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SUMMER GLACIER SKIING 2018 - Katie Bamber, The Alps
Monday May 7, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

With the huge snowfalls of last winter and a recent top up the glaciers are in their best summer conditions for years. PlanetSKI looks at the options.

 

 

The summer glacier skiing in the Alps is set to be the best in recent years.

Have you ever thought about doing it and wonderered what it is like? Then this is the year to give it a go.

Huge amounts of snow remain at altitude in the Alps.

An Italian glaicer resort, Passo Stekvio, remains open and one of our readers, Marco Pedrano, sent us the image below at the beginning of June.

Marco in Passo Stelvio, ItalyMarco in Passo Stelvio, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it snowed last month (May) with up to 50cm falling in places.

This was the scene at resort level in Cervinia, Italy, last month - the resort will be open later for summer glacier skiing.

Cervinia, ItalyCervinia, Italy, 14th May - photo @federicoshr Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have ever thought about trying skiing in the summer months then this is the year.

In many of the glacier resorts of Europe up to 10m of snow has fallen over the winter leaving the glaciers in fantastic shape.

We're lucky enough in Europe to have a host of skiable glaciers open during summer months.

So as well as the Southern Hemisphere, South America and Australia/New Zealand, we have the option of easily and very affordably visiting winter favourites during the hotter months.

And, if we're smart, win by mixing a summer holiday to bike, hike and relax with a few days of skiing atop a glacier.

The views are wicked, the days warm, the skiing early (often 7am 'til early afternoon due to the sun) and the sun bathing capacity, top.

You're likely to see freestyle skiers and boarders training in the terrain parks, racing practice and other camps and courses going on, as athletes keep it going through summer.

So, a look at the best:

FRANCE

One of Europe's biggest, the Grande Motte Glacier in Tignes will open on 23rd June.

The spectacular views and good blue and red run skiing is accessed from Val Claret by the funicular.

Skiing for the day costs €25 and is open from 7.15am to early afternoon.

There is 20km of slopes to ski as well as a top terrain park.

I ended my season in Val d'Isere and Tignes and took a sneaky look at what is on offer:

Nearby in Val' d'Isere there is the smaller Glacier du Pissaillas.

It usually opens for several weeks from early June but this season it's opening a couple of weeks late to give more time to clear the masses of snow on the road up to the glacier.

Skiers can descend the pistes served by three lifts: TK du Montet, TK Cote 3000 and the Cascade Express.

However, Val d'Isere is a opening a couple of non-glacier slopes on 3rd June for 15 days instead of the glacier runs.

It's the first time in its 82-year history it will open some winter lifts.

The runs include part the World Cup downhill run (the OK) at the top of the La Daille funicular.

Also in France is the popular glacier resort of Les Deux Alpes.

The glacier will be open from 23rd June to 26th August 26, early doors from 7.15am to 12.30pm.

If you make it for the glacier's opening you'll also find a festival in swing, promoting many mountain summer sports.

There's a halfpipe, a freestyle park, an airbag for ski jumping practice, 11 runs and a beginner's slope.

Le3200 restaurant on the glacier is always a fun spot with BBQ's and visiting DJs.

A ski pass'll cost you €40 for the day (or €200 for six days).

Les 2 AlpesLes 2 Alpes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our editor, James Cove, has been summer skiing in Les2Alps many times and was there last summer.

See here for a flavour of what it was like.

The conditions were not so good in 2017, but it will be very different in 2018 after all the snow of the winter.

Yours truly in heavenJames up on the glacier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer sees BASI ski instructor training and exams on Les Deux Alpes glacier hosted by BASI Business partner, TipTop Ski Coaching.

Level 1 - 2nd July - 6th July

Level 2 - 30th July - 10th August

There is also training available prior to both exams with TipTop Ski Coaching's Alex Chapman.

For more information follow this link or contact Alex directly on info@tiptopskicoaching.com.

Tip top at Les2AlpesTip top at Les2Alpes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip top at Les2AlpesTip top at Les2Alpes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUSTRIA

Stubai Glacier is open until mid June, with lifts running from 8:30am to 4pm.

A ski pass for one day costs €40 and six days at €190.

To mix up a great holiday of summer sports such as biking or hiking with skiing, you can purchase a pass for three out of six days at €115.

It's Austria's largest glacier, with 62km of groomed runs and 26 lifts, and boastsa 10km long piste.

Stubai GlacierStubai Glacier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hintertux is open 12th May to 12th October, 8.15am to 4.30pm.

Passes are €45 a day to ski the 60km of pistes and the Betterparl with its 120m pipe, boxes and rails.

Nature's Ice Palace is inside the glacier with ice chambers and a deep cave with stalagmites and stalactites to be guided through.

Ice climbing is also on the menu and a kids playground has a bob run and tubing.

Hintertux funpipe is openHintertux funpipe is open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here at PlanetSKI we hope to be up on the Hintertux glacier in July... we'll keep you posted.

Kitzsteinhorn, Kaprun is open for summer on 14th May to 12th October..

Parks, pistes and sun, as well as the beautiful nearby lake of Zell am See to do your summer stuff on after a day's skiing...

Switzerland

Saas Fee's summer session runs from 14th July to 31st October.

One day costs you 84CHF with deals for 3 and 6-day options.

The Allalin glacier sits at 3,600m with 20km of pistes and a freestyle park.

At the top of the glacier resort there's a revolving restaurant and at the bottom, a chill out area with music and sunny sofas.

Saas-FeeSaas-Fee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zermatt-Cervinia, Switzerland-Italy

The two resorts in two countries share a ski area and glaciers.

From Zermatt skiing is available here year round.

That means from 23rd April to 31st October 31 you can ski from Zermatt, straight after the winter closes, and from Cervinia  29thJune to 12th September 12.

Ski passes are priced at 83CHF or €32.50, or for six days skiing it's 331CHF or €101.

Reds and blues adding up to 23km to ski sit under the Matterhorn.

The Gravity Park is the highest in Europe and is open to all levels of rider.

Gravity Park Plateau RosaGravity Park Plateau Rosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also in Italy are the Presena Glacier and Val Senales.

The first is between the Brenta Dolomites and the Ortler Group.

It has 500m of vertical served by a handful of lifts though is awkward to reach.

The latter, Val Senales, is open throughout the summer season for snowsports.

It is small but has a good variety of runs, plus the Nitro snow park.

And this one isn't in the Alps, but is one of the only skiable glaciers in North America.

And this mountain resort is well worth a summer visit:

Whistler, Canada

The Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb is open to experienced and advanced riders.

It's season runs during summer from 8th June to 15th July for a few hours each day.

There are many parks, numerous for the multiple camps and courses running, with kickers, moguls, race gates and jib features.

Tickets are CAD $68per day, which is a steal for out this way.

Whistler Hortsman GlacierWhistler Hortsman Glacier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a sadder note, glacier skiing is also special not just because it allows us to ski out of season, but because it is changing so much.

Glaciers are melting, and in recent years at an alarming rate.

Who knows where we'll stand in years to come but summer snowsports will likely be a thing of the past:

Monte RosaMonte Rosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here at PlanetSKI we will be out on the glaciers this summer and look forward to reporting back.

If you are heading out for some summer turns do lets us know what it is like over on PlanetSKI's facebook page.

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

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number 1 for ski news

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