Excitement is building for skiers and boarders waiting to hit the slopes of Australia, New Zealand, South America and Southern Africa as each area receives news of snowfalls, snow forecasts or snowmaking underway …and in some cases all three.
New Zealand is likely to see the first ski areas open a week on Saturday, June 1st. Whakapapa will open its Happy Valley snow play area using an all-weathers snowmaking machine and Cardrona ski area has also said they’ll open some terrain.
Then the focus switches across the Indian Ocean to the resorts of Afriski (pictured below on 9 May) in Lesotho and Tiffindell in South Africa which are scheduled to open the following week on June 6th and 5th respectively.
The following weekend sees almost all Australian ski areas opening on June 7th or 8th. This is a long holiday weekend in the country with the Monday 10th a public holiday in most of the country in celebration of the Queen’s birthday.
More New Zealand ski areas begin opening then too, as do the first ski areas across the Pacific in South America with Las Lenas in Argentina targeting the 8th.
Of course of the snow arrives in abundance ahead of these dates ski areas can open early, and in past years they certainly have. But how are things looking in 2019?
Well, most areas have now had some snow and most have more forecast before the end of May, but so far there’s nothing ‘huge’ on the horizon that might cause an area to open early.
Australia’s ski areas saw snowfall a week ago and are expecting snowy weather from the coming weekend onwards. So far up to 30cm is forecast between Sunday and Tuesday next week but it’s a fluid picture this far out.
In New Zealand there was snowfall art the end of last week turning mountains white and bringing 5-10cm of cover. Temperatures are also cold so snowmaking is working at full blast at resorts like Mt Hutt (pictured top).
Southern African ski areas also saw snow a week ago but it’s been warmer of late so snowmaking maybe needed for the start of the season there, not an unusual scenario and one the centres work with brilliantly each winter.
Finally South America where snow is currently falling in the Andes and things are looking fairly snowy for the week ahead with 20-40cm of snowfall forecast. Cerro Bayo is pictured below on Monday 20th May.,