This summer in the Alps is lining up to be one for the history books.
Whilst the snow is still clinging on to the high slopes in the Alps it is slowly retreating, the white blankets that once extended to the valley floor shrink as the sun beats down on them are retreating. But, the regular ebb and flow of snow cover in the Alps has been disrupted by an irregular amount of snowfall over the winter months.
What does this mean for snowsports enthusiasts though? Will the snow stick around for summer?
Last summer European glaciers struggled for snow depths following a sub-standard winter of snowfall, this year however, is a very different story. Snowsports enthusiasts have enjoyed fantastic conditions on and off the pistes whilst the Alps were hammered with storm after storm this winter, setting up high alpine resorts for a bumper season.
The Pisten Bulleys in many of Europe’s highest glaciers have been hard at work gathering snow reserves to ensure that the summer season fulfils its potential. Thousands of cubic metres of snow have been strategically stashed to minimise deterioration as the seasons shift gears through spring and into summer.
Even early in the season frosted furrows are formed by bashers along the length of glaciers like the Grande Motte in Tignes to catch snow as it is blown over the mountainside to retain it for summer. Some resorts are even hiding snow under tarpaulin to extend their seasons.