World Snow Roundup #246

(Updated 19June 2024) A comprehensive review of snow conditions, weather, and updates for worldwide winter sports destinations.

World Snow Roundup #246
Cardrona, NZ 17th June 2024

- Record Snowfall in South America: Over a meter of snowfall in 24 hours at several ski centres.

- New Zealand Ski Season: Three centres opened last weekend despite initial rain delays.

- Improved Conditions in Australia: Recent snowfall enhances terrain at Australian ski resorts.

- Portillo, Chile: 113 cm of snowfall in 24 hours, totalling 325 cm this season.

- Afriski in Lesotho: Only outdoor ski centre open in Africa with main run operational.

- Timberline, Oregon: Last open ski resort in North America with a few miles of slopes.

World Overview

It’s almost wintertime in the southern hemisphere by the astronomical measure of the seasons as well as the meteorological. All major ski nations have started their seasons, with New Zealand’s beginning last Saturday after rain delayed planned Friday openings. Colder, snowier weather has allowed some limited terrain opening, though and in Australia, where some centres had opened without offering skiing the weekend before, the same improvements mean that all centres that have opened so far are now offering snow sports.

Valle Nevado, Chile

The big snow news, though, is once again in South America, where accumulations of over a metre (40”) in 24 hours and 1.5m (five feet) in 48 hours were reported. This means some centres have now had more than 3 metres (10 feet) before the season was due to begin.

In the northern hemisphere, it's midsummer this weekend, and we'll briefly be back into double figures for the number of areas open with one of the world's most northerly centres re-opening for skiing and boarding under the midnight sun for the summer solstice and another glacier centre opening for summer skiing in the Alps. Most centres currently open are in Europe, though, with just one still operating in North America.

Unfortunately, the Gassan summer ski centre closed a month earlier than expected a week ago, so we are down from lift-accessed skiing being available on six continents – as is usually the case for much of June – to on five …all except Asia and Antarctica!

Treble Cone, NZ earlier this week

Southern Hemisphere


The snowy pre-season in South America continues with some huge snowfalls in the past week. Several centres reported around a metre (40") in 24 hours going into the weekend and further significant snowfalls since. Next weekend was due to have been the season start for most areas in Argentina and Chile, but this season, most have already been operating for weeks thanks to the exceptional autumn/fall snowfalls.

The main season started in New Zealand at the weekend, though, with three centres open and the Andes opening early, it was the last major ski nation to open for winter 2924. Australian ski areas are now into the second week of their 2024 season and, after some open without being able to offer any snowsports, were relieved to get some snowfall and snowmaking temperatures last week. Hence, all now have something available, though as yet it is very little everywhere. You can also currently ski in southern Africa at Lesotho’s Afriski resort.

Afriski, Lesotho


A week after Australia’s ski season began with half of centres opening without being able to offer any snowsports, this weekend sees all open centres offering some snowsports. The improvement comes after a week of cold temperatures, allowing for more snowmaking and some light, natural snowfall. The weather improvement allowed more centres to open some slopes and those already open to add additional terrain.

“After 19cm of snowfall this week and great snowmaking conditions, Falls Creek is looking winter white, it’s exciting times!” said Betony Pitcher, Falls Creek Field Marketing Manager, continuing, “Huge thanks to our operations teams for getting us to this point.” Falls Creek was one of three centres that opened the weekend before last but hadn’t been able to offer any snowsports after the warm start to June. However, that's now changed, with all the others opening some runs last weekend. In Falls Creek, Wombat’s Ramble opened, Australia’s longest green run.”

Hotham, Australia

It was a similar story at Perisher (10/30cm / 4/12”), which reported 26cm (11”) of natural snowfall and some super cold temperatures, which were also really good for snowmaking. Australia’s largest ski area has had all 167 snow guns firing and has the most terrain open in the country so far – but that’s not a lot still, about 6.4km or four miles of runs, 10% of its total area. Besides Perisher, Mt Baw Baw (0/20cm / 0/8”), Mt Buller (0/25cm / 0/10”) and Thredbo (0/15cm / 0/6”), which were the four that managed to open some snow terrain from day one, have consolidated and increased what they have open. In addition, three centres that had opened without snowsports available now have a little on offer.

The other two that hadn’t opened originally were Mt Hotham (10/15cm / 4/6”), which has now opened its Summit Trainer for beginners and a mini terrain park for advanced riders, as well as the Big D lift, and Selwyn, which has opened for sledging only so far. In recent days, the snowfall has eased off, but temperatures have been in the -8 to +8C range, allowing overnight snowmaking to continue. All centres are saying more terrain will open soon thanks to their snowmaking efforts and the chilly overnight temperatures. Currently, though, most only have 1-5% of their terrain open so far.

