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THAT'S ALL FOLKS - James Cove, French Alps
Friday May 4, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Tignes & Val Thorens closed last weekend ending the epic winter of 2017/18. PlanetSKI was in both resorts last week. Others remain open. UPDATED

The end of season skiing in the high altitude in the Alps has been the best most can remember and it bodes very well for the summer glacier skiing.   

PlanetSKI has been in the French Alps - Val Thorens, Tignes and Argentiere as the resorts close.  

Here is sunset from the Grande Motte in Tignes on the final weekend of the season.

Other resorts that closed at the weekend include Cervinia in Italy and the Swiss resort of St Moritz.

In Austria; Kitzbuhel and the Pitztaler Gletscher closed while in Norway Tyin-Filefjell also called it a day.

And they're still skiing in some surprising places.

There is 64kms of slopes open and its's -4C at the top in the southernmost resort in Europe, Sierre Nevada in Spain.

Sierre Nevada, SpainSierre Nevada, Spain

And it was none too shabby in Killington in the USA on May 6th.

Killigton, Vermont, USAKillington, Vermont, USA






One resort that shut on Monday 7th  was Glencoe in Scotland.

PlanetSKI reader and reporter Rod Frazer was making his final turns of the winter after a season in Les2Alpes France.

The skiers and mountain bikers were out too.

Glencoe, ScotlandGlencoe, Scotland














Glencoe, ScotlandGlencoe, Scotland















And while we are posting images from Glencoe, check out this picture from the resort as the moon appears to be snowballing down Buachaille Etive Beag last week.

Glencoe, ScotlandGlencoe, Scotland
















Glencoe has had one of the best winters and one of the longest ski seasons in recent years.

It opened for business in November - that's around 5 and a half months of skiing.

In 2016/17 Glencoe Mountain managed just 32 days of operation, in 2017/18 however it had more than 120 days, and considers this season to be a record breaking year.

We have a full list of resorts that are still open and their closing dates at the end of this article.

See here for our earlier summer journey to Val Thorens:  
Our time in the resort: 
And here as we celebrated the end of the season in Argentiere in France on its closing day last Tuesday, May 1st:  
Yours Truly calls it a dayYours Truly calls it a day


So, what about Tignes where PlanetSKI has been this week?

It closed on Sunday 6th May before re-opening for glacier skiing next month on June  23rd.      

We've been in Tignes at the end of the season many times and this is undoubtedly the best we have ever seen.  

The resort has seen around 9m of snow this winter, and guess what?  

It's still coming down. 

We were out with the rental company Intersport testing a few of their skis for next winter and taking advantage of being able to swap skis.  

Particularly useful at this time of year with the changing snow conditions in Spring..... and the fresh snow. 

And guess who was staying in the next-door apartment at my accommodation, The Dragon Lodge?  


His kids, Oscar who is 9-years old and Skui aged 11 were filming with Intersport as was 11-year old Clem Naudi who is the  French National Champion in slope style.

Tignes, FranceKids on camera: Tignes, France















Tignes itself is a magnet for the keen skiers and snowboarders at this time of year who want to squeeze in their final turns.

Some in period costume:
Tignes, FranceTignes, France


















And others too hot to wear their bunny suits in the warm spring temperatures:
Tignes, FranceTignes, France















Perhaps a few flowers is enough:
Tignes, FranceTignes, France














I bumped into a few local friends, Phil Smith from Snoworks and Squash Falconer who writes for PlanetSKI.  

Out on the slopes I met Jonny Cassidy who runs the Freshtracks holiday programme for the Ski Club of Great Britain.

Tignes, FranceJames & Jonny, Tignes, France















And then my old mate, Mark Jones, who is a BASI trainer and all-round top guy.

That's him strolling past behind in the photo above so I grabbed him for a quick picture when I saw him. Wink

James & Mark, Tignes, FranceJames & Mark, Tignes, France


And I bumped into a few marmots too - they come out of hibernation at this time of year and who knows what they made of all the snow they had to burrow though to emerge, blinking into spring.
Tignes, FranceTignes, France














At the top of the mountain it lookd more like mid-winter.    

The snow (once again) had to be cleared at the top of the furnicular. 
Tignes, FranceTignes, France















And at the top of the Grand Motte glacier at 3,300m it was winter. 
Tignes, FranceTignes, France















Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















Out of the clouds it was simply stunning.  

Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















With near-deserted slopes.

Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















Tignes, FranceTignes, France
















Tignes, FranceTignes, France

The links to Val d'Isere shut earlier this week, but guess what?  

Some slopes in Val d'Isere are actually opening at the beginning of June as our senior news reporter, Katie Bamber, explains.

Skiing in Val d'Isere in June, now there's an idea...  

Here on PlanetSKI we will shortly have an article on all the summer skiing on offer in the Alps - it's set to be the best in recent memory.  

Do check back for that. 

We'll be out on the glaciers of the Alps, will you?  

And in the meantime we leave you with my final video of the season filmed in Argentiere onn May 1st.

My final run of the winter was a 2,000m top to bottom decent from the Grands Montets.

Val Thorens, Tignes and Argentiere... now that's how to end a ski season. Cool

Some resorts though remain open for a bit longer and here are their closing  dates:


7th May: Glencoe, Scotland

13th May:  Molltaler glacier in Austria

3rd June:  Stubai glacier in the Tirol in Austria.

Zermatt in Switzerland and Hintertux are, weather-permiting, open year round.


12th May: Mt Hood, Oregon

27th May : Mountain Bachelor, Oregon

28th May: Squaw Valley, California

28th May:  Mammoth Mountain, California

Mid-June 2018: Arapahoe Bssin, Colorado

Timberline, Oregon - open year round


6th May: Lake Louise

21st May: Whistler, British Columbia

21st May: Sunshine Village, Alberta

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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