Winter Proper Gets Underway in the Southern Hemisphere

Some welcome snow has been falling in Australia and New Zealand with more resorts opening in South America. UPDATED

Argentina & Chile

The season has got off to a cracking start in South America with resorts opening early after record snow falls.

However, the huge amounts of snow meant some resorts were unable to open as scheduled.

Las Leñas in Argentina originally planned a pre-opening on Thursday June 20th, but was forced to cancel the early opening because of avalanches, road closures, and the high quantity of snow.

Now the resort is open and has a depth of 1.2m at the base of the ski area with 10 of its 15 lifts  running.

“We were excited about the pre-opening on Thursday 20/6, we put a lot of effort preparing the mountain but unfortunately the weather conditions made it impossible to do it,” said the resort in a statement.

“It was such a magnitude the accumulation of snow that even the access road had to be closed by the provincial authorities.

“Thank you to all our visitors, collaborators, friends and suppliers for understanding the situation and having full confidence that in this kind of natural events, for us, safety comes first.”

Cerro Catedral in Argentina opened early back in June.

Cerro Catedral , Argentina

Cerro Catedral (Library Image). Image © PlanetSKI

In Chile it’s also looking good.

Australia & New Zealand

It has been an altogether different start to winter with resorts opening with precious little snow.

The cannons have been working overtime in Australia when the temperature has allowed, but now some fresh snow has finally fallen.

New Zealand has also seen some fresh snow with the ski season underway.

Proceedings first got underway at resorts on the South Island.

Now the season is underway on the North Island.

12,000 people visited Whakapapa alone on the first two days and the Happy Valley learner slopes were at capacity by lunchtime Saturday.

“It’s been a brilliant Matariki weekend, we couldn’t have hoped for better, an amazing kickoff for us here at Whakapapa,” said the area’s operations manager, Steve Manunui.

Updates to follow…