Started by J2SkiNews in Ski News 30-May-2018
The southern hemisphere's 2018 ski season looks set to start tomorrow, May 31st, with New Zealand's Manganui Ski Area run by the Stratford Mountain Club likely to take first honours.
"We'll open tomorrow and be the first ski field in the country again. Our prep crew made great progress today and we are ready to operate the T bar and Learners tow tomorrow after the usual safety checks and de icing if required. Top Tow extremely unlikely to operate," the Club's Facebook page noted today.
Most ski areas had not planned to open until at least Saturday, June 2nd, but heavy snowfall and cold weather in New Zealand over the past 12 days has led a number of centres to announce early openings.
Cardrona and Coronet Peak will open for 'preview days' this weekend – 1 or 2 weeks early – reporting bases of up to 90cm.
Mt Ruapehu 'Happy Valley' area will also open on Saturday.
There's been heavy snow in the Andes too so some areas may open early there – otherwise most begin operations from mid-June; Mt Hutt is likely to be the 4th New Zealand area to open a week on Friday (8th June) when Perisher (first in Australia) is also due to open.
There's been some fresh snow in Southern Africa too where Afriski in Lesotho and Tiffindell in South Africa are due to open next week also.