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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

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

Kitzbühel’s Earliest Ever Opening (?) Today!

Kitzbühel in the Austrian Tirol has opened for the ski season today, on what is believed to be its earliest ever opening date. The picture above is from last year's opening on 22nd October 2016. It’s the first ski area that doesn’t have a glacier in the Alps to open for winter 17-18. Kitzbühel has one of the lowest ski areas of a major ski area in the Alps with its highest lifts at around 2,000 metres and about a decade ago when global warming was first a big story in the global media some journalists chose to highlight it as a resort that could an early victim of the impact of climate change, so opening in early October seems

British Consulate and Leading Tour Op Join Forces in Chamonix Glacier Clean Up

It has been snowing a lot on high slopes in the Alps but last Friday was fortunately sunny in France as employees from the British Consulate in Marseille and Crystal Ski Holidays once again joined forces with the town of Chamonix-Mont Blanc, the French Alpine Club, Lafuma, as well as other mountain-based organisations, and a large number of volunteers to collect rubbish unfortunately left behind by some of the more than 500,000 visitors each year to the Mer de Glace glacier at Chamonix in France. This year marks the 10th edition of the Mer de Glace clean-up event in Chamonix which aims to raise awareness of the need to protect the Mer de Glace glacier and our environment as a

Hot Weather In The Alps Melts Snow Cover on Glaciers

This summer’s high temperatures in Europe has led to most of the year round snow cover on Alpine glaciers melting away completely in many places, leaving the glacial ice exposed directly to the sunlight. Currently seven glaciers are supposed to be open for snowsports but two have had to close this month because the snow has melted away.  The remainder report very thin cover and ‘tough’ (Les 2 Alpes - pictured below) skiing conditions. The Stelvio glacier in Italy closed at the start of the month for the first time in its operational history, but it has been able to re-open some terrain following fresh snow.  Latest to close is Austria’s Molltal glacier, which has closed indefinitely until adequate fresh

Indoor Snow Centre Installing 1000 Solar Panels To Go Fully Green Energy Powered on Sunny Days

How will the skiing world look 100 years in the future if climate change continues at even the best rate forecast? Maybe we will all be skiing on Mars? One possible option though is that skiing will be more and more indoors. This year the new largest indoor snow centre on the planet opened in China and the first indoor snow centre in Africa opened in Cairo. There are now indoor snow centres on every continent except Antarctica – more than 100 have been built over the past 30 years and around 70 are currently operational in 30 countries worldwide. On the whole environmental groups are not happy about these ‘giant fridges’ and the energy their refrigeration systems need, although

Will Romania Create A Ski Area Four times Bigger than Anything It Has So Far?

Romania’s Minister for Tourism, Mircea Dobre, has announced plans to build the country’s biggest ski area by some distance. The planned new resorts, in the Fagaras Mountains, known colloquially as the ‘Transylvanian Alps’ though actually a part of the Southern Carpathians, would have 150km of ski runs – nearly four times as many piste kilometres as the country’s current largest ski area at Sinaia. The project is included amongst a number of proposals listed in a new Tourism Master Plan just approved by the Romanian government. Minister Dobre told media who asked him about the proposal that in fact the idea was almost 50 years old. “Actually the idea dates back to 1968,” he said adding that resort plan was,

Study Concludes Climate Change Could Close Ski Resorts Even When Snow Remains

An interesting new study in to the impact of climate change has concluded that shorter ski seasons could mean ski resorts are forced to close as they become unviable business models, even when they still have snow on the ground for a few months of the year later this century. The study, by a group of scientists in Colorado, took a different approach to many climate change impact forecasts in not just looking at how much less snow there is likely to be in the futures due to climate change, but then seeking to analyse whether ski areas could still operate  in each scenario. Surprisingly perhaps, the study entitled: "Projected climate change impacts on skiing and snowmobiling: A case study

52m High Crane Flown In At 3775m to Work on World’s Highest 3S Lift

One of the most exceptional feats of lift construction work is currently in to the second of its three successive summers of extreme building work. The new 3S gondola lift that will access the highest lift station in Europe, on the Klein Matterhorn above Zermatt alongside the existing cable car, has reached the halfway point in its 300 day construction schedule. The lift, being built by the Italian lift company Leitner, will be the highest three-cable gondola lift in the world, reaching nearly 3,900m above sea level. The state-of-the-art facility, powered by the efficient and low-emission DirectDrive system, will  provide an additional capacity of 2,000 people per hour on the route. When complete it will operate with 25 comfortable cabins

Is Greenland About To Get A ‘Proper’ Ski Resort?

Greenland, variously described as ‘Europe’s North-western Frontier’ and ‘North America’s most Easterly point’ (Wikipedia describes it as: “physiographically a part of the continent of North America  (but) politically and culturally associated with Europe”), is of course famous for its glaciers, snow, and for generally not being very green to look at. It’s also an amazing spring ski-touring and heli-skiing destination (the pictures used here were taken by Hans Solmssen who runs spring Heliski trips here each year), it’s also good for dog sledding and polar bear or iceberg watching, and the northern lights look amazing from there. What Greenland has lacked though, so far, is much of a developed ski infrastructure.   There are reported to be a few drag lifts

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