Europe's ski season begins to kick-off in about a month's time with a dozen or so Ski Opening festival weekends in early-mid October at resorts with guaranteed glacier skiing. But it's easy to forget the slopes are open now at half a dozen year-round ski areas, albeit a diminished list. Austria's Pitztal Glacier opened July 7 after a few months closed for maintenance. The resort completed two spectacular new lifts in just five months last year. The new 2.4km (1.5 mile) long Mittelberg gondola replaces an old rope tow and climbs to 3,285m (10,800 feet) – one of the highest lift-served points in Austria - in nine minutes. The Gletchersee, a new six-person chairlift, has heated seats and replaces the previous double seated lift. It begins at the same base station at 2,680m (8,500 feet). A new 3.3km (2.1 mile) long trail from the glacier into the valley below also has been completed.