Snow in the Southern Hemisphere
Large snowfalls in the Southern Hemisphere in the past weeks was welcome news for many ski resorts which opened their doors for the season.
Ski resorts in Australia are reporting that the huge snowfalls of last week have led to some of the best early skiing conditions this century.
“As of 1st July we have all lifts open at Hotham - we haven't been fully open this early since 2000!” said a statement from the resort, noting also that, “It was also one of the fastest openings in history with all lifts opening in just seven days.”
Remarkably, Australia had a very poor start to the season with almost nothing able to open for the first fortnight of the season after a record warm May and almost no early June precipitation.
The Remarkables ski area near Queenstown (NZL) opened on 3rd July 2014 after heavy snowfalls, coupled with temperatures dropping low enough for snowmaking. Snow cover has reached viable levels, with bases up to 90cm after around 30cm of snow fell in 48 hours. The resort’s new Curvey Basin Chair to the top of the ski area is opening up new trails and stunning views.
Meanwhile, Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area did not only open for the 2014 ski season, but was also awarded the 2014 Green Ribbon Award for its ongoing environmentally sustainable procedures. Coronet Peak took top honours for its work to reduce waste, carbon emissions, energy use and fuel consumption.
In South America, there has been snow in both Chile and Argentina with accumulations of up to 50cm in 24 hours. Ski areas including Valle Nevado, Nevados de Chillan and Lagunillas have been reported to have opened in Chile. In Argentina, Cerro Castor, Cerro Catedral, Chapelco, Las Lenas and Caviahue all have parts of their lifts running, inviting people of all age categories to enjoy the snow.
In Southern Africa the two small areas of Afriski in Lesotho and Tiffindell have both officially opened for their 2014 ski seasons. To get their season underway, both have been busy snowmaking, aided by the cold fronts, which brought natural snow.
Contributed by the Snow Hunter