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Friday June 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

It's ski history for the resort as non-glacier areas have opened. 200 people were at its opening this week & we have new reports from the slopes.

It's the first time in the resort's 82 years that some of its winter lifts and non-glacier pistes have been opened up for skiing and snowboarding in summer.

The bumper winter snowfall is the reason.

And this is what it looks like as our friends over at Snoworks Race Camps took to the slopes.

Hard to believe it's the beginning of June.

Snoworks is running a series of ski courses in neighbouring Tignes in Summer and Autumn, see here for all the details in a related PlanetSKI story:
And here is what it looked like on Sunday in Val d'Isere:

The resort says around 200 skiers and snowboarders took advantage of exceptional conditions.

The route up was the Funival funicular from La Daille to the top of Bellevarde where the first sections of slopes OK, Diebold, 3J and Verte were open.

The snow underfoot there is still more than a metre deep. 

After heading down to the bottom of the Marmottes lift, they jumped on the six-person chair to get back up to the top.

One of those enjoying the snow and the good weather was David McCallum, a British property developer who lives in Val d'Isere.

"It was quite remarkable," said.  "You can ski 400-500 vertical metres and, after half a dozen runs, we felt we had done a full morning's skiing with tired legs to match!"

And here's a selection of photos of the opening day the resort has sent to PlanetSKI (anyone else jealous?)....

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

Val d'Isere Sunday 3rd JuneVal d'Isere Sunday 3rd June

The winter skiing on Bellevarde will remain open for two weeks, while snow-clearance teams continue to battle their way up to the Pissaillas Glacier where summer skiing will continue at 3,000 metres until 13th July, weather conditions permitting.

After the huge snowfall of the winter it's taking longer than usual for the snow ploughs to clear the road up to the glacier where summer skiing usually begins in early June.

There's plenty of the stuff still up at altitude so why not make the most of it?
This is what it looked like at the top of the Funival a week ago, on 25th May.

Top of the funival, La DailleThis way for summer skiing













And here's a video of Leo Taillefer and Justine Blanc testing out the runs on Wednesday last week before Sunday's opening.....

The open pistes are:
  • OK (red) - the top of the famous OK downhill run though, unfortunately for regular skiers, access to this classic red run will be reserved for competition and race training
  • Diebold (blue)
  • Verte (green)
OK run, La DailleThe OK World Cup downhill run in winter




A day's lift pass costs €28 unless you bought a season pass at public rates last winter, in which case it's free.

And if you want to make the most of it over the next couple of weeks you'll need an early start.

The funicular opens at 6.30am and closes at 12.10pm.

The Marmottes chairlift opens at 6.45am and closes at midday.

Marmottes chairMarmottes chair as seen by Radio-TV Val d'Isere,  25th May

The resort is warning that major work is being carried out in the La Daille sector and therefore skiing or snowboarding off piste below the Marmottes chair is strongly discouraged.

Conditions permitting, these winter runs will stay open for two weeks until the glacier is ready.

Val d'isere glacier skiingThe glacier opens later this month

PlanetSKI's Katie Bamber was in Val d'Isere at the end of April as the news of the June opening was announced:

Clearing up and opening up access to the glacier is proving a difficult and time-consuming task this year.

A total of around nine metres of snow fell over the winter and there are still accumulations of more than four metres in places along the Iseran pass.

This video shows snow clearing on the pass on 23rd May:

The pass is the highest paved road in Europe - at an altitude of more than 2,760 metres.

It is closed in the winter but is the vehicle route up to the Pissaillas glacier above Le Fornet in the summer as well as the gateway to Italy.

Read our full guide to where you can ski and snowboard this summer:
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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