Switzerland's two open glacier ski areas have seen remarkable August snowfalls with Saas Fee reporting 45cm (18 inches) of new snow on Sunday, with more falling since, including another 5cm (two inches) yesterday. Neighbouring Zermatt, the only area open 365 days and home to Europe's highest lifts, reported healthy snowfalls too. Saas Fee describes current conditions as "packed powder" and has a 1.6m (5.3 foot) base with terrain park and half pipe open. Both resorts set off Powder Alarms on Skiinfo.com, triggered for snowfall of 20cm or more, obviously a rare event in August. Zermatt triggered another powder alarm on Tuesday with another 28cm (nearly a foot) of snow reported.
The heavy snowfall spilled over in to Italy where Zermatt's Italian neighbour, Cervinia, to which it is lift-linked, received a 20cm fall. Val Senales has also been receiving more snow, with another 5cm on Tuesday, the latest of about 10 days of regular snowfalls there, it currently has a one metre base. Passo Stelvio is also open.
In France the glacier ski areas at Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are both entering their last fortnight of summer operations. Les 2 Alpes has the better snow cover with a metre depth while Tignes has 30cm, both areas received a little new snow at the weekend.
The picture is a little less good in Austria where the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier remains closed for a second week due to warm temperatures ad a diminished snowpack - down to 10cm (four inches) on the glacier with temperatures above freezing still and rain falling. It's a similar picture on the Dachstein Glacier where the lifts are running but downhill slopes and terrain park are closed - they report a 30cm (foot) base but that the snow is "wet."
Two Austrian glacier areas are still open however, the largest one, Tux, had fresh snow on Sunday too and reports ‘powder' conditions with 20km of slopes open, a 125cm (four foot) base and more than 600m summer vertical. The Molltal glacier continues to report 9.5km of trails open and a 1.2m (four feet) base.