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Patrick Thorne

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). https://www.facebook.com/skinakiska/videos/10155199534077956/   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

Initiative to Measure Climate Change in the Alps wins UN Award

An initiative on Mont Blanc to measure the true effect of climate change has been awarded a UN Climate Change Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity award. The awards recognize the most exciting and innovative climate change initiatives worldwide ahead of the upcoming UN Climate Conference (COP23) in Bonn, German from the 6th to 17th November,  2017. CREA Mont Blanc’s CLIMB initiative has built a system of over 70 tailor-made measuring systems to see the true effect of climate change on the mountain environment. The organisation installed their first temperature measuring station in 2004 and it has been measuring temperatures ever since. Data for the entire French Alps can also be accessed from here. The organisation also has a large number of sensors on

The Hoff Hits The London Ski Show

TV personality David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff caused excitement on the opening day of the London Ski Show The star of cult TV shows Baywatch and Knight Rider who has also had a career as a pop star and media personality posed for selfies with delighted show visitors, appearing permanently cheerful throughout the day. The Hoff was at the show helping to promote online ski rental business Alpinresorts.com which he has been working with in Europe for the past year, creating promotional videos and attending events. The Hoff claims to have recently ‘discovered’ skiing and to have switched from his trademark Baywatch red Speedos to a gold ski jacket and goggle tan. Alpinresorts.com, who say they are the biggest ski

Gondola Link Between Two Californian Resorts Aims To Open in 2019

Two Californian Ski Areas Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have announced plans to connect their ski area by gondola, christened The California Express,  in time for the winter after next. The proposed base-to-base gondola connecting The Village at Squaw Valley and the base area at Alpine Meadows has been a long-standing ambition according to the operator of the two resorts, which is now an as yet unnamed conglomerate of a dozen or so US and Canadian resorts, part owned by the owners of Aspen. The lift would mean it was possible to ski the two resorts, with around 6000 acres combined making the area one of the five biggest in North America that you can ski without taking your boots

Ski Trips On Offer To Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan This Winter

Several travel companies have announced they’re offering ski tours to destinations previously considered ‘off the ski map’ this coming winter.    Untamed Borders, which specialises in winter and summer trips to this type of destination has organised trips to Afghanistan for eight seasons now, and will be back in the Kurdish north of Iraq for the second time this coming winter after an initial trip at the start of this year (pictured top and below). The area does have one basic ski area with a chairlift, Korek, which is included in the tour, along with participation in Iraq’s first ever ski touring race due to be staged this winter, but the ski area rarely has enough snow for the lift