The extraordinary run of wintry weather that began in the Alps on April 17 is drawing to a close.
But it’s not over just yet. There’s been more snow at altitude today across the northern Alps, and tonight they’re expecting a sprinkling of the white stuff down to 1000m.
Here’s Welove2ski’s May 8 snow forecast.
From Wednesday, however, spring will be making a comeback. It already made itself felt in the French Alps on Saturday when the daytime freezing point rose (briefly) to 3400m: but this time the thaw will be more widespread and more prolonged. In fact, according to the latest mid-range forecast from the ECMWF, we’ll have jumped to midsummer by Tuesday next week.
Right now, only a handful of glacier ski areas are still open. At Hintertux in the Austrian Tirol, and Zermatt in Switzerland, skiing is on offer right through the spring and summer (weather permitting). Meanwhile the Kaunertal glacier will be open till June 5, the Stubai till June 18, and the Kitzsteinhorn till July 23. In the wake of all the recent snow, conditions are superb – as you’ll see from the photo taken on the Stubai glacier on Saturday, below. However, the coming thaw is likely to produce much less wintry conditions. Daytime melting and overnight refreezing is going to be the norm.
Pretty soon, we’ll see other glacier/high altitude ski areas open up for their summer seasons. Val d’Isere opens on June 10, the Molltal glacier on June 15, Tignes and Les Deux Alpes on June 24, and Cervinia on June 28. You can find more details in our guide to the best resorts for summer skiing.
And let’s not forget the main business of summer – hiking, biking, climbing, running, rafting, and every other mountain sport you can imagine. In the southern Alps, the MTB season is already underway: the Molveno bike park in Trentino, for example, started its weekend programme on April 22. Meanwhile in Les Gets in France, the first lifts open on June 3 and in Solden, Austria on June 15.