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Kitzbühel’s Earliest Ever Opening (?) Today!

Kitzbühel in the Austrian Tirol has opened for the ski season today, on what is believed to be its earliest ever opening date. The picture above is from last year's opening on 22nd October 2016. It’s the first ski area that doesn’t have a glacier in the Alps to open for winter 17-18. Kitzbühel has one of the lowest ski areas of a major ski area in the Alps with its highest lifts at around 2,000 metres and about a decade ago when global warming was first a big story in the global media some journalists chose to highlight it as a resort that could an early victim of the impact of climate change, so opening in early October seems…

It’s Snowing on Ski Slopes Across The World

It’s one of those rare weekends that come each spring and autumn when it is snowing on almost every continent of the world at the same time. Most ski areas in the southern hemisphere have now ended their 2017 season (it’s the last day of an extended season at Australia’s ski areas and also for several more in Argentina, Chile and New Zealand). However 20cm of snow was reported at Mt Hutt (below), which has extended its ski season already and currently reports one of the world’s deepest snow bases at 3.2m (Nearly 11 feet).  Another 10cm is expected there in the coming 24 hours. Unfortunately the fresh snow and other conditions made the snow pack a little unstable and…

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. https://www.facebook.com/jacksonhole/videos/10155089940803042/   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. https://www.facebook.com/SunshineVillageResort/videos/1555756571142376/ There was also excitement and some relief in Scotland when 2.5cm (an inch) of snow…

La Grave – Saved

The classic French ski resort of La Grave in the Haute Alpes appears to have been saved from the threat of closure. La Grave is centred on a 12th century village which accesses a massive vertical drop accessed by a three stage gondola that was installed in the 1970s. The lifts climb 2100 vertical metres above the village – one of the 10 biggest vertical in the world – and connect the area to the neighbouring  huge Les Deux Alpes ski area, but there are few groomed runs at La Grave. But in recent years the famous off-piste skiing destination had been threatened on two fronts – firstly it’s lift structure is getting old and the lift operating company was…

“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. https://www.facebook.com/PerisherResort/videos/10154675271295653/   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…

Big Storm Approaching the Andes. More Than 2 Meters Of Snow Forecast For Chile

The current season will be remembered for a long time in South America as one of the best in years, specially in the Patagonia region. Above-average snowfall at almost every resort in Argentina and Chile led to countless powder days in some of the Andes' top ski areas. Still, season is far from ending: a massive storm is heading the mountains and will deliver lots of snow in the next week. Cerro Catedral, Argentina When Cerro Catedral (in Bariloche) has snow, it is among the top ski destinations in the Southern Hemisphere. According to SnowBrains founder and freeskier Miles Clark, between August 6th and August 18th there were 11 (out of 12) powder days. Not bad! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaIb-CEaYDU 9-day forecast for Cerro Catedral.…