Tignes has ended its 2019 summer ski season a week early due to extremely hot temperatures in the Alps thawing snowcover on its glacier.
It's the latest area to close earlier than planned with two Norwegian glacier areas that had planned to stay open in to September also closing recently instead.
Seven glaciers are currently open in Europe, two each in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, and Les 2 Alpes in France.
Closing in July means Tignes, which opened for snowsports 365 days a year back in the 1990s, will again miss its target of operating for at least a day every month of the year which it has been achieving in recent years by opening from late September to early May for its main season then late June to early August in the summer.
It had previously missed the 'open every month' target however when it had to delay an end of September opening in to October due to inadequate snow cover to open on the planned final weekend of September.
"The glacier has been subjected to high temperatures since the beginning of the summer season, and we are no longer able to operate the slopes in good conditions," a statement from said the lift reads, continuing, "Between the heat and the episodes of heatwave, we have no more snow to work. Cracks are formed and it has become dangerous."
Temperatures were reported to be the highest ever in the region above 3,000 metres, breaking a previous high set in 2003.
Tignes says it hopes the 2019-20 season will begin at the end of September. It is usually the only French ski area open until mid-late November although Les 2 Alpes endeavours to open for a week in late Ocrober if there's adequate snow cover on its glacier then.