Ski S. Africa
Skiing in South Africa has a mixed and fairly colourful history with enthusiasts chasing what snow fell whenever it did in the higher parts of the country for decades before the first attempt at a commercial ski centre, Tiffindell, located at the highest point on the Cape, was created in 1993.
This used snow making techniques perfected by its owners from New England in the US but the centre also sometimes receives substantial snowfalls and guests have been snowed in in the past. Unfortunately the centre ran in to financial difficulties around 15 years after opening while planning an expansion including a gondola access lift and at time of writing was up for sale. Whether it will reborn or follow the fate of earlier ski area attempts such as Tena Head in 1972 and Qwa Qwa in 1977 remains to be seen.
In the meantime South Africans can still ski in Lesotho or on a number of artificial surface skis slopes in their own nation.
South Africa also has an unlikely roll in the development of snowmaking. An Israeli corporation that builds cooling systems was employed by a gold mining company near Johannesburg to create a cooling machine for one of its mines to minimise the intense heat underground. An unexpected by-product if the cooling process turned out to be pour fresh pure snow which piled out of the machine in to the 30+C heat of the South African desert. The company, which had no ski area connections previously, patented its ‘Snow-maker’ as the first machine capable of making snow without additives in plus temperatures and sold its first machines to Pitztal in Austria and Zermatt in Switzerland. read more...
S. Africa: latest snow conditions round-up
Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in S. Africa. Fresh snow is forecast at 1resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 0 are reporting good piste conditions.