Last week, Mount Hutt in New Zealand was the star of our snow report. This week – it has to be Chile. The resorts near Santiago have at last – at last – had proper, heavy snowfall: for the first time since the end of June.
Here’s the ruler-in-the-snow trick from Valle Nevado, posted on its Facebook page last Friday, showing how much snow had fallen. By Saturday morning there was 40cm of fresh powder on the slopes.
And below is a photo of the powder being torn up in last Wednesday in Portillo, with the lake as a backdrop. The lack of ice on the lake is testament to the mild winter so far. But with 67cm of fresh snow recorded in the last week, no-one’s too worried about that – at the moment.
There was more snow in the area yesterday – and the forecast is looking promising for Wednesday too!
By the way, the low pressure systems are currently piling into Chile from the west, rather than the south, and as a result, the snow isn’t getting across the Andes into the Argentinian resorts, such as Las Lenas. However, we notice that next Saturday there could be fresh snow there.
Meanwhile, over in south-eastern Australia, they had a superb end to last week. A single storm dropped 60cm of powder on the resort of Perisher, New South Wales, on Thursday and Friday, and conditions were “the best in years” according to the locals. Here’s the video snow report for Saturday, August 18, when the snow was still fresh on the ground.
The forecast in Australia’s snowy mountains is much less promising now, with rain in the forecast for Thursday.
Over in New Zealand, it’s been a much less spectacular week for snowfall – but that was a relief in Mount Hutt, near Christchurch, which was walloped by a stormy 62cm of windblown snow at the beginning of last week, and was closed for a couple of days. Seeing pictures of the road up to the ski area, it’s not hard to see why…
Currently Mount Hutt has some of the deepest snow cover in NZ, with 195-205cm across its groomed trails.
According to the New Zealand Herald’s Weather Watch , spring has now arrived in New Zealand, which means that the weather will flip between warm and cold on a regular basis.
Back in Europe, the glacier-skiing season has more or less ground to a halt, thanks to the heatwave that has enveloped the continent. Currently, it’s +7C a the top of the glacier in Les Deux Alpes in France, and +11C on the Hintertux glacier in Austria. In both, the cover is a slushy shade of grey. As we’ve said before, on rare occasions (memorably, in the cool summer of 2007), the snow can be fresh and cold on the Alpine glaciers. This time round, conditions are more normal. We hope it cools down up there soon!
Still hoping to get some turns in before the end of summer? Then check out our guide to the best resorts for summer skiing
|France: You can ski on the glaciers above Les Deux Alpes and Tignes: but you won’t enjoy it much. Thin cover and high temperatures have made for a less-than-scintillating experience.|
|Switzerland: Four pistes were open today for summer skiing on the glaciers above both Saas-Fee and Zermatt. On the Saas-Fee glacier, the cover has dropped from 153cm to 119cm deep in the last week. The temperature today at the top of the slopes is +7C.|
|Austria: 22km of pistes are open today on the Hintertux glacier, but the surface is being hammered by the heatwave. The cover is 70cm deep.|
|Italy: Glacier skiing will resume above Val Senales, at the beginning of September. There’s currently access to the glacier between Zermatt and Cervinia from the Cervinia side as well as Zermatt.|
|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.|