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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.
Whilst the countdown to the season has begun in the Alps, down in the southern Hemisphere it is very much winding down. There is now no skiing on offer in Australia and come Monday 12th October there will be no further skiing in South America. That being said, the final weekend in South America is set to be a cracker following yet more snowfall to cap off an excellent winter. Meanwhile down in New Zealand, once Mt Hutt and Cardrona shut on Sunday, only Turoa and Whakapapa on North Island are set to remain open through October, with a closing date scheduled for October 26th.
Both the Hintertux (50/90cm) and Stubai (40cm) glaciers were open and were reporting around 5cm of fresh snow, giving some excellent turns for those up in the mountains for a pre-season ski. Sadly the Molltal Glacier (60cm) was closed due to the bad weather; it was suffering from stronger winds and heavier snow than our other featured areas.
The changeable theme is set to continue through into the weekend, with further light falls of snow forecast. In the slightly longer term a real cold blast, with freezing levels dipping to around 1500m, is currently predicted from Wednesday onwards – bringing the first real taste of winter for the valleys.
Some further snowfall is expected on Friday night, although this is forecast to be mostly light in nature. After this however sunny skies are predicted for the weekend, accompanied by temperatures hovering just below the freezing mark.
Some good falls of snow are forecast on Friday night, with up to 20cm possible before the sun comes out once again for the weekend. Temperatures should remain low enough to keep the snow powdery - great news if you have a trip planned this weekend.
Following several days on wind hold, both Cardrona (35/160cm) and Mt Hutt (90/130cm) were open again on Thursday. When the wind was blowing the temperatures were well above freezing which has unfortunately stripped quite a bit of the snow cover from the hill, but the main pistes are still complete. Sticking to the groomed pistes was the best option as Thursday’s colder temperatures resulted in a strong overnight freeze and icy conditions off piste.
The good news is that spring sunshine is set to return as we head into the weekend and mercifully the high winds are not forecast to return for a little while. Keep an eye out at Turoa and Whakapapa early next week however, as the wind speeds are set to increase.
This weekend is the last of the season for Mt Hutt and Cardrona, whilst Turoa and Whakapapa are set to continue right through to October 26th.
Expect some changeable weather in the Argentinian Andes as we head into the final weekend of the season, with all resorts set to receive further snowfall. Sadly for those looking for spring t-shirt skiing you’ll be disappointed as temperatures are set to remain below freezing.
Across in Chile, only Valle Nevado (50/280cm) was open on Thursday. The great news was that 14 of 18 lifts were turning and most of the slopes were still open, even in the last week of the season. 9cm of fresh snow was also reported on Wednesday 7th October, bringing some great late-season powder turns. Neighbouring El Colorado (50/100cm) has decided to open up for one final weekend on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th October, in part due to the excellent snow conditions from this week’s cold and snowy weather conditions.
The sun may pop out for the final weekend of the season which is great news and should give skiers and riders the perfect opportunity to carve through the fresh snow.