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Still skiing in Scotland
Thursday June 17, 2010 - Email this article to a friend

But only just. Elsewhere resorts are opening in Australia, New Zealand and South America. One ski area re-opened iin North America and the glacier resorts in Europe are starting their summer ski season. Football fans can now ski in Southern Africa too. Here's the PlanetSKI snow overview.

It is not much and it can ony be reached by 2 temporary tow ropes, but skiing in Cairngorm is continuing. 

It was open on Sunday and Monday to celebrate mid summer.

Even the resort itself says it is "a very limited area" but if you want to say you have been out on your skis or snowboard or in the second half of June in the Scottish Highlands then you can.

"It is only a very small strip and elsewhere up here in Cairgorm people are hiking, biking and canoeing on Loch Morlich but I saw quite a few people driving up the mountain roads with skis and snowboards in their car," says a PlanetSKI reporter in Cairngorm on Sunday. "The open area is about half the length of the Ptarmigan Tow."

The resort says 100 people turned out. There is more information and detail of the skiing in Scotland further down this report.

We also have a photo gallery from Sunday in this related story, so take a look at the photos to get an idea of what it is like.

People in Cairngorm have walked up to the snow in previous years in late June, but this is the first time lifts have been provided. Albeit rudimentary.

Also going on this weekend at the resort was an organised event collecting litter, as we have reported here.

Look promising at the bottomLooks promising at the bottom











Not quite so good for skiing at the topNot quite so good for skiing at the top
















Meanwhile, as we are on the subject of slightly surprising places to ski at the moment, football fans out at The World Cup can access if a bit of snow if the soccer proves not as exciting as they had hoped for.

For any Swiss football fans out at the World Cup they could celebrate their country's shock defeat of Spain last week with a ski.

We reported here on the result and the subsequent celebrations in the Swiss Alps.

There's plenty of snow at Tiffindell in South Africa and at Afriski in nearby Lesotho. Open for businessOpen for business

200m of the main slope is open at Afriski where there's 50cm of snow lying on the slopes and snowmaking is going on thanks to low temperatures.

But what is the skiing like in southern Africa?

See this related PlanetSKI story.

Otherwise many resorts across the world are opening up as we report below in the weekly PlanetSKI snow overview which we have compiled with the help of our friends over at skiinfo.

flag_franceFRANCE: Les 2 Alpes is the first of France's three ski areas that still offer summer glacier skiing and boarding to open for the season.  It opened up on Wednesday, June 16th, as we reported here.

It has a reported snow depth of 2.4m.  It has skiing and snowboarding over 8 runs and a large snow parks.

Tignes and Val d'Isere  open up at the weekend and there has been some fresh snow too with 10cm falling on Thursday.

Summer on the glacier in TignesSummer on the glacier in Tignes













Tignes often opens with a slalom race with people in swim suits.

If it happens this weekend then we'll let you know.

Summer start in TignesSummer start in Tignes












So, France is open for skiing again after six weeks when it was the only one of the big four Alpine ski nations to not offer snow sports. 

flag_austriaAUSTRIA: The Dachstein glacier in southern Austria has re-opened for summer skiing this weekend, two weeks later than planned. 

A technical issue following the replacement of the steel cable, for the first time since the lift was installed in 1969, on the Dachstein access cable car led to the postponed opening.

As a gesture of good will operators the Planai-Hochwurzen-Railways decided to lower season-ticket prices.

Following Stubai's closure at the weekend, all other Austrian glaciers are now closed except Tux which has 25km of runs to enjoy on a 2.95m deep snow pack with nine lifts operating.

The Kitsteinhorn glacier above Kaprun and the Molltal glacier will both re-open in the next few weeks.

flag_italyITALY: 3 glacier ski areas are now open in Italy following the re-opening of Val Senales at the weekend. 

It joins Passo Stelvio and the Presena glacier above Passo Tonale, which had one red and one black run open at the weekend but it likely to close in the near future. 

However Cervinia will re-open a week on Saturday for summer skiing and boarding keeping the Italian choices up at three.

Val Senales, in Italy's South Tyrol, opened its Nitro Snowpark for the summer season on Saturday with a special opening party including barbecue BBQ, beer and "Tirolerpfeif".

Events coming up during the six-week summer snow season includes  Girls Weekend on the 25th-26th June , a Rookie Camp for children from July 23rd to 10th and a 'Koolt Action Weekend' with Skate/Snow/BMX and soccer and beach volleyball tournaments.

flag_swissSWITZERLAND: In Switzerland only Zermatt is open still, with Europe's highest lifts in operation touching 3,900m.

