Austrian Glacier Ski Centre Extends Season Into July
Started by J2SkiNews in Ski News 23-Apr-2021
J2SkiNews posted 23-Apr
The Austrian glacier ski area of Kitzsteinhorn (pictured below) has announced it will stay open until the 24th of July. It credits the Austrian government announcement that lockdown restrictions will (hopefully) be eased and tourism allowed to resume from mid-May. It had previously said its season would end on May 25th. The centre, above Kaprun in Salzburgerland, currently has a 3.3 metre (11 feet) base and 20km of slopes open.
It is the second Austrian glacier area to announce an extended season with the Pitztal (pictured above), which normally closes in late-April, saying it will be open to early June this year.
However it is a mixed picture as the Stubai glacier has recently announced it is closing on the 2nd of May, not in June as expected, citing "maintenance work." The Kaunertal and Molltal glaciers which would normally be open in May and June have not been open this year due to their expectation of low visitor numbers not covering costs if they had opened in winter with tourism banned in Austria and it is unclear if they will re-open this spring now most alternative Austrian resorts are closed.
The year-round Hintertux ski area remains open however.
Elsewhere Glacier 3000 near Gstaad in Switzerland has extended its season to May 9th and Crans Montana into June. Laax is open to May 2nd, the Diavolezza glacier near St Moritz to the 9th and Engelberg to the 24th, whilst Zermatt remains open year-round.
French and Italian ski areas including Cervinia, Passo Stelvio, Les 2 Alpes, Tignes and Val d'Isere which have all been unable to open this year so far are all optimistic of opening for summer skiing from early June. Infact Les 2 Alpes now says they hope to do so from the last weekend of May.
Three Norwegian summer ski areas are also readying to open next month.
It remains unclear if Brits will be able to travel to the Alps to ski this summer. An announcement of the rules is expected at the start of May with the earliest travel date May 17th. It seems likely that, at best, travel will initially be complicated and expensive, if possible at all. Alpine summer ski nations look most likely to (at best) be put in the amber category which currently means 10 days home-quarantine on return to the UK and paying for tests, but does not require booking in to the expensive quarantine hotels for arrivals in England.
However, at this point it's all speculation and guesswork and no one knows what the rules will be and which country will be in which band, nor what restrictions may be placed by them on arrivals from the UK.