Even with a little flurry across the Alps last week, the Ski and Snowboard season here in the Northern Hemisphere is well and truly over. There's always the Glacier resorts here for those who can't wait till the end of the year, but if you want truly fresh snowfall in the summer months why not travel to the Southern Hemisphere? 

With resorts across New Zealand, Australia, South America, and even Southern Africa offering snow through our summer months, its no wonder people are making the journey south, and why the locals are starting to build bigger and better resorts to match those of Europe and North America. So where exactly is there to go, and how's the season shaping up?

New Zealand:

The Resorts in New Zealand are Split into 3 different areas. All on the South Island, there's the Queenstown and Wanaka ski area which is home to; Treble Cone, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Cardrona Alpine Resort, who have all seen upwards of 50cm snowfall in the past week, and may be looking at pushing their mid to late June opening a week or so forward.

Further North of South Island are the other 2 ski areas of Mount Cook Mackenzie, and the Christchurch area of Canterbury, which between them bost 10 resorts, and ski fields of varying size, difficulty, and range of facilities. Mt Dobson, Roundhill Ski Area, and Ohau Snow Fields in the Mount Cook Mackanzie Ski Area have all seen snowfall already, and are preparing for a mid-June opening. Closer to Christchurch, not all resorts have seen decent snowfall yet, but are expecting to in the coming week or so, and are all well underway with their own snow making.

Southern Africa:

Not somewhere many would associate with snow sports, but as unlikely as it may seem, there are 2 ski resorts nestled up in the Drakensberg Mountain Range. Tiffindell in South Africa, and Afriski across the border in Lesotho, are extremely small by European standards, but offer a couple of well groomed runs, and fantastic facilities, giving people the taste for all things snow on the world's warmest continent. The two haven't seen snowfall as of yet this season, but are both stating an early June start, and will be starting up the snow guns any time.

 

Australia:

Somewhere else that's more akin to a Summer holiday, Australia has some superb ski resorts to offer, with some of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere split across the mountains of Victoia, and New South Wales. Many of the Australian resorts have seen major investment over the past few years too, and the acquisition of Perisher (the largest resort in the Southern Hemisphere) by Vail Resorts at the end of March this year could lead to more investemet, and shows a real attitude change towards the resorts in the South, with Perisher being included in Vail's Epic Pass from the 15/16 season. This will provide a near year round skiing experience between the 2 continents that includes some of the best know resorts in Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, and Vail itself, including a few more that really nestles Perisher in with some of the greats.

Along with Perisher, some of Australia's other larger resorts are; Hotham, Mt Buller, Falls Creek, and Thredbo. All resorts are now well on with their snowmaking for the up and coming season, and a few have already had some of mother natures own, with more expected in the coming week or so, meaning they're all looking good for starting the season as expected around the middle of June.

South America:

The resorts in South America straddle the Andes, with Chilean resorts such as Valle Nevado, Portillo, Corralco, and Nevados de Chillán on one side, and the Argentinian resorts of Las Lenas, Chapelco, Bayo, Catedral, and Castor on the other.

Many of the resorts in both Chile, and Argentina have seen a little snow so far, but not too much with Castor in Argentena seeing the best so far. The majority of the resorts however are on with snowmaking regardless for an early to mid June opening as the weather in the Andes can be extremely unpredictable. A whole season could go without snowfall in this part of the world, whereas a freak storm could come out of nowhere and bring it all in one day. It certainly delivered last season though, and with fantastic cities such as Santiago only being an hour and a half's drive from the likes of Valle Nevado, Chile could offer the perfect winter retreat this summer!

So if your missing the snow already, and can't wait till the end of the year, or if your in the Southern Hemisphere and haven't tried Skiing or Snowboarding before, why not give some of these fantastic resorts a try? And if you are already planning a trip, why not check out our sale section with all skiwear, and bordwear marked down due to being out of season.

Sam Williams - 27/05/2015

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