Well, you can forget all of that now. Three days later, summer’s in town. In Chamonix it’s going to be 22C today, and 25C tomorrow. In Soll, in the Austrian Tirol, it’ll be 23C today and 26C tomorrow.
Here’s how it’s looking this morning in Soll, flushed with fresh spring greens.
And here’s the contrast in pictures. This was La Croisette in Courchevel on Monday.
And this was the scene earlier this morning. Top temperature should be +19C.
Nevertheless, skiing is still possible in a few spots. This was the Stubai glacier, south of Innsbruck earlier today. Along with the Kaunertal glacier, it’s closing on Sunday after what’s been an excellent spring, snow-wise.
After that, only the Hintertux and Kitzsteinhorn glaciers will be open to skiers in Austria, although the Molltaler glacier reopens for skiing on June 18. You can still ski above Zermatt, Switzerland and this weekend you’ll also be able to access the same slopes from Cervinia.
Bear in mind that the summer-skiing season will be underway shortly. Cervinia reopens on June 25. There’ll also be skiing on the glaciers above Val d’Isere (from June 12), Tignes (from June 25) and Les Deux Alpes (from June 18).
In the immediate future, the thaw is going to affect the snow on the glaciers, softening it during the day, and hardening it overnight. But anyone thinking of skiing one this weekend should keep one eye on the forecast. Thunderstorms are predicted.
Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere…
In New Zealand, there was snow across the Southern Alps at the weekend. The goods, as ever, weren’t evenly distributed, but The Remarkables did really well, picking up 25cm. It was much deeper than that in the drifts…
Meanwhile, this is how it looked at Coronet Peak on Tuesday.
Currently, Coronet Peak is due to open on June 11, and The Remarkables on June 18 (Mount Hutt near Christchurch is likely to be the first ski field to open, on June 10). The forecast is for more snow over the weekend.
The resort is hinting strongly that after the next snowstorm it should be able to announce its opening date, and that it will be earlier than planned (June 24). The next chance of snowfall is on Sunday, But it looks like it will come in the form of snow showers rather than blizzards.
Finally, in Australia, Perisher fired up its snow cannons for the first time on May 21. It’s seen a couple of light snowfalls so far, but nothing spectacular. It’s due to open on June 10.
|France: see our main report. Tignes and Val Thorens both closed on May 8 at the end of their long winter seasons. Tignes will be open for glacier skiing between June 25 and August 7, Val d’Isere between June 12 and July 15, and Les Deux Alpes from June 18 to August 27.|
|Switzerland: Zermatt’s glacier got a healthy top-up of snow on Monday: but only the highest slopes will escape the effects of the sudden thaw. Watch out for thunderstorms this weekend.|
|Austria: Although Austria didn’t get as much snow on Monday as the western Alps, its glacier ski areas are in good nick at the moment, thanks to several heavy snowfalls since April 8. Hintertux is open all year, while the Kitzsteinhorn is running until July 24. Both the Stubai and Kaunertal glaciers close on May 29.|
|Italy: Cervinia is opening its lifts to skiers each weekend through May and reports up to 225cm of snow on its slopes.|
|Andorra: in Andorra, the shutters have come down on the ski season. All eyes are now on the summer…|
|Western USA: in Colorado, Arapahoe Basin has announced it will stay open until June 5, and open for one or two weekends after that, if conditions allow. Meanwhile, in Utah Snowbird (weekend openings until May 30) has 203cm of settled snow, and in California Squaw (closes May 30) has 292cm.|
|Western Canada: in Whistler, Whistler Mountain has now closed, although on Blackcomb they’re hoping to keep skiing till May 30. The mid-mountain snowpack is now 101cm deep, and they’re expecting a high of +6C on the mountain today.|