September is traditionally one of the two quietest months in the world skiing calendar (along with May) The summer ski season in the Alps is over, the southern hemisphere’s season is winding down and the first areas to open for the coming northern hemisphere’s season are just starting to open, it’s a period of lull, or the calm before the storm if you’d prefer. This year is a little different. The summer ski season is indeed over and the southern hemisphere’s 2017 season is winding down after a mostly snowy August – indeed the two ski centres in Southern Africa, Afriski (Pictured below on 18th August) and Tiffindell, have already called it a day on their winters, but the question
This summer’s high temperatures in Europe has led to most of the year round snow cover on Alpine glaciers melting away completely in many places, leaving the glacial ice exposed directly to the sunlight. Currently seven glaciers are supposed to be open for snowsports but two have had to close this month because the snow has melted away. The remainder report very thin cover and ‘tough’ (Les 2 Alpes - pictured below) skiing conditions. The Stelvio glacier in Italy closed at the start of the month for the first time in its operational history, but it has been able to re-open some terrain following fresh snow. Latest to close is Austria’s Molltal glacier, which has closed indefinitely until adequate fresh
How will the skiing world look 100 years in the future if climate change continues at even the best rate forecast? Maybe we will all be skiing on Mars? One possible option though is that skiing will be more and more indoors. This year the new largest indoor snow centre on the planet opened in China and the first indoor snow centre in Africa opened in Cairo. There are now indoor snow centres on every continent except Antarctica – more than 100 have been built over the past 30 years and around 70 are currently operational in 30 countries worldwide. On the whole environmental groups are not happy about these ‘giant fridges’ and the energy their refrigeration systems need, although
A new scientific study has determined that it is snowing on northern Mars every night. New atmospheric simulations indicate that occasional observations over the past decade from orbiting reconnaissance spacecraft and landers that appeared to show snow or frost on Mars, and potentially snow-bearing clouds in the atmosphere, are correct. Details of the new study have been published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Scientists found that flakes of water ice fall from clouds high in the planet’s atmosphere, sometimes failing to reach the ground, but sometimes leaving a frosty covering. (A frost avalanche seen by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2015) The simulations appear to confirm earlier physical observations. Early in 2000 space scientists reported on the
The current season will be remembered for a long time in South America as one of the best in years, specially in the Patagonia region. Above-average snowfall at almost every resort in Argentina and Chile led to countless powder days in some of the Andes' top ski areas. Still, season is far from ending: a massive storm is heading the mountains and will deliver lots of snow in the next week. Cerro Catedral, Argentina When Cerro Catedral (in Bariloche) has snow, it is among the top ski destinations in the Southern Hemisphere. According to SnowBrains founder and freeskier Miles Clark, between August 6th and August 18th there were 11 (out of 12) powder days. Not bad! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaIb-CEaYDU 9-day forecast for Cerro Catedral.
There’s a lot of excitement in the US about the coming solar eclipse this Monday 21st August, the first to cross the entire country in just under as century, and some commentators have been debating whether it’s possible to be skiing or boarding on snow when the eclipse occurs, for the full cosmic experience and a probably once-in-a-life-time on-snow achievement that will give you bragging rights for the rest of your life. Skiing or boarding in North America in August is always a possibility if you’re prepared to hike up to your snow. There’s even been some fresh snow reported in the past week on northerly high peaks on the continent. There’s only one ski areas on the continent at
Romania’s Minister for Tourism, Mircea Dobre, has announced plans to build the country’s biggest ski area by some distance. The planned new resorts, in the Fagaras Mountains, known colloquially as the ‘Transylvanian Alps’ though actually a part of the Southern Carpathians, would have 150km of ski runs – nearly four times as many piste kilometres as the country’s current largest ski area at Sinaia. The project is included amongst a number of proposals listed in a new Tourism Master Plan just approved by the Romanian government. Minister Dobre told media who asked him about the proposal that in fact the idea was almost 50 years old. “Actually the idea dates back to 1968,” he said adding that resort plan was,
There have been more big snowfalls in the past 24 hours in New Zealand. The ski areas in the South Canterbury area have seen particularly snowy conditions with 30 centimetres of snowfall accumulating above 500 metres this morning and the snow continuing to fall all day. Mt Dobson, Ohau (pictured top) and Roundhill ski fields were all closed today due to poor visibility and other issues caused by the snow. Roundhill Ski Area (pictured below) reported 60cm of snow had accumulated there, Fox Peak 40cm. The snowfall has also been part of the latest band of extreme weather in the country which has brought flooding to some towns and also gale force winds at times.
There has been heavy snowfall in the European Alps over the past few days. The snow comes after a period of extremely hot weather which became known as ‘Lucifer’ and saw temperatures widely reach the 40s Celcius, and reportedly 55C at the hottest point. Only a limited number of ski areas are currently open for summer skiing and boarding, including Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland, the Hintertux and Molltal glaciers in Austria; Les 2 Alpes in France and Cervinia in Italy. Several of these areas reported significant snowfall on Friday/Saturday including 41cm of fresh snow at Saas Fee (pictured below after the snowfall), which had re-opened for its nine-month long 2017-18 ski season just a few weeks ago. https://www.facebook.com/Tignes.net/videos/1743823132312038/
The Italian ski region of Alta Badia has plans for a very special night of snowsports celebration later this month. The ski and snowboard school at the village of La Villa are so dedicated to their sport that they have kept a big stock of real snow, left over from last season, preserved under a tarpaulin and they’ll be getting it uncovered and spread out on a slope by their office in the village on the evening of Thursday 17th August. Their “Summer Ski Show” – back for its second year – promises a night of skiing celebration, excitement and fun during one of the hottest month of the year. And once the show is over, the ski school throw