Australian ski areas will call it a day on their 2017 ski season this Sunday, October 8th after what most are reporting as their snowiest winter for 17 years.
All resorts were originally due to have closed last Sunday October 1st or earlier but four of the largest, Perisher, Mt Hotham, Falls Creek (pictured top and below) and Mt Buller (video snow report on 2nd Octiober below) decided to extend their seasons by a week because of all the snow in early September.
For closing weekend perisher is still reporting a 2.4m base and the other centres between 80 and 120cm, even though temperatures are now heading towards double digits above zero.
The last snowfall reported was a few centimetres on 30th September.
Australian ski areas got a good start to the season in June with pre-season snowfall and investment by some in all-weather snowmaking machines allowing for early openings. There was then a bit of a dip and warm weather through late June with only limited terrain open before a snowy deluge began in July, continuing through August and into early September with regular big snowfalls.
Sunshine with a chance of bubbles today. Here's Rhylla with the sun report…
Posted by Mt Buller on Montag, 2. Oktober 2017
Elsewhere in the southern hemisphere most ski areas have now closed for the season or will be doing so this weekend. Only three areas are reported still open in South America.
New Zealand currently has nine areas open so more than the rest of the Northern Hemisphere combined, and Mt Hutt reports the deepest base in the region at 3.2m. Many centres there will also close this weekend but Mt Ruapehu looks set to stay open longest south of the equator, as usual. For the past two seasons it remained open to the last weekend in October and in 2014 it managed to stay open in to ‘Snowvember.’ Current base depths there are over 2m.