Norwegian Summer Ski Resort ‘Fonna’ is Closing Early Because of Europe’s Heatwave

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Fonna Ski Resort
Fonna Ski Resort on Folgefonna Glacier, Norway, picture: Fonna Ski Instagram

Latest in the long list of summer ski resorts closing in Europe is the Fonna glacier in Scandinavia. Fonna is located on the Folgefonna Glacier in Norway, about seven hours west of Lillehammer, location of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Fonna is typically open from April to September. This year it did not open until 16 May as the roads leading to the resort were still covered in snow. But alas the heatwave in Europe has managed to erode the snow quality in this resort also, and Fonna will end its summer ski season this year on August 21st.

Fonna has 3 miles (5km) of slopes across four different runs serviced by a single T-bar. The T-bar base is at an elevation of 3,947 ft (1,203m) and services up to 4,757 ft (1,450m). While it is not a very big resort, it has a world-class terrain park and a summer moguls line, making it popular with national freestyle teams from all over the world. Fonna also offers summer cross-country trails for classic and skate training on top of the glacier.

Fonna Resort Map
Fonna Ski Resort Map, Fonna Homepage

This makes the Hintertux Glacier in Austria the last summer ski resort to still be open in Europe. Hintertux is open 365 days a year. The only other resort that operates all year round is Zermatt, which closed its summer operations last month due to the ongoing heatwave in Europe.

Meanwhile in the USA, Timberline Lodge, OR, has also announced closure of their summer operations per August 21st. Timberline Lodge runs the longest ski season in the US, offering typically 10 months of skiing and boarding.

Some summer ski resorts, like Saas Fee, Switzerland, and Galdhøpiggen, Norway, have closed to public skiing, but remain open to national teams/race clubs. It will mean that already scarce supply for training facilities for national teams are becoming even more overcrowded. Swiss Ski will fly their national teams to Southern Hemisphere resorts in Argentina and Chile to commence summer training.

The Swiss national team expects conditions on European glaciers to improve from late August, as days will start to get shorter, which should result in nighttime temperatures on the glaciers to drop to freezing point again. Several ski resorts will also open up for training in September or early October, which will give athletes more training options again. The opener for the 22/23 FIS World Cup season will be a GS race on October 22nd in Sölden, Austria.

Walter Wallberg, Beijing Olympic Gold medallist in Moguls, training in Fonna

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