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Squaw Valley Abandon Plans to keep Skiing Through 2017

California’s Squaw Valley ski area has just completed one of its longest ever ski seasons – with 200 days open (26 more than the average) - and has posted its latest ever closing date, July 15th. However the July closing still comes as a little of a surprise after the resort suggested it could potentially stay open right through to the start of next winter 17-18 after the huge snowfalls last winter built bases up to the six metre mark in February – the second deepest in the world. But it seems that as Mother Nature giveth, she also taketh away, and there’s been a rapid thaw due to very warm weather now at Lake Tahoe. “With unseasonably warm temperatures…

Bases Build, “Fresh Lines in Abundance” in New Zealand Ski Resorts

There has been some wild weather in New Zealand for the past week bringing extremes of wind, rain and snow that's proved challenging for the country’s ski areas. It seems to be settling down again now,  leaving base snow depths of up to 1.6 metres and powder conditions to enjoy at most centres, with blue sky days too. Prior to this however, snowfalls of up to a metre in 24 hours were posted, but there was also torrential rain and strong winds at some centres washing away at snow cover and cutting power supplies. This made lift operations unsafe, blocking access roads, burying resort facilities and increasing avalanche risk. Many of the country’s ski areas were temporarily unable to open,…

All Time Conditions In Southern Andes After Big Snowfall and Storm

Last week, we said that most ski resorts in Argentina and Chile were experiencing an important lack of snow. Now, conditions have changed dramatically. A massive snowfall and storm took place in the Southern Andes during the last few days, forcing authorities to block routes and causing power outages in hundreds of Patagonian towns: a nightmare for residents, the skier's dream. Bariloche, Chapelco and Ushuaia had to close their airports because of the extreme weather conditions. There is still no electricity in neither Bariloche nor San Martin de los Andes (Chapelco). However, Cerro Catedral was able to operate thanks to a electric generator. Also, all important roads remained closed by today morning. Cerro Catedral (Bariloche), Argentina 40 cm (base) snowfall past 24 hours // 70 cm (top) snowfall past…

South America Snow Conditions Roundup (6th July)

In South America, especially in Argentina, ski resorts don't tend to provide very accurate information regarding snow conditions. In fact, they rarely measure or carry official records about snow depths and total season snowfalls. When they do, these numbers are not always correct. Here is our quick summary of real snow conditions in the most important Chilean and Argentinean ski resorts, from Cerro Castor to Portillo. SNOW CONDITIONS IN ARGENTINA Cerro Castor Snow covers the whole resort, and all slopes -except for Halcón Peregrino area- are open. However, due to the lack of recent snowfalls and some rain, trails are extremely hard, icy and fast. Snow is forecast for the next week, which is excellent. Cerro Castor, on…

Is a City in Northeast China About To Become One of the World’s Great ‘Ski Towns’ ?

‘Harbin’ up in China’s northeasterly province of Heilongjiang is not known as one of the world’s best-known ski destinations, but that could all change in the coming decades as China’s richest man (or second richest depending on which report you read) has decided to spend $6 billion (or $3 billion according to some reports) on the world’s biggest indoor snow centre to date.  It officially opened at the weekend after four years of construction. Former army officer and now business tycoon Wang Jianlin, who has an estimated net worth of more than €30 billion, and who’s Dalian Wanda Group already runs several conventional ski areas across China  said that he was committed to make Harbin one of the leading winter…

Southern Hemisphere 2017 Snow Depths Reach 2m (7ft) Mark

First S. America Ski Areas open for the Season Snow depths in the Southern Hemisphere have reached two metres (almost 7ft) in South America as the first ski areas to open for the 2017 season south of the Equator clock up their first month of operations. Chile’s Valle Nevado (below) is the first to claim a 2m (6.5ft) snow depth following a series of big snowfalls over the past six weeks.  Initial falls that brought snow depths close to the metre mark in late May led to the centre being among four in Chile to open early for winter 2017, in its case, nearly a month early. https://www.facebook.com/vallenevadoskiresort/videos/10154511926865759/   La Parva, which also opened early, and Portillo, which only just opened,…

Is Greenland About To Get A ‘Proper’ Ski Resort?

Greenland, variously described as ‘Europe’s North-western Frontier’ and ‘North America’s most Easterly point’ (Wikipedia describes it as: “physiographically a part of the continent of North America  (but) politically and culturally associated with Europe”), is of course famous for its glaciers, snow, and for generally not being very green to look at. It’s also an amazing spring ski-touring and heli-skiing destination (the pictures used here were taken by Hans Solmssen who runs spring Heliski trips here each year), it’s also good for dog sledding and polar bear or iceberg watching, and the northern lights look amazing from there. What Greenland has lacked though, so far, is much of a developed ski infrastructure.   There are reported to be a few drag lifts…

Big Snow Forecast for Argentina and Chile This Week

Heavy Snow Forecast for Argentina and Chile this Week. Read our latest post for extended forecasts, real conditions snow report roundup and photo tour A major winter storm is heading the Andes mountains. The Argentinean Meteorology Service (SMN) has issued a series of alerts for all the range, from Tierra del Fuego to Mendoza: heavy, persistent snowfalls and intense winds are the most significant ones. Current snow conditions, forecasts and pictures for some of the most important resorts in Argentina and Chile. Las Leñas - Argentina Las Leñas is currently with very little snow, except for the base area, which is covered with artificial snow. However, it will…

2017 Summer Glacier Ski Season Gets Underway in Alps, Scandinavia and North America

The summer ski season on high altitude glaciers in the Alps and Canada as well as on high altitude snowfields in the USA and northerly latitude glaciers in Norway is underway. With some glacier ski areas staying open year round (Hintertux and Zermatt) there is no precise ‘start’ to the glacier season, but this week has seen glaciers open for summer skiing and snowboarding at Val d’Isere in France (where no ski areas had been open since early May), Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and the Molltal Glacier in Austria (pictured top). In Norway the Stryn (below) and Galdhoppigen summer ski centres have also opened in the past few weeks joining Folgefonn (Fonna) which opened earlier this spring. More glaciers will…

Is Chambéry Airport Getting Better?

Chambéry Airport (or ‘Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc Airport’ to give it its full name) has been building a reputation as a quicker and easier way to reach some of the big French resorts than flying in to Geneva.  Most are around 100km/2 hours away, some as little as a 90 minute transfer. It’s also much smaller, there’s plenty of parking by the terminal and its closer to many famous ski areas. Plus you also don’t need to negotiate often heavy congestion and a border crossing in Geneva – the roads around Chambéry are usually pretty quiet. But it hasn’t all been good news for Chambéry, it was initially a victim of its own success, it’s only a few years since…