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Snow overview - our twice-weekly round up of the latest snow conditions in the mountains

Snow Overview

Our twice-weekly round up of the latest snow conditions in the mountains

Get the latest snow and weather conditions in all major ski areas updated on Monday and Thursday afternoons by the Ski Club's information department.

Monday 03 August 2015

Summary

Fresh snow was recorded all over the Southern Hemisphere, with the best falls received in South America and Australia. The latter is possibly offering the pick of the skiing at present and more snow is forecast this week which is great news. However a big snowstorm is set to hit the Andes this week, with as much as 200cm possible by the weekend – likely transforming the conditions across the mountain. Meanwhile on Europe’s glaciers another heatwave had begun on Monday, resulting in further snowloss but some great t-shirt skiing weather. Summer skiing is now over in North America.

The sun was shining in Austria, giving great overhead conditions at both the Hintertux and Molltal glaciers. Both are wearing thin however and base depths have been dropping significantly.

A new summer ski week began in France with lots of sunshine and a hot temperature.

Cervinia is currently the only Italian resort we feature and it was quite a sight on Monday, beautiful sunshine with great views.

Timberline, USA has now closed the glacier for the end of the summer season.

Australia continues to offer some great mid-winter skiing, with all resorts reporting fresh snow on Monday. Head to the trees or the sheltered bowls for the best snow; it has been a windy weekend.

There have been high winds in New Zealand that has caused a good portion of our featured resorts to close on Monday.

Argentina is looking great heading into the new week, with fresh snow across our featured resorts and more in the forecast.

It was very similar in Chile on Monday, with fresh snow falling and lots forecast for the week ahead. Until this snow falls however, stick to the upper slopes for the best conditions.

Austria

The sun was shining and the temperatures were warm in Austria on Monday 3rd August. Despite having 10 lifts open, the Hintertux Glacier (110cm) was looking visibly worn and the base depth dropped a further 25cm over the weekend. The Molltal glacier (210cm) retains a greater snow depth and the main pistes appear to be holding up better than at Hintertux. Sadly another heatwave is expected this week, with temperatures in the valley above 30C and the freezing level rising to almost 5,000m, so expect a further deterioration in the snow conditions by the weekend.

France

Skiing is quite limited in France at the moment. Les Deux Alpes (155cm) currently has the most slopes available and had 21 lifts running on Monday. Tignes is dwindling a little with only a few slopes open and three lifts were running on Monday. If you’re happy to ski on slushy slopes and enjoy some beautiful views then France can certainly provide that.

Switzerland

Some good skiing is still available in Switzerland despite the recent warm and wet weather. Zermatt (130cm) looked very pleasant on Monday with bright blue skies and sunshine lighting up the views of the Alps for as far as the eye can see. There were 14km of slopes open for those on the mountain with 17 lifts ferrying the visitors around. There were also good links into Cervinia, Italy if your lift pass enabled you to cross the border.

It could get quite cloudy over the next few days for Zermatt and Saas Fee, which means light showers maybe on the horizon too.

Italy

It was quite a hot day in Cervinia, Italy on Monday 3rd August with an average mid-mountain temperature of around 15C. The only skiing available is at the Plateau Rosa with the slopes starting out fairly firm but softening quickly in the rising sun. The connections into Zermatt, Switzerland were open so there were quite a lot of pistes available to coincide with the beautiful sunshine.

North America

Timberline, USA has now closed the glacier for the end of the summer season.

Australia

Following a brief spell of mild and damp weather at the end of last week, the snow fell heavily once again on Sunday and into Monday across the Australian Alps. More snow and cold temperatures are forecast this week, with around 20cm of fresh snow and mid-mountain temperatures of -5C expected. Tuesday and Friday offer the best chance for some sunshine, but wrap up warm as even on these days it is set to be cold with a stiff breeze blowing.

Thredbo (96/96cm) was the snowiest destination on Monday, receiving 25cm of dry powder across the mountain. Head to the sheltered trees or leeward slopes for the best snow however as high winds had moved around a lot of the new snow. Ben Lomond (30/50cm) on Tasmania was the snowiest resort over the entire weekend however, picking up more than 30cm of snow. Some great skiing was reported here as a result, making up for the very slow start to the season.

Elsewhere around 15cm of fresh snow was received. Resorts such as Mt Hotham (87/104cm), Falls Creek (91/99cm) and Mt Baw Baw (52/75cm) all saw this amount of fresh snowfall to give some nice powder stashes across the mountain. The snow continued to fall on and off during Monday, adding a further fresh top up to the already excellent conditions.

New Zealand

The majority of New Zealand was closed on Monday due to high winds; these resorts were Mount Dobson, Mount Hutt, Mount Olympus, Mount Lyford, Porter Heights, Rainbow and Turoa.

Of the remaining resorts still open, their slopes were quite good as fresh snow has fallen and wasn’t affected by windy conditions. Whakapapa (146/174cm) started out cloudy on Monday but cleared later in the day. On Sunday around 5cm fell on the resort so the pistes have been freshened alongside the off piste. It was a little windy in places in the resort as only four lifts were running so skiing availability was reduced somewhat.

Coronet Peak (75/160cm) was also open on Monday and a light flurry of snow was recorded on Sunday. The slopes have been refreshed slightly so skiing conditions are quite pleasant. It was fairly cloudy in the morning but the sun started the breakthrough in the afternoon. All eight lifts were turning, which is great news for the resort.

The changeable weather seen on Monday looks likely to become very cloudy but there is a good chance of fresh snow, which could be quite heavy in Mount Dobson and Turoa.

South America

It was a very snowy weekend in Argentina, with fresh snow picked up at all of our featured resorts. The pick of the conditions are to be found on the upper slopes, as temperatures of around 0C on the lower slopes have resulted in some slightly heavier snow conditions. Be careful out there however as the avalanche danger is at Level 4 – the second most severe on the five-point scale.

Chapelco (40/150cm) received 45cm of fresh snow on Sunday, leading to some great powder conditions on the mountain. Cerro Catedral (35/180cm) is now boasting the best base depth in the country following 30cm more snow on August 2nd. More snow is in the forecast this week too, especially at Las Lenas (100/160cm) which is expecting around 1.5m of new snow by Saturday according to the latest forecasts.

Fresh snow also fell in Chile, although base depths here are lower than across the border in Argentina. Termas de Chillan (50/68cm) received the most new snow, with 30cm picked up across the mountain and more expected this week. Be careful out there however as the new snow was accompanied by strong winds, leading to a high avalanche danger.

The resorts further north in the High Andes saw less snowfall over the weekend but are expecting a serious snow storm this week. 15cm fell at both Valle Nevado (20/90cm) and Portillo (84/110cm) on Sunday, improving the slopes but still more is needed for full coverage across the mountain. However, the big storm is set to sweep in on Wednesday and by the time it is finished on Saturday, potentially more than 200cm will have fallen. This would transform the slopes, although bear in mind that with so much snow expected it could be some time before they open up fully.
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