The excitement is growing and up and down the country, skis are being taken out of the attic and prepped for the up coming ski season. The latest ski wear fashions are being perused and mulled over as keen skiers and snowboarders begin to make plans for the up coming winter ski season. The news over the last couple of days from the Alps is encouraging to say the least. Snow has fallen as the temperatures dropped dramatically and there was snow coverage at 2000m during Saturday evening. The majority of snow fell in Italy, Austria and the eastern Alps.
In Zillertal at the Hintertux Glacier fresh snow fall fell on the pistes and on Sunday 30cm was recorded. On the Dolomites in Italy above Canazei snow fall made a good covering akin to a white gleaming carpet. Heading west to Tignes snow made an appearance there too early on Sunday morning. It was no surprise that the snow melted fairly quickly in most areas and in Ischql a heavy blanket of snow was seen covering a vast area on Monday but by Tuesday its slopes where clear and not a glimpse of white crisp snow was to be seen anywhere.
By yesterday (Tuesday) the temperatures have begun to climb again to where we would expect them to be for late summer in August. The daytime freezing point is back at around the 4000m level with the temperature readings above 20°C at the resorts. Today (Wednesday) rain is expected today and over the next few days will become a tad stormy which will be mainly seen in the western Alps. This weather change will then move eastwards on Thursday and will still be unsettled for a few days. This changeable weather should calm somewhat by this coming weekend as high pressure once again reigns supreme.
If you are ready to take to the slopes and cannot wait for the main season to begin, you need to book your holiday to the likes of Hintertux and Zermatt as their glaciers are open year round to skiers. The lifts at Saas-Fee run throughout the late summer season and into autumn. You will be delighted to know that in around one month the majority of the glaciers will be up and running and open for business. On the 29th September (1 month today) the resort of Tignes will be open to skiers and at the Stubai Glacier, the pistes will be ready again all being well by the end of September.
If you are able to visit Australia or New Zealand within the next couple of weeks, you can catch the end of the winter ski season. Spring is on its way in New Zealand and you can tell by the snow coverage the season is close to ending. Some resorts are due to close by the end of September however most will stay open until the end of the first week in October. Mt Hutt will close then so if you’re keen, hurry up and get your skates on (so to speak) to book a pre taster of what’s to come in the Alps and Europe. It is worth a trip to NZ as snow is expected this week and a drop in temperature is also on the cards, so you can make the most of your time there.
If you fancy heading to Australia be prepared as there isn’t a lot of fresh snow around and it’s been in short supply for around 7 days now with only a little fresh snow fall. The temperatures are still cold though and a cold snap on Friday should see a fresh cover. Nevertheless the snow cannons are running so you can grab a spot of last minute skiing.
On the other hand if you can make your way to the Valle Nevado in the central Andes in Chile there was snowfall last Thursday and again on Saturday and more to follow this weekend.