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 is will the 2017-18 season in the Alps start to get started with the traditional half-dozen glacier openings in Austria and Italy?
The problem is the exceptionally warm summer has left little snow on the glaciers for resorts to be able to open and at least one, Italy’s Val Senales, has already said it won’t open as scheduled in early September but stay closed until conditions improve. Of course they could improve any time, but so far, it’s still hot.
So as we enter September just five glacier ski areas are open in the Alps – Hintertux in Austria, Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland and Passo Stelvio and Cervinia in Italy. The latter is due to close after the first weekend leaving only four, the lowest number operating at any one time this century. Bases are mostly around the 40-60cm mark.
A fifth, the Molltal Glacier, should be open but has closed for the time being due to lack of snow (pictured above).
The only other options in Europe are the Galdhoppigen ski area in Norway, which posts a 3m base, second deepest in the world and deepest in the northern hemisphere.
Across the Atlantic the Timberline snowfield on Mt Hood in Oregon (pictured below) is open until the Labor Day Holiday on September 4th after which it will end its 10+ month season for a few weeks before re-opening in October. At that point there’ll be no lift-served skiing available in North America until the 17-18 season gets moving, probably next month.
South of the Equator conditions are generally very good for September at most of the leading ski areas in Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. Falls Creek in Australia is pictured top.
Almost all resorts in all four ski nations received healthy snowfalls in August and most have bases in the 1-2m band with all, or almost all lifts operational and runs open. Most will however have ended their 2017 seasons by the end of September.
Some parts onf New Zealand received 1m snowfalls in early August, Mt Dobson, one of them, is pictured below.
Mt Hutt in New Zealand currently claims the deepest snow in the country, the hemisphere and the world for an operating ski area at 3.4 metres. It has 50cm of snow forecast for the opening weekend of September. Video below from 31st August.
We've had very light snowfall through the day with about 3cm accumulation so far in the base area, but as of 4pm we are seeing bigger flakes start to fall. There is snow in the forecast for the next few days and we're hoping colder temps overnight will bring a bit more ❄️ for us all! What does nature have in store for us this time?? Tune in to our morning report for the latest adventures of John Snow!
Posted by Mt Hutt on Mittwoch, 30. August 2017