It looks as though the first proper snow of late summer is heading to the Alps. It’s expected on Friday, and according to the Welove2ski snow forecast there could be 30-50cm over the highest peaks and ridges. Lower down, there’ll be heavy rain. But even so, it’ll be a relief to see the white stuff return in quantity, at least in the high Alps. All summer, our weekly Snow Report has been keeping an eye on the thinning snow on Europe’s glaciers – and even though we know the weather is going to cool down eventually, it’s been a bit nerve wracking to see how threadbare the cover has become. Fingers crossed this is the start of meaningful change.
Here’s the current snow forecast map for Friday.
Actually, there’s already been a bit of snow up in Austria in the last seven days, as you can see from these two webcam shots of the Hintertux glacier, in the Austrian Tirol. The first was taken a week ago. The second, taken this morning, shows how the cover has turned white again.
Thank you snow gods. For your next trick, how about a nice smooth run into the ski season, with superb early conditions down to, say, 1000m?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, the ski season is still going strong – especially in South America and Australia. As you may have seen in last week’s snow report, both regions had heavy snow in the middle of the August. Both also saw more snow falling last week. In fact, in New South Wales, Australia, the resort of Perisher is reporting 1.7m of fresh snow since August 1.
Here’s today’s video report from the resort.
Meanwhile, in Valle Nevado, Chile, there was around 20cm of fresh snow last week. Here’s how it was looking last Friday in the resort. Not a bad day to be cruising powder on a snowboard…
The resorts of New Zealand haven’t been so lucky lately. Two weeks ago, Mount Hutt near Christchurch on the South Island had a meaty 60cm dump, but since then the temperature has been yo-yoing about, and a springlike freeze/thaw cycle has set in. Mount Hutt has some of the deepest snow in the country – with up to 205cm on the groomed trails. But away from the groomers the snow quality is a bit iffy. “Off trail is mostly wind-glazed crust,” says the resort’s snow report today. Which sounds challenging, to put it mildly.
|France: You can still ski on the glaciers above Les Deux Alpes and Tignes, although the summer skiing season is almost at an end. Les Deux Alpes shuts is glacier to skiers on September 1, and Tignes on September 2.|
|Switzerland: Four pistes were open today for summer skiing on the glaciers above both Saas-Fee and Zermatt. On the Saas-Fee glacier, the speed at which the snow has been melting as at last begun to slow down. There’s 92cm of snow on the glacier today, compared with 119cm last week.|
|Austria: See our main report. After a long summer of thinning cover, there’s been a dusting of snow on the Austrian glaciers – and more is expected on Friday. On the Hintertux glacier, 22km of piste were open for skiing today.|
|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.|