Things are looking pretty tasty in the southern hemisphere right now.
There’s fresh snow in New Zealand…
“It’s head deep and still snowing Shreddie! Wooooo!” said The Remarkables’ Facebook reporter earlier today. Okay, so that only added up to 15cm in the real world, but it was still snowing as the sun set.
Meanwhile, this was how it was looking earlier today in Treble Cone, which is also on New Zealand’s South Island.
The photo was taken by fearless freeskier Christoph Schofegger: and if you want a sense of how he skis, check out the video he shot in Treble Cone last week. At the time, the snow was pretty hard, he noted. But that didn’t seem to put him off…
First turns down in New Zealand from Christoph Schöfegger on Vimeo. Special thanks Axamer Lizum, Kästle Skis, Komperdell, Dr.Zipe Eyewear, Ortovox and Daleboot Skiboots!
After a consistently cold start to winter, the weather has become more flukey in NZ of late, and the talk is of an early spring. However, the Southern Alps don’t appear to be done with winter just yet. The latest fall of snow is the foretaste of a cold snap that’s expected from the middle of the week. There are signs too, that Thursday could see a proper dump.
There’s fresh snow in Australia…
Regular followers of our Snow Report will know that July 26 saw a spectacular dump in the Snowy Mountains of south-eastern Australia. July finished on a less brilliant note, with rain – but that turned to snow as the wind swung round to the south on Monday, and in Thredbo they reported 20cm of fresh snow on the higher slopes.
The forecast is for the cold spell to continue until the weekend at least, and for snow showers over the next couple of days, too.
There’s fresh snow in the Andes, too…
Remember how I said last week that the resorts of the central Andes really need a second dump to get their season back on track? This week, that’s exactly what they’ll get.
In fact, the weather’s already turned. In Valle Nevado, there have been a couple of moderate snowfalls over the last week, and in Portillo they had 47cm of snow at the weekend.
Here’s how it was looking Valle Nevado on Sunday.
But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming. Some forecasts are predicting nearly two metres of snow in the second half of the week. If they’re even half right, the long, snowless weeks of June will soon be forgotten.
Meanwhile, in the Alps…
The weather cooled off a little in the Alps last week. The instructors running the Warren Smith Academy summer ski courses in Cervinia even reported a little fresh snow, as you’ll see from their ace video summary on July 29.
This week, summer’s back with a vengeance. In France, afternoon temperatures are going to be up at 30C in Chamonix tomorrow, and +10C on the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes. In Austria, it’ll be 28 or 29C by the shores of the lake in Zell am See.
So, rather better for this…
The summer-skiing season in Tignes finishes on August 9, at which point they’ll probably heave a huge sigh of relief. Thanks to the heat, it’s been a tough summer for the Alpine glaciers.
Check out our features on cycling, mountain biking, adventure parks and, er, yodelling to find out more about the summer scene in the Alps beyond the snow.
|France: two French glaciers are still open for summer skiing: Tignes (until August 9) and Les Deux Alpes (until Aug 29). Both were hammered by the high temperatures in June and July, and another heatwave is developing this week. Best find a pool or a lake for a swim instead…|
|Switzerland: currently Zermatt claims 130cm of snow at 2900m. Here, 17 lifts are currently open, serving 14 pistes. Up high. You can also ski on the glacier above Saas-Fee.|
|Austria: two glaciers are currently open in Austria for skiing – Hintertux, and the Molltal. On the Hintertux glacier, the snow is up to 110cm deep on the pistes, and 18km of pistes are open – but as is the case everywhere in the Alps, the cover is suffering in the heat.|
|Italy: there’s currently lift access from Cervinia to the high-altitude pistes between Italy and Switzerland.|
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are closed.|
|Western USA: summer skiing is on offer at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.|
|Western Canada: Whistler’s short glacier season on Blackcomb mountain finished on July 26.|
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