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Ski Resorts

North American Ski Resorts In Huge 18-19 Lift Pass Sales Battle

Ski resorts across North America are dividing up in to groups participating in one or another different giant lift pass offers for the 2018-19 ski season. The multi-resort passes have gone on sale in the past few weeks for next winter and several groups are battling to persuade skiers and boarders that theirs’ is the pass to buy. Each of the passes covers at least a dozen ski areas and most many more.  Some have usage restrictions, others offer unlimited access all season to all areas. This annual sales battle I not new, Vail Resorts Epic Pass was conceived almost a decade ago now, but its success – with the company now selling more than 750,000 Epic passes  annually in

Will March 2018 Be The Snowiest Ever Month in Californian Ski History?

There have been more huge snow storms at Californian ski areas this week with some ski areas now questioning whether this month may end up their snowiest ever. Squaw Valley reports having had 4.7 metres (185 inches or more than 15 feet) of snow so far this month and says that’s more than they got in January last year when they set an all time snowfall record for any month of operation since the area opened. Nearly another 2.5m (100 inches) of snow will be needed to break the 717cm (282 inch) record set in January 2017 though, but with the are reporting 107cm (35 inches) in the past 24 hours alone, that may be possible. https://www.facebook.com/squawvalleyalpinemeadows/videos/10156276838489044/   Last season

Heavy Spring Snowfall in New England

A second wave of heavy snowfall in New England has transformed conditions for the better in Eastern North America since the start of March. The East Coast’s ski areas had been suffering under warm temperatures, leading some in more southerly states to close for the season earlier than they hoped, but a return of snowy conditions for the start of meteorological spring have transformed slopes for the better. In Vermont Jay Peak (pictures above and top) has reported almost two feet (58cm) of snow in the past 72 hours and most other ski areas in the state have reported 30-50cm in the same period. Killington, which tries to stay open in to June each year, had seen the number of

Europe’s Most Northerly Ski Area Has Opened for 2018 Ski Season

Europe’s most northerly ski resort, Riksgränsen in Sweden, has opened for its 2018 ski season. Located 250km (150 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, and more than 1500km (nearly 1000 miles) north of Swedish capital Stockholm, it comes as a surprise to most that Riksgransen was once Sweden's top ski destination and it remains on the "must ski before I die" list of most dedicated winter sportsmen and women. The reasons are not immediately apparent, the ski area would not make the world top 1,000 on size or vertical, the lifts are rather old and resort amenities limited.  It's so cold and dark here that the season does not get underway until late February (the video below was filmed in

Snow Depths Reach 6m On Two Continents, 5m on Third

Snow depths have been building across the northern hemisphere in the run up to meteorological spring. Typically northern hemisphere snow bases grow and grow from September to March before peaking at the start of spring when the annual thaw begins to slowly reduce the snow pack through spring and summer. In recent years the deepest depths have struggled to reach 4m or 5m at times – last season saw a very deep snowbase in North America but not to much in Asia and Europe for example. 2017-18 is seeing more uniformity across the three northern hemisphere continents.  Depths in Europe passed the 6m (20 feet) mark at several Swiss ski areas in January – very unusually deep bases. Japan in

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. https://www.facebook.com/vallnord/videos/10156073647715419/   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. https://www.facebook.com/andorralovers/videos/874301926074165/   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. https://www.facebook.com/EngelbergTitlis/videos/2020702154606554/   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