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March 2019

The Deepest Bases and the Longest Ski Seasons 2019

The ski season will draw to a close at most of the northern Hemisphere’s ski areas over the next five weekends, although a good selection will stay open later in to May and June, when the southern hemisphere’s 2019 season gets underway. Several ski areas are currently sitting on bases at, or near, 6 metres (20 feet) and they’re open in to May or beyond. Here’s the lowdown*: 636cm / 21.2 feet, Switzerland, Engelberg, open to 26 May. The current world’s deepest base is in Engelberg (pictyured top and above), where it often reaches 5 or 6 metres on the Titlis glacier by the end of the season. There’s still almost two months of snowsports left here for winter 18-19…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #80

Issued: 26th March 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. Up to 45cm (18 inches) of snowfall reported in the last 24 hours in Austria, Switzerland and Germany including 30cm (1ft) at St. Anton am Arlberg (pictured). INTRODUCTION: It's more and more spring-like in the skiing world of the northern hemisphere (well, it is spring after all), with plenty…

Two US Giant Ski Resort Groups Promise Combined 1/3 Billion Dollar Off-Season Spend

The two giant US ski resort owners have each promised to spend huge amounts on upgrades totalling between $356 and $361 million dollars at their respective collections of ski resorts this summer, ahead of the 2019-20 ski season. The two, which between them now run 34 Canadian, US (and in Vail’s case Australian) resorts including many of the continent’s leading ski areas, have committed remarkably similar totals ahead of next winter. Vail Resorts have committed “$175 Million to $180 Million in capital investments to reimagine the guest experience,” whilst the Alterra Group say they’ll spend $181 million (coincidentally $1 million more than Vail, announced a few months after Vail announced their spending plans) this summer, as part of a $555…

Ski Racing on Crete

Although Cyprus can claim to have the most southerly ski slopes in Europe (and there are even a few ski lifts there), the island of Crete, just a fraction of a degree further north, also has snow covered slopes most winters and once even had its own ski area. These days however it has become a Mecca for ski tourers who arrive from around the world each winter, heading for the island’s Psiloritis mountains, the highest of which, Mount Ida, at 2,456 m (8,057 feet), is the highest in Crete – not to mention being the legendary birth place of Zeus, no less. The height of the ski touring season comes in March every two years when a race, Pierra…

Red Mountain Expanding Again For Winter 2019-20 To Be 9th Biggest in North America

Formerly marketed as BC’s “Favourite Little” Resort,” Red Mountain in Canada’s Kootenay region has announced they’re installing a new chairlift this summer which will expand its terrain to become the 5th biggest in the country and the 9th biggest in North America. The resort’s Topping Chair expansion will give the resort a total of 300 additional acres skiable taking it to 3,840 acres and will include six new Intermediate runs with tree-skiing, “squirrel trails” and “slots”. Resort managers say it also accesses terrain that has a reputation for holding some of the best snow at the resort, thanks to its southeast facing aspect. This new lift-accessed acreage is just another addition to RED Mountain that makes it one of the…

Top of Grands Montets Ski Area Only Accessible to Ski Tourers For Next 3 Years

A new lift to the top of the Grands Montets Ski Area in the Chamonix Valley is at least three years from completion, according to the boss of the Compagnie du Mont Blanc lift company which is responsible for managing the ski area. Speaking six months after a fire destroyed the recently renovated Lognan Cable Car mid-station, destroying lift access above and below the station, Mathieu Dechavanne said that the company was looking at multiple options including repairing the existing old cable cars, or building all new lifts, possibly on a new route. Mr Dechavanne said there would be no fast decisions and said he thought it would be at least three years before the old lift was working again…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #79

Issued: 19th March 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. The most fresh snow in the world this week? Alyeska Resort in Alaska has reported 195cm (6.5 feet) of fresh snowfall in the past five days. INTRODUCTION: With spring (the traditional astronomical version) just around the corner, winter has been enjoying what may have been a ‘final blast’ (or…

All 5 Scottish Ski Centres Re-Open

All five Scottish ski centres have now re-opened at least some terrain following regular snow showers and cold weather since the start of March. Glencoe and Nevis Range on the West Coast of the country were the first to re-open upper runs last weekend but they’ve been joined in the past few days by Cairngorm, Glenshee and The Lecht. “All runs are now complete with a wide and deep cover of snow. What we need now is the wind to die down enough to allow us out to play. Winds tomorrow are again forecast to be strong WNW so may be worth checking in the morning before traveling or having a plan B,” a statement from Glencoe today reads, highlighting…

Ski Tourer Crosses The Alps in Less Than 29 Hours

A skier has completed the Transalp, skiing from the northern side of The Alps in Germany, through Austria and down into the south Tyrol of Northern Italy in less than 29 hours, completing the task in 28 hours and 45 minutes. Normally is takes professional athletes three to six days to conquer the 210km (131 mile) distance with its 10,500 metres of vertical. 41-year-old Benedikt “Beni” Böhm who describes himself as a ‘Speed Alpinist’  and also works as the General Manager for Dynafit pushes the limits by skiing non-stop without any long breaks or sleep during his marathon effort last weekend, March 9-10, 2019. Böhm had previously crossed the Alps back in 2006, together with five colleagues, in a then…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #78

Issued: 13th March 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. Squaw Valley recently announced they were staying open this season to July 7th, They now report the world's deepest snow base at 6.17m (20.5ft). INTRODUCTION: Most of the Alps has seen the heaviest snow for two months over the past 72 hours. Some Swiss ski areas have reported up…

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