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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…

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…

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…

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…

CORTINA’S HIDDEN CHARMS

No one would call this your average ski experience – three skiers peeking out of a porthole-like opening in the massive rockface of 2,800m Mount Lagazuoi above Cortina, with a view across some of the most spectacular mountains in Europe. We looked down upon a sprinkling of skiers enjoying the wide, open run beneath us, realising that they could never have guessed they were being observed – which was exactly the point. For the spot where myself, David and Fiona were crouched was an observation post that had been excavated out of the solid limestone peak during the First World War when Italian and German troops fought a two-year battle for control of Passo Falzarego beneath. You can…

The World’s Most Northerly Ski Camp

A company part run by a former ski instructor that specialises in building 'world first' experiences that push the boundaries of travel is offering what it believes is the world’s most northerly ski camp this winter. Cookson Adventures has set up the camp from a base on Baffin Island in northern Canada, 70 degrees north within the Arctic Circle. The company’s clients can explore the Arctic Cordillera mountain range via snow-cat or helicopter, skiing some slopes that have never been skied before and getting the opportunity to then name the lines skied themselves. Cookson’s heli-ski base is located among the remote fjords near the small Inuit community of Clyde River, further north than the world’s most northerly ski resort (Riksgränsen…

Fresh Attempt To Ski the Full 2,000m Vertical ‘Dream Line’ of World’s 5th Highest Peak Planned

A group of Americans have announced plans to try to ski the world’s 5th highest mountain, Lhoste (8516m), close to Mt Everest in the Himalayas. Parts of Lhoste, one of the world’s 14 peaks above 8,000 metres, have been skied already, but no one has made the full top to bottom descent. American big mountain climber Adrian Ballinger, who has already skied two 8,000m+ peaks (one of them twice), his longtime girlfriend and professional rock climber Emily Harrington and two other professional climbing athletes had originally planned to make their attempt in September or October but this has been postponed for the time being with a new date pending. When the attempt is made, the key objective of the group’s…

ULLR MOBILE AVALANCHE SAFETY GUIDE APP REVIEW

ULLR MOBILE AVALANCHE SAFETY GUIDE APP $9.99 available on Apple Store This is a brilliant app for anyone interested in avalanche safety – which should be anyone heading off-piste. Ullr works with iPhones to provide up-to-date, detailed avalanche forecasts from the regional centre closest to where you’re skiing. But more than that, it also enables you to record field observations whilst you ski, including location, aspect and slopes angle. Using features of your iPhone such as the camera, GPS, inclinometer, compass and data communication it allows you to provide real-time info on avalanche conditions which can be transmitted to the nearest regional avalanche centre to enhance their avy reports and share the data with other users. No mobile or wi-fi…

SATMAP ACTIVE 20 SOLO GPS UNIT REVIEW

SATMAP ACTIVE 20 SOLO GPS UNIT £395 www.satmap.com Although not designed specifically for skiing and boarding, the Active 20 Solo is a large screen sports mapping GPS which displays highly detailed topographic mapping that can be extremely useful if heading off-piste. Operating the Active 20 is pretty easy to get the hang of initially, and as you get to know your way around it better you can easily move on to more advanced features. It will connect to GPS, Glonass and Galileo, ensuring coverage pretty much anywhere on the planet, and it has wireless connectivity through both wi-fi and Bluetooth Smart. The unit comes with a 3.5” hi-res touchscreen plus the option of touch button operation should you prefer it,…

FATMAP APP REVIEW

FATMAP APP £2.99 (two weeks); £25.99 (year) www.fatmap.com Fatmap started off as a tool for freeriders to discover the backcountry terrain at their resort of choice but has since expanded to provide info for summer visitors too (hiking, mountain biking etc.). However, it’s the skiing and boarding we’re interested in… The app covers most of the world’s major ski areas and is expanding all the time, so the chances are you’ll find your favourite resort featured. It offers info such as clear 3-D maps, details on slope gradient, aspect, altitude and other crucial pieces of terrain information, location sharing so you and your group can stay in touch, route maps of the best off-piste lines and the facility to record…