Saas-Fee is due to open in a few weeks' time.



flag_norwayNORWAY: There is sking on offer on its three glaciers of Folgefonn, Galdhoppigen and Stryn.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Finland Ruka has now closed.



flag_-_scotlandSCOTLAND: Cairngorm has finally closed too after its epic winter, alhtough it is opening up a very small area on Sunday and Monday to celebrate mid-summer. 

"We are celebrating midsummer by offering some snowsports on Sunday 20th and Monday 21st June. The skiing will be in a very limited area beyond the Ptarmigan Tow with uplift being provided by two temporary rope tows," says the resort.

Funicular only prices will apply (£9.75 adult/£6.15 junior/£8.45 senior & student). 2009-10 season tickets will also be valid.

There will be no snowsports on Saturday 19th June.

BBC Scotland quotes a resort spokeman, Colin Kirkwood, as saying it was a success.

"Although some of our more intrepid skiers have walked up the hill in previous years to find patches of snow on which to ski during the summer, this is the first time in living memory that we have skied with the benefit of mechanized uplift at CairnGorm at midsummer," Mr Kirkwood is reported as saying.

"Our customers seem to be delighted that we been able to provide this facility for them as the finale to this season."

Cairngorm, Sunday June 20th, 2010Cairngorm, Sunday June 20th, 2010














flag_canadaCANADA: In surprise news a second Canadian resort will be joining Whistler for snow sports next weekend.  The Blackcomb glacier re-opens for summer snow sports from June 19th through to July 25th

However Mount Washington, on Vancouver Island, will re-open this weekend as it still has enough snow.  See this story for more details of the surprise re-opening. 

Last winter it had the most snowfall of any ski resort in the world. 15m.

flag_usaUSA: Snowbird decided to end its season after last weekend due to a rapidly melting snowpack.

However the resort has changed its mind and has just announced it will manage to open some slopes this weekend. 

Some runs off Hidden Peak will be open from 8.00am to 2.00pm.

Colder temperatures have preserved the snow and there is demand from the locals.

"We've extended the season as a thank you to our diehard skiers and all the fathers who want to get in a few last turns," said Bob Bonar, resort president, to local media. "The weather looks fantastic for what should be a very special holiday weekend."

Mammoth in California is still open as is the year-round Timberline ski area in Oregon.

flag_australiaAUSTRALIA: Fresh snow across Australia's ski areas helped get the season off to a positive start at the weekend when the country's resorts began opening for winter 2010. 

We reported on it here on PlanetSKI.

Temperatures have been low for the best part of a month allowing for plenty of pre-season snowfall and with 10-15cm of natural snowfall just before the resorts were scheduled to open, it's been a reasonable start to the season.

Perisher in New South Wales was the first to open reporting 10cm of new snow on a base the resort had been building for over a month with their snowmaking equipment. 

Perisher snow report on 19th June

Mt Buller has four lifts open with the resort's Bourke Street run is in good shape.

Mt Hotham has three lifts operating and Thredbo six lifts, four runs and a basic terrain park. 

Falls Creek has 10cm of snow lying too, and three lifts running.

flag_new_zealandNEW ZEALAND: In New Zealand conditions are some of the best in the southern hemisphere with Mt Hutt the second resort to open last weekend.

Coronet Peak was the first to open for the winter down under and most of the country's other ski areas opening over the next two weekends. 

Most have at least a 1m of snow.

This weekend The Remarkables opens with excellent snow levels.

You Tube Snow Report on June 17th from Coronet Peak with information on The Remarkables.

There's a base of 65cms on the lower mountain and 85cms at the top. It's likely that all terrain will be open from day one, including Homeward Run and the terrain parks.

"We are particularly excited that the whole mountain will be accessible to skiers and boarders from day one.  This year marks 25 years at The Remarkables and we're proud to say the ski area continues to improve year on year," said the ski area manager, Ross Lawrence.

Powder turns at Treble ConePowder turns at Treble Cone

















It's not quite the same over in South America though.

flag_chileCHILE: Portillo in Chile has delayed plan to open this weekend by a week to the 26th as the 40cm of snow lying at present is not enough apparently. 

"We were forced to make the decision after analysing the various short term snow forecasts, but believe it is necessary to provide sufficient time for guests with reservations the week of the 19 to organize alternate travel arrangements," said the resort in a statement.

The linked ski areas of El Colorado and Valle Nevado are now open with more snow expected in the next few days.  


flag_argentinaARGENTINA: Las Lenas and Cerro Catedral will open at the weekend following fresh snowfall in both resorts.

Las Lenas had 40cm and Cerro Catedral near Bariloche has around 15cm of fresh snow.

For a PlanetSKI resort review video from Cerro Catedrale see the vidoe below.

It's quite a place.


click here


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