Glacier watch: 02 August

2nd August 2011, by Chris Gill

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July snowfalls in the Alps brought a welcome boost to summer glacier skiing, following a long warm spell that had begun to thaw much of the lying snow. The key areas are still open throughout August, with a short break before autumn skiing resumes.

Sadly, the glaciers claiming the most snow during July have now closed until the winter: Sölden, Stubai and Kaprun all gained a good 30cm of new snow. But you can still ski on the Hintertux glacier, which still boasts 22km piste available and seven lifts. The weather is currently fine, with good visibility up on the slopes. Also, the Molltal glacier in Carinthia is open for summer skiing too, with three lifts running and a couple of slopes.

In France, Tignes and Les Deux Alpes are the only resorts offering summer skiing at present. Les Deux Alpes has the better base depth and is open until the end of August; it’s a bit cloudy up there on Tuesday 2 August, but the cams show plenty of keen skiers and boarders enjoying the slopes and terrain park.

The two key Swiss resorts, Saas Fee and Zermatt, are still open – and you can reach Zermatt’s glacier slopes from Cervinia too. Saas Fee ended July on a snowy note, but not until a warm few weeks followed by poor visibility forced the cancellation of yet again the summer freestyle Ride event. But the good news is that they are enjoying fresh snow as we move into August - pretty good conditions up there judging by the recent cam shots.

And if you’re visiting Italy during the summer and fancy a few turns on the summer snows at Val Senales or Passo Stelvio (near Bormio), both are open and with good snow cover at present.

Meanwhile, it has been a disappointing summer ski season in Scandinavia. We reported earlier in the summer that Stryn had been plagued by rain and warm weather, which meant resort officials trying to shift snow and lifts away from exposed ice. But the struggle was in vain and most of Norway’s season ended prematurely this year.



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