"Fresh snowfalls adding as much of 40cm of new snow in 24 hours to ski slopes at still-open ski areas in the US as well as glaciers in Austria, Switzerland and Italy; and bases still as deep as seven metres (23 feet) at some resorts, plus the early opening of an Australian ski area has left expectations high for June skiing in 2011", says Patrick Thorne, from skiinfo.co.uk.
After the number of open ski areas worldwide hit its annual low of around 25 resorts in May, that number will climb towards 100 as ski areas re-open in France and the southern hemisphere’s ski season gets underway in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Lesotho and South Africa.
Austria currently has the most glaciers open for snowsports in the Alps with the Dachstein, Kitzsteinhorn (above Kaprun), Kaunertal, Stubai and Tux due to stay open for all or most of the month. Most have more than two metre bases and Tux has the most terrain open – 45km.
In France all ski areas are currently closed but that changes on June 11th when the glacier above Val d’Isere due to open with those at Les 2 Alpes and Tignes following a week later on the 18th.
In Switzerland the end of the season at Engelberg and Diablerets last weekend means only year-round Zermatt is offering snow sports through June in the country, with Saas-Fee re-opening in July.
In Italy Val Senales and Passo Stelvio are joining the Presena Glacier above Passo Tonale, where two red runs are currently open, in offering June snow sports in the country.
In Scandinavia all three glacier areas, Stryn (picture attached), Folgefonn, and Galdhøpiggen, in Norway are now open with bases of up to 6.5m (22 feet) and new snow reported. You can also ski or board twice a week under the midnight sun in Riksgransen in the Swedish Arctic until mid-June, a single ski run is also open at Ruka in Finland until then.
In North America record snowfalls mean that more ski areas are open in June than, probably, ever before. A dozen ski areas were open for the US Memorial Holiday weekend a few days ago and five have announced plans to stay open at least to Canada Day and/or US Independence Day at the start of July. They are Mammoth Mountain in California, Crystal Mountain in Washington State, Snowbird in Utah, Timberline in Oregon and Grouse Mountain above Vancouver in BC, Canada. Arapahoe Basin in Colorado is also planning to open until mid June and may stay open to July with Donner Summit in California a further option.