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Tignes Delays Planned 18-19 Season Opening This Weekend Due to Warm Weather

Tignes ski area in France has decided not to open this Saturday 29th September as planned as warm weather through the summer has depleted the snow cover, according to a resort statement issued today. "While last winter's impressive snowfall foreshadowed a serene summer and autumn in terms of ski quality on the Grande Motte glacier, the record temperatures recorded in Europe this summer and in recent weeks have have not spared the altitude ski area of Tignes.” Tignes, which back in the 1990s was open 365 days a year, still has the longest ski season France by some distance and is usually open in October and early November when no other French area is. It still normally endeavours to open…

Investigations Continue Following Chamonix Valley Lift Station Fire

A major fire at the cable car mid-station above Argentière in the Chamonix Valley in France has caused serious damage to the two main lifts serving the famous Grands Montets region less than three months before the start of the 2018-19 ski season. The fire began in the early afternoon and spread very quickly throughout all the buildings of the  station.  It broke out during roof repair work being carried out by a specialist sub-contractor, nobody was injured.  However it has caused severe damage to the infrastructures of the two cable-cars above and below the station. “Of the eight cables which equip the two sections of the cable-car, five gave way as a result of the heat generated by 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…

Where’s the Snow in September 2018 – Where Can You Ski or Board this Month?

There have been some exciting signs of autumn across the Northern Hemisphere in the last week of August with snowfall recorded in the Alps, Scandinavia and Northwestern North America - up to 50cm of snow in fact. Meanwhile the southern hemisphere's ski season is in full swing with 4-6 weeks of winter left at most resorts there.  Australian areas are having what several report is their snowiest winter for 14 years and in New Zealand base depths have passed 3 metres at a number of centres, the deepest anywhere south of the equator. The Alps We begin the month with just six ski areas currently open in the Alps.  Hintertux and Molltal in Austria were the two that posted the…

Last Week of the French 2018 Summer Ski Season

Summer glacier skiing and boarding bin France will end this Sunday as Les 2 Alpes winds up its summer ski season. The resort has operated its glacier area – one of the largest in Europe – since late June and most reports have indicated it has been a much better summer for snow depth and quality than recent years, thanks in part to the well above average winter snowfall preceding it. The French national squad are currently training on the glacier. France has two other summer ski destinations – Val d’Isere and Tignes, but they both ended their summer snowsports operations several weeks ago. The next lift-served skiing in France will be from September 29th when Tignes re-opens for the…

Australian Resort Reports Best Snow Conditions for 14 Years

Heavy snowfall in Australia throughout August has led at least one of the country’s ski areas to report ski conditions there are now the best for 14 years. “The snow depth is the best in over 10 years and its awesome.  It’s officially the best snow we've had in 14 years!” a spokesperson for Mt Buller ski resort said today. Many of the country’s ski areas reported 30cm or more of fresh snowfall over the weekend and base depths have now reached the 2m mark at four ski area. (Mt Baw Baw) Falls Creek and Mt Hotham (below) both report 215cm bases and it’s at 203cm at Perisher (top) which has more than 100 trails open at present. Of the big…

World’s Coolest Ski Lift Version 2 Unveiled

A new version of arguably the world’s coolest ski lift has gone in to service. The Tschuggen Express lift which first began operating in 2009 is a private ski lift for guests of the luxuriuous Tschuggen Grand Hotel in the Swiss ski resort of Arosa, which also boasts one of the biggest and best spa facilities in the skiing world. The lift is a small and luxurious private funicular railway which quickly climbs a steep and undulating track to deposit skiers up on the slopes of the huge Arosa – Lenzerheide ski area in just two and a half minutes. Guests leave the hotel’s boot room and board the lift, which has two self-levelling, six-seat cabins using their hotel room key.…

Ski Areas Begin Announcing 2018-19 Oct-Nov Opening Dates

Some ski areas in Europe and North America are gearing up for the start of the 2018-19 ski season already with a number of Colorado ski areas announcing their target opening dates in early November – now less than 100 days away. Colorado has some of the world’s highest ski areas and is home to some of the earliest opening ski areas on the planet, with the temperatures often low enough to begin snow making at some in late September some years and mid-late October opening also a possibility if the weather complies. Arapahoe Basin (pictured) and Loveland are usually the first in the state (and the first in North America if you exclude the year-round Timberline snowfield on Mt Hood…

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,…