TIGNES PUTS BACK OPENING BUT SNOW FALLS IN AUSTRIA
23rd September 2019 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Poor conditions on the glacier have forced the French resort to abandon plans to open this weekend. But Austrian resorts have had more snow.
The high altitude French resort of Tignes has announced that it will not be able to open the Grande Motte glacier for skiing this weekend as planned.
There is simply not enough snow.
“Global warming and its repercussions are more relevant than ever, with Tignes witnessing first hand these effects upon its mountain domain,” the resort says on its website.
“Record temperatures seen throughout Europe this summer and over the previous few weeks have particularly affected the Grande Motte glacier.”
“By the end of this September, we can only lament over the degraded snow conditions, which do not offer the optimal training conditions required for skiers, clubs or snow sports professionals, who traditionally take to their skis in Tignes as from the month of October.”
The glacier was meant to open on Saturday 28th September for autumn skiing and snowboarding.
It is clear from the webcam image why it’s unable to.
Tignes glacier, Tuesday 24th September
The decision to postpone has been taken jointly by the lift company, the piste team and the town council in order to protect the glacier.
“Future snowfall will determine the date of the autumnal opening of this domain,” the resort says.
It’s a big blow for Tignes which had to cut short its summer skiing season:
Phil Smith, the founder and director of Snoworks
, which runs summer and autumn courses in Tignes, says it will be great once the snow comes.
“Glaciers always look like this before a snowfall. One snowfall can change everything,” he says.
He has posted a series of photos of the glacier in autumns past to make his point.
Phil Smith’s photo of the Tignes glacier, 13th October 2012
Others expressed a more pessimistic view.
Just a day after Tignes announced its opening was on hold there was some snowfall up at the Grande Motte.
Snow at the Grande Motte, 25th September – photo Le Panoramic restaurant
Let’s hope it keeps on coming down.
Here on PlanetSKI we have been running a series of special features this week on the environmental impact of climate change in the Alps:
The postponment of Tignes’ opening is just another example of the changing environment in the mountains.
There’s much better news from Austria where the glacier resorts, a handful of which are open for skiing, have had fresh snow.
The official beginning of the autumn was on Sunday and this was the view from the Café 3.440 on the Pitztal glacier.
Pitztal, Austria on Sunday
And this is what the Pitztal glacier looks like on Tuesday morning…
The year-round Austrian glacier ski resort of Hintertux glacier has had fresh snow.
The resort declared on Monday that winter was back.
“Der Winter ist zurück! â„ï¸ðŸ˜ðŸ‚Ab auf die Piste! ðŸ”â„ï¸”
Hintertux, Austria on Monday
And on Tuesday, the sun came out….
In Soelden and Stubai, which opened earlier this month, the snow has returned.
Soelden, Austria on Tuesday
Stubai, Austria on Monday
Elsewhere in Austria there has been a dusting in resorts that will not open to skiers for another couple of months.
This was the scene at 2,300 metres in Ischgl – due to open on 28th November – on Monday:
Ischgl, Austria on Monday
And it’s not just Austria.
This video was sent to PlanetSKI from Livigno in Italy:
See our reports on the snow earlier this month:
Meanwhile, it’s looking as if parts of Canada could see significant snowfall later this week.
Watch this space!