We are desperate to get back on the slopes and enjoy the thrill of skiing, so which ski resorts have opened in Europe? As we start September, just four glacier ski areas are open, but there should be more than twelve by the end of the month. Last year, after the initial wave of the pandemic, the autumn openings of glaciers occurred as usual, and there were even massive early snowfalls up high.
Sadly, due to the second wave of the virus, already-open ski resorts in Austria, France, and Italy were forced to close in late October. While Austria reopened in January, while Swiss and Scandinavian ski resorts remained open, few people made it to the slopes. Those who skied or boarded between September and October 2020 were among the fortunate few.
Snow in August over the Alps
There have been multiple August snow dustings on Alps glaciers, but the good news is that the snowfall has increased in intensity recently. Last weekend’s snowfall at Germany’s highest ski area, the Zugspitze Glacier, was seen. After missing the entire previous season, it hopes to reopen on November 18th for the 21-22 season. Which is the quickest way to reach the Alps?
What’s open or about to open in the next five weeks?
Austria, particularly the Tirol region, has more glacier ski areas open than anywhere else in the autumn. At the end of September, there are frequently more ski areas available in this region than in the rest of the northern hemisphere. The Hintertux ski area is accessible all year and offers 20 kilometres of slopes. Over the weekend, there was more snowfall, according to reports. The Stubai hopes to reopen in the middle of September. The Kaunertal and Pitztal glaciers have set a date for opening on October 25th. Although Solden has set an opening date of October 4th, they claim they will open sooner if possible.
France and Finland
No French resorts intend to reopen before mid-October when Les 2 Alpes and Tignes plan to reopen the lifts. Levi and Ruka in Finland will reopen on October 8th with snow from the previous season. It was stored and has been spread back out on the slopes (Levi pictured below in October 2020).
Italy, Switzerland and Norway
The Passo Stelvio in Italy is now open, allowing you to reach Europe’s highest slopes above Zermatt from Cervinia. According to Val Senales, it will open on September 17th from 21-22. Most of Switzerland’s glacier areas open in October, while Zermatt, which is open all year, only shut down for the first shutdown and has been open nearly every day during the 15 months since then. For the 21-22 Season, Sass Fee is also available.
Finally, conditions permitting, Norway’s Galdhpiggen glacier, which should be accessible today but was forced to close during August due to mild weather melting its snow cover, wants to reopen on the 11th or 18th of the month.
What is the situation for British skiers in terms of travel?
It’s been 18 months since our world shifted, and the picture is still evolving. More nations are now accessible without the requirement for quarantine, including most of those where skiing is possible in Europe in September, especially (and occasionally just) for double-vaccinated skiers. Nevertheless, even if a country is on the UK’s green list (which doesn’t always mean it’s on theirs), there may be different regulations in the country you want to visit, as well as insurance, available transport routes, and other issues. Snow-Forecast maintains a live news website with the most up-to-date virus-related information as well as information on which resorts are open on any given day of the year, resort by resort and country by country.