Les 2 Alpes Cancels Autumn Ski Opening Festival

STORY BY Patrick Thorne

Les 2 Alpes has cancelled its annual October 10 day ski and snowboard season opening festival on its glacier.

According to the French Skieur magazine, the decision has been made after the exceptionally hot weather in the Alps during the summer melted most of the snow cover from the glacial ice.

Les 2 Alpes had been due to open in ten days’ time from 21 October to 1 November.  On the 21st and 22nd October it was to have staged the 6th edition of its Snowboarding season launch festival including  competitions, BBQ, meet the pros, equipment tests, film preview screenings an live concerts.  A similar event for skiers sponsored by the leading French brand Decathlon was planned for the following weekend 28th to 29th October.  Both events usually attract thousands of skiers and boarders.

Les 2 Alpes

Both events were the current incarnations of October events staged each autumn for several decades on the glacier, pictured above is a previous festival.

In a Facebook post Les 2 Alpes says it will still open, just without snowsports.

“The altitude ski area cannot open during October without fresh snow,” the statement reads, continuing, “In this context, the 2 Alpes station has taken the exceptional decision not to open its altitude ski area this October.  In addition to our desire to always offer a quality and secure ski product, this decision is guided by the will to preserve and maintain the glacier, with a view to responsible exploitation.  The events that were to take place on the glacier: Enjoy The Glacier 2017 and High Test By Decathlon are unfortunately cancelled.”

The resort says it will still open from 21 October to 1 November offering free, non-ski activities including mountain biking , hiking, climbing, fitness, yoga, Zumba and much more.

Les 2 Alpes issued its new season news last month, highlighting its plans to expand its snowmaking as its top priority for the future.  Commenting on the snowmaking expansion a resort statement reads,

“This would make the best possible use of the periods during which snow is able to be produced, which are becoming shorter and shorter due to global warming …This closed system replicates the natural water cycle and gives the glacier back what once belonged to it, in the form of snowflakes. The €800,000 investment is a world first; snowmakers have never before been installed on living, moving ice at such an altitude (3,400 to 3,200 metres), exposed to freezing temperatures.”

“It is a shock, a hard reality that imposes itself on skiers, even if all this was only a matter of time,” commented the Skieur’s Laurent Belluard.

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