In the Alps, winter is officially over. Tignes, Val Thorens and Les Grands Montets in the Chamonix valley all closed on Sunday – leaving only a handful of glacier ski areas still in operation. But that doesn’t mean the snow has stopped falling. Up high, there was snow last weekend, and over the next five days further dumps are expected. According to our snow-forecasting maps 30-50cm could be falling a daily basis – though not always in the same place.
Lower down, however, it’s going to be pouring with rain: as you’ll see from our precipitation/cloud cover forecast below. With poor visibility on the glaciers, and high winds closing some of the lifts, no-one’s pretending these are vintage skiing conditions. But just wait until the skies clear…
Here’s how it was looking at the end of a rather murky day above Zermatt, with the Matterhorn still shrouded in cloud.
And here’s a taste of how lovely the Alpine valleys are, whenever the sun’s out. This was Lanersbach, beneath the Hintertux glacier in the Tirol, on Tuesday.
Among the glacier ski areas currently open (weather permitting) are the Hintertux, Stubai, Kaunertal and Kitzsteinhorn glaciers in Austria, as well as Zermatt and Engelberg in Switzerland. The glaciers above Tignes, Val d’Isere, Les Deux Alpes and Saas-Fee will also be opening in the summer (Tignes opens to ski-racing teams on June 15, and to the public on July 6, and Les Deux Alpes on June 22). With so much fresh snow about at 3000m, the cover everywhere is excellent. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Attention is now turning to the southern hemisphere, where the start of the season is less than a month away. The weather’s looking promising.
Pictured, below is Perisher in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales today. The resort is due to open on June 7, but may open earlier if there’s enough snow.
And here’s a shot of Mount Hutt in New Zealand on May 7. The resort is due to open on June 15.
Needless to say, excitement is building on the other side of the planet…
|France: the regular ski season is now done and dusted in France, but the glaciers above Tignes, Les Deux Alpes and Val d’Isere will all be opening for skiing in the summer.|
|Switzerland: There’s a little glacier skiing left for those who want it in Switzerland. Above Zermatt you can ski down to Trockener Steg, although the links over to Cervinia have now closed. The upper slopes of Engelberg will stay open to May 26. Saas Fee’s glacier will be open from July 27.|
|Austria: Austria has now flipped to summer-skiing with all resorts now closed apart from the glaciers. These include the Hintertux, the Stubai glacier and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier.|
|Italy: the ski season is all but done in Italy – and we note that the glacier above Val Senales will not be opening for summer skiing this year. However, you can still ski on the Presena glacier above Passo Tonale.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are now closed for the summer.|
|Western USA: It’s been a warm week in the American Rockies, and in Colorado, Arapahoe Basin has been closing down its steeper terrain as a result. The last day of skiing is due to be June 2. Skiing is continuing at weekends in Snowbird in Utah, too and Mammoth in California is also open.|
|Western Canada: In the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise has now closed for the summer, but neighbouring Sunshine Village will keep going until May 20. Above Whistler, Whistler Mountain is closed for skiing, but Blackcomb mountain will remain open until May 27.|