Summer skiing area

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A summer ski area (alternative spelling: -schi-) is a part of a normal ski area where skiing can also be done in the summer months, especially also in the months of June, July and August. Such ski areas are usually located in the high mountains, i.e. above about 2500 m, and on glaciers. They generally have only a few lifts, but are the heart of the whole ski area. Since the 1990s, glaciers in the Alps have been in sharp decline. As a result, some summer ski resorts have had to cease operations.

In winter, the highest lifts are not always in operation. With clouds and blowing snow in the lower area, the highest slopes can be in the sunshine.

Technical and environmental issues

Since most summer ski resorts are located on glaciers, and those are constantly moving, you will mostly find conventional ski lifts and not chairlifts in summer ski resorts. This makes it easier to move the poles back to their original position if they have been displaced by glacier movement.

List of summer ski resorts

The information on lifts and kilometres of pistes refers to summer skiing.

Name Glacier Valley Villages Country Sea level
in m
in km
Hintertux Glacier[1] Frozen Wall-Kees (Tuxer Ferner), Riepenkees Hintertux Austria Tir. 2660–3250 <10 <20 all year round; the longest run is 2 km long and ends directly in front of the Tuxer Fernerhaus at 2,660 m.
Matterhorn glacier paradise Theodul glacier Zermatt Switzerland VS 2900–3899 007 21 highest skiing area in the Alps, continuous operation, expansion planned
Mountain railways Saas Fee-Mittelallalin[2] Feegletscher Saas-Fee Switzerland VS 3162–3573 005 010 continuous operation from the end of July, extension planned to 3850 m; Egginerjoch/Stollenlift 1984, Triftgletscher (Saas-Grund) closed in the 1990s
Crans-Montana Plaine Morte Sierre Switzerland VS 2778–2883 1 3 only in some years, then until June, expansion planned
Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn (glacier lift) Maurerkees, Schmiedingerkees Kaprun Austria Sbg. 2440–3029 4/4/10 15 Summer season supported with snowmaking (end of season July)[3]; highest cable car support in the world until 2016 (now third highest)
Mölltal Glacier Wurtenkees Flattach Austria Ktn. 2700–3122 2/4/3 10 continuous ski operation, break mid-May to mid-June; in summer up to 3 pistes open[4]; continuous operation rare (since 1998); Mölltal Glacier Road
Stelvio Ebenferner Trafoi and Bormio Italy, Lombardy and South Tyrol 2783–3450 2/0/4 30 summer operation only, from the beginning of June to the beginning of November
Monte Moro Macugnaga Italy, Piedmont 2800–2880 1 3 June, July
Rifugio 3A Val Formazza Siedel Glacier Formazza Italy, Piedmont 2670–3060 1 5 only summer operation, only accessible on foot
Val-d’Isère Glacier du Pissailas Val-d’Isère France, Savoy 2661–3257 6 7 Beginning of June until middle of July
Tignes Glacier de la Grande Motte Tignes France, Savoy 2726–3471 11 20 End of June until beginning of August
Alpe d’Huez Glacier de Sarenne Bourg-d’Oisans France, Isère 2735–3323 8 10
Les Deux Alpes Glacier de Mont-de-Lans and Glacier de la Girose Mont-de-Lans and Vénosc France, Isère 2813–3523 17 26 End of June until end of August
La Grave Glacier de la Girose La Grave France, Hautes-Alpes 3200–3540 1 3
Fonna Glacier Resort Folgefonna Jondal Norway, Vestland 1190–1460 1 9 Mid-April-End of July
Stryn Summer Ski Jostedalsbreen Stryn Norway, Vestland 1060–1570 2 10 Mid May-Mid October
Galdhøpiggen Sommerskisenter Styggebreen Bøverdalen Norway, Innlandet 1840–2190 1 5 Mid May – End September
1 Gondolas/chairlifts/tow lifts; if only one number is given: total
2 here partly only maximum altitude indicated, valley runs and mountain area open depending on snow conditions (column sorted by mountain altitude)

Source [5]

List of former summer ski resorts in the Alps

  • LAAX, discontinued 1992
  • Titlis mountain railway, discontinued 2006
  • St. Moritz/Corvatsch, set 1993
  • St. Moritz/Diavolezza, set 1998
  • 4 Vallées-Mont Fort, discontinued in 1999, again in 2013
  • Glacier 3000 between Gstaad and Les Diablerets, discontinued 2004
  • Marmolata glacier, adjusted 2007[6]
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo/Tofana, only 2013
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo/Monte Cristallo, discontinued in the 80s (?)
  • Presena Glacier Tonal Pass, discontinued 2008[6]
  • Pitztal Glacier, discontinued 1993
  • Kaunertal Glacier (Kaunertaler Gletscherbahn), discontinued ?
  • Skiing area Sölden/Ötztal, discontinued 2006
  • The Dachstein (Dachstein Glacier), set ?
  • Hochjochferner (Schnals Valley ski area), discontinued 2012
  • Stubai Glacier, summer operation discontinued ?[7]

Individual references

  1. Summer skiing – Hintertux glacier.Retrieved 19 December 2017 (German).
  2. Summer Ski & Snowboard.Retrieved 19 December 2017 (Swiss High German).
  3. Kitzsteinhorn – Ski resort in Austria.Retrieved 19 December 2017 (English).
  4. Summer | Ski Resort Mölltaler Gletscher.Retrieved 19 December 2017 (German).
  5. Open ski resorts for skiing in summer.Retrieved 25 February 2017 (English).
  6. a b Il caldo scioglie i ghiacciai italiani: cause e conseguenze. Diremo addio allo sci d’estate?In: 25 September 2017, retrieved 20 July 2018 (Italian).
  7. Ski Madness in August. In 31.August 2017 ( [accessed 19 December 2017]).