It’s another warm and sunny day in the Alps – but the outlook is for a stormy finish to the weekend at the western end of the region. On Sunday night snow could fall down to 1000m for a time.
Pictured above is the French resort of Tignes this morning. In common with all the high-altitude resorts, the snow is still very deep here at the end of an extraordinary winter. This is despite a two-week spell of weather that has brought a summery feel to the valleys and left the forests flushed with green.
Once the cooler, stormy weather has passed – probably by next Thursday – high temperatures and sunshine will return, and preparations will continue for the start of the summer season. In Trentino, in the Italian Dolomites, parts of the Dolomiti Paganella Bike Park are already opening at the weekends, although not above 1500m because of the snow still packed down on the pistes.
Meanwhile from May 10 the lifts will start spinning again in Kitzbuhel, and in parts of the Skiwelt. In Les Gets, the mountain bike park opens for the start of its season on the weekend of May 26-27, and will be open daily from June 16. Solden’s Bike Republic opens for the first time on June 15. Les Gets also sees the first big event of the summer mountain bike season, the Crankworx, on June 20-24.
In other words, for anyone who loves the mountains, there’s a lot to look forward to. Over the next couple of weeks, the last of the “normal” high-altitude ski resorts will close for the summer (Val d’Isere on May 1, Tignes on May 6 and Val Thorens on May 10). But skiing will still be on offer on some of the glaciers in Austria and Switzerland, and then from June 3, the summer ski season gets underway, when Val d’Isere reopens.
Here’s how the pistes are looking on the Stubai Glacier, south of Innsbruck, where the lifts will be spinning until June 3. On the highest pistes, the cover here is still up to four metres deep.
Meanwhile, lower down there’ll be plenty of this…
And maybe some of this…
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