While most of the Northern Hemisphere , notably central Europe has been experiencing an unusually long heat wave which has even led to earlier than planned closures of some glacier ski resorts in the very North, the Southern Hemisphere has seen a promisingly cold start to the winter.
Continuing cold with snow flurries have helped create an excellent basis for the season. For example Mt Hotham in Australia reports that so far this winter it has produced 155% more snow than this time last year. It’s looking good in New Zealand too, where good snowfall as well as good snowmaking conditions and a fantastic run of fine weather has seen the seven days from Saturday July 10th to Friday July 17th go into the books as the busiest period in Ruapehu Alpine Lifts in New Zealand’s 57 year history. Whakapapa and Turoa recorded 56,000 skier visits during the period, eclipsing the previous best of 51,000 recorded in 2007.
It’s been cold in South America as well where most areas have reasonably good conditions. It’s Chile’s Valle Nevado is very cold with temperatures from -9 to -11, with two feet of snow on the pistes and almost all runs and lifts open. In Argentina, Las Lenas is reporting great conditions, while the country’s other big resort, Catedral has some of the continent’s deepest snow with 1.5m on upper slopes.
In Africa, Lesotho’s Afriski is still enjoying a good season despite the lack of natural snowfall all winter so far! Instead they’ve clocked up 366 hours of snowmaking in temperatures as low as -13C which have helped maintain the integrity of the manufactured snow.