Last week’s snow report was peppered with Southern Hemisphere snowflakes. This week, we’re all about the sunshine. In most of the ski resorts of South America, Australia and New Zealand, the last seven days have been characterised by clear skies – and there’s been little in the way of fresh snowfall.
In New Zealand, it’s been chilly too, and temperature inversions have been the norm. In fact, ‘smug’ is a good word to describe the mood in the South Island resorts. Skiers have been able to enjoy good, grippy snow on the groomed trails, while looking down on a blanket of cloud hanging over the valleys.
Here’s how it was looking this morning on the slopes of Coronet Peak. Today’s snow report talks of velvet conditions on the groomers (thanks to the work of the snow cannons overnight), and “skier/boarder compacted snow” off-piste. “Some unmarked hazards do exist,” it continues – so you need to watch out for rocks. The snow depth on-piste is around 65cm deep.
The forecast in the South Island is for clear skies and low temperatures to persist for a couple of days.
Meanwhile in south-eastern Australia, the weather looks set to change shortly. Milder, wetter conditions are expected, with rain falling at lower elevations midweek. Currently, the resort is in pretty good shape though – with around 85cm of snow on the groomed trails, and 46 or 47 lifts in operation.
Here’s today’s video snow report from Perisher in New South Wales.
It’s been a similar story in the resorts of South America – although it’s worth remembering they were blanketed by heavy snow last week. Currently, in Las Lenas, Argentina, they have 80cm on the lower pistes, 200cm mid-mountain and 230cm up top.
Here’s a film the resort posted last week: “An Incredible Start to the Season”.
Back in the Alps, the summer season continues, with skiing on several glaciers in France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. It’s been a rather stop-go season up there, to be honest, with warm temperatures and sometimes torrential rain taking its toll on the cover (one of our editors was dodging lightning bolts above Cervinia last week). Still, conditions are much better today. Here’s how it was looking at lunchtime on the glacier above Les Deux Alpes (see the picture below). The temperature up top was 0C today, and there cover162cm deep. And yes, that is a rather amazing terrain park in the distance. The resort is home to one of the best freestyle scenes in the Alps each summer.
Read our guide to summer skiing resorts in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
|France: Glacier skiing is now possible above Val d’Isere, Les Deux Alpes and Tignes. On the glacier at Les Deux Alpes, the cover is up to 205cm deep – a significant drop on last weeks’s figure, which reflects the mild and soggy start to summer.
|Switzerland: Two pistes are usually open on the glacier above Zermatt at the moment – but not today, thanks the wet weather. Saas-Fee’s glacier opens on July 14.
|Austria: There’s good snow cover on Austria’s glaciers at the moment, with the Hintertux glacier claiming 295cm. However, after another mild and soggy week we suspect that number will be revised down significantly soon. Today the temperature is +5C on the highest slopes and 22km of piste are open.
|Italy: Seven pistes are open today on the glacier above Val Senales – and cover is reported to be 170cm deep.
|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: You can ski on the glacier above Whistler at the moment. It’s at the top of Blackcomb mountain and is open until July 29.