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Ready, set, go! Active winter holiday in Zillertal

Creating the very first tracks in the snow early in the morning, feeling the fresh air on your skin and a unique alpine panorama all around you ... This is the start to a perfect skiing day. But it takes a bit more to fully enjoy the mountaintops. You can experience what that is in Zillertal in Tyrol. The valley combines fun in the snow in every conceivable form with mountain cabin fun, romantic excursions and off-piste action. The following is an inspiration of what it takes to make the winter holiday with your loved ones perfect. © Zillertal Tourismus GmbH, Andre Schönherr Hintertuxer Glacier: What the King of the Valley has to offer A valley that guarantees piste fun?…

Massive Snowfalls in the Pyrenees

The Pyrenees mountains, home to around 50 ski areas in Andorra, France and Spain, have seen huge snowfalls over the past three days. Official snow total stats are up to  1.5 metres (five feet) over the past 72 hours though some skiers have found pockets they believe 1.8 metres (six foot) deep and drifts of up to three metres (10 feet). A number of resorts closed ahead of the snow storm arriving as along, with heavy snowfall, gale force winds were forecast, but these resorts are starting to re-open now as the storm eases.  Initially the biggest snowfalls were expected to impact Spanish ski centres but in the end it was French areas that posted the biggest falls.  Ax 3…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #123

Issued: 22 January 2020 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne North American RoundupEuropean RoundupAsia Roundup INTRODUCTION NORTH AMERICA Some of the best conditions of the season so far right now on North America's east coast, Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort reports 18 inches (45cm) of fresh snow. It has been one of the snowiest weeks of the season so far in North America.  The Pacific Northwest continued to be dumped on, but the snowfall is now covering a much wider area with resorts down in southern California seeing some good snowfalls after a mostly dry month. Even out over the Pacific there was 50cm of snowfall reported on the world's highest mountain, Mauna Kea (albeit with three-quarters of it under-water). The other good…

The season so far in Japan

Last time round I was very hopeful that the snow taps would have been turned on from Christmas onwards and over New Year. Unfortunately, it pains me to say that those taps have yet to be turned on properly and when thinking about what to write about this time round, there was only ever one topic this time round. But before I continue, it is important to say upfront that there is good to be had - I have so far enjoyed quite a few days in some excellent quality snow. While many lower ski resorts are indeed struggling, snow cover is generally not a problem in higher areas even as they have less snow than usual. A few (admittedly…

Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort Project Appears Finally Over

Plans to build a year round ski area on a pristine site on the BC side of the provincial border with Alberta in Canada appear to finally be over. The plans for Jumbo Glacier were first mooted almost 30 years ago back in the early 1990s and the project has ridden the wave of public opinion and political changes over the decades.  Five or so years ago it appeared that it might finally be coming close to actually happening as the site was given official status, some statutory state funding and the first base buildings almost appeared. But construction in zones with high avalanche risk and on land that was both of high environmental value and sacred to the Ktunaxa…

Tourers Invited to Ski Afghanistan in 2020

Although Afghanistan sadly may not have the favourable image it deserves on the world stage, the country is home to some great  back-country skiing in the Koh-e Baba mountain range and in recent years there has been an effort to both revive and encourage snowsports in the country. This winter ISHKAR Explore, a social enterprise that runs trips to places including Afghanistan and Iraqi Kurdistan are launching a completely unique backcountry skiing experience. The group are organising a small ski trip to the historic Bamiyan valley which they say is a stable region of Afghanistan. “This is a chance to see the country that exists beyond the headlines and ski undiscovered mountains,” said Zanna Baker, the company’s Head of Travel.…

Jackson Hole Reports Record Early January Snowfall

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming says it has had more snow ion the first fortnight of 2020 than in the first half of January in any previous year.  As a result its upper slope base depth is also the deepest it has ever been for this early in the season. The resort has had snowfall every day of the year so far with over a foot (30cm) of snow falling in five of the 14 days, all but one of them in the past week. Altogether this has added up to more than 11 feet (134 inches / 335cm to be precise) of snowfall giving a current 91 inch (2.3 metre) upper slope base depth – and very deep…

Scottish Ski Centres re-Open With Fresh Snow

Scottish ski areas have begun re-opening after nearly a week of storms which brought winds of up to 75mph (120kph) but also considerable hill snow. The country’s five Highland ski areas have had another challenging season so fare, with stormy weather and record warm temperatures stopping them from establishing bases. Cairngorm on Wednesday. This winter though they have all been able to keep at least some terrain open, typically small areas for novice skiers, as all five areas now have variants on all-weather snowmaking systems which can make snow even when traditional snowmaking systems can’t. Cairngorm in January 2020 before the snow arrived. The latest snowfall, which has been heaviest in the West, has accumulated the most at mid-mountain, with…

Kathmandu Styper Snow 3 in 1

New Zealand-based adventure gear manufacturer Kathmandu have a great range of skiwear and other kit available for winter 2020. Unlike many competitors, the company’s Styper range of jackets for both men and women come in every version you might prefer – a shell, a fully insulated jacket or a 3-in-1 jacket that combines shell and a fleece inner. We got hold of the 3-in-1 jacket to test out the company’s pitch that for 30 years, they have designed their gear to take on the rugged landscapes of their homeland, using Kiwi ingenuity and an open mind to continuously adapt their gear to endure different weather conditions, diverse terrains, and different needs. So we took the jacket out on the slopes…

Truly unmissable on a family holiday in wintery Zillertal

The anticipation rises for many families as soon as the first glistening snowflakes begin to fall and the temperatures drop: The winter holiday together is near. For many it is a real dream to dive into an idyllic winter wonderland. Zillertal in Tyrol is proof that some dreams do come true. Snow and fun for young and old in Zillertal If the children are happy, so are their parents! This hardly secret recipe is known across Zillertal. And thus highly trained and motivated ski instructors take care of the little ones and look to growing their skills. After all, proper skiing takes practice! There are numerous ski schools that offer special children’s courses in every region of the valley, which…