POOR SNOW ENDS ITALIAN GLACIER SKIING
7th August 2017 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Last modified on February 19th, 2020
Summer skiing at the Stelvio Pass glacier ends as the European heatwave takes its toll. It follows poor winter snowfall.
Skiing at the glacier near Bormio in northern Italy, was due to continue all summer and right through to 5th November, but the ski area is now closed.
The Director of the summer ski area, Umberto Capitani, told Reuters on that they’d been forced to close indefinitely.
“At six o’clock in the morning at a height of 2,770 metres on the Stelvio Pass the temperature was 12 degrees Celsius. For this time of year that is almost an extreme temperature,” he said.
“We’ve had very little snowfall in the Alps for three years now and with the extreme heat in the past two weeks we’ve had some trouble at the highest parts of the glacier, where the summer skiing in practised.
“Now, from today onwards, we will have to suspend the summer ski activity until an undetermined date.”
This drone footage posted on YouTube by Ruptly TV shows the state of the glacier:
The glacier has 20km of runs from the Stelvio Pass at 2,758 metres and Monte Cristallo at 3,450 metres.
It is used by many national ski teams – both alpine and nordic – to train in the summer months.
The Bormio.eu website boasts “well groomed and snowy tracks all summer”.
It’s a claim they – and some other glacier resorts – will no longer be able to make after this year.
The Stelvio pass is the latest summer ski area to be hit by dreadful snow conditions.
This was the Tignes glacier in France in at the end of July:
With such a poor snowpack, the heatwave that hit much of southern and eastern Europe last week – with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius – was the final straw for the Stelvio Pass glacier.
Nicknamed Lucifer, the heatwave has been blamed for numerous deaths and forest fires.
Earlier this month, as the high temperatures were followed by storms, a woman died after her car was swept away by an avalanche of water and mud near the ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites.