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July 2019

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #98

Issued: 31st July 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: Temperatures continue to warm up in the Northern Hemisphere and we are now down to just 9 ski areas open in Europe, Asia and North America ,combined, as we enter August. That's not to say it's sunshine all the way as we've seen some weather extremes in the…

Canadian Resorts Top Comprehensive Scientific Study Of World’s Top Areas For ‘Skier Comfort’

A new study has rated the top six ski areas in the world for ‘skier comfort’ as locations in North America, and five of them in Canada. What’s unusual for a global survey that puts mostly North American ski areas in the top 10, is that this one has been published in Europe, not the US, and is very methodical, detailed and scientific. In fact the table which ranks the top 50 ski areas for ‘Skier Comfort’ is just one in the latest edition of the annual ‘List of the Worldʼs 100 Largest Ski Areas’ which has just been published by the global ski area experts Ski Welweit and Montenius Consulting. More of a report than a list, the 40…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #97

Issued: 24th July 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. Conditions are improving in New Zealand with five areas now posting a metre or more upper-slope snow depth. Mt Dobson Ski Area reports the deepest base at 106-126cm and up to 80cm of fresh snow over the past few days. INTRODUCTION: The place to be for fresh snow over…

Are Vail Resorts Now The Biggest Ski Resort Operating Company Ever?

The news today that Vail Resorts have bought another 17 ski areas in what must be the largest single ski resorts purchase in history, taking its total count if ski areas now Vail Resorts owned to 37, begs the question is this now the biggest group of ski resorts ever created? The 17 newly added ski areas, previously owned by the Peak Resorts group and sold for around a quarter of a billion dollars, are mostly small to mid-sized urban areas in seven states in the North Eastern USA, include many areas that are the key local hills for major metropolitan centres in the area including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Kansas City and…

Heavy Snowfall in the Andes

There’s powder conditions on the slopes of Argentina this week after a huge snowstorm deposited up to 60cm (two feet) of fresh snow on the country’s ski slopes. The snowfall, described as, “one of the most important of the last 20 years” by a spokesperson at Catedral ski area did cause some problems at some resorts as it fell. Catedral near Bariloche, South America’s biggest ski area by uplift capacity, initially closed terrain as the avalanche danger level reached very high, and then a power outage knocked out the ski area’s electricity supply, along with that of 15,000 homes in the area. The local airport was also closed yesterday by the snow with one airplane reported to have made two…

Increasing signs of investment

Increasing signs of development… During the previously discussed ‘ski boom’ in the late 80s Japan there were some mind-bogglingly ambitious ski resort developments happening in the country, though some of the wilder ones were put to a halt by the economy slowing down in the early 1990’s. While snowboarding came to the rescue and kept numbers somewhat steady, generally the next decade or so saw an increasing amount of ski hill and ski lift closures around the country and news of the total numbers of people enjoying winter sports continuing to decline. Incredibly, at the peak of the boom there were over 700 individual ski hills throughout Japan. In 2019 that number now stands at around 500. So after a…

New Charitable Association Aims to Improve Access For All to Verbier

A new charitable organisation ‘Verbier4All’ has been launched with the aim of working towards providing access to all of the many activities that take place in Verbier and the mountains that surround it. By providing access to the necessary equipment and trained ‘buddies,’ Verbier4All aims to ensure that anyone, regardless of physical or visual deficit, can access the mountains all year round. Verbier4All has already received the backing of Téléverbier which is now actively planning to make its infrastructures more user-­friendly for people with a physical or visual deficit, with some improvements will already be apparent this summer. Verbier4All is the result of a long-­cherished dream of Valérie Vaucher and Annick Meystre. Valérie Vaucher, who has extensive experience of running…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #96

Issued: 16th July 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 storm totals have now passed the metre mark at some Aussie ski areas (Perisher reports 106cm); a great powder day. Here's Falls Creek. INTRODUCTION: We briefly reached double-figures for the number of ski areas open in the Alps at the weekend as Saas Fee, in Switzerland, became the…

Major Snowstorm Hits Australian Ski Slopes

A major storm is bringing big snow accumulations to Australia. Resorts in New South Wales and Victoria have reported up to half a metre of snowfall over the past few days, and those totals may almost double by the ends of the weekend. The heavy snowfall, at times accompanied by strong winds, is the first major dump in the country since the season got underway five weeks ago. https://www.facebook.com/FallsAustralia/videos/486383178788448/ It follows good pre-season snowfalls at the end of May and in early June which led four areas to open up to a fortnight earlier than planned for the season. There was a warm spell in early June however followed by mostly cold, clear conditions until now. Perisher 12 July 2019…

Self-Driving Shuttles For Val Thorens

Val Thorens will debut what are believed to be the first four wheel drive self-driving shuttles for guests in a ski resort next winter. Europe’s highest major ski resort will begin operating ‘Berto’ the all-electric self-driving electric shuttle when the ski area opens for the 2019-20 season on 23rd November. In fact Berto has already made its first appearance on the resort’s streets fort a test operation last  March but this coming season it will be fully operational. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoTY5yXu2VQ Seating 15 passengers, the autonomous shuttle will transport skiers and locals around the resort – for free -while protecting the environment. Packed with cutting edge multi sensor technology, cameras and GPS it can operate at up to 25 Kph. And Berto…

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