It’s the start of the few months each year when it is possible to ski or snowboard on every continent at the same time.
In the Southern Hemisphere, ski resorts have opened in Australia (Mt Hotham which opened yesterday pictured below), New Zealand and in Southern Africa. There have been some good snowfalls in the Andes too but so far only the snow fun area at Farallones in Chile is known to be open enjoying a ‘pre-opening’ with the main opening next weekend.
In Europe, there are currently nine areas open with France (Val d’Isere, pictured below last week) and Italy (Passo Stelvio) re-joining Austria, Switzerland and Norway today as their summer ski areas open. It’s the last weekend of the season (which began way back in September last year) at the Stubai glacier (pictured top) though which is due to close on Monday.
North America has the most ski areas open in the Northern Hemisphere with 10 centres to choose from. Along with Squaw Valley and Mammoth in California, there’s Snowbird in Utah and Aspen (pictured below this month) has re-opened for its third successive weekend joining Breckenridge, open for the final weekend of its long 18-19 season, and Arapahoe Basin.
Canada has re-opened for snowsports this weekend with Whistler’s Blackcomb glacier re-opening for five weeks of summer snow sports. Over in Quebec on the East Mont Saint Sauveur’s snowpark has also re-opened for a few hours of weekend snow fun on a narrow area of surviving winter snow.
In Asia Japan’s Gassan glacier is open for summer skiing.
The only other continent, Antarctica, it’s hard to know. Only one fixed drag lift is known to have been installed there on the peninsula that sticks up towards the tip of South America but it’s operational status is unknown. There have also been reports – from 20 and 30 years ago – of portable lifts at some of the national bases on the continent but the status of these isn’t known either.