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World Record For Most Vertical Skied in a Season Broken

The world record for the most vertical skied in one calendar year appears to have been (unofficially) broken, almost two years to the day after it was last broken. Scott Howard, a 65 year old retiree from Vermont, USA, has passed the 6,025,751 vertical feet (1,836,649 vertical metres) record set on 10th May 2015 by Canadian Pierre Marc Jette, skiing at Whistler, British Columbia, Canada two seasons ago. Mr Howard has been skiing predominantly at Killington in Vermont, although he has also skied at another Vermont resort, Stowe, this season.   He measures his vertical using an app called Trace, but he is now hoping to make his achievement official by replacing Mr Jette in the Guinness Book of World…

2017-18 Season Snowfall Review

With the 2017-18 ski season in the northern hemisphere now largely behind us, we thought it was a good time to take stock on snowfall through last season. That’s not to say the snow has stopped falling – some 30cm (12 inch) accumulations are forecast this weekend at a few of the dozen or so ski areas that are still open for snowsports including Cervinia, (the only area still open in Italy) and Snowbird in Utah, which is enjoying its final weekend of the season. Europe After three fairly warm and dry winters for much of Europe and an exceptionally hot summer 2017 which had led several summer ski areas to cease operating as all snow covering the glacial ice melted…

‘Ski Down the Roof’ Hotel Under Construction

Architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have just revealed plans for their latest building to feature a ‘skiable roof.’ The company, which is behind the design of major projects around the world including Google’s new London HQ and the waste-to-heat power station in Copenhaghen which will feature a 600m long dry ski slope down its roof (below) and is due to open later this year , has gone for a similar theme in its design of a ‘ski out’ hotel in Switzerland. The Hotel des Horlogers in the Vallée de Joux region of the Jura Mountains will have sloping terraces zigzagging down the front of the building allowing guests to ski from their hotel room doors, or indeed the roof,…

Fresh May Powder in the USA

Ski resorts in California and Utah have reported powder days at the start of May after heavy snowfall in the final hours of April and in to the start of May. It has also been snowing on high slopes in the Alps with several glacier areas reporting up to 20cm of fresh snow. Snowbird in Utah and Mammoth in California (pictured below on May 1st) have posted up to 25cm (10 inches) of fresh snow.  The former is open to mid-May, the latter to at least the end of the month. (top image credit Matt Crawley at Snowbird, Utah) In the Alps Chamonix (which closed its lifts for the season yesterday) there’s been 20cm of snow in the last 72…

Where’s Open For Snowsports in May 2018?

May is one of the quieter months of the world’s snowsports calendar as most of the ski areas in the northern hemisphere close but those in the southern hemisphere haven’t yet opened. That said as we enter May about 50 ski areas (less than 1% of the world total) are still open, and there are even a few areas set to open through the month. But against that about three quarters of these will close through the month leaving only a dozen or so open at the start of June …when the southern hemisphere’s 2018 season will begin to kick off. Europe https://www.facebook.com/valthorens.resort/videos/10156467493617764/   Although a dozen or so ski areas will see it through to May 1st in the…

Val d’Isère To Re-open Winter runs in Summer After Huge 17-18 Season Snowfalls

Despite the huge snowfalls in the Alps at the start of this year that led to resorts like Zermatt and Val d'Isère having to go in to lock down for periods in January, very few resorts have decided to extend their ski seasons much, if at all, in the Alps. In contrast to North America where late season snow allowed dozens of resorts including Mont Sutton, Sugarbush and Winter Park to announce extended seasons in to May, resorts in the Alps have been closing for the season even with the snow still lying 5 metres deep. However, one exception has come to light this week. Although the winter skiing season will come to an end in just a few days’…

US and Canadian Resorts Extend Seasons in to May after mid-April Snow Dumps

A number of ski areas in the US and Canada have extended their ski seasons in to May following big snowfalls in the past week – in some cases the biggest ever recorded April snowstorms. Initial snowfalls in the early part of the week saw ski areas in Colorado and Utah reporting up to 50cm of fresh snow.  These included Snowbird, (below this week) which is normally open in to May anyway, and Winter Park, which isn’t, but has decided to now extend the ski season, limited to its Mary Jane terrain, to May 6th. But it was the Mid-west where most ski areas had already closed for the 17-18 ski season, some a month back, that the record-breaking snowfalls hit…

Portugal’s Snowiest Ever Ski Season?

Many people don’t realise that Portugal – a land most famous for its sunny weather and coastal villages – has a ski area vat its highest point at Serra da Estrela, nearly 2,000m up and east of capital Lisbon towards the Spanish border. So it comes as a double surprise to discover not only that this ski centre exists, but also that it is currently enjoying what may be its snowiest ski season ever – meaning it is still open in late April when many of the wold’s biggest and highest ski areas have already ended their seasons. The latest in a series of huge snowstorms to hit the slopes of Portugal this winter brought drifts of up to six…

Japan Update & Focus on Nozawa, Shiga Kogen and Madarao

At the time of writing, it is early April and it is once again feeling colder and there is actually some fresh snow falling on some higher Japanese mountains. This return-to-winter spell is probably going to end up as no more than a quick ‘last blast’ and just a dusting of snow – or perhaps a little more in places if we are lucky… Even so, any fresh snow is very welcome after the somewhat dry March that we just experienced. After a decent-to-great season in terms of snowfall in many of the mountain regions of Japan, March arrived, and it was almost as if a big switch had been turned to the ‘OFF’ setting all of a sudden. Fresh…

Small Swedish Ski Area to Become International Destination Ski Resort

SkiStar, the corporation which runs half-a-dozen of the leading ski areas in Scandinavia, including the biggest, Sweden’s Åre, and also ventured in to the Alps, buying St Johann in Tirol a few winters ago, has said it plans to make the little known Swedish ski area of ‘Hundfjället’ an international destination ski resort in just over 18 months. They’re starting by investing 10 million Euros this summer in the area, with the majority of the investment going on what the company say will be Scandinavia's most modern chairlift, an 8-seater express lift built by Italian company Leitner and designed by Pininfarina who work on Ferrari car design. Hundfjället will also get new ski runs, expanded snow-making facilities and an overhaul…