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December 2017

Snowy End to 2017 to be Followed by Snowy Start to 2018

The snow is lying deep and crisp and even over most ski slopes in Europe following two heavy snow storms in succession during the last five days of 2017. We at had already analysed the data to see that overall the start to winter 2017-8 has been the snowiest in Europe for more than 20 years.  That was before the latest big snowfalls. Pictured top is Lech yesterday.   72 hour snowfall totals from the latest storms have been as high as 1.2m (four feet) at Gstaad in Switzerland with Tignes in France claiming 112cm, Laax (CH) 105cm and many other areas between 60 and 90cm. Seven day totals with the accumulations from the two major snowstorms added

Huge Snowfalls For End of 2017 in Dolomites, Alps and Pyrenees

There have been some of the biggest snowfalls of the season so far in Europe over the past 24 hours and the snowy conditions are expected to continue for at least the next week. The biggest reported snowfall of 120cm (four feet) was reported in the Dolomites, but ski areas in the Alps and Pyrenees have also reported up to a metre of snow so far too. This was a typical ski resort scene this morning, in this case at Damuls n Austria.   The snow in Europe follows some big snowfalls in Western North America (Up to 90cm in 48 hours) over Christmas which greatly improved conditions at resorts in Colorado and Utah which had been suffering one of

New 8km (5 Mile) Long Ski Descent Opens in Switzerland

A new ski descent some 8km long has opened this week at the Glacier 3000 ski area near Les Diablerets and Gstaad in Switzerland. It’s believed to be the longest new groomed descent to be created in Western Europe for some years. Currently named simply ‘The Red Run,’ the piste – which links some existing sections piste together to make its full 1,670 vertical metre descent – descends from Scex Rouge (2,971m) up to the base of the lists at 1,300m.   The Red Run’s route takes it under the Oldenhorn lift station and below the Cabane station from where it then joins the existing Martisberg Run. It took Glacier 3000 three years to get approval to create the

Snowiest Resort in the World Passes 5 Metres Snowfall Season-To-Date Total

Mt Baker in Washington State which holds the record for the most snowfall in a season is now the first ski area in the world to post more than 5 metres of snowfall so far in the 2017-18 season. It’s snowing heavily their now but the most recent stats published last night report 26 inches (66cm) in the past 24 hours, taking the area’s season to date snowfall tally to 224 inches or 5.7 metres. The ski area is home to the world's greatest recorded snowfall in one season, 1,140 inches (95.0 ft; 29.0 m), recorded during the 1998–99 season. Mt. Baker also enjoys the unofficially highest average annual snowfall of any resort in the world, with 641 inches (53.4 ft; 16.3 m). The

Snow-Forecast Data Shows This is The Best Start to the Season in The Alps for 21 Years

Research in to early season snow stats has revealed that this is the snowiest start to the season for 21 winters “Although 1998, 2011, 2012 and 2008 were just as snowy in some Alpine resorts, we have to go all the way back to 1996 to find a ski season that was notably better in terms of early season snow depths across the whole of the Alps,” says Snow-Forecast’s Robert Davies, who adds, “Let's not forget that over that two-decade period we have suffered some disastrous seasons with hardly any natural snow below the Alpine glaciers until mid-January.” (Lech is pictured top) Why so good this year? Davies says that first, we avoided a weather event is usually the cause

Swiss Company Offers a Fondue in a Gondola Cabin

A Swiss events company is to stage three evenings of in-gondola-cabin fondues this winter. After the success of initial events in the resort of Villars, Tête à Tête events will be staging their inaugural “Fondue in the Sky” at Verbier and Crans Montana this season, as well as returning to Villars for a fourth staging of the event which sold out on the three previous occasions this year and last. The concept works by the company taking over a gondola lift in its entirety after it has finished its service to skiers for the day. Depending on the lift, the company can temporarily convert up to 70 cabins in to mini pop-up restaurants, inserting maid-to-measure tables between the two benches.

Exceptionally Snowy Start to the 2017-18 Ski Season in the Alps (Dolomites, Pyrenees…)

The main ski season in Europe is having its best start for five years and if the snow continues to fall at its current rate, potentially the best start this century, with resorts in the Alps reporting up to 1.5m (five feet) of snow in the past week, up to 1.3m (4.3 feet) of bit in the last 72 hours. All this snow fall comes on top of regular snow dumps through October and November in many areas, along with low temperatures for snowmaking meaning there’s deep fresh powder on a good base at many areas, and pristine groomed slopes too.  60-90cm more snow is currently forecast coming up to the weekend in many regions too.   Around 80%

$50m+ Of New lifts coming to Whistler Blackcomb For 2018-19

The new ski season is just starting but Vail Resorts, which bought North America’s biggest ski area Whistler Blackcomb in Canada late last year, has announced a bit spending spree at the famous BC ski resort. Vail will spend more than $50m (US) on three state-of-the-art new lifts to dramatically improve uplift speed and capacity on key routes, the company says. The first and biggest of the lifts will be a new gondola with 10-passenger cabins connecting to the famous Peak-2-Peak lift from Blackcomb base. It will replace the Wizard and Solar chairlifts and ascend to the top of Blackcomb Mountain, terminating adjacent to the existing PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which transports guests to and from Blackcomb and Whistler. Upon

A Big New Music Festival Coming to Chamonix

Music festivals have become big business in the mountains.  There are no dozens and dozens of them, some run by independent companies, others by the resorts themselves, often a combination of the two. For ski resorts the festivals care seen as good news as they bring in more people including some who wouldn’t normally visit a ski resort and they’re usually staged in quieter weeks at the start of end of the season. Now Chamonix has announced it will partner with a major French summer festival to launch the first winter version of the event next April. The first Musilac pop-rock festival in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc will take place from 19th – 21st April and the famous French resort is expecting

4 of 5 Highland Scottish Ski Centres Open For 17-18, Earliest Opening Ever for One

Four of the five Scottish ski centres have opened for the 2017-18 ski season this week. The first to open, Glencoe on the West Coast (pictured above this morning and in video below), said this was their earliest ever opening.   Cairngorm opened a top-to-bottom run serviced by their funicular railway yesterday and posted the image below of some of the first arrivals.   The Lecht and Glenshee have both opened limited terrain today too. The four centres opening follows the opening of the ski runs by the Lowther Hills Ski Club in the south of Scotland last weekend. All four Highland centres report ‘early season conditions’ with thin, in some cases very thin, cover on parts of their open