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November 2019

Cairngorm Mountain Announce Plan To Switch to Biofuel

Snow making, road clearing and other diesel-fuelled machinery at Cairngorm Mountain is set to be powered by biofuel in the new year in a move which is expected to cut carbon emissions from the equipment by up to 90%. Operator, Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited (CMSL), has issued a tender to biofuel traders on the National Fuels Framework to supply the centre with hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), as a replacement for diesel. A groomer preparing the terrian park at Cairngorm Mountain. HVO is described as “a second-generation biofuel made from renewable, sustainable raw materials.” It’s the latest Scottish ski area to increase its use of renewable energy. Nevis Range introduced its own hydro-electric plant to cover its energy needs several years…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #115

It's less than a week until meteorological summertime in the Southern Hemisphere but one New Zealand ski area, Whakapapa, is still open at weekends for skiing and boarding. Issued: 27 November 2019 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne INTRODUCTION It has been another exceptionally snowy week in the Alps with much of the snowfall coming over the weekend, althou wfall was reported with the southern Alps along the French/Italian border seeing the heaviest snow. Some areas have now had more than 3 metres (10 feet) of snowfall this month with more to come in the final days of November. Along with the snowfall, there were strong winds in many areas, temporarily closing a lot of the resorts that have already opened and…

Back to the roots in Ruhpolding: Finding your inner balance in the winter woods

Technology is advancing as one innovation follows the other and the world keeps turning faster. In these times, some people are longing for the simple things in life. Occasionally the winter woods, some time off and your snowshoes are all it takes to find your inner balance in this fast-paced world. How about a bit of deceleration? Then it's time for a snowshoe tour in Ruhpolding, Upper Bavaria. The motto is: Back to the roots - in many ways. Head out into nature, inhale the fragrances of the trees and let the calming atmosphere have its effect on your soul and body. But why snowshoes?  Being one with nature while snowshoeingIn Ruhpolding everything is possible, from flat areas in the…

Toboggan tips from a traditional toboggan maker in Bavaria

If you want to experience winter in Germany, you have to pay Bavaria a visit. There is something for everyone here - whether relaxed days in the snow or unforgettable adventures in the forest. And who better to tell you about it than those who have been calling winter their favourite time of the year here since childhood? Locals tell of cross-country skiing, winter hiking, snowshoe tours, winter survival, tobogganing or game feeding in Bavaria. They cultivate their customs and traditions - but they also know where the perfect winter spots are and the best part: They even reveal their secret tips.  A small brick house, located in sleepy, wintery Franconia. Smoke rises from the chimney. In the middle of…

Stratton Reserve First Chairlift Ascent of 2019-20 Season for Jake Burton

The ski season has got underway today in a number of ski and snowboard areas in Vermont, just a few days after the death of Jake Burton Carpenter, whose Burton Snowboarding business has long been headquartered in the state, right from the very start back in the 1970s. Most of those resorts, once slow to embrace snowboarding, are now organising tributes to the great man, linked together by the #RideOnJake tag. At Stratton, which was one of the very first resorts to allow snowboarders in the early 1980s,  the very first chairlift going up the mountain today, number 13, was reserved for him, and a vintage Burton Snowboard made the ascent. 13 is a big number for Burton as the…

Burton Snowboards Founder Jake Burton Carpenter Has Died

Jake Burton Carpenter who creator the Burton snowboarding empire, a name synonymous with boarding since the early years of the sport, has died of cancer at the age of 65. Burton, founded his company in Vermont in 1977 selling 300 snowboards in its first year.  In the more than four decades since Jake Burton and his company, which now employs more than 1,000 people with offices worldwide, has been as key driving force behind the sport of snowboarding. The included initially getting ski areas to accept snowboarders on their slopes, then promoting the creation of terrain parks and in the 1990s pushing for the inclusion of snowboarding in the Winter Olympics. A statement on his company’s social media says, “It…

More than 100 Ski Areas Already Open For 19-20 Worldwide As Base Depths Reach 3m/10 Feet in Europe

More than 100 ski areas have already opened for the 2019-20 ski season as resorts in the US gear up for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday weekend later this month whilst those in Europe take advantage of heavy early snowfalls throughout November. Base depths in Europe have already reached three metres (10 feet) at Italy’s Presena glacier (pictured below this week) following huge snowfalls, particularly heavy in Austria (Stubai pictured top), Switzerland and Italy. Several ski areas have reported more than two metres of snowfall so far in November with Cervinia in Italy saying it had had 2.4 metres (eight feet) of snowfall in one seven day period alone. It’s expecting another 60cm (two feet) of snow this weekend. All the…

Freeride Week in Off-Piste Favourite La Grave

PFD Skis (Pure Freeride Design) has launched a brand new dedicated freeride week in the legendary ski area of La Grave, France which will run in the last week of the coming wintertime, from March 14-21, 2020, when snow conditions should be at their best. La Grave is known as ‘The Freeride Mountain’ with its reputation for big lines and uncontrolled terrain that makes it a unique proposition for skiers in search of the ultimate freeride adventure. In recent years the resort’s fans have battled to ensure the future of the area in its ‘unspoilt’ state but that future appears to now be secure. It’s the first time that PFD Skis is have run a dedicated freeride week that combines…

WORLD SNOW ROUNDUP #114

Issued: 20 November 2019 By Patrick "Snowhunter" Thorne Saas-Fee had access roads closed by record November snowfall a little while ago but now have the world's longest run (9km) and biggest vertical (1,800m) open anywhere so far this season :) INTRODUCTION It has been another fairly sensational week of snowfall in the Alps as more ski areas open for the 19-20 season.The biggest snowfall total fort the past seven days was reported at Cervinia (80/265cm) in Italy which claims it has had 2.2 metres (over seven feet) of snowfall since this time last week. Other areas haven’t had so much but some now far off. Austria’s Pitztal glacier (60/300cm) for example says it has had 1.8 metres (six feet) of…

Not long to go now!

It is always an interesting and exciting time of the year. While some areas of Japan are in various stages of enjoying spectacular autumn foliage across the mountains, others are experiencing the first blizzard of the winter season. Over the last week or so many parts of the northern island of Hokkaido and some northern parts of the main island of Honshu have enjoyed the first snowfalls of the season down to base level. And as of today, Monday 18th November, there has been over 30cm of snow in Hirafu village recorded at the base of Niseko. Excellent! November 23rd November 23rd is Labour Thanksgiving Day in Japan and it is a national holiday (either on that day or the…

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