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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…

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…

Big Snowfalls in the Southern Alps

There have been some big snowfalls reported in the southern Alps over the past 24 hours. The snowfall totals are some of the biggest since the huge January snowfalls and follow a mostly dry and often cold February. Accumulations of up to 50cm (20 inches) have been reported in the southern French Alps, as well as in Western Italy and parts of Switzerland. The biggest accumulation reported so far was 50cm at Puy St Vincent in the southern French Alps with Serre Chevalier (pictured top) reporting 40cm and many other ski areas in the region 20-40cm.  Superdevoluy (pictured above and below) has had 30cm of snow since yesterday. Over the border in to Italy there’s been 30cm (a foot) of…

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…

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…

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…

Skiing in Japan: a story of the past 30 Years…

Welcome to the first of a new series of White Room articles coming to you directly from snowy Japan. In each of these articles, we’ll try to update you on the current snow situation as well as introduce you to some interesting aspect of the Japan winter season. When I first came to Japan nearly 30 years ago, there was hardly any information available in English about skiing in Japan and you hardly ever saw any ‘foreigners’ on the ski slopes. The few foreigners that you did meet were mostly either expats living in the city or those living locally and teaching English. There may not have been many foreigners about, but the ski slopes themselves were frustratingly busy. The…

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…

Snowy End to 2017 to be Followed by Snowy Start to 2018

The snow is lying deep and crisp and even over most ski slopes in Europe following two heavy snow storms in succession during the last five days of 2017. We at Snow-forecast.com had already analysed the data to see that overall the start to winter 2017-8 has been the snowiest in Europe for more than 20 years.  That was before the latest big snowfalls. Pictured top is Lech yesterday. https://www.facebook.com/alpe.huez/videos/1470842606367358/   72 hour snowfall totals from the latest storms have been as high as 1.2m (four feet) at Gstaad in Switzerland with Tignes in France claiming 112cm, Laax (CH) 105cm and many other areas between 60 and 90cm. Seven day totals with the accumulations from the two major snowstorms added…

Mixed Weather Messages as US Resort Opens Then Closes Again

Conditions in Western North America seem to be fluctuating dramatically with some big snowfalls but also high humidity and rain at times.   As a result whilst some resorts are still opening earlier than expected due to the big snowfalls, others, sometimes in the same state, are delaying opening and in at least one case, has announced it is closing again after opening for the season. The biggest name casualty if the warm temperatures was Snowbird in Utah which opened last Wednesday for the US Thanksgiving Holiday but was forced to close again by Saturday.  An online statement said, "While a strong effort was made from our operations team, unseasonably warm weather has forced a "Delay of Game" and put…