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Friday May 17, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

After some heavy snow a few resorts fired up their lifts at the weekend as summer was put on hold. Good news or bad news? UPDATED

Hochkar is 90-miles from Vienna with skiing up to an altitude of 1,800m.

It is popular with day-trippers from the Austrian capital.

Last week it had 1.3m of snow in places and at the weekend it re-opened after closing on April 7th.

The lifts were free to use and plenty of people took the opportuntity to get their skis out of storage.

It's the first time the ski area has opened in May.

"We were in the middle of preparations for the summer season, but the weather brought cold temperatures and heavy snowfall which led us to re-think opening the slopes," said the director of the resort Rainer Rohregger to local media.

Here is the scene on Saturday, May 18th as the resort prepared to re-open:

May in HochkarMay in Hochkar
















May in HochkarMay in Hochkar
















Here is what it was like mid-week in the ski area.

Hochkar in MayHochkar in May













Hochkar says it had 5 kilometres of ‘perfectly prepared' pistes and three lifts open on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May.

Almlift, Häsing and Hochkarbahn started up at 9am and closed at 4pm.

HochkarHochkar reopening in May for the first time













The Dachstein West ski area near Salzburg was also operating at the weekend.

The Gosaukammbahn ran from 8.15 am to 4.50 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The 4-seater chairlift Törleck opened from 9 am to 3 pm.

 Dachstein West re-opens Dachstein West re-opens











 Dachstein West re-opens Dachstein West re-opens











"The excellent snow conditions in May make it possible," the resort announced ahead of the weekend.

Dachstein WestDachstein West webcam image, Friday 17th May















On 27th April the resort posted the photo below, announcing  'Spring is here 🙂' .

Dachstein WestDachstein West at the end of April before the fresh snowfall

















Then, it was looking forward to the hiking season which was due to begin on 11th May.

On 2nd May Turracher Höhe confidently announced that winter was over and summer was coming.

The ski area on the border of the Austrian regions of Styria and Carinthia had to take that back after the recent heavy snowfall.

It's opened up to offer free skiing from 8am to 1pm at the weekend.

Here is it as it prepared for the May opening......

Here at PlanetSKI we judge it to be one of the coldest Mays in recent years.

And one of the snowiest.

Huge amounts of snow remain in many resorts in Austria.

Earlier last week we were in Stubai in the Tirol.

There is still plenty of powder to be had.

The mountains around Innsbruck remain covered in snow.

However many people simply want winter to end.

"I just want to get my bike out and start cycling but many of the high alpine passes remain closed and will be for some time," said one of our readers.

Here at PlanetSKI we have been out cycling - but only at low altitude.

We tried it on some e-bikes.

It remains winter at altitude.

Spring in the valleys, winter in the mountainsSpring in the valleys, winter in the mountains















The rain, wind and snow will have a negative effect on spring bookings.

Many areas in the Alps have been desperately trying to clear alpine passes and get their mountain biking and hiking tracks open.

This video on the Hautes-Alpes Facebook page shows snow-clearing under way at the Izoard and Galibier passes:

There have, however, been some signs of the changing season, as you can see in our photo gallery:
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