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Where’s Open For Skiing or Snowboarding in October 2017?

September was a surprisingly snowy month in the Alps and anyone lucky enough to get out on the continent’s glaciers last month are likely to have enjoyed the rare treat of some late summer powder skiing.  There were regular snow showers through last month which transformed conditions after the long hot summer in the southern half of Europe and as a result whilst September began with only a handful of glaciers open, October begins with 15 centres in five countries to choose from.  Hintertux is pictured below. In North America there’s been fresh snow too and a few centres opened temporarily in celebration.  There are no areas open as we start October but several are snowmaking and hope to open

First Turns in Powder and Park for 2017-18 in the USA

Although no ski areas have officially opened for the 2017-18 ski season yet in North America (well it is still September…), two centres did offer some lift-served skiing at the weekend. Mt Bachelor in Oregon created a small terrain park at its base and opened it top local snowsports enthusiasts on Saturday and Sunday (pictured below).  A spokesperson for the resort said they believed Saturday, 23rd September was their earliest ever opening date. In addition Silverton Mountain in Colorado ran its lifts on Sunday so that some staff could access early snowfall there and some September powder conditions (pictured top). These limited openings followed snowfall across Western North America at the end of last week which led to accumulations of

Last Day of Summer Snowfall for North America

The heavy snow in the Alps this September has been followed in the past few days by some serious snowfalls in Western North America. Snow was first reported on high peaks in Idaho, Montana and some parts of BC north of the border in Canada at the weekend but the past 36 hours have seen much more widespread snowfall. Jackson Hole has already received two snow dumps since Saturday.   Much of the snow fell on the last day of summer – 21st September, according to the astronomical calendar – although in many ski areas it continued snowing through to the first day of autumn, today, too. Few ski areas have been measuring these initially flurries but Marmot Basin

First Snows of Autumn in Scotland, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Rockies

Ski areas and high peaks across the northern hemisphere have been reporting their first snowfalls of autumn in the past few days. In fact it can still be considered summer for another week if you follow the astronomical seasons with autumn starting on September 22nd this year after the autumnal equinox.  The meteorological  calendar had autumn begin on September 1st. Yesterday saw excitement in Banff, Canada as the first snow storms were reported falling there (video below) and there’s now a forecast for a major snow storm in Northwestern America with Jackson Hole expecting up to 50cm (20 inches) of pre-season snow this weekend. There was also excitement and some relief in Scotland when 2.5cm (an inch) of snow

2017-18 Ski Season Starts on Saturday In The Alps (Maybe With Fresh Snow)

When does one ski season end and another one start?  With ski areas like Zermatt and Hintertux open year-round and others opening and closing on dates that are unusual compared to the standard December to April model, it can be hard to tell. But the ski year in the northern hemisphere doers have two big dip months: May, when almost everywhere has closed and the summer glacier ski season hasn’t started and September, when most ski areas that had opened for summer glacier skiing in June or July have closed again for a few months until their winter season. Currently only four areas are open for snow sports in the northern hemisphere – Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland, Hintertux

“Most Snow in 17 Years” in Australia

The latest round of huge snow storms in Australia have left snow conditions, “the best in 17 years” according to Perisher ski resort. The September snow storm currently raging is the third since the start of August and the biggest yet with most of the country’s major resorts posting at least 60cm (2 feet) of snowfall in the past 72 hours and Thredbo a remarkable 1.3m (4.3 feet) in the same period.   Snow depths at leading Australian resorts are now approaching two metres – about as good as it gets here, and nearly all of the ski lifts in the country are operating at capacity – although some have needed digging out - with almost every run open.

September Snow For The Alps

Heavy snowfall has been reported in the Alps for the start of September. The snow, expected to continue falling until Sunday or Monday, was widely welcomed after one of the hottest summers on record thawed much of the snow cover from glacier slopes, leaving several summer ski areas forced to close temporarily. The heaviest snowfall is expected to accumulate today, Friday September 1st, and tomorrow, Saturday 2nd with up to 60cm of fresh snow possible. The fresh snowfall was particularly welcomed at the Pitztal glacier (below), one to Austria’s highest ski slopes and one of half a dozen due to open for the 2017-18 ski season in just a few weeks’ time. The resort had only yesterday removed protective covers

Where’s Open For Skiing in September 2017 and What’s the Snow Like?

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

Hot Weather In The Alps Melts Snow Cover on Glaciers

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

It’s Snowing on Mars this Summer (Probably)

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