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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
Spring skiing in South, glaciers need cold
A small number of ski areas in the northern hemisphere are still providing September snow sports. A total of six ski areas remain open in the northern hemisphere at present in Austria, Switzerland and Italy. This is believed to be the lowest number of ski areas open north of the equator at any time of year, in any year, since summer skiing really got started in the 1970s.
Thanks to the warm weather, conditions are challenging for glacier areas planning to re-open shortly, and it is reported that they need substantial snowfall to make this possible. The Pitztal glacier in Austria, the country's highest, is the only one currently committing to an opening date - a week on Saturday, September 24th. The ski resort boasts a special snow making system operated only by itself with and Zermatt (www.ide-snowmaker.com), which can produce snow even at positive temperatures if needed.
About 10 glacier centers could be open in a month, including Tignes in France; Engelberg and Glacier 3000 above Gstaad and Les Diablerets in Switzerland. Austria is expected to see the most glaciers open for October season start festivals as usual, with Sölden, Stubai, Dachstein, and Flattach among those likely to join the already re-opened Mölltal and year-round Tux glacier ski areas. Cervinia in Italy normally opens for October weekend snow sports too.
Currently the rate of thaw appears to have slowed at least, with Saas Fee, one of the six still open, reporting only a 2cm decline in snow depth over the past seven days. This compares to thaws of 20-40cm a week at the peak of summer.
In North America, Timberline in Oregon plans to re-open in a few weeks after its annual maintenance closure. Weather conditions permitting, some of the world's highest ski areas such as Loveland and Keystone in Colorado should also soon begin snow making, with areas opening sometime in October.
In the southern hemisphere it is spring skiing conditions all round. Resorts in Australia, Argentina, Chile and New Zealand remain open with some like Catedral in Argentina, Portillo in Chile and Coronet Peak in NZ reporting healthy upper-slope depths that are likely to see them skiing and boarding into October if they wish.
Contributed by www.skiinfo.co.uk
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