Skiing in summer? Welcome to a coveted club of snow connoisseurs

photo : dailymail


A blazing hot day and the Test matches are upon us.

I am a huge cricket fan and normally this would be my sole focus – but we are more than 1,000 miles away at the Hintertux glacier in Austria.

Yes, I know skiing is something you do in winter.

Perfect pistes: Skiers at the glorious Hintertux glacier, in the Tux Valley in Austria's Tirol region

And, no, we haven’t lost the plot entirely.

Because up here in the Tirol at the far end of the Tux valley it can be any season you want – especially 10,660ft up on the glacier.

You ski in the morning and stop around 1pm when the warmth of the summer sun has softened the snow too much. That means exertion followed by a long, lazy lunch. Ideal.

The groomed pistes glitter under a blue-black sky and are living proof skiers and snowboarders do not have to endure eight months of abstinence between seasons.

Going underground: The Ice Palace, a frozen world more than 100ft below the glacier's surface

There’s also a purposeful atmosphere with national race teams and ski instructor classes in training.

Later on, back at the Hintertuxerhof hotel, I might sunbathe with a book and glass of local beer or even play tennis.

And there’s hiking in the flower-bedecked hills, accompanied by the sound of cow bells and gentle mooing.

Unique ski spot: Hintertux is the only glacier in the world to host lift-facilitated skiing all year

Incidentally, if skiing in midsummer is insufficiently thrilling, visit the Ice Palace, a strange frozen world of stalactites and ice-bound water more than 100ft below the glacier’s surface. It ends with an extraordinary boat ride along an underground river.

Hintertux, the only glacier in the world to host lift-facilitated skiing and boarding all year, confounds the calendar.

And you feel among the chosen few, let in on a magical secret.

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