July is of course one of the hottest months of the year north of the equator but in the southern hemisphere it’s when the ski season really gets moving and the good news is that 2018 has seen plenty of snow in Australia, New Zealand and South America.
(Mt Hutt is pictured above on 24 June)
As an added bonus the deep snow left from the exceptionally snowy 2017-18 winter in the Alps seems to be holding up well as there’s even been fresh snow in late June in the Austrian Alps at high altitude and in a few less likely places at this time of year like Eastern Canada’s like Newfoundland and (earlier last month), parts of BC too.
There are not the amount of ski areas open for summer skiing and boarding that there were 20 years ago and many of those that still open are doing so for shorter and shorter periods but still we start July with just over half-a-dozen ski areas to choose from and we’ll end the month with a similar number – although some of those open now will have closed by then and others newly opened!
Currently things are looking much better than a year ago thanks to the big bases built up last winter and the fact that it has stayed around freezing 3000m up for much of June, the Kitzsteinhorn in Austria even reported 20cm of fresh snow on June 25th (pic below).
In Austria the Kauntertal and Stubai glaciers ended their long seasons last month but the Hintertux is still open, as is the Kitzsteinhorn, although it’s 10 month long season ends on July 22nd. There’ll still be two Austrian glaciers to choose from though as the Molltal glacier re-opened last month with a 2.9m base.
In France, where there were no areas open a month ago, Les 2 Alpes (pictured above), Tignes and Val d’Isere are all open for summer skiing and boarding. Val d’Isere, which opened first, until July 13th, the other two staying open in to August.
Italy’s Passo Stelvio has been joined by Cervinia, which re-opened for summer snowsports on the last Friday of June, whilst in Switzerland only Europe’s highest lifts at Zermatt are currently open for skiers, but Saas Fee nearby will join it on the 15th at the start of its nine month 18-19 season.
Two of Norway’s small summer glacier ski areas remain open – Folgefonn (Fonna – pictured above) which reports a 4M base and Galdhoppigen with 1.5M. Both reported a few centimetres of fresh snow at the end of June. The season at a third area, Stryn, proved very brief, ending in early June.
We had a great event with the @ifsafreeriders this week! These juniors can shred!!With a storm on the horizon we’re hoping to get the 2* athletes out on the hill today.We’ll try to keep everyone posted as the Summer Shredfest schedule gets rearranged. Keep the spirit high!#beartoothbasin #spiritofskiing #FWQ #thatsthewaythecornicecrumbles
Gepostet von Beartooth Basin am Freitag, 15. Juni 2018
Three areas are currently open on the North American continent but that will probably only be one by the end of July. Beartooth Basin in Montana (above) is open to Sunday 8th July and Whistler Blackcomb a week later than that. After that only the Timberline snow field at Oregon is likely top be open in to August.
It’s a pretty good start to the season in much of South America with some heavy snow storms through June helping to build healthy bases ahead of ski areas opening for their 2018 seasons over the past few weeks.
Several ski areas including Chile’s Portillo and Las Lenas in Argentina have reached 1m snow depths.
A snow storm is expected in the region at the start of July bringing a forecast 30-60cm more snow to South American slopes.
Australia & New Zealand
Australia is off to its best season start in 18 years after heavy mid-June snowfalls transformed the country’s ski areas a few days after a fairly snowless start to the season. Bases are now at the 40-80cm mark across the country with more snow falling for the start of July. Mt Buller is pictured above after it got its big mid-June dump.
It’s looking good in New Zealand too (Coronet Peak pictured below last week) as there has been regular snowfalls through June including some very big dumps giving great powder conditions once the storm clouds cleared and building the bases at the country’s areas too. Turoa, the biggest, opened for the season on the last weekend of June and immediately posted the deepest reported base in the southern hemisphere so far at 1.4m
Our winter season is officially OPEN!All slopes open for skiing and snowboarding. 3222m… experience it!!www.afriski.net#Afriski #3222m #LoveLesothoVideo credit: Shawn van Zyl MediaGoneSkiing Love Africa Marketing VisitLesotho
Gepostet von Afriski Mountain Resort am Samstag, 9. Juni 2018
Both Afriski in Lesotho (above last month) and Tiffindell in South Africa are in full operation for their 2018 season but after the big snowfalls in late Ma\y there’s not been a lot of the natural stuff. That is set to change in the first few days of July however with up to 15cm of fresh snow forecast across the region.