When does one ski season end and another one start?
With ski areas like Zermatt and Hintertux open year-round and others opening and closing on dates that are unusual compared to the standard December to April model, it can be hard to tell.
But the ski year in the northern hemisphere doers have two big dip months: May, when almost everywhere has closed and the summer glacier ski season hasn’t started and September, when most ski areas that had opened for summer glacier skiing in June or July have closed again for a few months until their winter season.
Currently only four areas are open for snow sports in the northern hemisphere – Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland, Hintertux in Austria and Passo Stelvio and Cervinia in Italy, although Cervinia is due to close on Sunday at the end of its summer ski season. That’s the smallest number open for many years.
But this Saturday, September 8th, Solden re-opens for its autumn ski season which will lead directly to its main ski season (pictured top last weekend). So can we call this the start of the 2017-18 ski season?
Well that’s a matter of opinion. Most other ski areas in the northern hemisphere to open since last June have since closed again if only open for summer. One however, Saas fee, which opened in late July is staying open to next spring 2018. So was it the first to open for 17-18? Well perhaps but timing the start of the season in mid-summer doesn’t seem right somehow.
Solden is due to be joined over the next month by seven other Austrian glacier ski as5reas. The country is very keen on late September and early October ‘Ski opening’ festivals when the new season’s gear can be tested on snow and October-fest style beer tents can be enjoyed.
The only thing to make it better still would be fresh snow and it looks like mother nature may oblige with more fresh powder forecast on glaciers this weekend, a week after some good falls last weekend. This time up to 35cm more snow is forecast. It’s all a welcome relief after the long hot summer and exciting news as the ski season draws closer.