Year Round Skiing Ends at Sölden

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July 10, Austria (Snow Hunter)--Year Round Skiing Ends at Sölden

Sölden in Austria has followed other glacier ski areas like Tignes in France by deciding to end 365 day ski lift opening.

The resort previously boasted that one of its twin glacier ski areas, either the Rettenbach or Tiefenbach glacier, was open for skiing on every day of the year. However the resort has decided to close the lifts on both glaciers for around six weeks each year, from mid-May to the end of June.

The two glaciers, which are linked by Europe's highest road tunnel (at 2,800m), have a combined uplift capacity of over 15,000 sph through the ten lifts. They also feature the world's only 'glacier ski bowl' for near-year round bowl skiing and what was Europe's first test centre, on the Rettenbach glacier, for trying out new hardware. This is a substantial, permanent building where major manufacturers show off their latest products and provide test gear.

About a third of the thirty or so glacier summr ski areas in the Alps have either stopped offering summer skiing or cut their opening periods over the past few years. Other areas have been forced to close during normal summer opening periods as high temperatures have led to rapid glacir melt. The one exception is Zermtt in Switzerland, which operates Europe's highest lift-served ski area, which returned to year-round opening a few seasons ago. Val d'Isere have re-opened their summer ski area this year after adding snow making. \