Boo hiss. This week’s snow report is all about the rain.
You can blame ex-hurricane Nadine for that. The turbulent weather system currently pummelling Britain is also dragging mild, moisture-laden air over the Alps. It’s already raining across much of the region, and high winds have closed the lifts to the glaciers at both Zermatt and Saas-Fee. According to the Welove2ski snow forecast, only the very highest peaks will see any snow: and there’s likely to be the odd rumble of thunder mixed in, too.
Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised the weather’s turned. It is only September after all – and we still have a couple of months until the start of the proper ski season. But all the same, skiers will be disappointed to see the end of the weather pattern which established itself at the end of August and brought several snowstorms to the region. Hopefully, the remnants of Nadine are just an interruption – and there are some signs that cooler weather will return at the end of the week. It is, however, too soon to be sure.
Below is a webcam shot taken beneath the Hintertux glacier this morning (note the mild temperature – at 2100mm). Sorry we can’t show you how it’s looking higher up – but on the glacier itself the low cloud has turned the world an impenetrable milky white. Nevertheless, the lifts are running and there are 22km of piste on offer – for anyone who can ski by sense of smell.
Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere, spring is tightening its grip on the mountains, and in Chile several resorts have already shut for the season – including Valle Nevado and Portillo. In New Zealand, it’s warming up too – sending the snowline scurrying uphill. The change of the season is most marked in the Queenstown resorts because their cover was pretty thin anyway. In Coronet Peak for example the groomed snow is down to 40cm deep in places. Off piste, “Variable conditions do exist” – according to the resort’s snow report. Amidst the variety you’ll find rocks and grasss as well as spring snow.
The cover is much deeper over towards Christchurch, where the snow is still lying two metres deep in places on Mount Hutt. Here’s a cracking picture taken on Saturday in the resort – and yes, the woman on the left is wearing a skirt.
Finally, over in the Snowy Mountains of Australia an excellent season – the best for twelve years – is drawing to a close. Daytime temperatures in Perisher, New South Wales, are likely to rise to +14C during the day this week. Thanks to heavy snow in August, the resort has extended its season until October 5 – and the snow cover is still around two metres deep in places. But if this warm weather takes hold they’ll be water-skiing at the bottom of the slopes ‘ere long.
Here’s the latest video snow report – from Saturday.
|France: The glaciers above Les Deux Alpes and Tignes, are currently closed. Tignes is due to reopen on Saturday September 29, and will stay open right through autumn. Les Deux Alpes will open briefly from October 27 to November 4 – and again for the winter season on December 1.|
|Switzerland: The glaciers above both Saas-Fee and five pistes above Zermatt were closed today because of the bad weather (rain, wind and the possibility of thunder). Currently, at Saas-Fee the cover is 111cm deep. The glacier at Engelberg reopens for skiing on October 6, and will shut from November 5-16 for maintenance work.|
|Austria: It’s likely to be raining today on the Hintertux glacier, but the lifts are open and 22km of skiing is on offer. The cover is 65cm deep, but thinning in the mild weather. You can also ski on the Molltal glacier. The Kitzsteinhorn glacier is currently closed due to the thin snow cover, and expects to reopen in early October. The Stubai and a href=”http://www.pitztaler-gletscher.at/en” target=”_blank”>Pitztal glaciers are both hoping to restart skiing at the end of September.|
|Italy: Glacier skiing was supposed to resume above Val Senales by the end of September – but the opening may now be delayed until October.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski areas are closed.|
|Western USA: All the mainstream resorts in the US are now closed for skiing. However, there is skiing (and a terrain park) on offer at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.|
|Western Canada: The glacier above Whistler is now closed.|