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August Snowfall Forecast in the Alps this Weekend

It’s looking like a possible powder weekend on the slopes of some of the half-dozen glacier ski areas currently open in the Alps. The end of August is a very quiet time in the ski year in the northern hemisphere with most summer ski areas having ended their 2018 openings and few glacier areas yet open for the coming autumn and winter, but mother nature appears to have decided to round out the last weekend of August, and summer by the meteorological measure, by ending the sunny weather with a nice snowfall. The snow is forecast above about 2000 metres in altitude as a very cold front crosses the Alps.  That’s not unusual for this time of year, although for…

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…

Earliest Snowfall Since Records Began at Ski Resort in Japan

One of Japan’s most northerly ski areas has reported its earliest ever snowfall – on the morning of August 17th. The snow, on Mount Kuro in the Daisetsuzan Mountains, was reported at the top station of the Daisetsuzan Sōunkyō Kurodake lift, the most northerly cable car in Japan, located on the country’s famous ski island of Hokkaidō, home to numerous ski resorts with a reputation for deep powder in winter including world-famous Niseko. Most of Japan is still in mid-summer mode, and there have recently been record-breaking hot weather in the country, but a cold front crossing the Sea of Japan brought the winter-like conditions even before autumn has arrived. The snowfall at the ski area near the town of…

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.…

Fresh Attempt To Ski the Full 2,000m Vertical ‘Dream Line’ of World’s 5th Highest Peak Planned

A group of Americans have announced plans to try to ski the world’s 5th highest mountain, Lhoste (8516m), close to Mt Everest in the Himalayas. Parts of Lhoste, one of the world’s 14 peaks above 8,000 metres, have been skied already, but no one has made the full top to bottom descent. American big mountain climber Adrian Ballinger, who has already skied two 8,000m+ peaks (one of them twice), his longtime girlfriend and professional rock climber Emily Harrington and two other professional climbing athletes had originally planned to make their attempt in September or October but this has been postponed for the time being with a new date pending. When the attempt is made, the key objective of the group’s…

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…

YUGE PARADISKI SKI APP REVIEW

YUGE PARADISKI SKI APP Free www.paradiski.com Yuge is a free app offered by the Paradiski area which helps you make the most of everything from skiing to après-ski whilst in resort. We’re featuring it as an example simply because our reviewer spends his winters in the area so has plenty of direct personal experience of the app; you can expect apps offered by other resorts to be very similar, although that said Yuge apparently scores highest of all resort apps in user reviews. It’s possible to personalise Yuge so it provides information that’s specific to your skiing ability and where you’re staying in resort, and a potentially really useful feature is real time information on lift queues (or lack of),…

ULLR MOBILE AVALANCHE SAFETY GUIDE APP REVIEW

ULLR MOBILE AVALANCHE SAFETY GUIDE APP $9.99 available on Apple Store This is a brilliant app for anyone interested in avalanche safety – which should be anyone heading off-piste. Ullr works with iPhones to provide up-to-date, detailed avalanche forecasts from the regional centre closest to where you’re skiing. But more than that, it also enables you to record field observations whilst you ski, including location, aspect and slopes angle. Using features of your iPhone such as the camera, GPS, inclinometer, compass and data communication it allows you to provide real-time info on avalanche conditions which can be transmitted to the nearest regional avalanche centre to enhance their avy reports and share the data with other users. No mobile or wi-fi…

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,…