Europe Weekly Roundup #249

(Updated 10 July 2024) A comprehensive review of snow conditions, weather, and updates for Europe's winter sports destinations.

Europe Weekly Roundup #249
Glencoe, Scotland: 4 July 2024.

Saas Fee Kicks Off 24-25 Season Amid Alpine Closures

  • The number of open ski centres in Europe has decreased to seven, the lowest of the season, due to warm summertime conditions.
  • Saas Fee has started its summer ski season, marking the beginning of the 24-25 season, while Val d'Isère and Les 2 Alpes have ended their summer operations.
  • Warm daytime temperatures and sunny weather are causing rapid snowpack thawing, with the best skiing conditions in the early morning.


We’re down to seven centres open in Europe this week, the lowest number of the season so far. We’re in single figures for the number of lift-served centers open across the northern hemisphere. This is hardly surprising, as we are into the warmer two months of summertime. A mostly sunny week has seen some warm daytime temperatures rapidly thawing the snowpack, meaning conditions are currently best in the early morning.


With Val d'Isère and Les 2 Alpes ending their summer ski seasons at the weekend, we’re down to just five centres still open in the Alps, although we did have a new opening, with Saas Fee beginning its 24-25 opening with its summer ski season. In some ways, Les 2 Alpes was the last center still open in the Alps for its 23-24 season. Austria's Hintertux (0/325cm / 0/130”) and Zermatt/Cervinia’s glacier (0/150cm / 0/60”) have also been open since last year, but other than in extreme weather, they're open year-round, whereas Les 2 Alpes still has a start and end to its season.

At the other extreme, Saas-Fee has started its 24-25 season, although it doesn’t present it like that. While other winter resorts with a summer operation close for a while in late summer/early autumn, it will aim to stay open right through to next spring. It’s initially opening from 7 am to noon daily but will move things back by an hour from the end of August and meteorological summertime.

Talking of extreme weather, both Cervinia and Zermatt have continued to post on the restoration of paths and roads damaged by flooding a little over a fortnight ago. Saas Fee was also impacted and other areas to a lesser extent. Les 2 Alpes, now boasting the longest season in France, having overtaken Tignes, also had damage from flooding but was closing on Sunday regardless, as Monday was long pre-booked as the day the cables were cut on its key Jandri Express lift, the 40-year-old gondola due to be replaced by a new funitel in time for next winter season.

Besides the three still-open centres already mentioned, Tignes (0/300cm / 0/120”) is now the only ski centre open in France and Passo Stelvio (40/220cm / 16/88”) is the only one in Italy. Tignes' reported base depth has dropped by a quarter over the past few weeks, reflecting the fact that we’re seeing more above-freezing temperatures up on glaciers now summer is nearing its height. As to the weather, the freezing point has been moving between 2,000 and 4,000m over the past week. Temperatures on glaciers have been fluctuating between around -7 and +10°C through the 24-hour cycle – so an overnight freeze and good conditions earlier in the morning but a fast thaw by mid-afternoon. It’s been mostly sunny, but with rain, sleet, and snow showers hitting at the weekend along with stormy conditions at times. Hintertux and Saas-Fee have been posting the most terrain open, both around 20km (13 miles), with Zermatt just a little way behind.

Alps snow report for the last 7 days.


An unsettled picture with some stormy conditions through the weekend, bringing periods of gale-force winds, rain, and possible lightning, but with clear, dry spells in the mix too. The snowline will move up between 3000 and 4500m, with temperatures on glaciers between zero and +8°C. It looks more settled next week but will stay above freezing, even at night, up to 4000m.


The Folgefonn (Fonna)(300/300cm / 120/120”) and Galdhopiggen (30/180cm / 12/72”) summer ski areas remain open in Norway and have been reporting some fine weather over the past week following slushy snow showers and icy periods last week. Between the sunny spells, there has been the usual northern European mix of strong winds, rain, sleet, and snow showers through the week. Both areas are 100% open at present, though reporting fast-declining base levels as summer weather progresses. Overnight lows have still been getting two or three degrees below zero for freeze-thaw conditions, but afternoon highs have been getting up to +10°C or more.


A mixed week ahead but looking warm – in the +5 to +15°C range, so thawing will continue, exacerbated by rain showers. It’s now less than three months until Scandinavia’s 24-25 season is due to start in early October at Levi and Ruka ski areas in Finland. 

Scandinavia snow forecast for the next 6-9 days.