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Mid-May Snowfall in the Alps

There’s been heavy snowfall over the past week in the Alps.  Up to 35cm of snow was reported falling between Monday and Friday, in many cases building on snow bases still lying metres deep from heavy snowfall earlier this season. Val d’Isere (pictured below this week) reported some of the biggest accumulations, with 30cm in 24 hours at the start of the week.  This is particularly good news as the resort plans to re-open some of its winter slopes for summer skiing for the first time in its 82 year history due to the huge snowfalls it received in the winter and the snow that is still lying.  The resort re-opens to skiers in just under a fortnight on June 3rd.…

Up to 50cm of pre-Season Snowfall in Australia

There’s been heavy snowfall in Australia four weeks before the 2018 ski season is due to begin there. The snow began falling after ac cold front moved in to New South Wales and Victoria from the south on Thursday being snowfall which continued for about 48 hours. https://www.facebook.com/Thredbo.Resort/videos/10155180984531582/   There were also strong winds which meant that the windchill was nearing -20C at times although the actual temperature was closer to -5C. These were the lowest reported temperatures since last September in the country. "When we see this sort of weather early on in the year, it bodes well for a good ski season," Suzi Diver, Thredbo communications manager claimed. There are no official snow accumulation totals as yet as…

2017-18 Season Snowfall Review

With the 2017-18 ski season in the northern hemisphere now largely behind us, we thought it was a good time to take stock on snowfall through last season. That’s not to say the snow has stopped falling – some 30cm (12 inch) accumulations are forecast this weekend at a few of the dozen or so ski areas that are still open for snowsports including Cervinia, (the only area still open in Italy) and Snowbird in Utah, which is enjoying its final weekend of the season. Europe After three fairly warm and dry winters for much of Europe and an exceptionally hot summer 2017 which had led several summer ski areas to cease operating as all snow covering the glacial ice melted…

Fresh May Powder in the USA

Ski resorts in California and Utah have reported powder days at the start of May after heavy snowfall in the final hours of April and in to the start of May. It has also been snowing on high slopes in the Alps with several glacier areas reporting up to 20cm of fresh snow. Snowbird in Utah and Mammoth in California (pictured below on May 1st) have posted up to 25cm (10 inches) of fresh snow.  The former is open to mid-May, the latter to at least the end of the month. (top image credit Matt Crawley at Snowbird, Utah) In the Alps Chamonix (which closed its lifts for the season yesterday) there’s been 20cm of snow in the last 72…

Where’s Open For Snowsports in May 2018?

May is one of the quieter months of the world’s snowsports calendar as most of the ski areas in the northern hemisphere close but those in the southern hemisphere haven’t yet opened. That said as we enter May about 50 ski areas (less than 1% of the world total) are still open, and there are even a few areas set to open through the month. But against that about three quarters of these will close through the month leaving only a dozen or so open at the start of June …when the southern hemisphere’s 2018 season will begin to kick off. Europe https://www.facebook.com/valthorens.resort/videos/10156467493617764/   Although a dozen or so ski areas will see it through to May 1st in the…

Val d’Isère To Re-open Winter runs in Summer After Huge 17-18 Season Snowfalls

Despite the huge snowfalls in the Alps at the start of this year that led to resorts like Zermatt and Val d'Isère having to go in to lock down for periods in January, very few resorts have decided to extend their ski seasons much, if at all, in the Alps. In contrast to North America where late season snow allowed dozens of resorts including Mont Sutton, Sugarbush and Winter Park to announce extended seasons in to May, resorts in the Alps have been closing for the season even with the snow still lying 5 metres deep. However, one exception has come to light this week. Although the winter skiing season will come to an end in just a few days’…

US and Canadian Resorts Extend Seasons in to May after mid-April Snow Dumps

A number of ski areas in the US and Canada have extended their ski seasons in to May following big snowfalls in the past week – in some cases the biggest ever recorded April snowstorms. Initial snowfalls in the early part of the week saw ski areas in Colorado and Utah reporting up to 50cm of fresh snow.  These included Snowbird, (below this week) which is normally open in to May anyway, and Winter Park, which isn’t, but has decided to now extend the ski season, limited to its Mary Jane terrain, to May 6th. But it was the Mid-west where most ski areas had already closed for the 17-18 ski season, some a month back, that the record-breaking snowfalls hit…

Portugal’s Snowiest Ever Ski Season?

Many people don’t realise that Portugal – a land most famous for its sunny weather and coastal villages – has a ski area vat its highest point at Serra da Estrela, nearly 2,000m up and east of capital Lisbon towards the Spanish border. So it comes as a double surprise to discover not only that this ski centre exists, but also that it is currently enjoying what may be its snowiest ski season ever – meaning it is still open in late April when many of the wold’s biggest and highest ski areas have already ended their seasons. The latest in a series of huge snowstorms to hit the slopes of Portugal this winter brought drifts of up to six…

‘Snow Play’ at New Zealand Ski Area 10 Weeks Before Season Starts

Ski areas in New Zealand have reported heavy snowfalls this past week with up to 50cm of fresh snowfall in total. The ski season in New Zealand and much of the southern hemisphere does not normally start until June and whilst no ski area is officially opening yet, several have seen people hiking up to ski the fresh snow. Mt Ruapehu (pictured top) reported up to 20cm of fresh snow and drifts of up to a metre. https://www.facebook.com/mthutt/videos/10156241361114500/   The early snow was reported to be due to an Autumnal southerly blast of cold air from Antarctica. Mt Hutt, which is due to open for its 2018 ski season on June 8th, was one of the resorts to report 50cm…

Exceptional Snow Depths on Alpine Glaciers

Snow depths in the Alps are at historic highs after more heavy snowfall over the past 10 days on top of already deep accumulations built up through one of the snowiest winters this century.  Probably THE snowiest this century in many areas. Engelberg (below) in Switzerland’s Titlis glacier is reporting a 7.4m (nearly 25 feet) base after almost 1.5m (five feet) of snowfall there in the last week of March.  It’s the deepest base in the world at present and believed to be the first time  ski area in the Alps has posted a 7m+ snow depth for many years.  It’s open for snowsports until mid-May. In Austria the Dachstein Glacier (below) has gone past the 6m (20 feet) base…