Across the southern hemisphere, many resorts are now in their final month of winter operations. But in the Andes, the season’s had a new lease of life, thanks to several recent snowstorms – including a big dump on August 23-24, and another 30cm storm last Friday (September 5). The resort of Valle Nevado, near Santiago, Chile, did particularly well out of the most recent snowfall, and was blessed by a sensational sunset on Saturday, too.
This was how it was looking on Sunday.
What’s more, the forecast is promising more snow at the end of this week.
In the Snowy Mountains of south-eastern Australia, conditions are also pretty good for the time of year – thanks to 20-25cm top-up at the beginning of the month. The video, below, will give you a taste of how Perisher was skiing last Wednesday as a result.
In view of the excellent spring conditions, Perisher has announced it’s extending its season until October 10.
Meanwhile, in Thredo, all eyes are on the vast kicker that’s been built for the Toyota One Hit Wonder festival…Today was devoted to practice runs, but sadly it doesn’t look as though the weather will stay cloudless this week. Tomorrow, rain is expected, which will turn to snow as temperatures drop.
By way of contrast, in New Zealand, the resorts of the South Island have just had a straight, three-week run of blue skies and sunshine. That’s been great for everyone’s goggle tan, but more of the white stuff is needed. In fact, according to Snow.co.nz, the resorts of the east coast – especially those without snow cannons – are struggling to maintain their snow cover. Some have closed until more snow falls. Others are only spinning their lifts at the weekend in order to preserve their cover.
A warm start to the week in the Alps
The Alps are going to start the week with a balmy, late-summer feel. There’ll be plenty of sunshine both today and tomorrow, with the freezing point up around 3800m. However, it will be getting muggier as the week progresses, with a pattern of morning sunshine and and afternoon clouds and showers, some of which will be thundery. The western Alps will more storms than the east. Temperatures will drop back, too, and on Friday, our snow forecast for the Alps is even predicting a spot or two of the white stuff in Austria.
Currently, only a handful of glacier ski areas are open – the Hintertux, the Molltaler glacier, Zermatt and Saas-Fee. But several more are lining up for their autumn openings. In the Tirol, the Pitztal and Kaunertal glaciers are scheduled to open on September 20, and the Stubai in “mid to late September” depending on the conditions. In the Salzburgerland, the Kitzsteinhorn above Kaprun is hoping to open on October 3, and in France, Tignes gets going on October 4. The first races of the World Cup season will be held on the glacier above Solden on October 25 and 26.
Check out our guide to early-season skiing for more on the run-up to winter.
Meanwhile, in the Rockies…
Pictured above is high-altitude Arapahoe Basin in Colorado on Friday September 5. The snow’s already been burnt off of course, but it’s a welcome reminder that if conditions are right, both A-Basin and Loveland will be firing up the snow cannons at the end of this month to prepare their slopes for an October opening. Last year, they got going on the evening of September 27.
|France: The summer ski season is now over in France. Above Tignes, the Grande Motte glacier reopens on October 4.
|Switzerland: you can still ski on the glacier above Zermatt, weather permitting. Currently the snow is up to 110cm deep, and 14 pistes are open. Five pistes and a terrain park are currently open above Saas-Fee, and the freezing point is expected to reach 3700m today.
|Austria: you can currently ski on the Hintertux glacier east of Innsbruck, as well as the Molltaler glaicer near Flattach. On the Hintertux, 18km of pistes are open, and the snow is up to 110cm deep.
|Italy: the lifts from Cervinia, up to the high-altitude summer skiing on the Swiss-Italian border have now closed. Weekend access to the slopes restarts on October 18, and the full season gets underway on November 1.
|Andorra: Andorra’s ski resorts are now closed.
|Western USA: The Rocky Mountain ski season finally finished in June. But let’s not forget that in in late September they’ll be cranking up the snow cannons again in Loveland and Arapahoe Basin if conditions are right. If you want to ski now, head to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon.
|Western Canada: the short summer skiing season on the the Horstman above Whistler has now finished.