Saturday, 17 March 2018 - About The Summit | Rss
The Summit

Five Snowsure Resorts in Europe

Five resorts high enough to keep the snow on your shoulders

Every viable contender has several sources telling you it has the highest skiable glacier in Europe, with the most snowsure slopes and that is one of the only places to offer skiing in the summer months. Closer to, Europe has a fairly wide choice of snowsure skiing and snowboarding sites, from the tame, peaceful Saas Fee to the buzzing, knuckle-whitening Les Deux Alps. That said, one of them is the highest:

Zermatt, Switzerland 

Top lift station - 3820m

Summit – 3899 m

Vertical drop – 2279 m

Base – 1620m

Average annual snowfall - 300 cm

Season - All year round*

*Summer Skiing -  Limited to 20km patch between 3899m and 2939m (10% of total winter area) – mainly beginners/intermediates with one or two steep stretches with black and difficult moguls – plus two half pipes and summer snowboard park drop

All three of Zermatt's main ski areas are open November to May

Slopes Stats:

Beginner – 0%

Intermediate – 21% - Long runs through snowfields and forest motorways, routes linking all areas, cross-boder skiing

Advanced – 62% - Some of Europe's most famous mogul fields, National, Gant, Aroleid and Triftji plus chutes and steep forested gullies

Expert 17% - extensive high-altitude off-piste with consistent thick powder

Unique Quirk – Highest cable car in the world

Skiing the Glacier in Zermatt, Switzerland

Saas Fee, Switzerland

Top lift station - 3500 m

Summit - 3600m

Vertical drop - 1800m

Base - 1800m

Average annual snowfall - 1000 cm

Season - All year round*

*THE SMALL PRINT – Heavy snow comes with a price - lifts sometimes close just as the snow conditions look good

Slope Stats:

Beginner – 9%

Intermediate – 37% - great cross-country and cruising

Advanced – 40%

Expert - 14%

Unique Quirk – Saas Fee is a completely car-free resort

Saas Fell, skiing in Sass Fell, Switzerland


Top lift station - 3500m

Summit - 3450m

Vertical drop - 1900m

Base - 1550m

Average annual snowfall -  550 cm

Season - September – May*

*Tignes used to be open all year round but now closes in Autumn due to lack of lift pass sales.

Slope Stats:

Beginner – 17%

Intermediate – 40%

Advanced – 29%

Expert 14%

Unique Quirk - Once every ten years, the old village of Tignes submereged in 1952 becomes briefly visible as the lake is drained.

Tignes, Skiing in Tignes, France

Les Deux Alps

Top Lift station - 3400 m

Summit - 3600m

Vertical Drop - 1950m

Base - 1650m

Average annual snowfall –700 cm

Season - All year round*

*Summer Skiing (June - September) is limited to a 272 acre patch between 2,800 m (9,186 ft) and 3,600 m (11,811 ft) on the Girose and Mont de Lans glaciers above the resort.

Slope Stats

Beginner - 21%

Intermediate - 45%

Advanced - 22%

Expert - 11% - 1400ha of accessible off-piste

Unique Quirk – You can ascend to 3400m on the Funicular underground railway - through the raw Alpine rock to the rounded summit of Dôme de Puy Salié.

Les 2 Alps, Les Deux Alps, Skiing in Les Deux Alps

Zell Am See

Top lift station - 2000m

Summit - 2000m

Vertical drop - 1250m

Base - 750m

Average annual snowfall - 300 cm

Season – September – June on Kitzsteinhorn glacier

Slope Stats

Beginner - 21%

Intermediate - 32%

Advanced - 35%

Expert - 32% - 1400ha of accessible off-piste

Unique Quirk – The Ice Camp is a high-altitude venue, three igloos sculpted by Max Seibald 2 500 metres above sea level.  

Zell Am See, Skiing in Zell Am See

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