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November 2017

Mixed Weather Messages as US Resort Opens Then Closes Again

Conditions in Western North America seem to be fluctuating dramatically with some big snowfalls but also high humidity and rain at times.   As a result whilst some resorts are still opening earlier than expected due to the big snowfalls, others, sometimes in the same state, are delaying opening and in at least one case, has announced it is closing again after opening for the season. The biggest name casualty if the warm temperatures was Snowbird in Utah which opened last Wednesday for the US Thanksgiving Holiday but was forced to close again by Saturday.  An online statement said, "While a strong effort was made from our operations team, unseasonably warm weather has forced a "Delay of Game" and put

Scottish 17-18 Ski Season Close To Kick Off

Hopes of an early start to the Scottish ski season have risen as more snow has fallen through the past 24 hours. The Lowther Hills club field in southern Scotland (image from the local area taken this morning below) looks set to get bragging rights for being first in the country to open for 17-18 as it plans to open its slopes to members this evening after fresh snow overnight – subject to being able to persuade enough volunteers to man the facilities. In the Highlands Glencoe (pictured top) reported 10cm of snowfall in an hour today as part of ongoing snowstorms there. The snow cover at the five Highland centres is so far too thin but several centres have

Niseko Opening on Thursday

Japan’s famed ski resort of Niseko has announced it will open for the season this Thursday, November 23rd. The powder snow for which it is most famous has started falling in abundance  with around 100cm blanketing the village over the past week and a further 80cm forecast for the coming few days. Unusually for a Japanese ski centre in the 21st century, Niseko will see two new quad chairlifts go in to service this December in two of its sectors. Both will especially benefit beginner skiers, but there are advantages for more advanced skiers too. Firstly Tokyu Resort Services have upgraded the Grand Hirafu's Ace Family Pair lift to a high speed quad. The original lift was running at capacity

Food First on the Slopes?

A new study conducted on behalf of tour operator Club Med has found that the range of restaurants and bars in the local area is the most important factor when it comes to making their ski resort destination choice. The claim is made following the consumer research conducted by YouGov who contacted 1000 adults between 5th and 11th October 2017 on behalf of Club Med. “Previously an overlooked aspect of a holiday, 84% of winter sports fans say their week away is the ideal opportunity to try new foods. For 36%, the range of restaurants and bars in the local area is the most important factor when selecting a destination,” a Club Med spokesperson commented. Other stats the survey threw

Dozens of Ski Areas Open Across North America

An unprecedented number of ski areas opened across North America at the weekend, several claiming it was their earliest ever opening, or at least the earliest for several decades.  One area said it was their earliest opening for 68 years. The decision by many to open seems to be in response to early snowfalls in some areas whilst others have used ever improving snow making systems to open terrain. In total more than 40 ski areas opened.  Some were open for the weekend only although most say they’ll re-open next weekend. In Canada ski areas opened from East to West Coasts with more than a dozen areas opening.  They included coastal areas Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain, as well as

Resorts Opening Early For Ski Season

Ski resorts have been opening early for the 2017-18 ski season in fairly unprecedented numbers – at least in terms of the wide geographical spread. Ski areas have been opening in the Rockies, Alps, Scandinavia and on North America’s East and West Coasts but tomorrow will also see the more unusual early-November openings of ski areas in Europe’s southerly Dolomites and Pyrennean mountain chains. North America In North America among the latest to open in the past few days have been Mammoth and Boreal in California, Killington in Vermont and the two Banff ski areas of Sunshine and Lake Louise (pictured top). The next 48 hours will see the first ski areas to open in BC (Panorama and Cypress Mountain),

Huge Early November Snowfall in Alps and North America

There have been huge snowfalls in Europe and North America over the weekend – and in many areas the snow is still falling and is expected to continue to do so all week. About 25 ski areas are already open for the 2017-18 ski season in the Alps and some of these reported up to 90cm (three feet) of fresh snow since Saturday.  At some areas the snow is expected to continue falling all week.  The Stubai glacier, one of the areas that has had the most snow, is pictured above and below. In North America snow fall that began in Alberta and BC in Canada has expanded to cover much of the west of the continent. Kicking Horse ski

Ski Season Starts Today in Canada After Big Snowfalls

Mt. Norquay in Banff National Park will be the first ski resort in Canada to open for the season later today 11am local time. It will stay then open 7 days/week from 9am to 4pm through to next spring.  (Image taken yesterday at Norquay credit Luke Sudermann) It will be joined on Saturday by Nakiska ski area (video below).   A week later the other two Banff ski areas, Lake Louise (below) and Sunshine, are scheduled to open for their six-month ski season to May 2018, along with a fifth Albertan ski area, Marmot Basin up near Jasper. Tera Swanson of SkiBig3 which represents the three Banff ski areas believes sunshine may open even sooner than a week tomorrow, commenting,

How’s the Snow Looking for November 2017?

Although temperatures have been warm in some of the world’s leading ski regions, there have also been several significant snowfalls throughout October and in many ways conditions are looking better at the start of November 2017 than they did a year ago. In the last week of October there were some significant snowfalls in the alps, parts of the US (With more snow forecast there) as well as everywhere from Scandinavia to Japan and the Pyrenees to Turkey. More than 25 ski areas are now own in Europe and North America with hundreds more set to open in the latter half of November, before thousands join them in early December.  Snowmaking ahead of the season starting is underway on higher