Skiinfo reports warm temperatures are causing rapid daily thaws on the remaining glaciers still open for 2011 summer skiing and boarding in Europe as well as the remainder of the huge 2010-11 winter snowpack in Western North America but in the southern hemisphere conditions remain good in Australia and are picking up in New Zealand but not much in South America.
In Europe Austria’s open glaciers are down to two after a third successive week of 30cm thaw left the Dachstein with only 10cm of snow on its glacier slopes and it decided to close them. The Kitzsteinhorn glacier is also down – by 40cm – but it still has 80cm lying and remains open. Temperatures are up at +8C even on the glacier and only upper slopes open. However the Molltal glacier has re-opened with 9.5km of runs and a snow depth of up to 1.8 metres. Tux continues to report snow depth of "up to" two metres and 22km of trails open.
It’s similar story elsewhere in the Alps. Saas Fee (picture attached) is now open along with Zermatt in Switzerland; Cervinia has joined Val Senales in Italy and Les 2 Alpes and Tignes remain open in France, although Val d’Isere is calling it a day for summer skiing after this weekend.
In Scandinavia Folgefonn and Galdhoppigen remain open in Norway but their bases are also diminished to around two metres – albeit still among the deepest in the world at present.
In North America the US will be back to its normal one summer ski choice – Timberline in Oregon – when Crystal Mountain in Washington State closes its ski lifts for its seven month season, it’s longest ever, this Saturday, July 16th. North of the border, in Canada, Whistler’s summer ski and boarding on the Blackcomb glacier has another week to run.
In the southern hemisphere things have been picking up in New Zealand at last with tail backs to the slopes as pent up demand was satisfied t some extent as ski areas began opening after healthy snowfalls. Due to a lack of base terrain open remains limited compared to the norm at this time of the season, but at least they’re now open. The access road to Mt Hutt was closed today by heavy snow.
In Australia resorts remain excited by unusually good snow conditions for this time in the season there. Many resorts are hovering around the metre snow depth mark, with Perisher well past it, crediting cloud seeding for boosting their cover by 13% over what it would have been, they reckon.
South Africa is having a less positive time with Argentinean resorts having trouble opening for lack of snow and in Chile Valle Nevado and Portillo have limited terrain open and thin base cover.