Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports 01-Jul-2018
The Remarkables, NZ, has clocked up a few powder days already!
With a snowy start to the season in Australia, New Zealand and South America, here's our guide to where you can ski this month.
July's Snow Headlines
- Summer glacier skiing underway in the Alps, Norway, BC, Oregon and Montana.
- Big snowfall forecast for the Andes for first few days of July.
- Significant summer snowfall in Salzburgerland.
- Biggest early season snowfall in 18 years claimed in Australia.
- Saas Fee opening for its 9 month ski season in July.
- Early July snow forecast for the Andes and southern Africa.
Winter 2018 has got off to a pretty good start in most areas of the southern hemisphere with some significant snowfalls for Australia ("the best start to the season for 18 years"), New Zealand and ski areas in the Andes - where another big snowfall is forecast for the first few days of July.
Southern Africa too had a good snowfall (by their usually marginal snow cover standards) just before the season started at the start of June and more snow is in the forecast here too over the first few days of July.
The summer glacier season is also gathering pace in the European Alps and Norway with a total of 10 areas open. Although there are now only a third as many areas opening in July and August as there were 20 years ago, this summer, unlike last, sees most that are still open having good bases after the big winter snowfalls. There was even fresh snow in the Austrian Alps in the last week of June - the start of summer.
In North America there's been June snowfall in British Columbia, Oregon and Newfoundland and three ski areas are open for the start of July.
In the Alpine Forecast
It's warm in The Alps, and likely to stay around seasonal averages for the next couple of weeks at least. There is a possibility of high altitude snow early next week to keep some of the glaciers fresh.
Only a few resorts are open, so check local conditions and opening times directly before travelling!
Snow in the forecast for next week...
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Australian ski areas are in pretty good shape as we move in to the main season in July. After a season start three weeks ago with little or no natural snow cover remaining from the mid-May snowfalls, heavy snow in mid-June transformed conditions for the snowiest start to the season in 18 years.
There was further light snowfall in the last few days of June and bases are up at 50-80cm across the country – pretty good for this early in the season. Most resorts are running 50-75% of lifts and have a similar percentage of their total terrain open.
Several ski areas in New Zealand started their 2018 seasons early last month due to the good conditions with heavy snow storms in late May and early June. That hasn't really stopped much through the past month and whilst ski areas have sometimes been stormbound and forced to close, there have also been multiple powder days. Most of new Zealand's ski areas are now open for their 2018 ski seasons with the biggest, Turoa on the North Island, one of the latest, opening on the last weekend of June and reporting the deepest base in the southern hemisphere so far this winter at 1.4 metres. Most other Kiwi ski areas have good early-season bases too - at 50-100cm in most cases.
Argentina saw good snowfall at the start of June, before the season began, so the snow was lying deep when resorts like Catedral and Las Lenas opened a few weeks ago – 50-100cm deep in fact. There hasn't been a lot of fresh snow since and the snow is now hard packed but heavy snow is forecast for the first few days of July.
The 2018 season has started well in Chile and there's plenty more fresh snow falling as we move in to July. Most of the country's ski areas opened in mid-June and bases are currently in the 50-100cm bracket as we start the month, which is only the second or third week of the season for many. Portillo is reporting the deepest base in the country at a metre. The current snow storm is expected to bring 30-60cm of new snow by the start of the week (July 2nd) to most Chilean ski areas, so it's powder all the way.
After the good snowfalls at the end of May, June was a fairly dry month in southern Africa, however both South Africa's Tiffindell and Afriski in Lesotho have been able to keep most or all of their terrain open with snowmaking.
The good news is a cold weather front in the region at the start of July is forecast to deposit up to 15cm of the natural stuff across the region by Monday 2nd July.
We start July with the same number of ski areas open in the Alps as at the start of June; eight, but with a few different resorts involved!
Three French areas have opened and one in Italy, whilst several Austrian areas have closed. The number should stay at eight again for the start of August, but again a slightly different eight with two more due to close and two due to open this month.
In Austria the Kaunertal and Stubai glaciers closed in June after their 8-9 month season but the Kitzsteinhorn remains open for three more week to July 22nd and it was here that reported 20cm of fresh snow in the last week of June (the first of summer). The Hintertux glacier also remains open year-round and the Molltal glacier re-opened in June so there's a choice of three areas open at the start of the month in Austria.
In France, where there were no areas open a month ago, Val d'Isere, Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are all now open. The latter two will stay open through July but Val d'Isere, which had been the first to open, will also be the first to close on July 13th. Les 2 Alpes hosted the US ski team for training just before it opened for the season on June 23rd.
Cervinia has re-opened on the last weekend of June after closing in late May, it joins Passo Stelvio as one of the two choices there.
Saas Fee is scheduled to re-open for its long 2018-19 season (through to April next year) on July 15th.
It's not really a vintage year in Norway where the Stryn glacier has had one of its shortest ever summer ski seasons, closing after just a few weeks in early June (rather than mid-July as planned). Riksgransen in Sweden also failed to open for midsummer skiing, both due to the warm temperatures and resulting snow melt. However the Folgefonn and Galdhoppigen ski areas in Norway are open through July and have 1.3-4m bases reported so should be good to last through the summer.
There are three ski areas open in Canada and the US as we start July but only one will (hopefully) still be open as the month ends.
The Beartooth Basin summer ski area in Montana which opened last month will complete a five week summer season on July 8th and Whistler Blackcomb which opened a week later will also close a week later after five weeks in operation there on July 15th.
The Timberline snowfield on Mt Hood in Oregon should however stay open in to August.