New Zealand is the star of this week’s Snow Report, thanks to the proper dump its South Island resorts had last week. Well, when I say “proper dump” I mean “wild stormy weather, with snow attached”. Lift systems were shut down as it blew through, but at least the snowfalls were significant. At The Remarkables, near Queenstown, they clocked up 20cm on Monday, 30cm on Tuesday and another 5cm on Wednesday. This is how it looked as the resort workers began to tidy up.
Of course all the wind-blown powder stashes are already skied out. But the pistes are in great shape, and today The Remarkables’ snow report records another 2cm dusting overnight. Snow depths on-piste range between 60 and 80cm. Meanwhile, up towards Christchurch, Mount Hutt had 15cm of snow on Friday, and reports 80-100cm of cover on its groomers. Here’s a rather lovely picture posted by the resort today. Makes you long to get your ski boots on again, doesn’t it?
Actually, the resort’s snow report does sound a world of warning today about all that gorgeous, soft-looking snow off piste: “Off-trail snow looks great but has frozen hard and will require the forecasted sunshine, light winds and warming temps before select aspects become skiable.”
So, is New Zealand set for a cracking week? Actually – no. According to the latest weekly video forecast from the New Zealand Herald, two areas of low pressure are set sweep across the country; and the second is going to pull down tropical air from the north. That means any precipitation in the ski fields will probably fall as rain. There may be a return to much colder weather after that – but that’s not certain yet. In a word: yuck.
At about the same time New Zealand gets the rain, the ski resorts of south-eastern Australia may be getting a welcome dump of snow. Thursday looks promising in that respect. Currently in Perisher, New South Wales, it’s windy, cloudy and there’s been a little of the white stuff overnight: 10cm at the top of the ski area. Currently, the cover is over a metre deep – testament to the steady (but not exceptional) season they’ve had so far.
Here’s today’s video snow report from the resort.
Meanwhile, in the Andes it’s been another generally dry week. Valle Nevado near Santiago in Chile had about 10cm on August 2 and 3, but elsewhere it’s been mostly dry. On the groomed trails, the cover is still good – but it’s over a month now since the last heavy snowfall. They could do with another dump.
As for the European glaciers – well, if you’re heading out to one of them in the near future, look away now. August is often a scrappy time up there, as the snow is either washed away by summer rain, or burned off by the sun. This year is no exception. The last week in particular has seen them hammered, and the cover is now paper thin – or non-existent. Check out the webcam shot from Les Deux Alpes below. The Alpine weather forecast today is for thunderstorms, which means there could be more rain…
Still hoping to get some turns in before the end of summer? Then check out our guide to the summer skiing resorts.
|France: You can ski on the glaciers above Les Deux Alpes and Tignes: but the cover is thinning fast. On Les Deux Alpes’ glacier the snow is no more than 50cm deep: and often a lot thinner than that.|
|Switzerland: Glacier skiing continues above Saas-Fee’s and Zermatt: but not today, thanks to the threat of thunderstorms. On the Saas-Fee glacier, the cover is up to 196cm deep.|
|Austria: 22km of pistes are open today on the Hintertux glacier, but there’s the risk of thunderstorms. Officially, the cover is up to 155cm deep. But seeing the webcam pictures from the resort today we think that’s probably because they haven’t updated their readings recently.|
|Italy: There’s no skiing today on the glacier above Val Senales, where two pistes are usually open. You can also ski on the glacier above Cervinia – but not today thanks to the weather.|
|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.|