Italian Glacier Ski Area Closes Summer Skiing as Snow Melts from Glacier
The Italian glacier area of Passo Stelvio has closed for summer skiing for the first time.
Normally open from May to November for snowsports, it closed last week after the hot weather system in southern Europe melted snow cover from the glacial ice.
It’s being reported as the first time the ski area has had to close since skiing there began 90 years ago.
The ski area is used for national team training as well as recreational snowsports in summer and Passo Stelvio is also an iconic stop in the Giro d’Italia cycling race as it passes along the road through the Pass at the base of the ski slopes each spring.
Locals reported that although this is the first time that the slopes have had to close completely, in recent summers skiers had had to ski at above 3000m on the slopes of the Pass, rather than from the 2758m base of the lifts and runs, due to limited cover on lower slopes, which they blame on climate change.
Besides problems for skiers and an increase in the number of crevasses appearing as the glaciers retreat, a number of corpses are being revealed, including most recently an Italian soldier in the country’s Trentino region who died on the mountain a century ago in the First World War and had been hidden by snow and ice ever since.
Passo Stelvio received fresh snow from the recent Alpine snow storms and hopes to re-open later this month.
With the area closed only Cervinia is now open for summer skiing in the Italian Alps along with five other areas in the rest of the Alps.