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Big Snowfalls for the Start of Spring in the USA

After a largely quiet February for snowfall in most of North America, March and the start of  meteorological spring, has seen some big snowfalls on both the West and East coasts of the US. The snow is welcome on both coasts – in Califiornia because they’re still battling from low snowfall totals and warm weather through much of the season to date, in the east because temperatures had been unseasonably warm and some more southerly areas had been forced to close for the season early.  Here precipitation was expected to fall as rain at most areas but has fallen as snow at many resorts in Vermont and New York State, where swain ski centre reported 20 inches/51cm of snow overnight.…

Dutch University Study Finds Increasing Irrigation May Lead to Glacier Growth

Climate change is causing most of the world’s glaciers to slowly melt away. Some glaciers and once permanent ice fields have already lost 80 or 90% of their mass compared to their size in the middle of the last century, others, for example the snowfield that was home to the world’s former highest ski lift at Chacaltaya in Bolivia, have already melted away completely. Glaciers that are home to the only snowfields in a dozen or so countries in Africa and Asia look set to have disappeared by the middle of this century, or sooner. But not all glaciers have been shrinking.  A small percentage appear to have actually increased their mass and now a team from Utrecht University in…

Climbers Make First Winter Summit of Highest Peak in Polar Arctic

Two climbers have successfully completed an ascent of Gora Pobeda (Pik Pobeda), the highest mountain in Siberia, in the Polar Arctic Circle, the coldest inhabited place on earth. Tamara Lunger and Simone Moro successfully reached the mountain’s 3003m summit on Sunday, 11th February at 3.37pm then returned to their base within a total time of 11 hours, covering 27.3km and 2047m of elevation gain whilst avoiding the need to camp out in the extreme conditions. Had they fallen, a rescue would have been impossible. “It snowed all day long, but luckily there was good visibility. It was cold but thankfully cloud cover was in our favor, warding off the extreme temperatures. Low wind and -30/35 is what we can realistically…

The Snowmageddon in the Alps of January 2018

The start of 2018 has seen unprecedented snowfall in the Alps.  With resorts cut off by snow-covered roads or high avalanche danger it’s hard to think now that only a few months ago people were getting convinced that, after fairly warm and dry starts to the past three winter, the start of the ski season was no longer a safe bet for booking a snow sports trip.  So prices were rising at Easter and there were deals aplenty in December and January. December 2017, the first full month of the current season, had already been very snowy. Checking through Snow-forecast’s stats going back more than two decades, we reckon it was the snowiest start of a ski season in the…

The Skier Climbing Everest To Raise Funds for Snow-Camp and Protect Our Winters

On the 1st April 2018, professional chef, Dave White, whose day job is that of a professional chef on a super yacht, will be boarding a plane from London to Kathmandu in Nepal to take on a life changing expedition, attempting to summit the North Col of Mt Everest. Why? Well apart from wishing to challenge himself, Dave will be raising funds for snowsports charity  Snow-Camp, the snowsports youth charity dedicated to changing the lives of inner-city young people with snowsports. He is also going to be raising money for POW UK (ProtectOurWinters) as well as documenting the changes in the Himalayas on my journey to raise awareness about climate change . “Being on mountains has become a big part…

Fresh Snow after Worst Start to Season For 33 Years in Colorado

There’s been much needed fresh snow in Western states Colorado, Utah and California over the weekend. The states, and most of their neighbours, have seen very little snow all season and struggled to open much terrain over the crucial Christmas and New Year holiday period. With some people claiming the season is seeing its worst start in the area for up to 50 years, the consensus is that in Colorado at least, it has been the worst start to winter for 33 seasons. More fresh snow, typically 15-30cm, is expected over the next three days across the region. https://www.facebook.com/SteamboatResort/videos/10155237215488963/   Steamboat in Colorado claims to currently have the most terrain open in Colorado, at around 80% of the total, crediting…

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…