Top 5 places to ski in the Alps in August
by Fraser Wilkin, Updated: 3 August 2023
Since this blog was originally written in July 2016, climate change has had a significant impact on summer skiing in the Alps.
Back in 2016, even in the middle of summer there was still plenty of snow-sports action to be enjoyed high on the Alpine glaciers, allowing us to select the title's promised "Top 5 places to ski in the Alps in August". However, this August (2023) there are actually only 4 summer ski areas open for skiing in the Alps - the number of summer ski areas able to open in August decreasing year on year thanks to the changing climate.
At the time of writing, snow conditions in the summer ski areas currently open are not that great. Although a cooler and wetter than average spring allowed for a decent start to the summer ski season, heatwaves in June and July have left most of the glaciers looking threadbare, even after a temporary reprieve last week when they saw some fresh snow.
A little more snow is due to fall across the higher peaks of the Alps over the next couple of days, which will again (temporarily) refresh the glacier areas still open but, overall, it's another less than satisfactory August when it comes to summer skiing in the Alps.
Here are the four summer ski areas in the Alps that are still offering skiing this August...
1. Hintertux, Austria
Opening dates: 365 days a year
One of just two glaciers to even attempt to offer skiing 365 days a year, Hintertux boasts some of the best glacier skiing in Europe.
Less prone to closure from bad weather than many of its rivals, the variety of gradient and terrain make Hintertux a firm summer favourite with tourists and training camps alike.
You can usually expect around 20km of marked piste on offer here.
2. Saas-Fee, Switzerland
Opening dates: 15 July 2023 to spring 2024
The glacier at Saas-Fee stays open throughout the autumn and is another popular location for training camps and courses.
3. Zermatt, Switzerland / Cervinia, Italy
Opening dates: Zermatt - 365 days Cervinia - 24 June to 10 Sept 2023
The glacier is extensive and wonderfully scenic, but also very gentle with little in the way of challenge. However, Zermatt does have the highest pistes in Europe, reaching a dizzying height of 3899m.
Looking for hotels in Zermatt? Click here
Looking for hotels in Cervinia? Click here
4. Passo Stelvio, Italy
Opening dates: 1 June to 1 November 2023
One of the lesser known summer ski areas, Passo Stelvio (in the eastern Italian Alps) has an unusual ski season, offering glacier skiing only from June to November.
The area is compact but scenic, with mostly gentle terrain, offering around 20km of mostly wide and gentle runs, with a top altitude of 3450m.
The main glacier is accessible from the Passo Stelvio pass (a short drive from Bormio), and has a reputation for keeping its snow better than some of its rivals.
Further info: www.passostelvio.com
In previous years our "Top 5 places to ski in the Alps in August" has included Les 2 Alpes, France’s highest and most extensive summer ski area. In previous years it has generally opened from late June to late August, however, this year the resort brought its summer season forward to 2 May to 9 July 2023. The resort claims to have the largest skiable glacier in the Alps, and it is certainly one of the most varied, with jaw-dropping panoramic views, and an impressive summer vertical that has reached nearly 800m in the past in good conditions. In July 2023, it was offering 9 runs between 3200 and 3568m, on mostly easy, but reasonably varied terrain. Les 2 Alpes also boasts a world-class terrain park that attracts riders and freestylers from around the world.
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