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July 2017

Where In The World Is Open for Snowsports in August 2017?

It’s the height of summer in the northern hemisphere but 10 centres are open through August in Europe and north America.  There’s even been some fresh snow on glacier slopes in the Alps. South of the equator it’s mid-winter and there’s been some heavy snowfalls in South America (Valle Nevado is pictured top in July 2017) and New Zealand in July, plus fresh snow for Australian and African resorts too. Europe The highest slopes in the Alps had some fresh snow in the last week of July – just a few centimetres but enough ‘snow in summer’ to get excited about. Since Saas Fee opened for its summer skiing season (in fact it stays open for snowsports now right through

52m High Crane Flown In At 3775m to Work on World’s Highest 3S Lift

One of the most exceptional feats of lift construction work is currently in to the second of its three successive summers of extreme building work. The new 3S gondola lift that will access the highest lift station in Europe, on the Klein Matterhorn above Zermatt alongside the existing cable car, has reached the halfway point in its 300 day construction schedule. The lift, being built by the Italian lift company Leitner, will be the highest three-cable gondola lift in the world, reaching nearly 3,900m above sea level. The state-of-the-art facility, powered by the efficient and low-emission DirectDrive system, will  provide an additional capacity of 2,000 people per hour on the route. When complete it will operate with 25 comfortable cabins

Mammoth to Continue Skiing in to August for only Second time in its History

Mammoth Mountain ski area in California says its ski season will last until the end of Sunday, August 6th this year, the second time in its history that it has made its season stretch in to August. In total staying open to August 6th will mean it has been operating for 270 days since its season started nine months earlier at the start of November last year. It’s one of Mammoth’s longest ever seasons but it has managed longer in the past, staying open for 300 days to August 14th back in the 1994-95 season 22 years ago. Mammoth still has a 90cm snow base and ten trails open served by three lifts.  That’s about 10% of the snow depth

Fresh July Snow in the Alps

There has been fresh July snow on high slopes in the Alps over the past 24 hours. Summer snow at high altitude is not wholly unusual but  is still a rare treat for those summer skiing or boarding in Europe. Currently around 10 glacier ski areas are open in the Alps.  Snow fall was reported at many of them – but it was just a couple of inches/5cm for most. Tignes in France posted pictures of snow on the terrace of a restaurant at the Grand Motte glacier. In Austria the year-round snowsports centre of Hintertux posted images of staff working in the July blizzard. The Pitztal glacier is not one of the glacier ski areas open for summer skiing

Resort Bases Pass 2m Mark As Huge Snowfalls Continue in New Zealand

Bases have been building fast in New Zealand as huge snowfalls have continued to bring deep snow to the country. It’s looking good for the rest of the season at most of the country’s ski areas now but in the short term the extreme weather has closed many areas with travel made hazardous, power outages, operational difficulties and high avalanche risk amongst the issues being faced. When areas are open they are very busy as this is one of New Zealand’s peak school holiday periods and some areas have had to close to new arrivals at times as their slopes reach capacity. Mt Dobson (pictured yesterday, video today) is one of the areas that now has more than 2.1m of

Squaw Valley Abandon Plans to keep Skiing Through 2017

California’s Squaw Valley ski area has just completed one of its longest ever ski seasons – with 200 days open (26 more than the average) - and has posted its latest ever closing date, July 15th. However the July closing still comes as a little of a surprise after the resort suggested it could potentially stay open right through to the start of next winter 17-18 after the huge snowfalls last winter built bases up to the six metre mark in February – the second deepest in the world. But it seems that as Mother Nature giveth, she also taketh away, and there’s been a rapid thaw due to very warm weather now at Lake Tahoe. “With unseasonably warm temperatures

Bases Build, “Fresh Lines in Abundance” in New Zealand Ski Resorts

There has been some wild weather in New Zealand for the past week bringing extremes of wind, rain and snow that's proved challenging for the country’s ski areas. It seems to be settling down again now,  leaving base snow depths of up to 1.6 metres and powder conditions to enjoy at most centres, with blue sky days too. Prior to this however, snowfalls of up to a metre in 24 hours were posted, but there was also torrential rain and strong winds at some centres washing away at snow cover and cutting power supplies. This made lift operations unsafe, blocking access roads, burying resort facilities and increasing avalanche risk. Many of the country’s ski areas were temporarily unable to open,

All Time Conditions In Southern Andes After Big Snowfall and Storm

Last week, we said that most ski resorts in Argentina and Chile were experiencing an important lack of snow. Now, conditions have changed dramatically. A massive snowfall and storm took place in the Southern Andes during the last few days, forcing authorities to block routes and causing power outages in hundreds of Patagonian towns: a nightmare for residents, the skier's dream. Bariloche, Chapelco and Ushuaia had to close their airports because of the extreme weather conditions. There is still no electricity in neither Bariloche nor San Martin de los Andes (Chapelco). However, Cerro Catedral was able to operate thanks to a electric generator. Also, all important roads remained closed by today morning. Cerro Catedral (Bariloche), Argentina 40 cm (base) snowfall past 24 hours // 70 cm (top) snowfall past

Ski Holidays to Iran Available Next Winter

A British-based ski company better known for its well-serviced chalets and apartments in the French Alps than for organising ski holidays to what might be considered exotic destinations is to offer packages to Iran next winter. Mountain Heaven boss Nick Williams visited and skied Iran with his son in spring 2016 after UN sanctions against the country had ended and international trade became possible again.  He had hoped to offer holidays for small guided groups there last winter, but faced logistical problems. “We did not run the trips last year because although we had a lot of interest getting a visa was very complex,” said Nick, “However as Iran now has an embassy open in London, it’s much easier for

South America Snow Conditions Roundup (6th July)

In South America, especially in Argentina, ski resorts don't tend to provide very accurate information regarding snow conditions. In fact, they rarely measure or carry official records about snow depths and total season snowfalls. When they do, these numbers are not always correct. Here is our quick summary of real snow conditions in the most important Chilean and Argentinean ski resorts, from Cerro Castor to Portillo. SNOW CONDITIONS IN ARGENTINA Cerro Castor Snow covers the whole resort, and all slopes -except for Halcón Peregrino area- are open. However, due to the lack of recent snowfalls and some rain, trails are extremely hard, icy and fast. Snow is forecast for the next week, which is excellent. Cerro Castor, on

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