Glacier snow report summary

18th September 2009, by Chris Gill

Every few centimetres helps! Well, we know it’s early days, but snowfall in the Alps this week is better news for the glaciers after their long, dry summer. And it has allowed more areas to open - or expect to open in the next week or two.

In Austria: Conditions are being reviewed in Sölden following new snow, with opening now planned for 19 September. The Kitzsteinhorn received over 10cm this week and has reopened the upper slopes today (Friday 18 September), after a month closed. It’s bright and sunny now though and still relatively warm up there.

The Tux glacier has kept going in the face of the summer meltdown, and currently has nine lifts and 15km pistes open. The Molltal glacier (near Mallnitz) has a 90cm snow base and is also open. Pitztal is open, backed up by its whizzy snowmaking system - see ‘News’. It looks unlikely that the Kaunertal glacier will be ready to open at the end of the month though - despite fresh snow (8cm), a serious dump is needed up there judging by the webcams. There is no skiing at the Dachstein glacier yet, either; it’s cloudy and very windy - plus they only have a 20cm snow base.

In Switzerland: fresh snow boosted depths on the Saas Fee and Zermatt glaciers too. Both areas are open for snow sports and reporting bases of 80cm (approx), with good piste conditions. News from St Moritz is that they hope to open the Diavolezza glacier on 17 October - conditions permitting.

Blink and you may have missed the new snow across Italy. The Dolomites were covered for a time, before it melted in the warm-up. But Italy has two glacier ski areas open at the moment: Val Senales and Passo Stelvio (a summer-only ski area near Bormio).

France awaits the return of skiing on the Grande Motte glacier above Tignes - currently expected on 26 September - but they only report 10cm snow base at present.

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