Winter in the Southern Hemisphere is a fickle beast with the marginal temperatures. So how are we doing in Australia and in New Zealand in 2011, two weeks after the beginning of the ski season?
The good - Opening weekend (Queen's Birthday) saw a good start in Australia with most ski resorts opening a few lifts. I may not sound too excited (I'm not) but I have to admit its a bonus as most years there is no snow on the ground on Opening weekend!
The bad - We've been lucky enough to have another snowfall since Opening weekend in Australia. But that has barely kept the grass tips white as in between we have had extended warm periods. Temperatures have been very mild in SE Australia in June and the rains have become less frequent.
The ugly - This time last year, New Zealand had masses of snow on the ground and all skifields opening and firing. As of today, they're all closed due to no snow except for Mount Hutt which opened yesterday with one beginner run made from artificial snow. Thankfully we are booked for September as usual!
Prospects? Well things can change rapidly but there's not a lot on the forecast over the next two weeks. Perhaps some snowfalls in Australia in the middle of next week, followed by in New Zealand. Keeping things in perspective, realistically we never plan to ski before mid-July these days. But looking back at my records - things can change very quickly so its always good to keep your skis waxed!