Chile. There’s not been much fresh snow there lately, but the stuff that fell at the start of the month is holding up nicely.
|France: see our main report. Summer skiing is now on offer on the Pisaillas glacier above Val d’Isere (until July 15), at Les Deux Alpes (until August 27), and above Tignes (until August 7). Classic summer-skiing conditions prevail. The snow is hard-packed first thing in the morning, and then softens quickly as the sun strengthens.|
|Switzerland: there’s plenty of snow up on Zermatt’s glacier at the moment, thanks to the cold spring and showery start to summer. Currently the resort reports up to 220cm of cover, on-piste.|
|Austria: summer skiing is currently on offer on the Hintertux, Kitzsteinhorn and Molltaler glaciers. The snow’s currently in good nick for the time of year, but is going through a daily cycle of melting and refreezing.|
|Italy: Cervinia is open again for summer skiing.|
|Andorra: in Andorra, the shutters have come down on the ski season. All eyes are now on the summer…|
|Western USA: in California, Mammoth has announced it will offer skiing until July 4.|
|Western Canada: the Horstman glacier on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler is open for summer skiing until July 17.|