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SNOW WALLS & SNOW MELT IN THE ALPS - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Tuesday May 28, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

After huge snowfall in the Alps last winter there's been massive clear up efforts. See the latest extraordinary videos of the June snow melt... UPDATED




And the latest videos of the snow melt in the Alps:

This wet snow avalanche came down in the Piztal Valley in the Tirol in Austria.

And here the snow melt is, er, affecting cycling.

Video was shot at 2,621m from the Passo Gavia province of Sondrio by Michele Battonaro.


They've only just cleared the Col d'Iseran of snow (see below).

It's a major summer route for cyclists and motorists in Val d'Isere.

It's also the way up to the Pisaillas glacier for the short summer skiing season,which got under way on Saturday.

And now it's snowed.


The Val d'Isere piste patrol shared this photo of their journey up this morning, urging caution to travellers...

Col d'IseranCol de l'Iseran, 11th June













We bet the conditions for skiing on the glacier are pretty special.


Friday is the intended opening day for many high cols in the Alps still being cleared of snow.

We've included the facts, snow depths, exact roads and names of cols leading to which resorts below.

But we're also going to posting keep these images of snow walls rising high in the Alps as we spot them.


Zuers Lech am ArlbergZuers Lech am Arlberg












The Gran San Bernardo Pass that links Valais in Switzerland to Italy's Aosta Valley reopened yesterday on 3rd June.

The pass stands at 2,450 meters.

The clearing work started in April.

Snow has accumulated on the sides of State Road 27 reaching up to 12 metres high.

3.collegransanbernardo_500Colle Gran San Bernardo

In France, Val d'Isere posts on the Col d'Iseran.

The snow removal of the Col de l'Iseran for cyclists taking to the road is progressing fast.

The opening is planned for Friday 7th June.

Val d'IsereVal d'Isere

Clearup Val d'IsereClearup at the Col de l'Iseran

Col de l'IseranCol de l'Iseran

Over in Austria it's a similar story.

@Snowmada on Facebook has published the "little" snow that has fallen this year.

The image below shows the road and clearup operation progression to open the valley Obergurgl in the Tirol, "uniting Italy with Austria".

timmelsjoch_hochalpenstrasse_ag_500@Timmelsjoch Hochalpenstrasse AG


May was unusually cold and snowy in the Alps.

It follows a winter of some record snowfalls.

Too much at times.

It's proving a bit of a worry for some resorts looking ahead to summer programmes starting soon.

In places there is still snow above 1,500m and there's as much as 5m to 6m at 3,000m - the snow is becoming a growing problem as summer approaches.

Digging out for summer has reached the door of the Rifugio Toni Demetz Hütte in the Dolomites in Italy.

Rifugio Toni Demetz HütteRifugio Toni Demetz Hütte




















The road to the glacier above Soelden in the Tirol in Austria has been closed.

"Due to the extreme snow conditions, persistent bad weather conditions and a high risk of avalanches, the glacier road cannot be opened for public transport until Friday, June 7th," said a recent statement from the resort.

Solden - Picture from 26.05.2019Soelden - Picture from 26.05.2019











Elsewhere in the Alps roads have re-opened, with some heavy snow remaining by the roadside.

Here's the Col de la Loze near Courchevel in France last week:

Col de la Loze (altitude - 2,304m)Col de la Loze (altitude - 2,304m)
















Col du LozeCol de la Loze














60165578_2415851998470999_5476655198770298880_o_500Col de la Loze















This week the cycle race Giro d'Italia was affected by the threat of avalanches from remaining snow.

The 'Queen's stage' of the Giro d'Italia was shortened as snow covered the 2,700m high pass.

The Passo di Gavia was cut from Tuesday's route Lovere to Ponte di Legno.

Originally, Stage 16 of the race was due to have passed over the climb - designated as the highest point of this year's race.

But at least this year the stage went ahead.

In 2013, heavy snowfalls meant that a stage scheduled to take in both the Gavia and the Stelvio had to be cancelled altogether.

Val d'Isère in France closed its lifts on May Day, but some snow remains.

And its short summer glacier skiing period is apparently under threat.

"Road clearance permitting, the resort re-opens for five weeks of glacier skiing from June 8th," said the resort this week.

The Col Du Petit St Bernard links the Aosta Valley in Italy to France.

The ancient name, Alpis Graia - meaning "Greek pass" - is linked to the story of the Greek hero, Hercules.

Legend goes that he returned from Spain crossing the Alps.

According to some, the Petit-Saint-Bernard pass was crossed by Hannibal in 218 BC on his journey to the Po Valley.

The road follows the main alpine watershed rising to 2,188m above sea level.

And after Hannibal and Hercules, some hounds are currently enjoying the crossing.

Aosta snow wallsAosta snow walls on 21st May.



















The Col de l'Iseran, beyond Val d'Isere, is due to open on 7th June.

The snow removal between the St Charles Bridge and the col for cyclists started last week and is reportedly making good progress.


The Tour de France this year is on from 6th - 28th July and there are some concerns about the alpine stages, though it is too early to tell.

This year there are several finishes at altitudes of over 2,000 metres.

Of 21 stages, the first alpine stage is 18, finishing in the alpine town of Valloire.

Then cyclists will ascend steep terrain to Tignes for Stage 19.

It's here that riders climb over the Alps highest paved road, the Col de l'Iseran.

2019 marks a new record for summit altitude.

Col de l'Iseran 2,764mCol de l'Iseran 2,764m




















On the penultimate day, the route features 3 ascents: the Comet de Roseland, the Côte de Longefoy and the final 33 kilometre climb at an average gradient of 5.5% to Val Thorens in Les3Vallees.

The roads will be cleared, but there could be avalanche danger in places.

Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe at an elevation of 2,365m.

Elsewhere snow remains.

This road, the Col du Galibier, is set to open on 15th June.

It is at 2,642m near Grenoble in France.

Col du GalibierCol du Galibier















It remains snow covered in places.

15th May Col du Galibier Col du Galibier 15th May














Col du Galibier 15th MayCol du Galibier 15th May















Above it is pictured on 15th May with some serious snow clearing happening.

Below is the Col du Galibier snapped on 23rd May.

That makes it under 3 weeks to go until the summer road is set to open.

Col du Galibier, 23rd MayCol du Galibier 23rd May




















The views from Chamonix:

So summer in the mountains is looking like it'll be a little late, or at least the roads and summer sports will be on standby.

But the skiing is going strong.

Glaciers around Europe have top conditions, many with fresh snow.

Stubai Glacier had 30cm of fresh fall on 29th May.

Stubai GlacierStubai Glacier
















Hintertux last week saw another 30cm of new snow from the latest storm.

The Arlberg area has seen at least 60cm falling above 2,500m though there are no longer any ski areas open.

Snow clearing in the AlpsSnow clearing in the Alps















In the USA ski resorts are still extending their closing dates due to the sheer amount of snow this season.

Elsewhere, the snow depth at Gassan, Japan's summer ski area, has more than halved over the past month.

In 4 weeks it has shrunk from 9.5 to 4.5 metres.

Temperatures have reached +15°C but Gassan is still fully open and plans to remain open into July.

61180241_3278692385489915_961488820744749056_n_500Gassan, Japan’s summer ski area
















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