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Over A Metre of Snow Falls in the Andes But Ski Areas Can’t Open Due to COVID-19

Ski areas in Chile, where the 2020 ski season should just be getting underway, have been reporting snowfalls of up to 1.2 metres (four feet) in the past few days.  Valle Nevado is pictured top. With South America currently one of the epicentres of the coronavirus-COVID-19 pandemic however, the governments of both countries have them in full lockdown, which means ski resorts can’t open. The situation is being seen as ironic by some who note that recent seasons have seen challenging starts in the Andes due to a lack of snow. Now there’s plenty, people can’t ski due to the pandemic. Portillo on Wednesday 24 June 2020 as the snow continues to fall. So far there’s no immediate sign of when the situation might…

The World’s Six Summer-Only Ski Areas All Open

We’re in that short time window each year when the six ski areas that only open during spring or summer are all open at once. Because of unpredictable snow conditions some years, that doesn’t happen every year and in 2020 it’s particularly welcome news as only a few months ago I was unclear whether any would be able to open in 2020 due to the virus pandemic. The ‘summer only’ areas are different to those winter resorts that stay-open, or re-open, high altitude glacier skiing in the summer like Zermatt or Val d’Isere; and they’re not southern hemisphere ski areas where resorts only open between late autumn through winter to early spring. They’re northern hemisphere ski areas in locations which…

“Sensational” Summer Ski Conditions in Val d’Isère For Those Who Can Get There

Two French glacier ski areas at Val d’Isère and Les 2 Alpes are due to open for summer skiing and boarding as scheduled this coming weekend as France continues to ease its pandemic lockdown measures. For those in the area who are able to travel to the slopes safely, conditions are looking good, according to a resort spokesperson., “A series of spring storms half-buried the ski area during what would have been the official closing week at the start of May. Consequently, snow conditions on the glacier are nothing short of sensational. Although sadly, it has to be said, that because of international travel restrictions the number of kiers in a position to take advantage of them will be largely…

Skiing in June and a look forward

At the time of my last report a few ski areas around Japan were still bravely remaining open in increasingly pressured circumstances. That situation did not last too long as the Japanese government was forced to announce a country-wide ‘state of emergency’. Interestingly, the Japanese government is not actually able to legally declare a ‘lockdown’ like other countries have experienced over the last few months. The Japan state of emergency was essentially more of a strong request for co-operation, and it was one that most people and businesses complied with. As of late May, the state of emergency has now been lifted in all regions of Japan. There has been skiing and snowboarding available in May though. The Yokoteyama and…

Norwegian Ski Area Hits 15.9 Metre (53 Feet) Base After Metre of May Snowfall

A Norwegian glacier ski area reports that its base has grown to 15.9 metres (53 feet) after a mid-May weekend of blizzards. Glacier ski areas in the region reported up to a metre of snow in 48 hours, leading two to delay  planned season start dates. The Fonna glacier (pictured top this afternoon) opened for its 2020 season a few weeks ago after Norway eased its lockdown rules having posted remarkable pictures of diggers tunneling through deep snow for several months to reach the area, then dig out the buried lifts. The weekend blizzards, which closed the centre, brought a further metre (40 inches) of snow and whilst conditions cleared on Monday, the area remained closed whilst lifts were dug…

Norway Glacier Area Opens With Nearly 15 Metre (49 Foot) Base

The Fonna Glacier late spring/summer ski area has opened for its 2020 season in Norway. The centre is reporting an exceptional 14.9 metre (49 feet) depth of snow on its upper slopes, with only slightly less at the bottom of the runs. It took well over a month for diggers to dig out the access road to the centre. A few weeks ago there was a concern whether Norway’s three summer ski areas would be able to open due to the pandemic, but the country has begun easing its lockdown and has allowed smaller ski areas to re-open if agreed by their local authorities. At least half-a-dozen smaller centres have re-opened for domestic skiers based locally.  They have strict virus-spread-risk…

Up To A Metre (40″) of Pre-Season Snowfall in Australia

A huge pre-season snowfall in Australia has blanketed ski areas there with up to a metre (40 inches) of snow in the past 48 hours. It’s six weeks until the country’s ski areas are due to open for their 2020 season over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, a holiday weekend in the country and the traditional opening date for ski centres, snow cover or not. But Aussie ski areas are harking back to 2009 when another big autumn snowfall led for one of the earliest ever ski days in the country’s history 11 years ago, with Mt Buller posting this image (and the one above), Charlotte Pass has reported the biggest snowfall with a metre (40 inches) of snowfall since Thursday.…

Austria To Allow Ski Touring To Resume from 1st May

Austria’s Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler has announced a wide number of non-team sports will be able to resume in Austria from 1st May as the country gradually moves out of pandemic lockdown. Tennis, golf, horse riding and athletics will be able to resume operations. Asked at a press conference whether ski touring would also be allowed, Vice Chancellor Kogler said yes, but urged anyone doing so to stick to “something easy” to avoid accidents. Austria has been in lockdown for a month and several of its ski resorts have been identified as ‘hot spots’ for coronavirus infection, accused of spreading cases around Europe and further afield, but the country itself has reported relatively few infections and deaths compared to many…

Double Punch!

Greetings to you all from Japan. I hope this finds you safe. I so much want to try and make this not be all about coronavirus and gloomy news. No doubt we are all close to overload on that subject! But, alas, it’s almost impossible to ignore the subject given the impact that it is having on all our lives - including the operations of ski resorts and access to our beloved snow. I’ll start off with the good news: some ski resorts in Japan remain open. Over recent weeks I have been noticing that ski resorts around the world have been closing due to restrictions being imposed by various lockdowns. It does feel kind of odd - and certainly…

Is This The Last Ski Area in North America That’s Still Open?

Ski areas in North America have been closing down over the past fortnight due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there has not been the national lockdown that several European countries have enacted, and decisions have been made at state or province level and in some cases left to individual resorts. The last ski area open in Canada, the fairly remote Hudson Bay resort in northern BC (pictured below) had its last skiing day on Sunday and the number of centres still open in the US has been declining by the day too.  Montana, Idaho and Washington State in the lightly-populated North-western US still had more than half-a-dozen areas operating at the weekend between them, each arguing that they had measures…