With good snowfall conditions in most of the southern hemisphere, the 2010 ski season officially kicked off last weekend with Coronet Peak New Zealand reporting a 50cm (20 inch) base including 15cm (six inches) of new snow. Thousands of Queenslanders hit the piste to celebrate.
Conditions are actually looking good across the country and most of New Zealand’s resorts will open in the next three weeks. First Tracks were reported at Treble Cone earlier in the week, for those prepared to hike up, with 30cm of new snow and The Remarkables currently has a 60cm (2 foot) base although no plans to open for another two weeks. Mt Hutt, with a full one metre (3.3 foot) base, was expected to open on June 12th. Cardrona and Mt Ruapehu will open later this month.
Ski Dobson possibly has the deepest base in the southern hemisphere at preset with 1.3m, (4.3 feet) but it will not open until the weekend on June 20th, and full-time from the following weekend.
In Australia, most resorts have a natural snow last month and the low temperatures are ideal for snowmaking. Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Thredbo and Perisher are all snowmaking at the moment ahead of opening in the next few weeks.
In South Africa the country’s only ski area of Tiffindell has a snow covering and with low temperatures continuing should be able to open quite soon. The same is true of Afriski in neighbouring Lesotho which had hoped to open on June 1st. Both resorts are hoping to cash in on additional visits due to the World Cup.
In South America many ski areas are reporting cold temperatures and are starting to open in Chile. Chile’s Valle Nevado will be opening shortly and Portillo on the 19th.
In Argentina Las Lenas reports 4cm of snow remains on the tops of the mountains following a big 30cm (12 inch) fall last month.
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