This week, winter has turned its attention to South America – and in particular the ski resorts near Santiago in Chile. There, a generally snowy week climaxed with a proper dump at the weekend. Valle Nevado in Chile clocked up 45cm of fresh snow yesterday, while the snow report for Las Lenas in Argentina spoke of 60cm of settled snow on the lower slopes and 1.8m higher up. 1.8m! That’s a pretty good number given the lifts haven’t started turning yet.
Las Lenas is opening for the season on June 20 (Wednesday). Valle Nevado has yet to announce its opening day, but it’s likely to be in the very near future if this weather pattern holds up.
Here’s how it was looking in both resorts at the weekend.
Elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, the weather’s been less spectacular. In Australia, a spell of mild and sunny weather has come to an end, and there was even 5cm of fresh snow overnight in Perisher on Sunday. But this early phase of the season remains respectable rather than spectacular. Still, that’s more than can be said for Mount Buller, where they’re struggling to maintain cover – today’s video report suggested ‘sightseeing chairlift rides’ as an alternative to skiing…
Here’s today’s video report from Perisher.
In New Zealand the cold, crisp weather of last week – dominated by southerly winds – has turned wet and mild. Most South Island resorts are now open and have typical early-season conditions – which means decent cover on their trails but not much in the way of off-piste (because the snow isn’t deep enough yet to cover the rocks). The snow report from Coronet Peak records groomed snow 30-40cm deep on the trails, and the temperature a couple of degrees above freezing.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Les Deux Alpes joined the small band of resorts offering summer skiing at the weekend, when it opened its big, broad glacier. As you can see from the webcam picture below, it’s been a quiet-ish morning there today. But come July it’ll be heaving, with lots of race-training lanes and some mighty terrain park features for the freestylers to practice on. As is the case with all glacier ski areas, the lifts shut at lunchtime and everyone drops back down the mountain for mountain-biking, circuit-training, or – in the case of the freestylers – trampolining.
Other resorts offering summer skiing include Hintertux, and Kitzsteinhorn and Dachstein glaciers in Austria, Zermatt in Switzerland, and Val d’Isere (pictured below). Tignes opens its glacier to skiers on June 22, Val Senales on June 23, and Saas-Fee on July 14.
If you’re tempted by the thought of skiing this summer, check out our guide to summer skiing resorts in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
|France: You can now ski on the glaciers above Val d’Isere and Les Deux Alpes. Tignes opens its glacier to skiers on June 22.|
|Switzerland: Two pistes are open today on the glacier above Zermatt. Saas-Fee’s glacier opens on July 14.|
|Austria: Despite the warm weather, there’s still good cover on Austria’s glaciers. The Hintertux claims 295cm . The Dachstein glacier claims 440cm of cover.|
|Italy: The glacier above Val Senales will open for summer skiing on June 23.|
|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: Whistler closed its ski lifts on May 28. However, the glacier on Blackcomb will be open to skiers from June 23-July 29.|