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J2Ski Snow Report - July 4th 2024

J2Ski Snow Report - July 4th 2024

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Started by Admin in Snow Forecasts and Snow Reports

J2Ski Snow Report - July 4th 2024

Admin posted 04-Jul

Perisher, Australia, looking pretty good after 20cm of fresh this week...

Almost everywhere now open in the Southern Hemisphere, with Argentina and Chile enjoying great snow. Conditions improving in Australia and New Zealand.

The Snow Headlines - July 4th
- Portillo last to open in Chile, but reports more snow on opening day than season average.
- Les 2 Alpes and Val d'Isere expect to end summer ski seasons this weekend.
- Mount Hutt first ski area in New Zealand to reach 50% of slopes only.
- Saas Fee opening for summer ski season.
- Deepest snow in southern hemisphere passes 3 metre (10 feet) mark.
- Less than three months until the 24-25 winter season starts in Lapland.

A little more snow in the J2Ski forecasts

Re-publication :- the J2Ski 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
July is the start of the southern hemisphere's core season with peak school holiday weeks. The good news is that all of the main ski nations have had significant snowfalls over the past week and temperatures have stayed low.

The last of the big-name resorts in the Andes, Australia and New Zealand have also opened to start their seasons.

The latest snowfall - about a foot (30cm) for Australia and New Zealand, their biggest falls so far in an initially dry start to the 2024 season – has been described as a 'game changer', allowing most areas with only 5-20% of their slopes open so far the chance to add more terrain.

In Argentina and Chile, resorts had already passed their usual season totals as they started their winter operations, with some including recently opened las Lenas and Portillo reporting more than 6 metres fallen so far and other areas still battling to re-open access roads. So here more snowfall is not really needed (for now at least).

Elsewhere, resorts in the Alps are still trying to get back to normal after storms and floods almost a month ago.

Several more glacier areas in the Alps will end their summer opening this weekend, whilst Saas Fee is expected to start its 24-25 season (beginning with their summer skiing).

Two small areas remain open in Norway too and it's been cold enough in northern Europe for a dusting of snowfall on Scottish peaks on Thursday morning. There's one outdoor lift-served ski area still open in North America for Independence Day this week.

Southern Hemisphere
There was a welcome boost for Australian ski areas last weekend with the biggest snowfall of the season so far, bolstering snow depth by up to a foot. Unfortunately, as there had been so little snowfall previously, that's not been hugely transformative, but nonetheless, the amount of open terrain does continue to edge upwards.

It's been mostly dry and sunny since the snow but overnight lows have allowed snow guns to continue blasting out the machine-made stuff.

Perisher is leading the way with about a quarter of its slopes open now. Charlotte Pass, Australia's highest centre, is due to open this Friday after a delay caused by a fire in May. The centre says it is now fully functional and good to go.

New Zealand
New Zealand has seen a good snowfall too, following on just as the snow stopped falling in Australia. 20-30cm accumulations were reported on Monday through Tuesday which one ski area manager described as a "game-changer" after the fairly dry June left most ski areas in the region struggling to open more than 10-20% of their terrain and some smaller areas were forced to delay opening completely.

Mount Hutt became the first centre in NZ-Australia to report half its slopes were open at the weekend and Cardrona is not far behind. Treble Cone and Turoa (now run separately to nearby Whakapapa) were among the areas opening for their 2024 seasons at the weekend.

Argentina has seen some spectacular snowfalls over the past two months and is home to the first ski area in South America and the southern hemisphere to post a 3m+ base already - a stat that's not reached anywhere south of the equator in some years (and not seen for a few years recently).

The major ski area of Las Lenas finally opened last weekend after a few week's delay due to too much snow and high avalanche danger, posting a 2.9m base, one of its healthiest snow depths for many years, allowing access to its extensive upper mountain freeriding terrain, which doesn't open at all in dry winters.

Chile has had a sensational start to the season with unprecedented snowfall totals now passing 6 metres in some areas. That's the dream start to the season in terms of snow depths but has also caused issues with blocked access roads and high avalanche danger.

Portillo's opening was delayed by a week or so, but it did at the weekend with a base of nearly 3 metres and about two-thirds of its runs safely open.

The linked La ParvaValle Nevado area has the most terrain open in South America (and the world) at present, with over 50km between them.

There was more snowfall at the start of this week but for most areas, it's been a drier week at last giving skiers the chance to enjoy the snow.

Southern Africa
Lesotho's Afriski continues to be fully open with its nearly mile-long main run, learners area and terrain park all operational. No real natural snowfall but low overnight temperatures allow snowmaking to continue. Neighbouring South Africa's Tiffindell remains closed and up for sale.

The Alps have taken quite a battering from storms in recent weeks, with Les 2 Alpes, Saas fee and Zermatt amongst those hardest hit. The weather has settled a little and there have been some good sunny days since the last of the dramatic conditions at the weekend.

Temperatures have been yoyoing a good deal too with the snowfall line moving between 2500m and 4500m altitudes. That's resulted in some centres posting a big drop in their snow depths ...but also more light snowfalls at other times topping things up a few centimetres.

In this mixed picture, two of the open French glaciers, Les 2 Alpes and Val d'Isere, are expected to end their summer ski seasons this weekend leaving Tignes the only area open there.

In Austria, year-round Hintertux is currently the only centre open, with about 20km of slopes open.

The glacier above Zermatt, which can also be accessed from Cervinia, remains open with its neighbour Saas Fee expected to open for its 2024 summer ski season (which then morphs into autumn and winter seasons so its kind of its 24-25 season start).

Finally, Italy's Passo Stelvio also remains open with about 5km of slopes available.

North America
Timberline ski area on Mount Hood in Oregon is now the only lift-served centre operational in North America (outdoors at least, there is an indoor snow centre in New Jersey!). Usually open into August, sometimes to early September, it's had warm sunny weather leading to a fast thaw of the snowpack but it's still reported to be around 3m (10 feet) deep up top. There are a few miles of slopes and a terrain park, best conditions soon after dawn.

There is also a hike-to terrain park operating primarily for those attending private summer snow camps at Copper Mountain in Colorado, but it's open to all from Fridays to Sundays each week.
The Admin Man

Edited 2 times. Last update at 11-Jul-2024