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New Red and Black Runs For Courmayeur

Courmayeur by Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco as it is known on the Italian side) in the Aosta Valley has announced 1.3km of piste which is roughly divided between successive red and black slopes. The new lift is in the resort’s Arp sector which is in the process of being reborn decades after the Apetta ski lift which used to serve the area was dismantled.  A new lift is reported to be now in the works over the next few years, but in the meantime, the new runs will be opening. The Arp sector provides wonderful views of the southern side of Mont Blanc but until this winter only freeriders have been able to ski there, setting off from the…

Second French Ski Area Unable To Open For Autumn Glacier Skiing

Les 2 Alpes has cancelled its autumn glacier skiing week due to a lack of snow cover on its glacier, joining Tignes, which has been unable to start operating its autumn glacier skiing, which had been scheduled to start in late September. Les 2 Alpes (library picture above) doesn’t open for the season until December, but for several decades has opened for a special week of snowsports on its glacier, which it says is the largest in the Alps, at the end of October and the start of November. A statement issued by the resort says, “The Security Commission decided that it is impossible to open the glacier to the skiers because of high temperatures and lack of natural snow, as…

North American Ski Season Starts on Saturday

A ski resort in Colorado has announced it will open for the 2018-19 ski season on Saturday, 13th October, 2018. The decision by Wolf Creek ski area follows heavy snowfall in Western North America which saw some ski areas report as much as 70cm of snow in 72 hours during the week.  Wold creek says it has had 69cm.  A blue sky day is expected on Saturday, although with temperatures still low. “Wolf Creek received 10 inches in the last 24 hours and 27 inches in 72 hours.  The all-natural settled base is 21 inches at the midway with 27 inches year-to-date this season,” a resort spokesperson said, adding, “Treasure Stoke, Bonanza and Nova lifts will also be operating with…

When Was The First Ever Snowfall?

It’s long been established that planet earth is about 4.5 billion years old, but an equally important fact for snow lovers has never really been established: when did it first snow? This year a team from the University of Oregon has set to work to try to get an answer to that very question, and their conclusion, the mirror image of the famous answer to the question of life, the universe and everything in The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, not 42, but 2.4 billion years ago. The team decided that 2.4 billion years ago was the time when large land masses rose relatively swiftly from the oceans, kick starting the same climate models we have today. Those new…

World’s 4th Highest Peak Skied From Top For First Time

Following the successful descent of K2 on skis for the first time earlier this year, the planet’s 4th highest peak Lhoste, is reported to have also been finally skied from the top on Sunday. Americans James White Morrison and Hilaree Nelson are reported to have made the summit of the  of the 8,516-metre mountain shortly before 1:27pm yesterday afternoon before beginning a vertical descent of around 2000 metres, according to local reports.# The top part of Lhoste has a long couloir known as The Dream Line which descends for nearly 1000 vertical metres. About three quarters of this had been skied previously, but never from the top. Nelson and Morrison are reported to have successfully skied down to Camp II…

Where’s Open For Skiing and Boarding in October 2018?

Winter 2018 is coming to an end in the southern hemisphere as October begins but winter 18-19 is beginning to gather pace north of the equator with fresh snow falling on high slopes in many areas last month, snowmaking underway in Colorado and more glaciers opening in the Alps. Here's our round up. Austria Austria has the most ski areas open in the northern hemisphere in October.  The Hintertux, Kaunertal and Pitztal (pictured above) glaciers are all open with the Kitzsteinhorn due to open the first weekend of October and the Dachstein, Stubai and Solden glaciers expected to open soon too - the latter is hosting World Cup races at the end of the month.  The Molltal glacier was open…

World’s Highest 3S Gondola Opens, Coming Next: 540km Ski Area

After around two-and-a-half years’ construction work, the “Matterhorn glacier ride” – the world’s highest 3S cableway – has finally opened as planned above Zermatt, forming a new link between the Trockener Steg mountain station and the “Matterhorn glacier paradise” on the Klein Matterhorn (at 3883 metres above sea level). However the new gondola is just the first stage of a series of fast new lifts which will create an ‘Alpine Bruidge’ between Switzerland and Italy and open up an  expanded ski area with 540km of linked pistes, one of the biggest in the world and potentially THE biggest as some cartographers believe the 3 Valleys, regarded as the biggest with 600km of piste, actually has less than 540km of runs.…

500m Long Indoor Snow Slope Heading to Wales

Plans for what will be the longest indoor snow slope in the UK have moved forward with a successful public launch. At more than 500 metres in  length, the planned new snow sport centre in Wales, part of the Rhydycar West leisure destination, will dwarf the UK’s current longest slope in Manchester at 180m, and in fact be one of the longest yet built in the world. The Rhydycar West ski resort will resemble an authentic Alpine resort and will also incorporate ski and snowboard schools, competition runs, a freestyle park, a fitness centre, shops and various cafes and bars. But the centre will be about more than just recreational skiing, it will prove vital to the development of the…

Tignes Delays Planned 18-19 Season Opening This Weekend Due to Warm Weather

Tignes ski area in France has decided not to open this Saturday 29th September as planned as warm weather through the summer has depleted the snow cover, according to a resort statement issued today. "While last winter's impressive snowfall foreshadowed a serene summer and autumn in terms of ski quality on the Grande Motte glacier, the record temperatures recorded in Europe this summer and in recent weeks have have not spared the altitude ski area of Tignes.” Tignes, which back in the 1990s was open 365 days a year, still has the longest ski season France by some distance and is usually open in October and early November when no other French area is. It still normally endeavours to open…

Massive Spring Snowfall Dumps in New Zealand

There have been huge snowfalls to start the week in New Zealand, with ski areas reporting up to 70cm of fresh snow, and snow falling at rates of up to 10cm per hour at the height of the storm. The heavy snow caused logistical and operational issues initially leading many areas on the country’s South Island, which has had most of the snow, to close on Monday and delay opening on Tuesday until access could be made safe. Once they were able to open, conditions were superb. “We want to thank everyone for their patience today while we got the mountain open. Such a heavy fall of snow on top of the spring snow pack meant patrol had a lot…