Skiinfo reports We may be in to the latter half of May but It's an exciting weekend coming up with the 2011 southern hemisphere ski season opening at Perisher in Australia, while skiing under the midnight sun takes places for the first time in 2011 at Riksgransen in the Swedish Arctic Circle and if that's not enough there's also fresh powder in the Alps and North America!
Snow depths are up on glaciers in Austria and Switzerland, by as much as 30cm (a foot) thanks to fresh snowfalls over the past seven days. Beneficiaries include the Kitzsteinhorn glacier at Kaprun in Austria and Engelberg in Switzerland. You could also opt for Austria's Dachstein, Kaunertal, Stubai or Tux (picture attached) glaciers this week for more fresh snow. Switzerland also has Glacier 3000 open at weekends, and St Moritz and Zermatt both offering glacier skiing.Saas Fee re-opens July 9, 2011.
There are no ski areas open in France until next month. Les 2 Alpes *, Tignes** and Val d’Isere*** will re-open for summer skiing and boarding in late June (* 18 June – 28 August, ** 18 June – 4 September, ***June 11th – July 17th).
In Italy just the Presena glacier, with two red runs, above Passo Tonale.
The greatest snow depths in Europe, at more than five metres, are however to be found at Norway's summer ski areas
If you go further north still you can ski in daylight at midnight twice weekly from this Friday May 20th at Riksgransen in the Swedish Arctic circle which is fully open. Ruka in Finland is still open but with only one run operational.
Across the Atlantic there's been fresh snow too at Banff (Sunshine) and Whistler (Blackcomb Glacier) which are both still open. For Sunshine this is the last weekend of its long winter, unless it decides to extend its season - it's already planning to re-open for Canada Day at the start of July.
In the US you can still ski at Donner, Squaw and Mammoth in California, Snowbird in Utah, Arapahoe basin in Colorado, Mt Bachelor and Timberline in Oregon and Crystal Mountain in Washington state. Some are only open at weekends.
In the southern hemisphere Perisher ski area, Australia's largest, has announced it will open this weekend, following heavy snow last week and low temperatures for snowmaking nearly a month ahead of schedule and donate all ticket sales to charity.