Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where To Ski This Week

Skiinfo reports new snow in four Western North American resorts - a relatively unheard of event anywhere in May - when Mammoth Mountain then Donner Summit in Colorado, Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and resorts in Oregon reported between 20 and 40cm of new snow in 24 hours towards the end of last week.
By contrast there has been no new snow reported at open ski areas in Europe in the past week, and indeed warm, weather has led to several centres reporting snow depths have declined by up to 30 cm, however most remain open with healthy base depths and two more are set to open this weekend - Stryn in Norway, the third and final of the country's three summer ski areas to open for 2011, and Passo Stelvio in Italy, which join the only other Italian skiing currently available, two red runs on the Presena glacier above Passo Tonale.
Elsewhere in Europe the open ski areas in Switzerland are diminishing with the glacier at St Moritz now closed and the Engelberg and Diablerets/Gstaad glaciers due to close after this weekend - leaving only Zermatt open until Saas Fee re-opens.
Austria still has the most centres open with five to choose from, most with bases around two metres. Tux, with 45km of runs open, has the most terrain to enjoy.
There's no skiing in France until mid-June when its three remaining summer glacier ski areas at les 2 Alpes, Tignes and Val d'Isere begin re-opening for summer 2011.
In Scandinavia Ruka in Finland still has one run open and Riksgransen in Sweden likewise, now offering skiing and boarding under the midnight sun twice weekly in addition to usual day time operations.
Besides the US resorts mentioned you can still ski at Squaw Valley in California, Snowbird in Utah (picture attached), Crystal Mountain in Washington State and Mt Bachelor and Timberline in Oregon. North of the border in Canada only Whistler's Blackcomb Glacier will open this weekend - for the last time this season, as sunshine at Banff ended its winter 2010-11 last weekend with the Bikini Slalom breast cancer charity fundraiser. However sunshine thinks it probably will re-open for snowsports for Canada Day at the start of July and Grouse mountain above Vancouver will also re-open through June next week.
In the southern hemisphere it remains to be seen if Perisher, Australia's largest resort, will repeat it's early opening last weekend over this weekend. The resort reports it expects colder weather towards the end of the week.

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