The 2017 ski season has started in the southern hemisphere and in a re-0run of 2016, it’s ahead of schedule.
The first opening scheduled opening date was June 1sy when Afriski in Lesotho plans to open, but as in 2016, there have been big snowfalls in South America allowing El Colorado ski area in Chile (below) to open nearly a month ahead of the scheduled date. A second Chillean ski area, Valle Nevado (above), says it will also open early, this weekend.
¡Este finde lo pasamos increíble! El Colorado siempre inaugurando las temporadas, y este 2017 no fue la excepción. Sube cuando quieras, hoy #SomosMás los amantes de la nieve
Posted by El Colorado on Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Ski areas in Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South America have all reported big pre-season snowfalls with ski areas in New Zealand reporting the latest large accumulations of up to 80cm at the weekend on the south island.
It’s being mid-autumn in the southern hemisphere however temperature can rise as well as fall with implications for snow cover.
At least three ski areas in Australia and New Zealand aren’t taking any chance and have invested in special snow making machines this winter that can make snow within large internal chambers then spread it on the slopes (albeit a limited area) even when temperatures are in double figures above freezing.
Thus Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand expects to be the first in the country to open for the season for what’s believed to be the first time ever, a week on Saturday, June 3rd. Ski areas in Australia meanwhile hope to guarantee snow on their traditional opening date, the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend from June 10-12 this year, when ski areas often open with no snow.