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Europe has a number of excellent summer ski areas, and we've listed them all here on one lovely page for you...

Summer Skiing Resorts in Austria

Austria is home to more than 800 glaciers but at present skiing is possible on only 8 of them. Of these, the Hintertuxer Glacier has the largest summer ski area - the glacier there is the only one in Austria which is open 365 days a year and offers skiing and boarding throughout all of the summer months. All the other glacier ski resorts close at some point in May, June or July and then open again for skiing in September or October. Of these other areas, Solden is extremely well known, with two glaciers - the Rettenbach and the Tiefenbach. It's also become the traditional location for the opening world cup ski race of the season thanks to it's good early season snow record.



FENDELS

One of the lesser known summer ski areas amongst British skiers, the Kaunertaler Valley's summer ski area was developed on the glacier below the peak of WeiBseespitze back in 1980. You can drive right up the 29 bends of the famous Kaunertaler Glacier Road from the village of Feichten to the car park at a height of 2750m and then take one of the 9 different lifts into the glaciated ski area. Located in the Tyrol in western Austria, the nearest resorts to the glacier are Fendels, Serfaus and Fiss, all approximately an hour away from Innsbruck.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.kaunertaler-gletscher.at

FLATTACH

The most southerly of the Alps glacial ski areas is the Molltal glacier, with the village of Flattach located at the foot of it. A gondola and an underground cable car allow access to the glacier's slopes, taking you up to a height of 3120m. The resort advertises that there are approximately 50 km of groomed runs, but it's worth noting that only a small proportion of these are actually on the glacier. The glacier also has a terrain park and a half pipe. The resort claims to guarantee skiing from October to May, although depending on how cold the winter and spring has been this can actually extend right into July and sometimes August.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.gletscher.co.at

HINTERTUX

Austria's largest summer ski area is found above the Tyrolean village of Hinterux, in the Tuxert valley. A gondola from the village provides access up to the glacier, which features over 20 lifts and has access to 15km of pistes even in the height of summer (this rises to 50km in spring and autumn, and up to 200km in mid-winter). A top altitude of 3250m can be reached from the highest lift.

Hintertux is one of Europe's top summer ski destinations, and the glacier itself provides much greater variety than many of it's Alpine rivals, with pride of place going to one of the steepest glacial areas in Europe - Gefrorene Wand (German for 'Frozen Wall'). Hintertux is also the only ski resort in Austria which is open 365 days a year and offers skiing throughout all of the summer months. All of Austria's other glacier ski resorts close in either May, June or July and then open again for skiing in September or October.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.hintertuxergletscher.at

SOLDEN

Summer skiing is available on two glaciers in the surrounding peaks - the Rettenbach Glacier and the Tiefenbach Glacier. The Rettenbach has slopes from 3250m down to 2675m whilst the Tiefenbach has slightly less vertical, going from 3249m down to 2795m. The two glaciers are linked by a ski tunnel that can give access from the Rettenbach to the Tiefenbach whilst there are 10 ski lifts to move everyone around, made up of 5 T-bars, 2 chairlifts and 3 gondolas. The ski area on the Tiefenbach Glacier had quite gentle and wide slopes, making it ideal for beginners, whilst the Rettenbach is more suitable for advanced skiers and is home to the FIS World Cup race that normally kicks the season off in late October. The two glaciers provide a total of just under 37 km of slopes, 27km of blues, 6km of reds and 4km of blacks.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.soelden.com

Summer Skiing Resorts in Italy

Italy has a number of excellent summer ski areas...



PASSOSTELVIO

The Passo Stelvio summer ski area is actually named after the famous road that stands adjacent to the ski area. At an altitude of 2757m the Stelvio Pass is the 2nd highest mountain pass in the Alps (just 13m below the Col de l'Iseran) and it connects the resorts of Alta Valtellina and Alto Adige.

During the winter the pass is closed because of the weather, so it's opening heralds the coming of the area's summer ski season, which normally runs from the end of May to the start of November.

There are about 20km of blue and red pistes available, extending from the top altitude of 3450m at Punta degli Spiriti to the Stelvio Glacier, Livrio area and the 2760m summer ski base down near the pass. 2 cable cars and 6 lifts serve the pistes.

As you'd expect, it attracts many of Italy's professional skiers for summer training whilst there are also some pretty good summer options for Nordic skiing, with 3 tracks available, 12km in total, the longest being the 7km Pista Scorluzzo and the most demanding being the Pista Fondo Cristallo on the Stelvio glacier. And for snowboarders there's a snow-park.

One of Italy's most famous ski resorts, Bormio, is nearby and not a bad option if you're looking for somewhere bigger to stay with more summer activities.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.passostelvio.com

PASSOTONALE

Passo del Tonale is a ski resort situated next to the Tonale Pass, a road separating the mountains of Adamello-Presanella and the Ortler Alps. A popular destination in winter it also gives access to the summer skiing area up on the Presena Glacier.

It's worth noting that the summer ski options are not as extensive as some of it's Alpine counterparts and there are just 3 pistes available:
A 1km black run called Presena Sinistra from the Presena 3016m top station down to the chairlift at 2738m.
The 1km Presena Destra red also goes from 3016m down to 2738m.
And finally, the longest run, a 1.7km red called Presena Paradiso, goes from 2738m down to the gondola station at 2585m.
There's also a snow-park at 3000m called Snowmotion.

The glacier is served by 4 lifts:
The Paradiso gondola goes from Passo Tonale up to Paradiso Pass at 2585m.
The Paradiso-Presena chairlift goes from Paradiso Pass up to 2738m.
The top of Presena at 3016m is served by 2 lifts, Presena Destra and Presena Sinistra.

The summer ski season is not as long as some of the other larger European glaciers, running from the start of May to the end of June. However, the winter ski season usually starts in early October around the Ghiacciao Presena area and lasts well into April.

Interestingly, if you visit in winter their are special ski trails prepared where you can see the remains of cannons and artillery used from the First World War, as the area was witness to heavy fighting between Austria and Italy.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.passotonale.it

Summer Skiing Resorts in Norway

Norway has three main centres offering summer skiing, and whilst they may not be as high as their Alpine counterparts further south, their latitude and proximity to the Arctic Circle still means there's usually plenty of snow left come mid-summer.



FOLGEFONNA

The Folgefonna Summerski Center is located on the north side of the Folgefonna Glacier, close to Jondalen in Hardanger.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.folgefonn.no

GALDHOPIGGEN

The Galdhopiggen Summerski Center is the highest of Norway's three main summer ski areas. It's situated below Scandanavia's highest mountain, Galdhopiggen, on the Juvbreen Glacier at Juvasshytta.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.gpss.no

STRYN

This is the largest of Norway's three main summer ski areas. It is situated on the Jostedals Glacier. The opening of the centre is dependant on how much snow there is on the access road, but is normally at the end of May or the start of June. There are two lifts at the centre - a chairlift to take you up to the glacier area and then a t-bar once you're up there. The centre has a skiing range from 1065m to 1600m, giving it a vertical drop of 535m.

Useful Links

Summer Skiing Site: www.stryn.no/sommerski



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