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October 2019

Lake Louise and Winter Park Opening Early, This Weekend

More than twenty ski areas are already open for winter 2019-20 in Europe, North America and Japan but the pace of opening is quickening from November 1st as an increasing number of big name resorts open, some of them several weeks earlier than planned. In Canada and the US the early openings are in part thanks to record-breaking October snow totals in some areas. Steamboat, although it has not yet announced it will open early, has had over 1.5 metres (five feet) of snowfall this month and Keystone (44 inches/110cm), which was one of the first in North America to open a fortnight ago, almost as much. Verbier had announced that it was planning to open this weekend on Saturday…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #111

Banff's ski season start's this Friday at Mt. Norquay. Lake Louise and Sunshine Village to follow a week later. Issued: 30 October 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. Already skiing in October with the northern lights brilliant overhead? That would be Levi in Finland. INTRODUCTION: The days are getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere and temperatures are dipping…

New Film of First Ever Full Ski Descent of Lhotse

On September 30th last year, with the mighty Everest to their right, and one of the world’s most sought-after high-altitude ski lines below them, Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison clipped into their ski bindings and prepared to drop in from the summit of Lhotse. “The Lhotse Coulouir is just such a perfect line, being only truly visible from Everest gives it this mythical quality and it stoked this fire in me, in both of us – we just had to see if it could be done but we knew we would need not just the right conditions but the right team and we had it,” said Hilaree. Their sponsors, The North Face, have now released a film of their achievement.…

Another Colorado Resort Opens As One Claims October Already Snowiest on Record

One Colorado resort that doesn’t open until next month says it has already had more snowfall this month than in any previous October since it opened. Steamboat says it has had 110cm (44 inches) of snowfall since October 1st. The first two ski resorts to open in North America for winter 2019-20, a fortnight ago, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone, are  both reporting increasingly snowy conditions, as are other resorts across the state, where most will be opening over the next four weeks. The latest, Loveland, opened earlier today. It has been a different picture on the Eastern side of the US where there’s another battle to be the first to open, usually requiring snowmaking.  But it has been too warm…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #110

Looks like Loveland is opening Friday then. Issued: 23 October 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 start of the 2019-20 ski season continues to gather pace as more ski areas open in the Northern Hemisphere taking the tally past the 20 mark at the weekend. Among the new openings were Kitzbuhel in Austria, the first area…

Better Routes into the 4 Vallées This Winter

There are big improvements planned for access to Switzerland’s largest ski region, the 4 Vallées in the country’s Valais region, this winter. A new ski train service will link the Lake Geneva region with the new Châble train station on Saturday mornings. The two-storey trains will provide a direct connection to gondola lifts up to the slopes of Verbier's ski area. In addition a new eight-seater gondola lift in Nendaz - 4 Vallées ski area will provide a much improved link between Plan du Fou and Prarion, increases the transport capacity from 800 people per hour to 2,400.  There is also a new direct connection to Nendaz-Mont-Fort. The lift company is equipping all slopes between Combatseline and Thyon 2000 with…

Canada’s Ski Season To Start Early

Canada’s Nakiska ski area, the closest resort to Alberta’s capital Calgary, has announced it will open for a ‘preview weekend’ on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October, it’s earliest ever. The resort, which was also a venue for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, is usually one of the first to open in Western Canada in early November along with ski areas around nearby Banff, but this year it looks to be opening a week or two ahead of the others. (Nakiska current snow cover) Nakiska may also be the first to open in Canada although Quebec ski area Mont-Saint-Sauveur usually opens a run using snowmaking in October, this year it too is reported to be targeting Saturday 26th October. Lifts…

Skier Completes 10 Years of Skiing Every Month of the Year on Scottish Snow

A Scottish skier has managed to make some turns on Scottish snow every month of the year for ten straight years. That’s 120 consecutive months on Scottish snow. Former Geography teacher Helen Rennie said that over the past decade she has had increasing difficulty finding surviving snow patches to ski in late summer/early autumn each year. Helen, now 65, started her monthly ski trips, aged 55, when she was recovering from oesophageal  cancer in 2009 and looking for a personal challenge. She has found snow in the Cairngorms every month except for September 2013, 2017 and 2019, when she had to ski a snow patch at Aonach Beag by Nevis Range, a feat that required a six mile hike there…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #109

Heavy snow hits Colorado. Will a ski area open there this weekend? Here's Keystone Resort. Issued: 16 October 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 snow news of the week was the start of North America's 2019-20 season at the weekend. Heavy snowfall we forecast on Wednesday-Friday last week duly rolled into the west of the…

US 2019-20 Ski Season Underway

The 2019-20 ski season in North America has got underway this weekend at two of the world’s highest resorts up in Colorado’s Summit County. Three ski areas – Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Loveland – had all been snowmaking and building up bases here for more than a week before heavy snowfall arrived late on Wednesday and continued through Thursday, bringing up to about a foot (30cm) of fresh snow to the highest slopes. Keystone was the first to announce it would open, saying on Friday that it would open next morning, Saturday 12th October. At that point Arapahoe Basin announced it would be opening too, but even sooner, just a few hours after it’s announcement at 3.30pm on Friday 11th. …

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