Excellent summer skiing in Europe

7th June 2013, by Abi Butcher

The glacier at Les Deux Alps: it opens on 22 June for summer skiing

The glacier at Les Deux Alps: it opens on 22 June for summer skiing

What a weird summer we are having. The flooding of last weekend in Austria, Germany and Switzerland has calmed, but the snow on the mountains across Europe has stayed and resorts are gearing up for their summer glacier skiing.

Les Deux Alpes opens on 22 June, and there’s plenty of snow cover on the glacier judging by the pictures they sent us yesterday. Do you follow us on facebook? Check for the latest pics and updates there.

In Tignes, the Vanoise area opens next weekend, 15 June, for a week. The Grande Motte glacier then opens on 6 July for a month.

Among those glaciers already open and areas already being skied, the snow is excellent. In Argentière, France, there’s a whopping upper snow depth of 500cm. In Zermatt, the sun is shining this morning and the glacier glistening with 20km of skiing open and 15cm of new snow forecast over the weekend. “The summer snow is amazing,” says Janine Imesch from the Zermatt tourist office. “The snowpark is currently being prepared.”

And in Austria, the Hintertux Glacier is open, with 86km of skiing and an upper depth of 345cm of snow at 3,250m.

But after the excitement of last weekend, when hundreds of skiers enjoyed a one-off open weekend at Porté Poymorens in the Pyrénees, the resort is closed.

“Given the evolution of the snowpack and for safety reasons, the station does not reopen on 8 and 9 June,” says a statement on the Porté Poymorens website. “See you on 15 October.”

Last weekend, resort director Eric Charre was quoted as saying there was as much snow in Porté Poymorens on the first weekend in June as there was in January. On the slopes between 1,600m and 2,500m, Mr Charre said:  “The snow is on average 70cm to 80cm thick and in some places there are still drifts of up to five metres deep.”

In Scotland, locals are still skiing Ciste Gully in the Cairngorms — beautiful pictures on their website of summer evening skiing. Cairngorm Mountain officially closed on 21 May, but there’s still skiable of snow in places — this picture (courtesy of Winterhighland Ltd) was taken last Saturday, 1 June.

And over in the States, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado will reopen this weekend thanks to cool temperature and late-season snow giving the area a 32in (82cm) base.

“We’re having too much fun, so we’re reopening” says the slogan on A Basin’s website. The area is open 8.30am to 2.30pm from today (Friday 7 June) until Sunday, 9 June. The Black Mountain Express and Lenawee Mountain lifts will be open, but not for beginners.

A-Basin chief executive Alan Henceroth said: “With all the spring storms, our exceptional snow conditions, and our guests’ enthusiasm for skiing and riding.”

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