Zermatt's lift company has announced it will resume summer skiing operations on the Theodul glacier from this coming Tuesday, 20th September.
Summer skiing operations at Matterhorn Glacier Paradise were suspended in early August and remained so for more than seven weeks for safety reasons due to the thin snow cover left on the glacial ice after record hot spring and summer temperatures following a dry winter in the Alps in 21-22.
Other than closure for the first few months of the pandemic, and occasionally due to bad weather, the glacier, which encompasses Europe's highest lift accessed slopes, is believed to have previously operated daily for many decades.
"After the precipitation and careful examination of the conditions, training for ski teams and general summer skiing operations will resume as usual. Thanks to the colder temperatures, the challenges associated with crevasse dangers can be mastered well and the high requirements regarding the safety of all guests who enjoy snow sports are met in full," a statement from the lift company, announcing the reopening, explains, adding,
"The precipitation and cold temperatures at just under 4,000 metres above sea level allow for safe and quality snow sports. Thanks to the ongoing maintenance work on the slopes and installations during the temporary closure, summer skiing operations can be resumed just a few days after the long-awaited precipitation. The only exception is the snow park, which will remain closed."
Zermatt is also heavily invested in a new Alpine Downhill World Cup racecourse, "Gran Becca", which runs down to above Cervinia in Italy and is due to host two Women's and two Men's downhill races, the first in just over a month's time at the end of October.
Closure of the glacier slopes had led to concerns about the state of the new slope and the likelihood it could host the races as planned this autumn, but Zermatt has stressed the races will go ahead.
"We remain confident that nothing will stand in the way of the first-ever staging of the "Matterhorn Cervino Speed Opening" at the end of October and beginning of November," says Markus Hasler, CEO of Zermatt Bergbahnen. Tickets are still available for the World Cup races at www.speedopening.com.
The only outdoor snow ski area open in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere over the past month has been Hintertux in the Austrian Tirol which managed to keep 6km of slopes open with a thin icy cover thanks to a glacier snowmaking system. It now has fresh snowfall this morning.