Here’s a welcome sight: fresh snow on the Alpine glaciers.
This is how it looked just below the glacier on Friday.
And this was the same scene on Sunday, after a second storm dropped another 15-20cm of snow.
Further east, there was snow on Kitzsteinhorn glacier, above Kaprun. This shot was taken September 4.
After the long hot summer, it’s a HUGE relief to see snow in quantities like this, and the glaciers looking white instead of a dirty grey: not least because several are due to open soon for their autumn seasons. Officially, the glacier above Val Senales in Italy and the Pitztal glacier in the Tirol should both get going on on September 18 – followed by the Kaunertal on September 19. The Kitzsteinhorn should open to skiers from October 7, and on October 24 and 25 Solden will be welcoming the world’s skiing elite for the opening races of the World Cup.
According to our snow forecast, there should be a little more snow across the high Alps on Friday and Saturday. However, the weather charts for next week suggest a return to warm sunshine next week. Let’s hope it doesn’t stick around for long.
Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere…
The event was held at The Remarkables on September 4, in the wake of fresh snow, and as you’ll see from the video, most of Varlet’s landings were pretty soft. In fact, conditions have been wintry across the whole of South Island lately, thanks to strong winds from the south. They’ve eased up now, and the last couple of days have been sunny, but more snow is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday.
However, it’s unlikely the Kiwi resorts will see as much fresh snow as they’re getting in the central Andes at the moment. Here’s how Valle Nevado, near Santiago, was looking yesterday. By the close of play 30cm had fallen, and the settled cover on the pistes ranged from 120-180cm.
More snow is expected in the Andes today – although the lion’s share is expected to fall further south, on resorts such as Catedral Alta Patagonia. This continues a trend we’ve seen all winter which has brought much more regular snowfall in the southern Andes than the central belt.
Here’s how the base lodge is looking at Catedral this morning.
There’s also been a 5-7cm top up in the Snowy Mountains of Australia. This was how the wind-blown stashes were looking in Thredbo earlier today.
|France: all of the French glacier ski areas are currently closed. However, the Grande Motte above Tignes will be open again from October 3.|
|Switzerland: currently Zermatt claims 130cm of snow at 2900m. Here, 17 lifts are currently open, serving 14 pistes. You can also ski on the glacier above Saas-Fee.|
|Austria: two glaciers are currently open in Austria for skiing – Hintertux, and the Molltal. On the Hintertux glacier, the snow report claims a depth of up to 60cm on the pistes. 18km of pistes are open. In the wake of the weekend’s snow, we’re hoping to hear confirmation of the opening dates for the Pitztal and Kaunertal glaciers shortly.|
|Italy: Italy’s glacier resorts are currently closed, although the glacier above Val Senales is due to open on September 18. Cervinia will be opening again on October 17.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are closed.|
|Western USA: late-summer skiing is on offer at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.|
|Western Canada: Whistler’s short glacier season on Blackcomb mountain finished on July 26.|