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June 2021

South America’s 2021 Ski Season Starts

The 2021 ski season has got underway in the Andes mountains of South America. Three ski areas are reported to have opened in Chile in the past 24 hours and most of the rest of the continent’s main ski areas are expected to open over the next 10 days. So far it is a much more promising picture than last year when only half-a-dozen or so ski areas managed to open from August after the first wave of the pandemic, most only having a 3-6 week 2020 ski season. Corralco, El Colorado (pictured top) and Valle Nevado have all opened over the past few days. More Chillean ski areas are set to follow with Nevados de Chillan targeting Thursday July…

New Zealand ski areas hit by New South Wales Virus Lockdown

New Zealand media is reporting that some New Zealand ski areas are reporting mass holiday cancellations from Australians based in Sydney. A 1-week lockdown of parts of Sydney due to a spike in the Delta-variant of the virus there has now been extended to the whole city and for two weeks, with other Australian cities also going in to their own restrictions. This coincides with a key school holiday period when New Zealand ski areas had been hoping to see a bounce-back from 2020. Last year Australians could not travel to New Zealand at all but this year a ‘travel bubble’ between the two countries announced a month ago appeared to make the return of the New Zealand ski holidays…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #197

Issued: 23 June 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW It is another week of weather and virus headlines for ski areas all over the world. Tuesday, June 29th saw the first ski area open in South America this year meaning we’ve entered that period when ski areas are open on six continents, which lasts for a few weeks to a month each year. For the Andes, the more important thing is a ski area has opened in June when last year the first opened in August. Snow (lack of) and pandemic rules have caused issues but the season is now underway.Over in Australia and New Zealand, it is snow (lack of) and the pandemic…

Sole North American Summerski Area Open Ends Ski Day Early as 99F Temps Forecast

The Palmer snowfield on Mt Hood in Oregon closed at noon on Sunday, June 27th, after what the area said were record high temperatures for the region were forecast. Forecast highs were 95F (35 Celcius) on Sunday 27th and 99F (37 Celcius) at Government Camp, the town closest to Timberline Lodge and the ski slopes above. “Due to extreme heat, we will be closing skiing and snowboarding at noon on Sunday, June 27th and there will be no terrain parks open this day. We are sorry for the inconvenience but we have never seen temperatures like this in our region,” a statement from the ski area said. The centre, which is currently the only lift-accessed ski area open to the…

South American Ski Areas Announce 21 Season Start Dates as Snow Falls

A number of ski areas in the South American Andes have announced plans to open over the coming week, several before the end of June. The ski season in the region usually starts by mid-June and sometimes even in late May, but ski areas had delayed opening so far, some due to pandemic restrictions, some due to lack of snow, some due to problems making enough income if they did open, some apparently due to a combination of two or three of these factors. Snow has been falling over the past few days however, with some areas announcing over 30cm (a foot) accumulating in the past 24 hours, and more on the way.  Vallecitos in Argentina - pictured above -…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #197

Issued: 23 June 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European RoundupNorth American RoundupAsia RoundupSouthern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW We’re now in 'winter proper' in the Southern Hemisphere by both the meteorological and astronomical measures of the season and thankfully, mother nature is increasingly playing ball with more snow for Australia and the Andes and a return to colder weather with plenty of snow in New Zealand after rather tropical conditions (as one frustrated ski area described them over last week). In South America, the snow isn't quite there yet and pandemic cases are on the rise, raising tensions for local skiers. It is 'summer proper' by the season measures in the Northern Hemisphere and although we have had more glacier ski areas open…

Saudi Arabia Building Largest Indoor Snow Centre Outside China And Seeks Olympic-Standard Skiers

Saudi Arabia has announced that it is hoping to find ski and snowboard competitors to represent the kingdom at next winter's 2022 Olympics in Beijing. The country is also set to become home to the fourth largest indoor snow centre in the world, and the largest outside China, next year. The Saudi Winter Sports Federation has been placing adverts seeking competitors to represent the country and local media reports that the Federation’s President Ahmed Shaher Al-Tabbaa has been  “overwhelmed” by Saudi interest in winter sports saying they have received more than 100 applications to participate for the different alpine disciplines. The Federation has been on the lookout for serious Saudi skiers and snowboarders who have already been training with a…

Apparent Go Ahead For One of World’s Longest Ski Lifts

It appears that a huge lift project talked about for decades now has finance secured and will finally be built, with a 2025 opening date given. The ‘Funiflaine’ lift which envisages a lift up from the valley floor to the Flaine ski resort has been talked about for about as long as the nearly 60 years the resort has existed. In the early 2000s a serious study in to the realities of such a lift was commissioned and the project was revisited around 2009, but the project has never got off the ground primarily because it fell short of a perceived cost/benefit ratio …up to now. Now though, climate change concerns seem to be behind the project finally getting the…

Midsummer Skiing This Saturday at Glencoe

Glencoe ski area in Scotland has announced it is to run its now traditional Midsummer ski this coming Saturday 19th June. The ski centre usually runs its lifts as close as it can to the longest day each summer – which is particularly long in the Highlands of Scotland – for an hour or so to allow determined skiers to access the remaining snow patches on the slopes. Some recent Midsummer skis have been cancelled due to pandemic restrictions or too little snow but this year it is back on, all being well. “The longest snow patch left is on the Spring Run at between 250 and 300m long. The longest patch in the Main Basin is now only 120…

WORLD SNOW OVERVIEW #197

Issued: 16 June 2021 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne European Roundup North American Roundup Asia Roundup Southern Hemisphere WORLD OVERVIEW Afriski opens for business More ski areas have been opening for the 2021 season this past week in the Southern Hemisphere with Afriski the first in Africa to do so. More resorts have opened in Australia and New Zealand too although the news isn’t all good. Whilst Australian areas had one of their best starts in years, thanks to a huge snowfall just before the weekend, things warmed up in New Zealand after the big fall there to end May and Cardrona actually put their opening date back a week. For South America, it remains uncertain with some resorts delaying opening due…

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