The southern hemisphere’s 2019 ski season is nearly over with ,more than 80% of ski areas in South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand now closed until 2020 as far as snowsports are concerned.

But about half-a-dozen areas, mostly in New Zealand, are still open, although for most the coming weekend is the last one.

The largest ski area in Australia, Perisher, is due to close, as is Catedral near Baroiloche in Argentina, above, South America’s largest.

However two ski areas on one mountain in New Zealand are planning to stay open to later in October and today one has announced plans to open at weekends in November too – the last month of meteorological spring ion the southern hemisphere before December begins on December 1st.

Mt Ruapehu’s Turoa ski area (above) will be open until next weekend and its neighbouring Ruapehu resort Whakapapa (pictured top) a further week after that to the end of the month.

Now Whakapapa say they’ll open in November too, issuing this statement earlier today,

“This season has been particularly challenging due to weather. We are grateful for your understanding and patience this winter. To thank you for the continued support, we are going to open the Valley T Bar for skiing and riding 10am-2pm during fine weekends all November.”

Skiing will be free for holders of the 2019 season pass and early buyers of the 2020 pass.

The ‘challenging season’ referred to saw many new Zealand ski areas having limiting snowfall in the first half of the season, leading to delayed openings or limited terrain availability. Then in the latter half of the season often stormy conditions or other weather extremes caused more issues.

Elsewhere, on the whole, Australia had a good 2019 season with big snowfalls throughout the season, northern Chile a bad one, with southern Chile and most of Argentina seeing a fairly average season.