It’s winter in The Alps
22nd August 2010
There has been half a metre of snow in places over the past week. It’s been pretty good in the southern hemisphere too. Here’s the PlanetSKI round up of conditions across the world with some pictures and video too.
Our main photo to the left was taken this week in Verbier.
Hard to belive it’s August, but it has been snowing across the Alps; in some place down to around 2,000m.
The snowman below wasn’t made last winter- it was made last week by one of our reporters in Verbier, Freddie.
In a white out.
Earlier this summer she was in her shorts and T-shirt on rock face reporting for us.
Down under it has been pretty good too; the photo below was taken in Treble Cone, New Zealand.
There’s early talk againn over in North America that it cold be a La Nina winter with plentiful snow as the ocean is cooling. Check out our report here.
Unusually for mid-summer in Europe we start out weekly snow report, written with the help from our friends over at skiinfo.com, in The Alps.
SWITZERLAND: Saas Fee has had 50cm of fresh powder falling on its glacier in the past week and the neighbouring resort of Zermatt has also seen big snowfalls.
Switzerland’s two open glacier ski areas have seen remarkable August snowfalls.
Saas Fee describes current conditions as “packed powder” and has a 1.6m base with terrain park and half pipe open.
A good friend of PlanetSKI, the British ski coach Warren Smith, describes the summer conditions as the best he has ever seen.
Warren should know as he has been going there for many, many summer seasons.
ITALY: The heavy snowfall spilled over in to Italy where Zermatt’s Italian neighbour, Cervinia, to which it is lift-linked, received a 20cm fall.
Val Senales has also been receiving more snow, with another 5cm on Tuesday, the latest of about 10 days of regular snowfalls there, it currently has a 1m base.
Passo Stelvio is also open.
FRANCE: The glacier ski areas at Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are both entering their last fortnight of summer operations.
Les 2 Alpes has the better snow cover with a metre depth while Tignes has 30cm, both areas received a little new snow at the weekend.
AUSTRIA:The picture is a little less good in Austria where the Kitzsteinhorn Glacier remains closed for a second week due to warm temperatures ad a diminished snowpack – down to 10cm on the glacier with temperatures above freezing still and rain falling.
It’s a similar picture on the Dachstein Glacier where the lifts are running but downhill slopes and terrain park are closed – they report a 30cm base but that the snow is “wet.”
Two Austrian glacier areas are still open however, the largest one, Tux, had fresh snow on Sunday too and reports ‘powder’ conditions with 20km of slopes open, a 125cm base and more than 600m summer vertical.
The Molltal glacier continues to report 9.5km of trails open and a 1.2m base.
USA: In North America Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood in Oregon remains the only area open, despite temperatures hitting 75F.
There’s 1m of snow and the public terrain park and several runs are open.
The snow has been falling in South America, where temperatures are generally a few degrees below zero at most ski areas.
ARGENTINA: The continent’s largest ski area in terms of the number of lifts is Cerro Catedral.
It has received 30ccm of new snow on its upper runs in the past 12 hours and now has a 1.6m base.
Las Lenas has had 7cm of new snow too while Chapelco’s base is up to 1.2m following fresh snow there.
CHILE: Portillo has receive 13cm of new snow in the past week but base depths remain lower than normal at around a metre on upper slopes with packed powder, 67cm at the base.
Valle Nevado, part of the largest ski area in the continent in terms of terrain area, has an average 50cm base from a 3.7m snow fall so far this season.
Chapa Verde has a similar base depth.
AUSTRALIA: Conditions are mostly good at Australia’s resorts where snow has continued to fall over the past week with more predicted in coming days.
Mt Hotham reports average snow depth is 89cm but is 30cm deeper where there’s snow making.
The resort has received 42cm of snow in the past week.
The numbers are similar at Thredbo, which has had 38cm of new snow in the past week and has had 2.5m of snow in the past week.
Falls Creek currently has a 77cm base of natural snow and all but one lift operating, in snowmaking areas snow depth is up to a metre greater at 177cm.
Here’s a video of conditions in Perisher, from the tourist office.
NEW ZEALAND: In New Zealand there has been an “exciting” week of weather.
Mt Hutt saw over 1000 guests stranded overnight, as we reported here on PlanetSKI, by 200kph winds and it has received 19cm of new snow taking upper slope depths up to 2m.
At Coronet Peak the figures are a little less impressive with 5cm of snow at the weekend taking depths to 1.1m.
The Remarkables got 10cm yesterday and has a similar base depth.
On Mt Ruapehu the lifts are closed today due to strong winds. The snow is falling to though with 5cm of fresh so far and base depths up to 1.3m at Turoa.
Whakapapa has 81cm, both are expecting more snow for the resort of the week.
And below is what it looked like at Treble Cone last week.
In Lake Wanaka is the FIS Snowboard & Freestyle Junior World Championships.
Its quite an event as the stars of tomorrow strutt their stuff.
We have reported on it here on PlanetSKI.