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Summer Glacier Skiing - What to expect!

The first detail to consider when hitting the glacier is the weather. Although conditions are never certain, your chances of getting a suntan are good. Remember, however, that the weather in the mountains is always changeable, so don't forget to pack a couple of jumpers. One handy tip is that for every 100m you climb, the temperature drops by 0.5-0.7 degrees.


In general, piste conditions first thing in the morning will be fairly hard. Most people get on the mountain early (8am onwards) because by midday, the slopes are usually slushy So, for prime conditions, mid-morning is usually the optimum time. And there's always the added get-out-of-bed incentive that the slopes receiving more sun may close as early as 1pm. . If you're looking for an après-lunch ski destination, head for the steeper slopes that don't face the sun.

 

If it rains at glacial altitude it usually snows, so in August you can occasionally get powder. Having said that, the sun is usually quite hot when it does come out, and so by lunchtime, it becomes quite slushy. For this reason, most people get on the mountain early (8am onwards). Glacier skiing is not just for experts as most glacier runs tend not to be steep. The number of runs is limited so most people will go to improve their technique, have ski school, or just go for a few sessions.

Don't worry about the ski day ending slightly earlier on glaciers, either. With the snow beating a hasty retreat at lower altitudes, plenty of paths and trails will make themselves available. This leaves you with the opportunity to jump on that mountain bike or enjoy scenic mountainside walks. You could always give white water rafting a try, too.

The last major detail to consider with glacier skiing is the gear you'll need. As a result of the milder temperatures, light clothing is fine. Just make sure you have a few extra jumpers in case it cools down and that you've got some completely waterproof outer layers. Be sure to wax your skis/board for wet snow, or you'll be competing with the snails in terms of speed. And, joy of joys, you'll need your sunglasses and suntan lotion. The sun tends to be very strong in the summer and is magnified by the reflection off the snow.

And that's about it when it comes to making the most of glacier skiing. The rest is up to you but, rest assured, after a summer of smooth turns on a glacier, it might be a struggle forcing yourself back to plain ol' winter skiing…

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