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J2Ski Snow Report - October 5th 2023

J2Ski Snow Report - October 5th 2023

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski Snow Report - October 5th 2023

Admin posted 05-Oct

J2Ski Snow Report October 5th 2023

Ruka, Finland, about to start the season with snow from last winter...

A little snow in North America, and inbound for Scandinavia.

The Snow Headlines - October 5th
- Increasingly heavy snowfall at altitude and northerly latitudes in North America.
- Final few weeks of southern hemisphere's season; Portillo and Treble Cone close for 2023.
- Glacier season in the Alps stalls after more warm weather, three areas delay opening.
- First snowfall on high slopes in California.
- Snowfall in Australia after the season ends.
- Les 2 Alpes cancels plans to offer skiing in October.
- First snowfall in Japan.

Snow for Scandinavia! But not much elsewhere, yet...

Re-publication :- our Snow Report Summary, being the text above this line, is free to re-publish, but must be clearly credited to www.J2ski.com with text including "J2Ski Snow Report" linked to this page - thank you.

World Overview
Autumn/fall coming in for the northern hemisphere, springtime in the southern.

Probably the most noticeable change this week has been in North America where there have been more snowfalls right down to California and New Mexico. There's nowhere open there yet but skiers have hiked up to record first turns on the thin cover and the snowmaking guns have fired up two miles high in Colorado as the race to be the earliest opener for 23-24 gets underway.

It's a different story in the Alps alas where mostly warm, dry conditions continue, eventually leading all the glacier areas that had planned to open last weekend to postpone and Les 2 Alpes, which had been due to be first in France to open later this month, to announce that it won't now be opening until December.

It's cold and snowy up in Scandinavia though where Finland's first centres are just opening this weekend thanks to recycling last season's stored snow.

It's not a lot better in Asia but a dusting of snow has been spotted (a few weeks later than usual) on Mt Fuji and the Yeti centre on its lower slopes will open this weekend, in its case thanks to an all-weather snowmaking system that has seen it open first in the country every season for almost three decades.

Last weekend saw most ski areas in the Andes and New Zealand end their seasons or switch to weekends only for a few more weeks, but there are about a dozen areas still open, in most cases either to this coming weekend or the one after. A few in New Zealand hope to make it to the latter half of the month.

Ironically Australia, where the season ended early in late September after an often warm winter, saw fresh snowfall on Thursday morning, although not enough to have changed things.

Unfortunately, much of the past week has not been good news for the early-season openers with more above-freezing temperatures on glaciers and lots of sunshine.

So it was that the three Austrian areas that had planned to join already open Hintertux and Pitztal decided to postpone. At the time of writing, Solden and Kaunertal plan to open this coming weekend, while the Kitzsteinhorn had delayed to the 14th when the Molltal and Stubai glaciers also plan to open.

It has been getting cooler, so they may still do it, but there's not been much snowfall to report, and Hintertux and Pitztal are making do with just 10-25cm (4-76 inch) bases!

The numbers are much better in Switzerland were Saas Fee and Zermatt have 1-2 metres lying.

For Italy, Passo Stelvio is the only place open still, having re-opened a second time after warm weather closure. It has snow lying a foot deep and about a third of its terrain open.

For France, there remains nowhere currently open, and Les 2 Alpes announced on Thursday that its plan to open in just over a fortnight, for a fortnight of skiing, has been axed as the forecast isn't looking overly promising.

It's still expected to be predominantly sunny for the coming week – so it also remains to be seen if Kaunertal and Solden will still open on Saturday as (at the time of writing) they say they will.

Finland's Levi and Ruka ski areas are opening for their 23-24 seven-month ski seasons this Friday 6th October.

Both stockpiled more than 100,000 cubic metres from last season under covers through the autumn and have spent the last week spreading it back out on the slopes to create a few kilometres of runs.

Meanwhile, the Galdhopiggen glacier, Scandinavia's highest ski area, has re-opened for the final month of its 2023 season and there was fresh snow falling on skiers or boarders there last weekend.

North America
It has been a more promising week in North America than much of Europe with ski resorts across the Western side of the continent reporting increasingly frequent and heavier 'dustings'.

At Mammoth Mountain first tracks were spotted on a thin layer of fresh snow on top of a surviving snow patch from last season on Monday, then on Tuesday ski patrollers at Silverton Mountain in Colorado posted pictures of their first runs on what appeared more substantial cover.

In Utah, several resorts reported snow from top to bottom and ski areas across the Rockies posted images of snow and fall colours on their slopes. Temperatures dropped to -5C overnight on high slopes in Colorado and resorts including Arapahoe Basin and Loveland turned snowmaking systems on with the official aim of creating bases for the first runs of the season.

Clear skies are forecast for the coming week in the Rockies with overnight lows of -2 to -6C, daytime highs around +12C

Southern Hemisphere
The 2023 season is over in Australia (as of late September) and we're down to single figures for the number of ski areas still open in the Andes and New Zealand as spring continues to take its hold.

A dozen or so more did make it to Sunday, October 1st, but some big-name areas including Chile's Portillo and Treble Cone in New Zealand both ended their seasons then.

Some New Zealand centres plan to stay open until the final week of October and half a dozen ski areas in the Andes plan to be open through this coming weekend or next. They've been helped in Chile by continuing low temperatures and in Argentina by some fresh snow flurries.

New Zealand's ski areas have had it all meanwhile, with gale closures, warm temperatures, but then freezing weather and light snowfalls too. The week ahead appears to be more of the same as the underlying temperatures inexorably rise.

So where's still open? In Chile, Corralco is open until Sunday and Valle Nevado next Monday, with some reports suggesting Antillanca and La Parva will continue until the 15th.

For Argentina, the southern hemisphere's biggest ski area Catedral, near the ski town of Bariloche, plans to stay open to the 15th and is offering locals free skiing for the final fortnight of the season.

For New Zealand Cardrona, Mt Hutt and The Remarkables are open to the 15th too, then the final areas left open in the southern hemisphere will be on Mount Ruapehu on the country's north island. Whakapapa is aiming for the 22nd, Turoa the 24th.
The Admin Man