Early Snowfall Means European Resorts Starting to Open Already

Steven Agar | | Conditions ReportConditions ReportWeatherWeatherIndustry NewsIndustry News
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Austria’s highest café, Pitztal. Credit: pitztal.com

We’re still thinking about golf, hiking and mountain biking, but heavy snowfall earlier than usual in the Alps means that European riders are able to get their snow fix already at a couple of Austrian resorts this weekend.

Pitztal Glacier (Pitztaler Gletscher) and Stubai Glacier ski areas both plan to start the lifts turning at 8:30am this Saturday, 16th September.

A spokesperson for Pitztaler Gletscher said, “In a few days it starts again – Saturday, 16. September 2017. It looks really wintry out on the roof of the Tyrol.”

Pitztal is located on Tyrol’s highest glacier and offers a wide range of slopes for all abilities, and will now be open until May 2018. The state-of-the-art Wildspitz gondola transports visitors up to 11,286ft (3,440m), where the highest café in Austria is located, and offers 2,477ft (755m) vertical. This lift will be available on opening day, as well as the mountain railway.

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Snow. And lots of it. Already.

In the previous 24hrs they’ve received 4” of fresh snow, on top of a base of 12”. The forecast for the next few days is for up to another 12” of fresh.

Stubai Glacier will also be opening Saturday, September 16th. Of their 26 lifts, they will start with just 2 turning. The area, Austria’s highest glacial ski resort with 4,790ft (1,460m) vertical, offers a variety of terrain, mostly groomed pistes.

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Lifts ready to turn this weekend.

In the last 24hrs they’ve received 2” to top up an 8” base and are forecast almost another foot in the next seven days. They’ve had an awesome start to the season, with 27” already in September.

This is great news for the glacier ski slopes that faced troubling conditions as a summer heatwave melted an unprecedented amount of snow and ice off the glaciers.

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Early season snowfall, Austria.

It is worth noting that Hintertux, Austria is already open. The Hintertux Glacier is Austria’s only year round ski resort. The resort offers 20 lifts, a peak of 10,663ft (3,250m), 1750 vertical and a wide range of skiing. They already have 50% of their terrain open, and 11/21 lifts.

In line with the rest of the area snow began earlier than usual, with the Hintertux receiving 26” at the beginning of September and 4” in last 24hrs, with over a foot forecast in the next week or so.

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