Southern Hemisphere 2012 Ski Season About to Kick Off
Started by J2SkiNews in Ski News
May 29, 2012551 Posts
The 2011-12 ski season in the northern hemisphere has finally ended – or at least the number of resorts still open is about as low as it gets before centres start re-opening for summer glacier skiing.
Only Timberline, Oregon; Crystal Mountain in Washington State and the Blackcomb Glacier are open in North America after Mammoth called it a day at the weekend. In Europe less than a dozen areas are operational in Europe with none in France, just Zermatt in Switzerland and a handful in Austria, Italy and Norway plus Riksgransen in Sweden and Ruka in Finland – our own dear Cairngorm also ended its ski season at the weekend as temperatures ion Aviemore suddenly soared to a near May record 27C.
So focus can switch to the southern hemisphere where Australia's biggest resort, Perisher, became the first to open in the southern hemisphere last weekend following a foot of pre-season snow arriving.
Due to open on the 9th of June the resort, which has closed its slopes again for the week, says it will re-open for 2012 proper a week early this Saturday 2nd June.
Next up will be Afri-ski in Lesotho, all being well, which is due to open a few days later and has already announced good snowmaking conditions. Most of the resort of the Southern Hemisphere's nearly 100 ski areas – most in Argentina, Australia, Chile and New Zealand, will open over the following three weekends.
New Zealand will be hoping for no report of the very warm May/June of 2011 that delayed opening in a manner very similar to the Alps last Noivember.
n South America they're hoping La Nine will be good news for them as it was for Western Canada if not California earlier this year. There's also relief that the volcano erupting close to Catedral ski area near Bariloche, causing travel and operational problems a year ago, has been downgraded to 'minor.'
In any event Valle Nevado in Chile, will be opening the country's first gondola. Seventy cabins with a capacity of six passengers each will add to the already modern infrastructure which includes quad chair Andes Express, the fastest lift in the region.
Another Chillean resort, La Parva, will open the first half-pipe Olympic training centre in South America and just over the border in Argentina, Las Leñas is installing a new Doppelmayr quad chairlift .
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