Of course, we mustn’t read anything into photos of late-summer snow. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an epic winter ahead.
But all the same, isn’t it great to see it?
The Colorado Rockies had two sprinklings of the white stuff at the end of last week, with Friday’s being the most eye-catching.
Not surprisingly, it only settled at high altitude. This was Loveland, above the Eisenhower Tunnel on the I-70 highway. The skiing here is set between 3230 and 3870m: which means the base area is higher than the top lift in the vast majority of Alpine resorts.
And this was the Black Mountain Lodge at Arapahoe Basin, where the lift system tops out at 3800m.
Both A-Basin and Loveland open early – although in the last couple of seasons unusually mild autumns have pushed their opening dates back into mid or late October.
Meanwhile, in the Alps, they’ve been having a heatwave – with the daytime freezing point regularly topping the 4000m mark. Over the weekend there’s been some rain about too. So on the handful of glaciers currently open for skiing, the snow is sugary, wet, and less than brilliant right now – although it looks as though temperatures will drop back next week.
Before then, warm sunshine is expected to make a comeback, starting tomorrow. Anyone out there for a last blast of hiking, biking or trail-running should be in for a treat.
Here’s how it was looking in Tignes in France this morning…
Spring Conditions in the Southern Hemisphere
Over the last week, spring conditions have prevailed in the ski resorts of New Zealand and Australia. Mild days have followed cool nights and hard-packed early-morning snow has been softening in the sunshine.
Here’s how it was looking earlier today in the Remarkables, near Queenstown in NZ.
And here’s a summary of the week just gone in Thredbo, Australia – which had a Rock and Roll flavour, and a little bit of fresh snow…
The Snowy Mountains of Oz are now facing a rather wet spell, with rain due to fall to mid-mountain level in most resorts. However, there should be snow at the top.
|France: with the closure of Les Deux Alpes last weekend, the summer ski season in the French Alps is now over. All eyes are now on Tignes, whose glacier should re-open again in October.|
|Switzerland: despite the warm weather there’s still a decent covering of snow up on Zermatt’s glacier. Currently the resort reports up to 150cm of cover, on-piste. You can also ski on the glacier above Saas-Fee.|
|Austria: summer skiing is currently on offer on the Hintertux and Molltaler glaciers. On the Hintertux, the snow has thinned in the recent hot spell and is up to 55cm deep.|
|Italy: Cervinia is currently open for summer skiing, but closes on Sunday.|
|Andorra: no skiing is currently on offer in Andorra.|
|Western USA: summer ski camps are currently running at Timberline Lodge in Oregon.|
|Western Canada: the Horstman glacier on Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler is now closed.|