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February 2019

Second Iraq Ski Rally Highlights Tourism Opportunities in Kurdistan and Unites Skiers from Around The World

The second annual Iraq Ski Rally staged earlier this month brought international skiers from the United States, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Finland and Slovenia to Choman, Kurdistan in northern Iraq. They joined a group of skiers from around Iraq, including as far away as Baghdad, to compete in a backcountry ski race event. 20 skiers competed in total and the event included a long course and short course in the Zagros mountains of Choman, near the border of Iran. The goal of the event was to shed a new and positive light on the recreation and tourism opportunities of Kurdistan, and to bring together a global community around the sport of skiing. The 1st Iraq Ski Rally was held in the same…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #76

Issued: 27th February 2019 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Our latest roundup of snow conditions around the world. Each section that follows below goes into detail country by country. Clicking the map thumbnail will take you to our dynamic snow forecast map for the latest detail (where you can also overlay live weather & reported conditions). Weather outlooks for Europe and North America can be found at the end of this roundup. Snow in New Zealand four months ahead of the 2019 ski season; at Mt Dobson Ski Area. INTRODUCTION: Sunshine and unseasonably warm spring-like temperatures have been the order of the day for a third week in much of Europe; certainly the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees. There was a little snowfall…

New Zealand Ski Area to open this Weekend After Rare Summer Snow Storm

A ski area in New Zealand has announced it plans to open more than three months before the scheduled start date of its 2019 ski season, following a freak summer snow storm. It’s currently the final few days of meteorological summer time in the southern hemisphere but several ski areas in New Zealand reported heavy snowfall over the weekend due to a ‘Polar blast’ of cold air arriving from Antarctica. Mt Hutt, one of the country’s largest ski centres, reported it has received “over 50cm” of snow and whilst temperatures are now rising back up to their seasonal norm, meaning a thaw is underway, they believe there’ll be enough snow left to open some runs on Saturday and Sunday –…

Pretending to be a parent (in a ski resort)

Author and Alps resident Claire Garber ‘pretends’ to be a parent and gives us her perspective on what it’s like to look after a child in a ski resort. If like me (Ed.) you’re already a parent, you’ll likely not require the advice – but at least it’s fun to read it from the perspective of someone thrown into the deep end. Ski resorts are a different place when navigating them with children. This is something I discovered only recently when helping to look after my boyfriend’s daughter of seven. My free-flowing lifestyle of flexible arrangements, unstructured days and easy-going nights was immediately curtailed. My apartment looked different, as did my fridge, my bathroom, my lounge. There was Calpol next…

CheckYeti – The No. 1 for ski school booking

With over 2 million users, CheckYeti is an Austrian start up that has become a pioneer in ski school booking. An incredible success story, the brand has grown exponentially since its conception in 2014 and is now Europe’s largest online ski booking platform, allowing skiers across the world to easily find, compare and pre-book certified ski schools and fully qualified ski instructors.Using the 24346 customer reviews available, you can find your perfect adventure, whether you are looking for a private instructor, a freeride guide, a group course or a one-off lesson. Users can perfectly match their bookings to their own schedule, ability and preference, so you have complete flexibility and are able to easily book exactly what you need. Say goodbye to information…

Australian Brothers Launch Kickstarter Campaign to Build ‘Bodyboard for Snow’

Two Australian brothers have launched a Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise funds to build what they’re describing as, “The world’s first carving sled designed to bring snow bodyboarding to life.”  Co-Founders Ben and Michael Bateman say that they have been working on their ‘Snoogee Board’ which is designed to combine the control of a snowboard with the thrill of bodyboarding for eight years. The inspiration for the Snoogee Board came to Co-founder Ben Bateman during a gap year in The United States. He found himself surrounded by snow, but living far from the country’s ski fields. “I’m an adrenaline junkie, and a bodyboarder since I was 13. I saw people using sleds, but there’s no progression of skill which can…

Riksgransen 2019 Season Start March 1st

Riksgransen will, as usual, be the final northern hemisphere resort (other than a few summer-only areas) to open for the 2018-19 ski season, on Friday, March 1st. The northern ski area, sometimes referred to as the world's spring skiing capital, located 200km within the Arctic Circle in Northern Sweden is famous for offering skiing and snowboarding under the midnight sun from mid-May and then ending its season over the midsummer weekend in late June, when it usually sells out. Last season however there was not enough snow for the centre to stay open that long and it closed in late May after less than three months open. The current snow depth has not been published but it is snowing hard.…

First Ski Lift For 40 Years Begins Operating in Afghanistan

What is believed to be the first ski lift to operate in Afghanistan for more than four decades has begun operation. The lift is the latest development at the Bamyan ski area, located 100 miles west of the country’s capital Kabul. The rudimentary ski lift, like many of the early ski lifts in North America and Europe, utilises a motorbike engine to pull a simple cable lift. The bottom pulley wheel is fixed in an upturned wheelbarrow.  The lift is reported to have been created by an American family who live locally. The lift is the latest development since the creation of the annual Afghan Ski Challenge, originally established by a Swiss journalist in 2011 and now organised by the…

On the trail of St Anton’s legendary pathfinders

Arnie Wilson delves in to the fascinating history of the ‘cradle’ of Austrian skiing It’s almost impossible to have a quiet time in St. Anton. The lion of the Arlberg roars triumphantly both on and off the slopes in this iconic ski area, which likes to fashion itself (with some cause) as “the cradle of Alpine skiing”. But then generally people don’t come here for R+R. They go for the powerhouse skiing – some of the best in the Alps - and the cacophony of celebrated slope-side bars like the Krazy Kanguruh and the MooserWirt. At lunch time, after an exhilarating morning skiing just a fraction of St Anton’s huge and challenging ski domain, concentrating on the Kapall and Gampen…

World Snow Roundup #75

Issued: 19th February 2019 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Our latest roundup of snow conditions around the world. Each section that follows below goes into detail country by country. Clicking the map thumbnail will take you to our dynamic snow forecast map for the latest detail (where you can also overlay live weather & reported conditions). Weather outlooks for Europe and North America can be found at the end of this roundup. INTRODUCTION: An unusual week for snowfall, this season, in Europe. Particularly compared to the start of this year as there’s hardly been any new snow. After the huge snowfalls in the Eastern Alps in January and the decent snowfalls pretty well everywhere else over the past month, it has…