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Canada’s 20-21 Ski Season Starting Saturday

Canada’s 20-21 ski season will kick off this Saturday, with Banff in Alberta’s local Mt Norquay ski area opening its slopes. It will be the earliest ever opening in the ski area’s 95 year history and comes after some good October snowfalls and consistent low temperatures in the mountains of Western Canada. “The snow came early, so we got ready early!  Thanks to all the snowfall and chilly temps we've seen lately, we've been busy enhancing the natural conditions with lots of snow-making to get ready for the big day,” a Norquay spokesperson said. The weekend opening is subject to limited ticket sales due to coronavirus restrictions and initial terrain available. Saturday’s allocation quickly sold out. The Canadian area is…

Heavy Snowfall in Western Canada With Season Less Than 2 Weeks Away

Travel to Canada may currently be very limited or impossible from most parts of the world, including near neighbour the USA, but the snow has started falling and the start of the season is probably less than a fortnight away. There had been several ‘dustings’ of snow on higher slopes over the past few months, but the past week has seen more significant snowfalls, the heaviest in Alberta where the 20-21 ski season will hopefully begin on Halloween weekend, in a fortnight’s time. Marmot Basin after 28cm /11" of Snowfall this Week Ski areas including Banff’s Sunshine (pictured top) and Lake Louise ski areas as well as Marmot Basin to the north posted images of up to 30cm (12 inch)…

Third Autumn Snowfall Leaves Alpine Glaciers In Great Shape

A third snowfall in the Alps over recent days has left glacier ski areas posting reports of amazing snow conditions – particularly considering it is still only mid-October. Glaciers reported up to 30cm (a foot) of snowfall to start this week following similar falls a week before and for many even bigger snowfalls the week prior to that. The clouds cleared on Wednesday for many, leaving a beautiful powder day under blue skies at ski areas like Austria's Stubai Glacier, pictured top. 14 glacier ski areas have already opened for the 2020-21 ski season, more than half of them in Austria, the remainder in Italy and Switzerland. However Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are both due to open this coming…

Race To Open US 20-21 Season is On

The annual battle to be the first ski area in the USA, and usually North America too, is underway. Most ski areas in the West of the continent from Colorado up to BC in Canada reported some natural snowfall over the past 24 hours or so but in Colorado resorts that have a reputation for opening in October have also fired up their snow cannons. “The natural snowfall mostly stopped by early evening yesterday. The temperature dropped with an overnight wet bulb low of 15 F. The snowmakers had all the fan guns spinning. Most of the guns are still running now. We are not sure how warm the day will be, but tonight looks cold again. Our earlier snowmaking…

Huge September Snowfalls in the Alps (and Snow in Many Other Ski Areas Worldwide too)

Ski resorts in the Alps have reported up to 50cm (20 inches) of snowfall in the past 48 hours. The Pitztal glacier, which opened for its 2020-21 season a week ago, is pictured top. On the other side of the world ski areas in Australia have reported up to 45cm (18 inches). Most are already closed for the season, Perisher is still open. (Falls Creek in Australia) There's also been snow reported in the Dolomites, Himalayas, Japan, Pyrenees, Scandinavia, New Zealand and up in Alberta and BC in Canada. There' even been a dusting of snow for Cairngorm and Glencoe ski areas in Scotland (below). Two more glacier ski areas have opened in the Alps this weekend, taking the total…

Snow In The Rockies After 60 Degree Temperature Plunge

Ski areas in Western North America have been reporting record high temperatures in recent weeks with Mammoth Mountain and Timberline among resorts closed to summer visitors due to forest fire danger. But the start of this week saw a massive temperature drop in a little over 24 hours with the mercury plummeting from the high 80s (and even over 100F in some cases) to the low 30s in the Rockies and other mountain areas nearby. The result was a late summer snowfall from Alberta (Banff pictured above on Tuesday) and BC in the north down to southern Colorado and New Mexico. There had been an earlier light snowfall a week earlier reported on high slopes but this time the snow…

Best Conditions of the Season in New Zealand

Conditions at ski areas across New Zealand are reported to be the best of the season so far, with some claiming Wednesday 2nd September was the best ski day in the past five years. There were blue sky conditions after the country’s ski areas reported between 20 and 42cm of light powder snowfall in the previous 48 hours. The Remarkables is pictured top, Mt Dobson below. The great conditions did however cause issues at a number of areas as large numbers of skiers attempted to reach the slopes whilst New Zealand remains under COVID-19 Level 2 pandemic restrictions which limited the numbers on the mountain.  Car parks at several areas were full by 9am. With queues of up to 5km…

Third Ski Area To Finally Open For 2020 Season in Chile

A third ski area in Chile, Corralco, has announced it will open for the 2020 season this Saturday – over two months later than normal and a month before the usual end of the ski season there. It joins La Parva (pictured below this week) and El Colorado which opened a fortnight earlier, along with ski areas in Argentina which opened earlier this month. Ski areas in South America have only been allowed to open this month after strict lockdowns were eased slightly.  However they have severe operating restrictions and are only open for limited periods to locally based skiers. The restrictions are so strict several have decided it is not viable for them to open, particularly with such a…

Big Snowfalls in Australia

Ski areas in Australia are reporting ever deeper snow accumulations as a major storm continues to impact the country’s resorts. Perisher (pictured above today) most recently reported accumulations of 41cm (16 inches) after three days of snow fall, however it also notes, “Blizzard conditions with strong winds, snow fall & limited visibility will continue.” The snowfall has now taken base depths at the resort, which currently has more terrain open than any other area on earth, to 1.3 metres – the first time base depths have gone through the metre mark in what had been a drier than usual winter in Australia up to now. Many of Australia’s main ski areas are currently closed due to the pandemic, including all…

First Ski Area to Open For 2020 Season in the Andes

Catedral ski area in Argentina has announced it will open for the 2020 season at 9.30 am on Thursday, 23rd July. Argentina has not been as badly hit by the virus as most other South American countries (including neighbouring Chile which is sadly now one of the 10 worst hit in the world by some measures) after an early lockdown and as a result is carefully now easing restrictions. The country is slightly lifting its lockdowns on a regional basis, with decisions on what can and cannot open being made region by region, and travel within Argentina still highly restricted, as is international travel, so what’s opening is intended for locally-based skiers only. The country’s most southerly ski area, Cerro…