Brits head to Val d’Isère more than any other resort in the world, and they can now do so for even longer as the popular resort in the French Alps will open a few of its non-glacier lifts for skiing this summer, for the first time in its 82-year history.
The resort is planning to turn a couple of lifts on 3rd June from 7 am to 12 noon, just over a month after it closes for the winter season.
The runs, above La Daille, will open in place of the glacier runs that usually open in early June, with the glacier set to open later in the month.
The decision has been taken because of the exceptional amount of snow that has fallen this season. A total of 30 feet fell and there is still over 8 feet of snow on the higher slopes and 3 feet down in the village.
Skiers will be able to ski the area by the Funival funicular from La Daille and the six-person Marmottes chair just above the Folie Douce and access the OK World Cup downhill run and the less demanding Verte, snow conditions permitting.
The resort is hoping these runs and lifts will stay open for two weeks until the warmer weather arrives, at which point the Pissaillas Glacier, above Le Fornet, will open up and remain open through 13th July.
The delay in opening the glacier will give the snow-clearing teams extra time to clear the road up to the glacier and the Col de l’Iseran, the highest paved road in Europe and the gateway to Italy in the summer.