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Ski Areas Merger To Create “New Zealand’s Biggest Ski Area”

The amalgamation of two ski areas close to  Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island should create the country’s biggest ski area, the operators of Cardrona Alpine Resort claim. The centre’s operators, the Real Journeys Group, say they have reached an Agreement with the owner of the Soho Basin cat skiing area which owns the adjacent terrain to combine the two areas in to one, with a combined area of more than 900 hectares, more than double Cardrona’s existing size. Currently Mt Ruapehu on New Zealand’s North Island claims to be the country’s biggest with around 1,800 hectares of terrain but that’s by adding together ski run totals at the unlinked Turoa and Whakapapa ski areas. Cardrona this week and pictured…

Has the 2018 – 19 Ski Season Already Started?

The news that the Swiss ski resort of Saas Fee has re-opened for snowsports on its glacier today less than three months after closing its 2017-18 ski season in April set us wondering when does one ski season end and the new one begin?  Some ski areas are open all year round – the Hintertux glacier in Austria (below) and Zermatt in Switzerland for example, but most resorts, even those with far longer than average ski seasons, open in late autumn then close in early spring. So that main season is pretty obvious.  But several ski areas that opened in early autumn last year – the Kitzsteinhorn glacier in Austria or Timberline on Mt Hood in Oregon are STILL open…

More Western North American Ski Areas To Go Fully Renewable Energy Powered

More ski resorts in Western North America are moving to be 100% green energy powered with solar the next big target. Some resorts like Whistler Blackcomb – which runs its own on-site hydro-electric system – and Aspen Snowmass - which has invested in a company that captures waste methane vented from a nearby coal mine to generate carbon negative electricity and produces as much energy from that process as the ski centre uses annually AND at the same time also destroys methane, eliminating three times the carbon pollution created by the resort each year – are already 100% green energy powered by some measures, but others are looking to join them. Another of the region’s big ski areas, Squaw Valley…

Big Snowfalls in the Andes

The Andes mountains of South America are currently enjoying their biggest snowfalls of 2018 so far. Up to a metre of snow is expected to have fallen ion some slopes in Argentina and Chile by the end of this week. Portillo has reported one of the biggest accumulations with 54cm (21 inches) in 24 hours yesterday.  It’s still snowing there and significant snowfall is expected throughout the day today. It now reports its upper slopes snow depth has reached 2 metres, the deepest in the southern hemisphere and the first to hit the 2m mark this winter. It leapfrogs Turoa on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand which previously was reporting the deepest base at 1.6m Fellow Chilean resort Valle Nevado…

Where’s The Snow in July 2018?

July is of course one of the hottest months of the year north of the equator but in the southern hemisphere it's when the ski season really gets moving and the good news is that 2018 has seen plenty of snow in Australia, New Zealand and South America. (Mt Hutt is pictured above on 24 June) As an added bonus the deep snow left from the exceptionally snowy 2017-18 winter in the Alps seems to be holding up well as there's even been fresh snow in late June in the Austrian Alps at high altitude and in a few less likely places at this time of year like Eastern Canada's like Newfoundland and (earlier last month), parts of BC too.…

How Much Snow Is There in the World?

NASA is reported to have launched a multi-year project to try to accurately measure how much snow cover the world has at any one time, and particularly how much water content there is held in that snow. Winter snow cover in the northern hemisphere is known to extend to over 46,000,000 square kilometres or just under a third of the Earth’s land area each year but scientists are keen to more accurately measure just how much snow there is at any one time – particularly is water content. In some areas snow is a critical water source and its volume can have both positive and negative  effects, supporting agriculture, recreation, and other aspects of local economies, but too much of…

Current Snowstorm in Australia Claimed to be Biggest For 18 Years

After 6 days of mostly cold and snowy weather, accumulations at resorts in Australia have reached up to 90cm (three feet) bringing great start-of-winter snow which is being branded 'Japan-like' by the country's snow enthusiasts. Australian ski areas opened a fortnight ago with very little snow cover and warm temperatures but things changed dramatically a few days later with what is widely being described as "the snowiest start to the season for 18 years.' Bases are reported to have reached more than 75cm already at ski areas including Falls Creek and Mount Hotham and the cold weather is expected to continue. even though the snowfall should ease off over the coming days, giving Aussie areas a great start to winter…

Last Weekend of the Californian 2017-18 Ski Season

In 2017 they made it to August after one of the snowiest winters on record, in 2018 the last Californian ski area still operating, Mammoth Mountain, will close for the season at the end of the ski day on Sunday, June 17th.   It’s quite a good result considering the poor winter snowfall in much of western North America, but Mammoth Mountain benefited from a snowy spring and will have clocked up more than 220+ days of skiing and riding by the time it closes its 17/18 winter season on Sunday. In celebration resort staff will be giving away Mammoth Beanies, coffee and pastries at the base of Face Lift Express [Chair 3] at 7:30am while supplies last.  The lifts will…

Ski Areas Open Early in South America After Up To A Metre of Snowfall

Ski areas in Argentina and Chile in the Andes mountains of South America, where the ski season is due to kick off this weekend or the next at most ski areas, are reporting some big pre-season snowfalls. Valle Nevado, one of the world’s newest major ski resorts which will celebrate 30 years in business this season, as reported the biggest totals from the latest snow storms, saying up to 1 metre has fallen there.  It will open tomorrow (Thursday 14th), several days early, thanks to the snow. https://www.facebook.com/vallenevadoskiresort/videos/10155343569810759/   Portillo, meanwhile, reported 28cm overnight and 40cm in the last 48 hours. Another resort opening early in Chile is El Colorado (pictured top and below), which has fully opened for the…

Val d’Isère Re-Opens Winter (non-glacier) Slopes for Summer Skiing

This week, for the first time in the resort’s 82-year history, Val d’Isère reopened some of its winter pistes and lifts, situated just above the village, after they closed on 1 May 2018, at the end of a record-breaking season for snow cover. About 200 skiers and snowboarders took advantage of the exceptional conditions to ride the Funival funicular to the top of Bellevarde on re-opening day, where the first sections of slopes OK, Diebold, 3J and Verte offered skiing on snow lying more than a metre thick. After each run, enthusiasts could jump on the Marmottes chair for another go, exactly the same as in winter. David McCallum, a British property developer who lives in Val d’Isère said, “It…