Falls Creek, Australis


Unfortunately, the forecast for the coming week doesn’t show any big snowfalls on the horizon, but overnight lows should allow more snowmaking. Another period of light snowfall is expected over the next few days, along with temperatures as low as -8C overnight for snowmaking to continue. It's currently looking drier at the weekend, with daytime highs of +4C on higher slopes and +9C at resort level.


New Zealand’s season proper got underway last weekend after several weekends of just a small snow area at Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu opening to the most dedicated. Three centres officially opened (of four that had planned to), one a day late, with a mixed picture of what was opening, although cold temperatures and some fresh snowfall provided a pre-season start boost. New Zealand was the last country in the southern hemisphere to start its 2024 season, with South American ski areas opening weeks early after huge pre-season snowfalls there, Australian resorts opening a week ago, and Lesotho’s Afriski at the start of the month.

Mount Hutt, NZ

Cardrona (10/20cm / 4/8”), Mt Hutt (15/35cm / 6/14”), and The Remarkables (1/30cm / 2/12”) were the three opening early, although Mt Hutt had to postpone its planned Friday opening due to rain on the day unfortunately, which turned to snowfall overnight. With the excitement of the opening day, Dave Brown from Wānaka set his alarm for 1.30 am to claim Cardrona Alpine Resort’s First Chair for Winter 2024 and the first turns of the New Zealand season. He was one of the six who were up well before the sun – on the mountain by 3 am. “It snowed overnight, so it’s a great start to the season – it’s really nice to get open on Opening Day; it’s fantastic,” Dave said on Saturday morning.

Cardrona opened at 8.30 am this morning with the McDougall's Chondola, learner conveyors, and six terrain park features for keen skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. A 5cm dusting overnight topped up snowmaking efforts for good early-season snow conditions. “The team have worked incredibly hard to get us open today, I’m incredibly proud of their mahi,” says Cardrona and Treble Cone GM, Laura Hedley. “We’re stoked to see everyone up here skiing and snowboarding – bring on Winter 2024!” Cardrona reported a further 8cm (3”) of snowfall on Monday morning.

Coronet Peak had hoped to open last Friday with Mt Hutt and had got snow on the ground from snowfall and snowmaking, but says there’s not yet quite enough. It did, though, open for its 2024 season five days later than planned on Tuesday. As with Australia, the picture is currently of marginal early season conditions and very little able to open yet, with Mt Hutt posting the most, about 4km (2.5 miles) of slopes or 10% of its ski area.

Mount Hutt


This is a moderately promising forecast in terms of overnight lows just about low enough for snowmaking, daytime highs hopefully not thawing the snowpack too much at +4-7C, and some light natural snow flurries in the mix, too. However, nothing that great is on the horizon yet in terms of likely big dumps.


About half of Argentina’s ski areas are already open following the huge snowfalls the country’s mountainous regions have received over the past few months, including the last week. However, so far, they’ve not opened much terrain, but then the season doesn’t officially start until next weekend. Cerro Bayo (0/50cm / 0/20”) has the most open in the country, with about half of its 12km (7 miles) of slopes open. But the country and continent’s largest by uplift capacity, Catedral (15/90cm / 6/36”), is poised to open much more than the 5% of its slopes it has opened so far this coming weekend. Chapelco (0/35cm / 0/14”) is also open, with less than 10% of its slopes open.

Las Lenas - over half a metre of fresh snow

One of Argentina’s other big players, Las Leñas, is due to open this weekend, having been pictured buried deep in the snow ahead of the coming season start. Caviahue is also scheduled to open for its season on Saturday.


Yet more heavy snowfall is forecast for Argentina over the next few days, with temperatures in the -9C to +2C range, so full winter continues. It looks like conditions may ease a little, and skies will clear for the official season start weekend from Saturday.


Almost all resorts in Chile are already open for their 2024 seasons and have been reporting still more huge snowfalls, with some receiving over a metre (nearly 4 feet) in 24 hours. This continues a trend over the past two months now with an exceptionally cold and snowy autumn/fall, meaning some centres have already seen over 3m (10 feet) of snowfall a week before the season was officially due to begin this coming weekend. It means it already had more snowfall a week before the season began than it has received in total in some recent poor snowfall seasons.

Portillo, Chile

Among the latest beneficiaries, Portillo in Chile reported 113 cm (just under four feet) of snowfall in 24 hours at the weekend, taking its season total to date to 313 cm (10.5 feet). It’s since hit 325cm after further snowfall over the past few days. The resort is currently opening long weekends, Friday to Sunday, but will open daily from next weekend. There have been similar huge snowfalls reported by other ski areas in Chile and Argentina. Valle Nevado (50/60cm / 20/24”) and La Parva (70/95cm / 32/38”), which form one of the continent’s largest ski regions, posted over 1.5 metres (five feet) totals in 48 hours.

