While Europeans keep sweating in record-breaking heat waves, Australian winter sportsmen rejoice over one of the snowiest winters of the last two decades. Snow is falling heavily on the mountains Down Under since mid-August. Divine powder conditions lure more skiers and snowboarders than usual into the mountains in the south. At Australia's largest ski resorts the snow cover has grown to more than two metres – unheard of since 2004!!
Here is some video evidence of current dream conditions at Perisher, Australia's largest ski resort with 47 lifts and 123 slopes:
Snow More Than 2 Metres Deep
Current depths of snow at Australia's most popular ski resorts:
(mountain-top values on 22 August 2018)
|Falls Creek||216 cm|
|Mt. Hotham||215 cm|
|Perisher Blue||204 cm|
|Charlotte Pass||204 cm|
Snowstorms Started at Season Opening in June
The Australian season opening in June was already characterised by frosty temperatures and heavy snowstorms, bringing up to 70 centimetres of fresh snow. While snowfall in July was rather minor, temperatures in the mountains remained cold, hence enabling the use of snow cannons.
In August, the snow came back, and it hasn't stopped since. Last week alone, the more highly situated resorts got half a metre of fresh snow. And more is to come in the next few days.
First Ski Resort Prolongs Season
At Thredbo, the country's highest ski resort, operators are extremely happy about the snow masses. They have announced to prolong the season until 7 October 2018. Some current impressions of last weekend at Thredbo:
Lots of Snow in New Zealand As Well
New Zealand's winter is not quite as record-breaking, but very snowy all the same. Mount Ruapehu, the North Island's highest mountain, especially boasts a lot of fresh snow. Ski resorts Turoa and Whakapapa report snow depths of over 240 centimetres.
Due to heavy snowstorms, some lifts even had to be temporarily closed. Avalanche blasting was necessary at some instances. How this can go wrong in rare cases was shown in Turoa at the beginning of August, when an avalanche had High Noon Express's lift pole snapped.
Reminder of Record-Breaking Winter in the Alps
This brings to mind the record-breaking winter of 2017/18 in the Alps. Here as well, many ski resorts rejoiced, while other places were temporarily cut off from the outside world.