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Ski Resorts

Ski Japan: February update & focus on Hokkaido

Last time you might remember that I reported on a very good start to the snow season in Japan – in particular, Hokkaido. Niseko base had received around 6m of snowfall by the end of December and by early February that had increased to over 9m, with considerably more than that on the slopes. Snowfall consistency may not have been quite as impressive in January and the first part of February, but I’d say those numbers are still pretty good - and as this article goes online there are some exciting conditions to be enjoyed. It's very difficult to generalise the ski season in Japan as a whole simply because the popular/larger ski resorts are located over such a huge

Heavy Snowfall in the Pyrenees

There's been a lot of snow in the Pyrenees over the past few days, leading to powder conditions. Snowfall of up to a metre has been reported in the past 72 hours in the French Pyrenees, but there's been heavy snow in Andorra too, and good falls on the Spanish side as well. This was Vallnord yesterday.   Grandvalira, the region’s largest resort with 210km of runs, reported 50cm of snow in 48 hours yesterday and it was still snowing hard last night. Snowfall is expected to continue through today followed by clear sunny weather the rest of the week.   Porte Puymorens in the French Pyrenees has reported the biggest snowfall so far at 105cm (3.5 feet)

Zermatt To Be Cut Off For Third Day

Tourism officials in Zermatt say that the famous resort will be cut off by road and rail for a third day tomorrow, Tuesday, 23rd January, due to avalanche danger which is currently at maximum level 5, “Extreme” It’s the second time in a fortnight that the resort has been cut off, this time 9,000 guests are reported to be stuck in resort, compared to 13,000 a fortnight ago. The ski area, which closed its rail and road links at 10pm on Saturday 20th January, has been able to fly some guests in and out by helicopter whilst rail and road access has been closed. However its plans to fly out 1500 people today were unsuccessful due to a combination of

Snowfall Returns to The Alps

Snowy conditions are set to return to the Alps (as well as the Dolomites, Pyrenees, Scandinavia and Scotland) after a relatively peaceful week where many areas were able to ‘regroup’ following the extremely heavy snowfall in the Western Alps and storm conditions in the first 10 days of 2018. Snow has already begun falling in many areas with a few dozen resorts, mostly in Switzerland, reporting up to 25cm of fresh snow in the last 24 hours, bringing to an end a period of blue skies for many. The snowfall will also be accompaniued by strong top gale force winds at times. Many areas are expected to get 40-60cm, in most cases with the heaviest snow on Wednesday and Thursday;

Deepest Base In Europe Passes 5 Metre Mark

The deepest reported snowbase in Europe has already passed the five metres mark – a total hardly touched on throughout last winter. Engelberg in Switzerland says it has 515cm (over 17 feet) of snow lying on its upper slopes following weekend snowfall.   The total comes as heavy snowfall returned to the Western Alps on Monday and Tuesday. Following Storm Eleanor last week this time there was a real focus of the especially heavy snow on the French –Italian border with resorts reporting up to 1.2 metres (four feet) of snow at Bardonecchia.  Pila reported 1 metre (40 inches) in the same period, as did ski areas like Sestriere and Sauze D’Oulx in the Milky Way. (Picture above credit

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.   Steamboat in Colorado claims to currently have the most terrain open in Colorado, at around 80% of the total, crediting

Third Ski Area Reported Open in North Korea

A third ski area is reported to have opened in North Korea.  Work on the new ski centre near the country’s northern city of Kanggye is reported to have only started in July but has been completed ahead of schedule according to the country’s media. They say it has two ski runs complete with snow making. North Korea’s ski ambitions are a matter of international political interest. The country’s second ski area, Masikryong or ‘Masik Pass’ (pictured) which opened in 2013 caused international controversy as there were concerns European companies had supplied lifts and snowmaking equipment against international sanctions, but it later transpired that equipment had been sold second hand via China where sanctions at the time on ‘luxury goods’

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

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%