In terms of snow depths, of those resorts currently open daily, Corralco (40/110 / 16/44”) is posting the deepest snow in the country, continent and the entire southern hemisphere. Portillo isn’t publishing their depths until the weekend, though. El Colorado (60/95cm / 24/38”) has the most terrain open in South America and the southern hemisphere (and actually the whole world!) at present, with 40km (25 miles) of runs, about 80% of its full area, already open.


After a dry midweek period with sunny skies and temperatures expected to drop as low as -15C overnight, the snowfall will return to most areas for the latter half of the week. Initially, it’s expected to be heavy again, with 30-50cm accumulations possible by the weekend.


Lesotho’s Afriski remains the only indoor snow centre currently open in Africa unless you count Egypt's two indoor snow centres. It has its main run complete, as well as a separate beginner area and a terrain park section.

The team at Afriskiu


Temperatures are set to dip midweek, with lows of -9C and some cloud buildup. However, there’s no actual snow forecast, and it's expected to be back to nonstop sunshine by the end of the week and warmer, too.



With the Molltal and Stryn glaciers ending their 2024 summer ski seasons last weekend, we’re down to seven centres open in Europe this week: five in the Alps and two in Scandinavia. There has been more snowfall at high elevations and northerly latitudes. Still, the gradual summertime trend to warmer weather, even at the highest altitudes on the mountains, continues its underlying upward trajectory and has been more marked since the weekend.

Hintertux, Austria


Austria’s Molltal glacier is the latest to end its season with now only the year-round Hintertux glacier left open in Austria. Zermatt’s year-round ski area in Switzerland, also accessible from Cervinia in Italy, is also still open, and Les 2 Alpes in France is approaching seven months of operations, now the longest in the country has overtaken Tignes, which always used to have the most open ski days. It is due to open for a month of summer skiing, weather permitting, this coming weekend. It had been boasting one of the world's deepest snowpacks at nearly six metres (20 feet) when it ended its 23-24 season last May and it has been cold and snowed more since, so that's looking promising. A third French glacier ski area, Val d’Isere, is also still open, and Italy’s Passo Stelvio is the fifth alpine glacier currently open.


After months of cold temperatures and snowfall, glaciers are getting much warmer; temperatures are likely to reach double digits above freezing by the end of this week. However, a front moving in at the end of this week will bring temperatures back down and potentially fresh snowfall.

Alps Snow Forecast - next 3 to


With the Stryn glacier closing after a short 2024 season at the weekend, we’re left with Fonna (650/760cm / 240/304”), still posting the thickest snowpack in the world, along with Scandinavia’s highest slopes at Galdhopiggen (80/200cm / 32/80”), both in Norway and with a few kilometres of slopes open each. Fresh snowfall over recent weeks has actually led to their base depths increasing in June! The past week has seen temperatures ranging from -3 to +9C and rain, sleet and snow showers, tending more towards snowfall at Galdhopiggen’s higher altitude. Riksgransen up in the Arctic Circle, which ended its 2024 season nearly a month ago, is due to briefly re-open for a few days this week for Midsummer, including a few nights of skiing and riding under the midnight sun on what’s left of the snow up there. It reports that the snow there is 70cm deep still and that five runs, serviced by three lifts, are open, with additional freeride terrain also available.


It’s looking like temperatures will be in the freezing to +10C range at the open ski areas with quite a lot of precipitation in the forecast, including snow, sleet and rain, with clearer skies at the weekend 

USA / Canada


With Arapahoe Basin ending its nearly eight-month (222-day) ski season last Sunday, the only centre still open for lift-accessed skiing in North America is Timberline (18/118” / 45/294cm) on Mt Hood in Oregon. Just a few miles of slopes are available here, plus a terrain park. The hike-to terrain park at Copper Mountain is also open for summer skiing and riding. Its use is mostly restricted to campers at the resort's Woodward facility, but from Fridays to Sundays, public access is allowed for the price of a low-cost ticket. Most of the US has had a sunny, warm week, but fresh snowfall has been reported on high peaks in the Rockies and Pacific Northwest of Canada and the USA at the weekend. Timberline has had fairly cool weather with overnight lows in the 20sF and daytime highs only in the 40s.


It’s looking warmer for the week ahead at Timberline with plenty of sunshine and temperatures remaining a few degrees above freezing at night, with daytime highs getting up towards the mid-50s.