Glaciers are special ski areas, which as well as usual routes are available for skiing and recreation in winter season. Moreover, some glaciers are open for alpine skiing all year round. So, sometimes glaciers are called year-round tracks. However, in most traditional regions of the Alps glacier ski season ends in April or May.
Western Europe term "glacier" is gradually taking root in Russian language. Initially glacier is a mass of snow pressed to the ice cover. Glacier movement is determined by the slope location, ice structure, temperature, ice mass as well as other factors. Glaciers are the largest repositories of fresh water on the planet. Restructuring of the glaciers have significant impact on the global climate. In different times of the Ice Age glaciers were the basic elements of the landscape.
Climatic changes of the recent years made many glaciers in the world to actively melting. Experts fear that the famous Alpine glaciers may simply disappear in the near future. Thus, experts expect the disappearance of an entire group of glaciers in France by 2050, including Sarenne glacier in the Alpe d'Huez region or Girosse glacier in the La Grave ski region. Many glaciers, which were specially opened for the alpine skiing throughout the year during the last few years, were closed in summer.
Opening of the ski resort on the glacier requires significant financial investments. It is not just about additional funds, which the owner will invest because of the high-altitude location of ski areas. Special control is required for the transport system, which delivers tourists to the glacier. Cable cars and ski lifts, which pillars will be located on the glacier, should be equipped according to the movement of the glacier. In order to prevent glacier sliding during particularly hot period, some snow and ice from one side of the glacier must be transported to the melting half in order to avoid soil baring. In recent years as a result of joint work with researchers in Austria have been developed special foils, which in summer are used to wrap up many well-known ski glaciers and thereby save many ski areas from extinction.
Skiing on the glaciers in summer means specific skiing, which require special skills. Thus, in the morning many glaciers are solid ice crust as the snow melted during the day freezes at night. In the afternoon the snow is getting softer. Therefore, the best skiing in these conditions is usually in the morning, when the ice melts, but the track is still hard. On the track is formed glacier snow - a layer of frozen snow, skiing on which is appreciated by some professional skiers and especially fans of extreme skiing.
Popular ski areas for year-round skiing:
Glaciers in Austria:
Glaciers in France:
Glaciers in Switzerland:
Forab glacier, Laax
Glacier 3000, Gstaad
Klein Matterhorn glaciers, Zermatt
Glaciers in Italy:
Meran 2000, South Tyrol