Although the winter skiing season will come to an end on Tuesday 1 May 2018, Val d’Isère, in the French Alps, will re-open a couple of its winter lifts for summer skiing on 3 June 2018, just 33 days later. While glacier skiing normally resumes in June, this is the first time – in its 82-year history – that some of the winter pistes, just above the resort, will re-open in summer.
This year, the snow across the high-altitude resort in the French Alps has been phenomenal, with a mighty nine metres of snowfall recorded. Therefore, it is no surprise that there is still more than a metre in the village and 245 cm on the higher slopes.
Val d’Isère has a justified reputation for being the most snow-sure resort in Europe already, but this is breaking new ground.
Pistes that will re-open – from 7 am to 12 pm – include the top of the OK World Cup downhill and the less demanding Verte (snow-conditions permitting). Skiers will reach the area by the Funival funicular from La Daille and the slopes will be served by the six-person Marmottes chair just above the Folie Douce; exactly the same as in winter.
The resort is hoping these runs and lifts will stay open for two weeks until the warmer weather prevails, at which point the Pissaillas Glacier, above Le Fornet, will come into play. Apart from making use of the extraordinary snowpack, this gives 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 summer gateway to Italy.
Although many of the hotels, chalets and apartments will not be open at this time, there are still places ready to welcome hard core skiers and snowboarders. Shared taxi services such as SnowDrone (snow-drone.com/) can transfer guests from/to Geneva airport (the usual buses will have stopped).
Lift passes cost from €28 pp per day, or €330 pp per season.
For more information, visit: www.valdisere.com/en