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April 2019

Where’s Open For Skiing or Snowboarding in May 2019?

The main ski season in the northern hemisphere is drawing to a close but there is no need to despair! Heavy snowfall in many parts of the skiing world through the winter has left bases as deep as 17 feet (5.5 metres) in the US and Canada and 7 metres (21 feet) in the Alps, where there was also lots of fresh snow above 2,000 metres in the last week of April so in many areas conditions are good for late spring skiing and boarding. The further good news is that more than 50 ski areas in over a dozen countries are still open for the start of May and although that number will drop as the month goes on,…

What’s New in Australian Skiing For Winter 2019?

Australia’s ski season kicks off in a little over six weeks’ time and 2019 is looking a little different for skiers and boarders heading to the slopes there. The big news is that American company Vail Resorts which owns about 20 leading ski areas including Australia’s biggest, Perisher, has spent $120m (US) buying two more Aussie ski areas Falls Creek and Mount Hotham. Australia only really half a dozen full-scale commercial ski areas so this gives Vail about half the market – Falls Creek is the country’s third largest resort and Mount Hotham (below) the fifth. The main upside of the deal for skiers and boarders, Vail Resorts would argue, is that Australians can buy their ‘Epic pass’ and ski…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #84

Issued: 23rd April 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: The first light snowfalls of 2019 have been reported at Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho, Southern Africa. The ski season starts here in just over a month's time. Although most of the ski areas that were still operating up to the Easter weekend have now closed for the…

Only North American Summer-Ski Only Area is Crowd Funding

Beartooth Basin, the only summer-ski only ski area in the US, is crowd-funding to raise much-needed finance to maintain and improve its existing operation. The centre, then known as The Red Lodge International Ski and Snowboard Camp, was originally established in the mid-1960’s by Austrians Pepi Gramshammer, Eric Sailer and Anderl Molterer as an Alpine Ski Racing summer training ground. It aims to open every year from late May to early July with a mission to keep the spirit of skiing alive with two surface lifts atop the iconic 10,000 foot elevation Beartooth Pass, over the Montana/Wyoming border. The centre usually opens when the road is cleared. Since 2003 a younger generation of skiing enthusiasts now open the area to…

The World’s Biggest Season-End ‘Pond Skimming’ Contest

The concept of the end-of-season meltwater pond skimming competition is long-established and has spread to ski areas around the world. The world’s oldest, The Slush Cup, at Sunshine ski area near Banff in Canada (below) will take place on Monday, May 20th – it will be the 91st. But one French resort takes the ‘skiing/boarding down a snowy slope and then seeing how far you can get across a pool of water’ to another level. La Clusaz in the Aravis mountains near Lake Annecy stage their Défi Foly contest, not on a pool of meltwater, but on the local Lake Confins with competitors seeing how far they can get across it before they sink. The hope is that one day…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #83

Issued: 16th April 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: Fernie Alpine Resort, in BC, had a nice 30cm (ft) of fresh snow for their final day of the 18-19 season. Picture by Thomas Hopkins. With Easter finally here this coming Sunday there has been a real mix of weather in many of Europe's ski regions. Along with…

Summer Ski Areas Opening Take World’s Deepest Snowbase to 10 Metres (33 Feet)

Two ski areas that open only for spring and summer skiing in the northern hemisphere opened at the weekend, both claiming they have more snow lying on their slopes than the resort that had been open all winter and had previously claimed the current deepest base in the world. Gassan’s famous Tsukiyama Ski Area in northern Japan’s Yamagata Prefecture opened for its 2019 ski season at the weekend, immediately posting the world’s deepest snow depth at 10 metres (33.3 feet). Normally open for 3 months to mid-July, subject to snow conditions, it says it's closed today due to a whiteout. Pictured above and below from Sunday. Meanwhile, Norway’s Folgefonn or ‘Fonna’ glacier also opened for spring and summer skiing at…

Norway’s Summer Ski Season Starts Saturday

The first of Norway’s three summer ski resorts will begin its 2019 season this Saturday, 13th April, 2019. Managers at the country’s Folgefonna glacier, better known as Fonna, say their 2019 season will kick off at 10am tomorrow. Resort teams have been working for weeks to clear access roads and prepare slopes and resort infrastructure after the winter shut down during which everything gets buried in snow.  The snow is currently lying several metres deep. The Galdhøpiggen Sommerskisenter plans to open second on May 9th, 2019 https://vimeo.com/229096989?fbclid=IwAR2fc4gJ7UGGCGuwZV9ONU9si3_d2zS9dUUCjQmR_HcTa2JNd7dxTUZdhhg Finally the country’s Stryn summer ski area will join them on 29th May. This picture was published by Stryn this week of how conditions are looking ahead of the start of the seasion…

World Snow Roundup #82

Issued: 09th April 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: The big news of the past week for lovers of snowsports is, undoubtedly, the huge snowfalls in the Alps and the Dolomites at the end of last week.  One Italian ski area claimed to receive over 2 metres of snow in 72 hours; the most in the country…

World’s Deepest Reported Snow Depth Passes 7 Metre Mark After Huge Snowfalls in the Alps

Engelberg is reporting that the snow depth on its Titlis glacier has reached 7.3 metres (24.3 feet) after the resort received a metre of snowfall on its upper slopes between Wednesday and Friday this week. It is the first time any ski area in the world has posted a snow depth figure of over 7 metres this year. The heavy  snowfall across the Alps has seen some massive accumulations reported with a number of resorts including Solden in Austria, Gressoney (pictured above yesterday) and the Schnalstal glacier in Italy and Bellwald in Switzerland reporting a metre (40 inch) of snowfalls in 24 hours. 48 hour totals of as much as 185cm (over six feet) have also been reported. Of the…

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